This book was not what I thought. The hero is U-G-L-Y, he ain't got no alibi...sorry. My apologies. Halli Sveinsson was ugly, though, and not a great...moreThis book was not what I thought. The hero is U-G-L-Y, he ain't got no alibi...sorry. My apologies. Halli Sveinsson was ugly, though, and not a great fighter. Set in a viking styled world, "Heroes of the Valley" is about a young man who has been raised on the exagerrated and conflicted stories of the Svein and the other heroes. He attempts to live his life by asking WWSD? (What would Svein do?) but his society is not actually interested in heroes. They've gotten quite comfortable in the status quo, thank you very much. The fewer waves, the better, and any problems are settled in fines and land exchanges, not blood feuds.
The people of the Valley are careful never to stray beyond their bounds for fear that the mysterious monsters, the Trows, that their ancestors beat would rise up and kill again. All is peaceful until all the houses meet together and Halli's uncle is murdered. He won't let his uncle's death be a political tool for his land poor family, and sets off with a promise of vengeance on his lips...and no reasonable way to back it up. But Halli isn't reasonable. He's Svein's son.
This book was not The Bartimaeus Trilogy, which I loved. It was fun, it was witty, and Halli was a great character to follow around. I especially liked the culture and the way these warriors had no outlet to become heroes. I didn't LOVE it the way I did Bartimaeus, but it was a godd read and it has a place on the shelf. I recommend to middle-schoolers and up. (less)
I was fortunate to become crit partners with Teresa, so I've read Miserere many times. I'll be buying it and reading it again when it's released!
Woerl...moreI was fortunate to become crit partners with Teresa, so I've read Miserere many times. I'll be buying it and reading it again when it's released!
Woerld is the last defense protecting earth from the forces of Hell. Lucian, one of God's warriors called from Earth to live and fight in Woerld, was forced to choose between his lover, Rachel, and his twin sister, Catarina. He chose wrong, and now every day he is forced to watch his sister sink deeper into depravity, and even worse, she attempts to force Lucian to fulfill the dark covenant she made with Mastema, a demon lord. When given a sliver of a chance to redeem himself, Lucian flees Catarina's city and attempts to reach Rachel so he can exorcise the demon that he unleashed on her so many years before. But forgiveness and trust are not easy things to restore, and the demon won't go quietly.
Beautifully written, strong characters that you are willing to go through Hell for- what more could you want?
I will caution the squeamish, such as myself, that this is actual dark fiction for adults. There are a few parts that I skimmed over, but there were very few such pages, and the story is overwhelmingly one of redemption and forgiveness. I can't wait to read the finished product! (less)
This book was wonderful and my 10 year old son enjoyed it also. It's a story from a 14 year old girl's persective about her efforts to have a normal l...moreThis book was wonderful and my 10 year old son enjoyed it also. It's a story from a 14 year old girl's persective about her efforts to have a normal life even though her brother has autism. Her feelings are very relatable- she loves her brother deeply, yet is embarrassed at times by his behavior, so she tries to teach him the rules that other people just naturally pick up on. Through her brother's therapy visits, she meets a young man who can't communicate except by pointing at word cards and befriends him. Some boyfriend/girlfriend talk, but I thought it was appropriate for older elementary on up. Well-written and likeable characters. (less)
I really enjoyed this continuation of Leviathan. My only crit of Westerfeld is that the plot seems to get a little more attention than characterizatio...moreI really enjoyed this continuation of Leviathan. My only crit of Westerfeld is that the plot seems to get a little more attention than characterization as the books add up in a series- I'm thinking of the Uglies series here. By the last book, I wasn't reading for the characters, but for closure, if that makes sense.
Behemoth is aimed at a younger audience, so the slightly static feel of the characters isn't as noticeable. Westerfeld is amazing at high concept, I mean, Clankers vs. Darwinists set at the onset of WWI? It's awesome. I am totally envious of his worldbuilding and the absolute believability of giant flying, hydrogen breathing whales. It's absolutely convincing. I just wish the characters had a few surprises in them.
I'd recommend this book to older elemantary and up. Nothing content wise concerned me.(less)
A modern retelling of Goldilocks and the three bears with some Greek mythology thrown in. Very good read and remarkably clean. The characters are well...moreA modern retelling of Goldilocks and the three bears with some Greek mythology thrown in. Very good read and remarkably clean. The characters are well drawn and believable, which doesn't surprise me because I've enjoyed the few books by Shusterman that I've read. I'll definately be reading more by him.
I bought this for myself, thinking it was a bit old for my ten year old (the characters are highschoolers), but because it was free of language and innuendo, I thought it appropriate for my ten-year-old who loved Percy Jackson. I want more books like this!(less)
Brilliant writing, but holy cow, f-bombs on every page. In fact, MT Anderson rates the book himself on the last page. "Together, two crazy kids grow,...moreBrilliant writing, but holy cow, f-bombs on every page. In fact, MT Anderson rates the book himself on the last page. "Together, two crazy kids grow, have mad escapades, and learn an important lesson about love. They learn to resist the feed. Rated PG-13 for language and mild sexual content."
Okay, beyond the f-word, this was a great piece of social commentary, and not worse language than I've heard at high school football games, but it still wasn't comfortable for me. The jargon in this reminded me a bit of a Clockwork Orange for its authentic feel. MT Anderson is brilliant. I just wish he'd made up one more word for his slang dictionary.
Titus goes to a party on the moon and meets a girl. She's beautiful and strange, and they like each other, but this crazy anti-feed (imagine live chat, facebook, and twitter all going on in your brain. That's the feed.) old man infects Titus and his friends with a virus. They have to shut down their feeds and spend some time in the hospital while the bugs get worked out. Titus is drawn to Violet because she's so unusual, but her growing disillusionment of the feed is hard for him and his friends to care about. They're too busy shopping in their heads.
I doubt I'll read it again, and I don't think the author was condoning such behavior, merely drawing attention to a trend in our culture.(less)
Great writing. I can see why this book has been so acclaimed. It is a humorous, yet gritty look at life as a teenage Indian who decides to attend an a...moreGreat writing. I can see why this book has been so acclaimed. It is a humorous, yet gritty look at life as a teenage Indian who decides to attend an all-white school off the rez. The descriptions of Junior's struggles to get to school- having to hitchhike, bum rides and sometimes walk (22 miles!) was poignant, but told with such hummor that it wasn't a miserable story. Junior sees that the white people that he goes to school with have their own issues, but also knows that going to bed hungry isn't one of them. I think it was as effective in introducing the reader to a new culture as "Invisible Man" or "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". I would suggest to parents that they preview this book, as Junior comments numerous times on his masterbation habits and there are numerous crude jokes between him and his friends. It's not one that I'd let my kids read without having a serious discussion beforehand, and not until they were much closer to high school than they are now.
It reminded me somewhat of a book I read a long time ago called "My Name is Aram," about a boy in a struggling immigrant family. Aram's voice was just as poignant and hysterical. (less)
Actually, I liked this book and its Buddhist approach to eating. Eat because your body is good and food is good an...moreMindfully back to eating chocolate;)
Actually, I liked this book and its Buddhist approach to eating. Eat because your body is good and food is good and needs to be nourished. Food is a gift from the earth, from the farmers, from the people who transport and sell the food. Food is not a crutch or a weapon, or a link to the past. Eat in the now with gratitude. (less)