I hope I'll carve out some time to review, but I have to say this is how a fairytale retelling should be in my opnion. Thank you so much, Teccc, for pI hope I'll carve out some time to review, but I have to say this is how a fairytale retelling should be in my opnion. Thank you so much, Teccc, for parting with your copy. It would have taken ages - or maybe forever - until I decided to finally buy it....more
"Ashes" is a uniquely-set example of zombie dystopia that manages to keep the reader on her or his toes with a lot of action, a compassionate, brave a"Ashes" is a uniquely-set example of zombie dystopia that manages to keep the reader on her or his toes with a lot of action, a compassionate, brave and stong heroine, a cute-kid-sidekick, who repeatedly puts a strained smile on the worried reader's face, a loyal dog and a likable, but difficult-to-grasp kind-of-love-interest (Forget what the book-flap says. Don't expect a romance novel, please.):
After two years of chemo and nano-pebbles and other ineffective treatments seventeen-years-old orphan Alex has given up on fighting her tennis-ball-sized brain tumor. Armed with some gear and a heavy case (I pretty much guessed from the beginning what it contained, but it was kept a secret for three quarters of the book. (view spoiler)[If you want to surprise the reader, don't put the secret into the title, dearest publisher. (hide spoiler)]) she sets out to hike through the wilderness toward Lake Superior.
She has just shaken hands with an an old guy on a fishing-trip and his whiny eight-years-old grand-daughter Ellie, when something later identified as an electromagnetic pulse kills off all electronics - including Jack's pulse-maker and a lot of birds and game. Interestingly Alexs instantly not only gets back the sense of smell her tumor had previously eliminated, but is able to use it at a superhuman capacity, too. In addition she loses the slight tremor in her left hand and shortly after that - because of Ellie - most of her outdoor equippment and food. After surviving a couple of kids who were gorging themselves with the intestines of a lone camper, Alex starts to develop alarming theories about what happened to whom, in which perimeter and why Ellie's and her own brain did not turn them into juvenile cannibalists. But there is not really time to ponder, because the girls are attacked by a small pack of wild dogs and later by another "brain-zap" - who gets shot just in time by the youngish soldier Tom. Tom claims to be on holiday leave from his duty in Afghanistan and seems to have his own difficult past.
At this point the road trip/hell ride really takes off, takes some shocking, some ruthless and some unexpected turns and finally lets us hang on a real, stomach-droppingly, fist-in-the-mouth, blink-blink-blink-do-not-mess-with-me cliffhanger that costs my rating a fully filled-in and carefully lined star. (view spoiler)[I can stomach not knowing about Tom. But Ellie? The author deliberately made me love Ellie. How can she not tell us if she survived and if yes under which circumstances? (hide spoiler)]
Otherwise I liked "Ashes" (at least the first, "road-trip-style" part) quite well. But not well enough to rate it five stars (if you put the cliffy aside, I mean). And not well enough to buy the sequel, either. Some strange things about the settlement "Rule" and the relevation about it works bothered me a lot in the last third, but I am too exhausted to pull them out of the fogginess of my setting-saturated mind. Maybe I will prod/study some enlightening reviews later.
If you consider reading a rather interesting, no-filter-gruesome Zombie dystopia, "Ashes" is definitely no bad choice. But if you asked me, I would in all likelihood say: "Buy Enclave first!", because it was simply better rounded, had a far stronger pull on my emotions and a hero that stole a larger chunk of my heart. Still, "Ashes" is better constructed than the also fast-paced, pretty similarly-set, but city-based, romance-induced and self-published monster apocalypse Released, which is to be had as a Kindle version for almost nothing....more
Boy, had I high expectations for Virtuosity. But while reading it the story felt kind of over-used and familiar, although handing out a list with simiBoy, had I high expectations for Virtuosity. But while reading it the story felt kind of over-used and familiar, although handing out a list with similar plots or character constellations would be diffiucult: An oppressive, pushy mom, who uses her teenaged daughter to fulfill her own dream, a gifted, weak-willed girl who uses the peak of her fairy-tale career to break out of her shell and show her teeth - while falling a bit in love with the enemy. 2.5 stars and a huge apology to Secret Santa for not loving this one....more
2.5 stars. You like those simple, California-based teen romance movies in which a former no-name girl falls in love with the wrong guy first, gets env2.5 stars. You like those simple, California-based teen romance movies in which a former no-name girl falls in love with the wrong guy first, gets enveloped into the rich-people-fold, makes everbody ultimately happy and eliminates everybody's problems? Then you'll like this book, although it is even more predictable and a little less dramatic. Hollywood chicklit. Nothing more.
