I can sympathize with those who feel that the book often jumps forward skipping moments that we would like to see, but I enjoy many of the characters so much that I can easily overlook any flaws. This series has brought out my love of adventure and my inner-warrior maiden in a way even Graceling didn't. I'm not sure how I feel about the romance in this book, nor in the next, but I have yet to read the fourth, so we'll see how it turns out. I think the fact that I had the third book The Woman Who Rides Like a Man out of the library and was able to move straight into it helped with any misgivings I may have had about this book. I think the series is a lot of fun, and I look forward to finishing it....more
Beka has become a real Dog (Provost's Guard), but she's having a hard time finding a partner who can handle her intense drive. When counterfeit moneyBeka has become a real Dog (Provost's Guard), but she's having a hard time finding a partner who can handle her intense drive. When counterfeit money starts turning up everywhere and it becomes obvious that the harvest will be small, the Lower City breaks out in a riot as bread prices begin to rise. Beka is sent upriver to Port Caynn to investigate the source of the counterfeit coins. There she discovers a dangerous rogue, makes a few new friends, and is caught up in a whirlwind romance with an intriguing young man.
I got more into this Beka book than the last. The mystery of the silver really drew me in, and although I missed Beka's friends in Corus, there were lots of interesting characters to meet in Port Caynn. I look forward to the final book in the trilogy....more
I didn't remember much about Jane Eyre before rereading it. Just marshes, mostly. I can't really take myself seriously "reviewing" it, even in my meagI didn't remember much about Jane Eyre before rereading it. Just marshes, mostly. I can't really take myself seriously "reviewing" it, even in my meager way, so I'll just say that I enjoyed reading it.
I love the passion, but I still hate how she kind of blindly obeys the strong-willed, even though she knows herself....more
I've been a giant fan of Neil Gaiman and his novels since Anna introduced me to American Gods in library school. Since then I've talked to lots of peoI've been a giant fan of Neil Gaiman and his novels since Anna introduced me to American Gods in library school. Since then I've talked to lots of people who knew him primarily though the comics, so I finally broke down and borrowed one to try out. I felt like it got better as I went through the book (and as I got a better idea of what was going on and adjusted to reading in comic mode). I also loved the character Death. I'm looking forward to reading more....more
I've always been fascinated with India, so I was excited about this book, but it ended up making me think twice about whether or not I wanted to visitI've always been fascinated with India, so I was excited about this book, but it ended up making me think twice about whether or not I wanted to visit. I've always thought of it as a fascinating place with beautiful things and people, and this definitely disabused me of any wrong notions. The author didn't always seem super likable, but in the same way India grew on her, she grew on me, and I found myself enjoying them both in the end....more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book so much more than I was expecting to from the description. I ended up having trouble putting it down. I got kind**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book so much more than I was expecting to from the description. I ended up having trouble putting it down. I got kind of embarrassed in the mushy middle, but I found the fact that the main character decided that marriage wasn't for her and still had a happy ending with her love to be very refreshing. I can't wait for more from Kristin Cashore....more
Feed follows a teenager in the future when everyone who can afford it has had their brains augmented with access to networked information, entertainmeFeed follows a teenager in the future when everyone who can afford it has had their brains augmented with access to networked information, entertainment, communication, and of course, commerce. Peoples' brains seem to have rotted into a consumer-driven mush, and school has been replaced with School(tm) which helps you better learn how to discover and acquire the things that you want. Titus is a very average teen until he meets an unusual girl on a boring trip to the Moon, who might even help him consider things differently.
I read Feed in one evening. After starting it, I didn't think I'd like it at all. It was hard for me to follow the slang and degraded language skills of the future-people at first, and the characters weren't very likable. I'm very excited about technology in general and cautiously optimistic about human augmentation, so I felt that this was a very negative view of the future. But in the end the book gave me so much to think about that I enjoyed the experience very much. Still, I'm having trouble deciding whether or not to pick up the author's The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1 The Pox Party even though I've only heard wonderful things about it....more
I had really enjoyed Good Omens, so I was eager to try the Discworld series. I was entertained with the witty turn on fantasy. I also grew to like theI had really enjoyed Good Omens, so I was eager to try the Discworld series. I was entertained with the witty turn on fantasy. I also grew to like the characters quite a lot, which I didn't expect at all from the beginning. I don't think I'll be reading these books straight through, but I wouldn't mind picking one up when I need a laugh and diversion....more
I read Away for a book club at the library. I've never been to this book club, or actually -a- book club, and I'm kind of wishing this wasn't the bookI read Away for a book club at the library. I've never been to this book club, or actually -a- book club, and I'm kind of wishing this wasn't the book with which I'll start.
The story centers around a Jewish immigrant to America who lost her family and everything in Russia. I have trouble deciding how her frank practicality about human relationships and stations in life makes me feel. I found her callous at first. I recognize that each of the people she meets affect her profoundly, even though she seems so cold to me as she meets each one of them, and I do like her in the end. I also enjoyed getting to find out what happens to each of them after she leaves them.
At any rate, not something I would usually pick up on my own, but not boring or unlikable, either....more
The Elegance of the Hedgehog is told from two perspectives--that of a concierge and a rich tween. Both make beautiful observations. Both hide from theThe Elegance of the Hedgehog is told from two perspectives--that of a concierge and a rich tween. Both make beautiful observations. Both hide from the world. Both seem to think that they are much better than everyone else. And for that reason, I tried not to like them, but I did like them. And I loved Monsieur Ozu. Also, I have to give it to them that they do seem pretty much better than everyone else in the building.
If I had stopped before the final 2 chapters, I would have left the book in love and full of hope. But I didn't care at all for the ending, and so I'm pretty much just angry at this book now....more
I got into reading about past Presidents around the time of the inauguration and became very curious about Eleanor Roosevelt when reading about her huI got into reading about past Presidents around the time of the inauguration and became very curious about Eleanor Roosevelt when reading about her husband. After reading this three-volume autobiography, I am no longer curious, but I have even more admiration.
If you're very curious about her childhood, then by all means read the first volume, but if not, read the wikipedia article for a summary and skip to the good stuff. The second volume covers her years in the White House and contains many observations about the world and the US at the time. She definitely transforms from a woman unsure of herself at the beginning of her family life to an insightful commentator on world events. Roosevelt spends more time in the third volume detailing her own worldview as a member of the UN delegation and Civil Rights committee. The topics on which she spends the most time are colored heavily by the mounting Communist threat at the time she wrote that volume (around 1961), but her convictions that all people deserve basic human rights and that we all have a responsibility to bring about a world in which possession of these rights are the bare minimum to be expected are still as prescient and important today as ever. I enjoyed getting to know Eleanor thoroughly....more
While the point of the book is definitely to make one less anxious about writing, it made me slightly more nervous only because I hadn't realized I had to decided to try writing until I actually checked out the book, took it home, and started reading it.
Still, everything in the book is designed to keep the reader/writer from building writing up to a point that it is difficult to write and judging herself. It seemed to be sensible advice, and I was never bored reading, but we'll see if it works if I actually get anything written....more
This turned out to be my favorite John Green book so far. I was worried at first that the characters in this book were similar to the characters in JoThis turned out to be my favorite John Green book so far. I was worried at first that the characters in this book were similar to the characters in John Green's other books (and also that it was very similar to As Simple as Snow), but as the book went on, it got better and better for me. I loved the use of the Whitman poem in particular....more
The stories are all fantasy or paranormal stories about young people. My favorite story "Magic for Beginners" is about a boy and his favorite show The Library, but there was hardly a story in this book that I didn't wish would continue on to be an entire book itself.
I have to find some more of her collections now so that I can officially add her to my favorite authors list. The stories caught my fancy, and I've been thinking about them for days. I really enjoy her imagination and language. I can't wait to find more to read from Kelly Link....more
A journalist is hired to dig into a family's past to solve an old mystery. He hires a young, hacker assistant and together they uncover much more thanA journalist is hired to dig into a family's past to solve an old mystery. He hires a young, hacker assistant and together they uncover much more than was expected.
I generally enjoy a good mystery, but I listened to this book, and hated the way in which the reader did the young lady's voice, which made me dislike her character more than I might have otherwise. The story was good, though, so over all I was pleased....more
The Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss, a 16 year old huntress who takes responsibility for her family after her father's death and has anger manThe Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss, a 16 year old huntress who takes responsibility for her family after her father's death and has anger management issues. It takes place during a terrible time in which North America has been divided into 12 districts ruled over strictly by "the Capitol" after an attempted rebellion. In an annual display of its power, the Capitol claims two adolescents from each district to participate in a gladiatorial-style, reality-tv-esque fight to the death in front of the screens of everyone.
As a somewhat passionate tomboy, I was drawn to the character of Katniss and the book drew me in so that I read it in a sitting. This despite the fact that it slows down considerably in the middle through a bout of hiding. I hadn't realized at first that the book is the first in a series, so I was disappointed when it didn't resolve the romance at all, but the games resolve, and it left me looking forward to the next book eagerly....more
There were only two stories in this book that I hadn't read in the author's other short story collections. (I guess I should've looked at the table ofThere were only two stories in this book that I hadn't read in the author's other short story collections. (I guess I should've looked at the table of contents before buying it.) Still, I enjoyed rereading some of my favorite Neil Gaiman stories.
It's a little unusual for a book aimed at young readers because in many of the stories, the protagonists aren't children or young adults, but to say that young people wouldn't understand or enjoy the stories would be selling young readers short.
As always, I loved exploring the worlds that spring from Gaiman's stories. ...more
John got me this book because I'm a big Jane Austen fan (and because he is awesome). Although I did get a lot of laughs and enjoyed the book, I expectJohn got me this book because I'm a big Jane Austen fan (and because he is awesome). Although I did get a lot of laughs and enjoyed the book, I expect if I weren't quite such a big Jane Austen fan I would have enjoyed it more. The idea is obviously that a Zombie plague has been introduced to the universe of the 19th Century classic.
While I very much enjoyed the addition of the zombie menace and the blossoming of the Bennet girls into battle-hardened warriors (save for the all the talk of blood drinking and bathing), I felt much put upon by the rather pathetic fates of Mr. and Mrs. Collins, the "ballsy" humor, and the thousand fold increase in local marital improprieties.
I feel silly "reviewing" Frankenstein, but I promised my self I would put out there what I thought about everything a read this year.
I had read FrankeI feel silly "reviewing" Frankenstein, but I promised my self I would put out there what I thought about everything a read this year.
I had read Frankenstein in high school for class, but the only parts I could remember well were when the creation (monster? daemon?) watched the family in the cottage and Frankenstein's life at the university. I reread the book for a local library book club, and rereading was a good experience, but it mostly served to make me dislike the character of Frankenstein a whole lot more than I had the first time. He's a perfectly good character in a literary sense, just a terrible human. It has nothing to do with the fact that he tries to "play God," he's just incredibly self-centered, self-pitying, sniveling prat. Other than that, I enjoyed the read. Even though this is not the kind of ending I usually particularly enjoy, it as the right one....more
Joey Harker strays from an exam assignment to end up very lost and discovers he has the ability to travel between worlds. Adventure ensues.
This book wJoey Harker strays from an exam assignment to end up very lost and discovers he has the ability to travel between worlds. Adventure ensues.
This book wasn't like most Gaiman material. It was very fluffy, but I still enjoyed it quite a lot. As a quick adventure story, it was a lot of fun and easy to digest. It also gave me a lot of neat sci-fi ideas to consider as someone who hasn't spent a ton of time in the genre....more
The Stolen Child A Novel is the story of two changelings: Henry Day, whose life is taken from him, and the hobgoblin who takes his place. The story isThe Stolen Child A Novel is the story of two changelings: Henry Day, whose life is taken from him, and the hobgoblin who takes his place. The story is told by each in interleaving chapters as the latter Henry Day grows and becomes a man and has a family. Aniday (the former Henry, now faerie) finds his passions and his place in the feral forest community of faeries in a world that is quickly growing out of faeries altogether.
I suspect this is a book that I would have liked more had a read it instead of listened to the audiobook on a car trip. I didn't like the voice of the latter Henry, and it took Aniday far too long to catch on most of the time. Still, there are occasionally audiobooks that draw me into their world, and this was just not one of them. Not a total waste of time, though, I loved many of the faeries....more
When I first started The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, I thought that the clever banter was a little to forced and found it a little dWhen I first started The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, I thought that the clever banter was a little to forced and found it a little distracting, but I quickly adjusted and really enjoyed the story. Frankie is kick-butt, and it was nice to read about a feminist character set it in the present time with the problems of today instead of decades or centuries ago. I've also been a serious victim of the panopticon and worried about getting into trouble or what people would think. The pranks were fun, and I wish this book had been around about 10 years ago for me....more
It's so hard to talk about collections with any kind of coherence without breaking it down by story, but the stories were fantastical and wonderful and beautifully written. It is hard to choose my favorite, but I liked the last story least. I love the uncle and the angel, and the mysterious Japanese folk story, and the battle to the death with terrible poetry. I borrowed it, but I'm afraid I'll have to buy it now so that I can read it again later....more
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is an oral history of an alternate universe in which the zombie apocalypse has taken place. I was reallWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is an oral history of an alternate universe in which the zombie apocalypse has taken place. I was really expecting this book to be a lot more silly and less serious. I also wasn't expecting to enjoy it, not being a big zombie fan, but I can honestly say that I was never bored listening to it.
Instead of being the usual comic romp with Zombies, World War Z is more of a social and political commentary on today's society and our suggested reaction to "African Rabies." The author put a lot of thought into how certain populations and individuals might react in this situation and gave a surprisingly thoughtful picture of apocalyptic life....more
After loving Pretty Monsters Stories, I set out to read whatever I could find from Kelly Link. I did enjoy many of the short stories in this collectioAfter loving Pretty Monsters Stories, I set out to read whatever I could find from Kelly Link. I did enjoy many of the short stories in this collection Magic for Beginners, but in some of the stories, the delightfully strange and imaginative narration became too dreamlike in that it never seemed to move forward.
For instance, I loved the premise of "Stone Animals." I was excited about the characters, the house, and the rabbits, just about everything, but every day, it just kept being the same characters, the same house, the same rabbits, and it never progressed or changed. It seemed like a very, very long writing exercise in strange details. "The Hortlak" dragged similarly for me. I imagine it is me not "getting it," which makes me sad, because I enjoy Kelly Link's mind so much. I really liked "Catskin," "Some Zombie Contingency Plans," and "Lull," but I think my favorites were still the two that were included in Pretty Monsters as well. (I love "The Library" so much I started reading aloud to John on a car trip just to share it.)...more
Aislinn has always been able to see faeries, but they've usually paid her no attention. Her grandmother has taught her to be terrified and avoid them at all costs. So when two faeries begin following her after school, she is more than a little worried. Turns out, her concern is not unfounded. The faeries have plans for Aislinn and her life will never be the same again.
As it turns out, parts of the book were a little too teen romance for me, but other parts kept me interested enough. I really liked the character Donia, and she turns out to be more important in the end than it seems like she will be, so that made me happy. I'm also genuinely curious to find out what happens in the world after the end of this book. I didn't care a lick for what would happen with the romance, but what will happen next to the power structure in faerie is pretty interesting, and it seems to be the topic of the next book Ink Exchange, so I might pick it up in the future after all....more
Clary is a normal teenager with normal teenage problems until she witnesses a mysterious murder in a night club and her mom disappears soon after. SudClary is a normal teenager with normal teenage problems until she witnesses a mysterious murder in a night club and her mom disappears soon after. Suddenly her world changes and she begins to learn secrets about her past that can't be explained. She meets and enlists a horde of urban fantasy creatures to help her save her mom and learn the truth.
I didn't start out liking this book. I was pretty bored with the characters early in the story, and there weren't many that were very likable. I don't really care for beautiful bad boys and girls. But then I had trouble putting the book down after a while and several characters grew on me (and some interesting characters appeared or fleshed out) to the point that I'm pretty eager to go out and find the sequel to continue the story....more
The story centers around Alanna who is not interested in learning to become a lady, but hopes to be a knight and a warrior maiden. Her brother, on the other hand, has no interested in knighthood. He wants to be a great sorcerer. The two of them hatch a plan to get their wishes and Alanna goes undercover, pretending to be a boy to achieve her dream.
This book is only the beginning of the story. So far it hasn't given me much in the way of brain food, but it is a pleasant adventure with a strong heroine and the books are easy to read in a sitting, so I imagine I'll continue through the 4-book series. I enjoy the characters and the villain is interesting. It was an excellent afternoon's diversion.
Reread 5/11 - I started rereading this series for a few reasons. I was feeling kind of down, and after going through all the Tortall books coming back is like visiting old friends. I also wanted to start exercising more, and I get bored with running. I've started trying to box (with bags only) and I've found I need more strength. These girl warriors are inspirational for that sort of thing. :) It turned out to be both as comforting and as inspiring as I had hoped. I can't wait to come visit again.
**spoiler alert** Harry falls in love with the desert as soon as she moves to the far flung military outpost to be near her brother after her father d**spoiler alert** Harry falls in love with the desert as soon as she moves to the far flung military outpost to be near her brother after her father dies. So when the king of the hill people is moved to kidnap her by some unexplainable force, she quickly adapts and trains in the ways of her adopted tribe. Full of a force the natives know well, Harry excels in her training and quickly becomes part of the king's elite warrior group of Riders. Her skills are pressed at one as the Northlanders attack and Harry is forced to defend her new home.
Adventure fantasies with strong female characters are my favorites, and The Blue Sword was particularly good. After it got started I had trouble putting it down. I didn't know that it had a predecessor in The Hero and the Crown, but I look forward to picking it up soon....more
Ananka is yearning for a life of excitement, but she doesn't realize it until it the morning she looks out her window to discover a sink hole in the pAnanka is yearning for a life of excitement, but she doesn't realize it until it the morning she looks out her window to discover a sink hole in the park outside her window and the secret room that lies beneath. Before long she is discovering a secret city with Kiki Strike and a highly talented group of girls called the Irregulars. The girls seem unstoppable until an accident occurs that leaves them doubting the motives of their fearless leader and causes a split. When girls across the city begin to go missing, the Irregulars must ban together to save the day.
I picked this book up on a whim while visiting a book store in Bay St. Louis. For a book that I chose based on the cover, I couldn't have been more pleased. This adventure tale moved quickly and kept me entertained the whole time. I loved the strong young women and the interesting setting. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the second book in the series....more