Perhaps the only appropriate word for This is Shyness, Leanne Hall's 24 hour dystopian/fantasy, is suOriginally reviewed at the Redhead Heroines blog!
Perhaps the only appropriate word for This is Shyness, Leanne Hall's 24 hour dystopian/fantasy, is surreal.
What starts out as a straight-forward girl-meets-boy tale soon turns into a fantastic one-night romp through a city that felt as much of a character as Wildgirl and Wolfboy.
However, the two-part narrative form, where Wildgirl and Wolfboy take turns narrating one chapter each, feels familiar and comfortable, juxtaposing against the strange story and the characters that are never what you expect them to be.
Although the world is strange and the characters are weird and the whole novel feels like walking down a dark alleyway dressed as Edgar Allen Poe, i.e. fitting, but strange all the same, the moments of lyricism seem to vanish as quickly as they come.
In the face of total oddity and suspense, there seems to be a slight lack of depth to some elements of the story: world-building, questions about overarching world plots, etc. Granted, this might be expected of a book that takes place over one crazy night, but This is Shyness could have used a few more moments of enlightenment, in my opinion.
By the end of the story, even the most critical reader is bound to feel a certain sadness at leaving Wildgirl and Wolfboy. These characters are endearing and brave and complicated, without taking themselves too seriously.
Thankfully, a sequel has now been published, Queen of the Night, for readers who loved this crazy dark world as much as I did....more
You are probably wondering whether or not you should read Feeling Sorry for Celia. I know this about you because you're reading this reviDear Reader:
You are probably wondering whether or not you should read Feeling Sorry for Celia. I know this about you because you're reading this review of the book, which is supposed to tell you whether or not you should read it. If you think about it, this makes book reviewers pretty arrogant people.
Like I should know you well enough to know if this book is any good for you. Who am I? A complete stranger. Yes, a slightly clever stranger who reads lots of books, but still a stranger.
In my opinion, you shouldn't care so much about the opinions of strangers. I know that you care about the opinions of strangers because you're reading the opinion of a stranger right this second.
See? You're still here. You care.
But in this case, maybe you should care about what people say about this book. Maybe they'll tell you that this is the best book they've ever read. If they do tell you that, you should buy a copy of the book as soon as possible. Or request it at your local library. If you're bored while waiting for the library to get the book for you, you can think about things that are purple. What are some really purple things?
Or maybe they'll say that this book is not worth the time, because they thought it was about the circus when they picked it up. I understand why someone might think that because there is a girl on a tightrope on the cover of the book. But it turns out the book is really just about some people named Elizabeth, Celia, Christina (NOT TINA), the mysterious J_____, and Saxton.
Which is actually kind of boring compared to the circus.
Then there will be some opinions that gently say that the book is readable and slightly entertaining and those are really no help at all, because why else would the book be published if it wasn't at least slightly entertaining, hmm?
I think that with any of these options, you're pretty much screwed, because you can never know what you'll think of the book until you actually read it. But you're not reading the book, are you? You're still reading the strangely written review of the book from a complete stranger, which I've already told you, is pretty much useless.
So go read the book already.
The Society of Why Book Reviews Are Silly, But Sometimes Helpful, But Sometimes Completely Off-Base, and Why Don't You Just Read The Book Yourself Already?!... Oh Yeah, Because You're Still Reading This Review...more
Written with unique rhythm and lyricism, I Am The Messenger is one of my favorite young adult books ever.
It's that good.
To give those that haven't read this book a better idea of just what the heck it's about, we'll start with the bank robbery.
Because even if the gunman is useless (and we all know it), this scene is incredibly funny and surprising, and it changes Ed's life forever.
Ed and his friends are caught in a bank while some idiot tries to rob the place. For some mysterious reason, Ed has the nerve to run after the gunman, pick up the gun he so clumsily dropped during his escape, and stops the bad guy before he can get away with the cash.
After that, Ed becomes a short-term celebrity, being recognized on the street by strangers as "that guy who stopped the bank robbery." Then, the first ace arrives in his mailbox. No name on the envelope, no postage, just a battered playing card, the ace of diamonds, with three addresses and times scrawled in pen on the face. After it becomes clear to Ed that the sender of the card is serious about him doing something with the ace, he begins to investigate.
What results from this situation is heartbreak, compassion, bravery, beauty and empathy. The journey that Ed takes is incredible, and we learn that even when we believe that we could never be better, that we could never just come out and tell the truth, that we could never leave our comfort zone, we have the potential to do great things every single day.
From the opening scene at the bank, just one of many hilarious situations, you are pulled into Ed Kennedy's world. I love the way that each of Ed's best friends, Marv, Ritchie, and Audrey, are given their own dimension. We see them through Ed's eyes. We observe them, we watch them struggle and grow, we watch Ed's perceptions of them change.
One of the most resonating messages in I Am The Messenger is that every person has some great need within them that they try to hide or avoid or work around like a giant pothole in your driveway. These needs are often most visible to those that know you best, like friends and family members, but most of the time, they are ignored. Never acknowledged or talked about, because they are difficult.
Although much of this novel is serious and compelling, the narrative is lightened by humor and the camaraderie between Ed and his friends. Ed as a main character is fantastic... he is richly drawn, a supremely regular person that becomes epic and unforgettable.
I Am The Messenger is a truly unique and memorable young adult novel that will leave its mark on every reader that follows the journey of Ed Kennedy. Please, please read this book!!...more
A Little Wanting Song is an amazing young adult contemporary novel that manages to make seemingly unremarkable cOriginally posted at Redhead Heroines!
A Little Wanting Song is an amazing young adult contemporary novel that manages to make seemingly unremarkable characters three dimensional. Cath Crowley creates characters that we both love and hate, makes them bend a little and break a little... with a whole lot of fun, mischief, and love along the way!
Throughout this book, both Charlie and Rose come to realize that people and places that they have known their whole lives are... different. Not what they thought. Unknown. And as their friendship grows and breaks and grows, as romance begins and ends, each girl realizes that not only did they not understand each other, but they did not understand themselves.
Like Graffiti Moon, this novel is largely a coming-of-age, character driven work. However, also like Graffiti Moon, it is fast-paced, entertaining, and very very un-boring!...more
This is me, bug-eyed, mind-blown, trying to do this book justice.
Once again, Melina Marchetta creates a tale of f!!!!!!!!
People! This book!
This is me, bug-eyed, mind-blown, trying to do this book justice.
Once again, Melina Marchetta creates a tale of fantasy and adventure and romance and hate and absolution and assassins and curses and she weaves a tale so thick with characters, who you love in all their self-loathing glory, that one wonders if Skuldenore isn't a real place that just hasn't been discovered yet.
The greatest strength of Froi of the Exiles lies in the individual, personal stories being told about each set of characters. While Froi and the half-mad Quintana are the focus of the novel, the other characters that we grew to love in Finnikin of the Rock also have their fair share of page-time: Finnikin, Isaboe, Trevanion, Beatriss, Lucian, Tesadora.
However, Froi of the Exiles is not simply a re-hashed Finnikin. The new characters it introduces to us are many and unforgettable: Quintana, Lirah, Arjuro, Gargarin, Phaedra.
When distilled down to its basic essence, the plot of Froi is quite similar to Finnikin: There is a curse upon the land that only these characters can amend. There is a curse upon the land that both unites and divides a people.
There is a curse upon the land and there is one who has been chosen to end it.
If Finnikin was a demonstration of the power of place, Froi is a tale of absolution. The characters in Froi are an extremely tortured and neurotic bunch. They are constantly faced with the grim reality of facing down their grievous past, sometimes giving into despair, sometimes coming to terms with it, sometimes telling it to back the eff off.
Under a less talented author, the split narrative of Froi would frustrate, but here it works. The deeds of both Charynite and Lumateran characters are given a place here, but let's not forget the stars of the show: Froi and Quintana/The Reginita/The Princess.
Watching the story unfold through Froi's eyes is like sending your child off to preschool for the first time and hoping that he doesn't punch someone in the face--(unless they really really deserve it, then it is condoned and appreciated and cheered)--and finding out that everyone else in his class is neurotic in the deepest sense of the word and realizing that this was going to be a lot more complicated--(and, forgive me, entertaining)--than you ever imagined.
In short: Froi of the Exiles is a wholly original and personal fantasy that will have fans begging for the next book in series, Quintana of Charyn, set for a March 2013 release in the US....more
Graffiti Moon is quite simply, the most delicious book I've read in recent memory. It is poignant and at times hAlso posted at Redhead Heroines!
Graffiti Moon is quite simply, the most delicious book I've read in recent memory. It is poignant and at times heart breaking. It is lyrical and quick and hilarious and romantic. It is not just about Lucy, Ed, Poet, Shadow, Leo, Jazz, Daisy, Dylan, Bert, and Al, even though they are important.
It is about the incredible ability of art to translate from that kind of high-art that you see in museums to the kind of high-art that sprays from Shadow's brain onto a brick wall. (Little bird, what are you thinking? You come from a can.)
It is about that feeling that you get sometimes (I got a good feeling... I got a bad feeling... as many of the characters in Graffiti Moon say) that is more about the people you're with than the time of night or the excellence of the party you're at. It's more about how your feelings are echoed by those around you in a recited haiku or a bicycle helmet with lightning on it or a brick wall that traps birds in mid-air.
But if this review doesn't quite do it for you, (don't be embarrassed if it doesn't, I'm not doing a very good job at it), then you'll be happy to hear that Graffiti Moon is also incredibly entertaining. It takes place during one long crazy night after Year 12 and involves some illegal activity, a few parties, an even more cases of mistaken identity. Let the hilarity ensue!...more
Very cliched, but also very addicting. I finished the story because of Phoenix... he was the only interesting character in thThis was not a good book.
Very cliched, but also very addicting. I finished the story because of Phoenix... he was the only interesting character in the whole book.
This is another paranormal that suffers from what is known as MainCharacterItis. MainCharacterItis is an insufferable condition caused by receptors in the reader's brain that simply make it impossible for him or her to understand why anyone actually likes the main character.
The pacing was off. The text was like a walking warning sign of why info-dumps are annoying and lazy. The climax occurred 100 pages before the end of the novel.
The dialogue was one of the worst things about the book, but the absolute worst was Violet's character. One minute she was timid, shy, and likable, and the next she was interrupting everyone with her ridiculous questions, acting all snarky like she was trying to be a badass, and letting anyone who entered her bubble of personal space kiss her.
I also have a very big problem with (view spoiler)[Violet's experience being molested. Because the writing was so terrible, it almost seems like this experience was just added into the narrative to add interest and layer to a character who is little more than vapor. Throughout the novel, Violet held the mantra, "never run away from danger/scary angel dudes/or other malfeasance," because of what happened to her. I think this added dimension was almost successful, but the whole character trait/history felt like a caricature of an experience, which therefore makes other real experiences seem tawdry. (hide spoiler)]
A note about the story itself: The actual plot line is not very different from other paranormal books written in the same vein, (ie. Hush, Hush, Fallen, etc). I think the only angel book out there that does not deserve to be lumped in with these forgettable paranormals is Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone. So go read that instead of Embrace.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more