Not as good as the Mediator Series or Teen Idol, but definitely more enjoyable than some of Cabot's other recent output. It has a kind of open ending,Not as good as the Mediator Series or Teen Idol, but definitely more enjoyable than some of Cabot's other recent output. It has a kind of open ending, but since I had read the sequel last year already, I didn't mind so much....more
Ahhh. Pomelo is so cute. And although he is a tiny elephant who sports a too long trunk and hides under his favorite dandelion I can identify with hisAhhh. Pomelo is so cute. And although he is a tiny elephant who sports a too long trunk and hides under his favorite dandelion I can identify with his many fears and problems and his idea of fun....more
I stayed up very late to finish this and although I looked out for it I didn’t guess the Watkins‘ secret. Plus there is humor, a sweet romance (no, twI stayed up very late to finish this and although I looked out for it I didn’t guess the Watkins‘ secret. Plus there is humor, a sweet romance (no, two) and an assortment of very interesting, flawed and realish characters. That combination qualifies for a five star rating. I hope I’ll find the time to review this before the next book captures my thoughts. Thank you so much Flannery, for pointing „Flat-Out Love“ out to me. I had never heard of it before....more
Endearing canvas paintings that illustrate the double message: "Spending time with real friends who care about you is way better than idolizing TV SupeEndearing canvas paintings that illustrate the double message: "Spending time with real friends who care about you is way better than idolizing TV Superheros. And you don't need to impress your friends by playing superhero, because they like you anyway for being you."
And ... I love the giggle-worthy title: "Wonder-Guinea-Pig Saves the World". Isn't it perfect?...more
"That puke was the most wonderful thing I'd ever seen. It was green and a little red. Technicolor, really, the color puke is supposed to be. It defini"That puke was the most wonderful thing I'd ever seen. It was green and a little red. Technicolor, really, the color puke is supposed to be. It definitely wasn't black, and it didn't smell like toasty poop. This was a good sign."
I breezed through this book in one day. And let me tell you: I had an awfully good time, although I was very relieved that my commuter train compartment did not emanate the penetrating stink of stale sweat, geasy hair, beer and hamburgers gone bad like it usually does at rush hour in late August. I might have not been able to reign in my activated imagination otherwise and would have stared down the nose-offending passengers with a zombie-alert x-ray-expression disorting my face.
"Bad Taste in Boys" combines a wacky, deliciously hilarious story about "the world's worst football team" getting infected with a vampire virus instead of getting enhanced muscle-power thanks to being injected with the untested "Playwell" fluid and the female, geeky student coach assistent who saves the small town from being digested by them with a cute, wobbly-footed romance reminiscent of earlier Cabot books. A definite plus is the relationship between heroine Kate and her fifteen-year-old brother Jonah, a scifi-nerd who has recently joined the cheerleading team in order to impress a girl:
"Jonah squealed, jumping up and down and shaking his pom-poms. His skirt swished around his scrawny yellow knees. 'Jonah, can I give you a piece of sisterly advice?' 'Yeah' 'If you ever want to lose your virginity, don't do that again. Ever.' He dropped the pom-poms. It wasn't much of an improvement."
The best, however, is all that fun-dipped, unaffected goryness and the way aspiring future doctor Kate relates her experiences with gnawed-on ankles, ripped-off feet and black-putrid goo drizzling on the homecoming pancake grill. It felt like a trip down memory lane back to those times when a friend and I tried to outdo each other with nauseating stories from the make-belief "sanatorium" we both were stuck as the patients "Rrroberto and Alberrtina". (If you are shocked don't ask what other games I used to invent).
Since I had started with a quote, I will close with one as well:
"'Excuse me if I feel skeptical,' I said. 'Coach's foot fell off. How exactly do you propose to cure that? Superglue?'"...more
I definitely want to own this picture book - like right now. It is pretty much perfect: The colored-pencils-cut-out-collage-with 3D-shadows-style, theI definitely want to own this picture book - like right now. It is pretty much perfect: The colored-pencils-cut-out-collage-with 3D-shadows-style, the imagination running wild, the scarce text and the cute typography:
Illustrator Philipp Seefeld lets his heroine - a small metropolitan girl named Ida - introduce us to the secrets of the big city: The ocean of humans, the traffic-lights-monster responsible for holding chaos at bay, the yellow underground worm transporting people from destination to destination. And for hungry tourists she recommends Berlin's famous Currywurst.
I have unearthed a few snapshots from enthusiastic blogs. See for yourself: