All in all a very enjoyable read. I felt a little embarrassed halfway through when I began comparing things to Avatar because there were a couple para...moreAll in all a very enjoyable read. I felt a little embarrassed halfway through when I began comparing things to Avatar because there were a couple parallels there, but no way! This book was awesome, I mean can things get better then elephant gun wielding magic kung-fu monks doing battle with samurai sword wielding pterodactyls? I submit that they cannot! I love how Alene puts you there in the fray of the battle, I loved reading about the wounds that some of the damage did, the monks with their plastic encasing ammo, the wounds the monks sustained and their wild ways of harvesting parts and making them work and function in other then normal intended ways, it was a riot! One con to the book would be that to me the ending seemed rushed and abrupt, I felt it could have wrapped up and resolved better if it was drawn out a little longer. It was a great read though, i look forward to more bizarro from Kirsten Alene, bravo!(less)
Great quirky little read. Yes I'm blown away and a little confused, but it's good confused, the kind that left me laughing.
You've got a world where fr...moreGreat quirky little read. Yes I'm blown away and a little confused, but it's good confused, the kind that left me laughing.
You've got a world where fruit has came to life and roams free thanks to a crazy horticultural pop star genius. A world where acorns fall from trees screaming, "BANZAI!!!" as they try to land safely and run for cover for fear that squirrels will pluck them up. Fruit and humans are exual and even cohabitate and make babies, much to the chagrin of racist old folk. There is also quite a bunch of violence in the book, but it's comic violence, or violence amongst comedy I should say.
Hendrixson's characters are all so well done and funny, so bizarre in so many ways. The pages just flew by. This is a book that gets into the head of every character, and I love those. Not like some books or novellas that try to touch on a few point of views with a heavy handed take on one main particular character, this one changed points of view well.
I just love the world that was created here, I feel like it could have other books in the same world. I like the idea of the fruit having almost less then a life, how once bruised, knicked or cut, they begin to die or rot as true fruit does. I like the idea that its almost blasphemy for fruit to eat fruit, how disposing of a fruits body by turning it into donut filling is totally a viable option.
All of this AND MORE on "Bucket of Face" by Eric Hendrixson!(less)
Naoki Urasawa's writing is so detailed and amazing. I have been a fan of his ever since I read his Monster series (if you haven't do yourself a favor...moreNaoki Urasawa's writing is so detailed and amazing. I have been a fan of his ever since I read his Monster series (if you haven't do yourself a favor and read it or at least watch the anime). Pluto was a good read, as it is a very unique interpretation of Astro Boy. Keeping in mind I have never read the original or seen the cartoon, but I imagine with Urasawa at the reigns this is "mature Astro Boy." The series covers a lot of philosophical themes, especially with identity and what it means to be "human" and "can robots feel emotion?" I need to read more Asimov, as I have heard that he invented the three laws of robotics, which have been used in most stories that deal with robots. The first and most important law being that a robot may not cause harm to a human through action or inaction. This law drives the plot in "Pluto."
Based upon Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy, "Pluto" reinterprets the story "The Greatest Robot on Earth," expanding it into an updated futuristic murder-mystery. The action centers around Gesicht, a humanoid detective robot in a future world where robots live alongside humans and some are even national heroes. At the beginning of volume one, we learn that the Swiss mountain guide, forest protector, and war veteran robot, Mont Blanc, has been completely destroyed while battling a forest fire. The next day a robot rights defender is found dead in his apartment. Confusingly, only another robot could have killed the extremely powerful Mont Blanc, but a robot could not have killed the human (because of the robot law). Gesicht is assigned to the case by Interpol and he tries to make sense of the strangely connected murders. A pattern emerges as more robot deaths occur: someone is killing the seven greatest robots in the world, of which Gesicht is one and putting horns on their corpses.
It's an excellent comic series even without it's connection to Astro Boy (which I liked). I have always loved Naoki Urasawa's art, its so complex and real. I also love that Urasawa uses the whole world in his stories, with a focus on Japan and Germany, not Japan alone as is the case with most manga. It's also much more realistic than most Japanese comics, making it a perfect introduction to manga.
What I found to be really intriguing was that the story's perspective focuses on a robot detective rather than Astro Boy himself. It gives the series an outsider's look and keeps the story fresh. The story starts as an investigation of murders and unravels a larger and much more sinister plot. Who is behind these murders? Is it really a robot, or could it be a human? I recommend this for anyone interested in SF manga or a fan of Urasawa.(less)
"Those of us who frequent the band room have long suspected that Becca maintains her lovely figure by eating nothing but the souls of kittens and the...more"Those of us who frequent the band room have long suspected that Becca maintains her lovely figure by eating nothing but the souls of kittens and the dreams of impoverished children" - I LOVE IT!
- Geeky, quirky protagonists - Funny, interesting sidekicks - Attractive, enigmatic/mysterious girl that our nerd hero is enamored with - Made up words - ROAD TRIP!
These are all things this novel has which I now believe is the formula for a great teen/young adult fiction.
When I first started reading "Paper Towns" I didn't really know what to think, I had a personal recommendation from a friend who really liked John Green and I was shocked to see such great ratings and reviews of his books. I was even more shocked that I had never heard of him. I randomly picked this read after reading the summary. While reading it I said to myself, hey, here is a book that reads like I talk... dripping with sarcasm, irony, and made up words, I loved it. The language just flowed like water. The characters speak realistically like high school kids today, and unlike many YA novels, this book is magical but not make-believe.
=Begin Mini Summary=
Quentin Jacobsen has lived next-door to Margo Roth Spiegelman in Orlando, Florida since they were two. They were childhood friends. They played together, biked together, did crazy stuff kids do together. When they were nine years old, they discovered the dead body of a man named Robert Joyner in a park. That discovery changed their lives forever and after that day, they went their separate ways in life.
=End Mini Summary=
The theme of the novel is how we constantly judge others through our own filter and never truly understand people (hence the last name of the love interest is "Spiegelman"; spiegel = mirror in German). John Green practically beats the reader over the head with this theme time and time again, and it makes the ending a little predictable.
However, I did love following the clues to find and discover Margo. It became a group effort and we learn more about who she is through those who knew her. At the core of Q's (Quintin's) search to discover Margo the person, is a highlighted copy of the Walt Whitman collective poems "Leaves of Grass" which, admittedly, is already quite awesome in itself, I so need to get a copy now. The true enjoyment for me was the self exploration on behalf of the characters. For example, Q gets mad at Ben because he isn't putting the same value on finding Margo as he is (mainly because he's hungover, is dating a honeybunny (girl), and wants to go to prom at that time) and Radar comes out with some seriously insightful mediating that blew my adult mind away. Radar concludes his argument with "Just saying: stop thinking Ben should be you, and he needs to stop thinking you should be him, and y'all just chill the hell out." I mean that's some college level philosophy there.
Overall it is a very entertaining read. If you're a passive reader, you will find the book funny and fast-paced. If you are an active reader, there is plenty of symbolism and metaphor to find. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although not perfect, it is much better than many of the young adult books out there today.
"And on the last day, the bad days become so difficult to recall, because one way or another, she had made a life here, just as I had. The town was paper, but the memories were not." (less)
As opposed to other short story bizarro books I have read I have to say this is my favorite. I've liked his books and now his short short mini stories...moreAs opposed to other short story bizarro books I have read I have to say this is my favorite. I've liked his books and now his short short mini stories. The stories are all over the map but each one great and well thought out in its own right. The longest one at ten pages and going against the short rhythm of the book itself, feels like an epic. Each one is a smooth, fast read, propelled along by the quality of Prunty's storytelling.
The quality of Prunty's writing is great, polite & nice, bordering on apologetic. But with these short stories I am reminded of telling jokes, due to their shortness; moreover, I pair some of these stories and the art form to improv comedy like The UCB theater, and Andersen does a great job at setting up the story and delivering the laughs. And on the laugh spectrum it goes from crazily weird, to the gross out funny, to laugh out loud hysterical to the scratch your head and then laugh about it later.
Some of my favorites include: Prince, Void, Blood, The Wise Man, Drugs, Vampire, The Animal Trainer, and Frogs.
4.5 stars, a great rapid-fire bizarro short story novella. So far I have enjoyed every Prunty read that I have gotten my hands on.(less)
The Hunger Games are a time for celebration and pride...or at least that's what the Capitol likes for the citizen of the 12 remaining districts of wha...moreThe Hunger Games are a time for celebration and pride...or at least that's what the Capitol likes for the citizen of the 12 remaining districts of what used to be North America to feel, a harsh but cruel reminder of the power the capital holds. The Reaping is the day in which "the tributes" are selected, anyone from the ages of 12 to 18 are vulnerable, and may get chosen.
Katniss fears her chances are great this year at having her name called. Those chosen must fight to the death against the other tributes in a last man standing free for all. But when they choose the girl tribute's name from her district a fear worse than her own death presents itself, forcing her hand and causing her to volunteer herself in the chosen's place.
This book was very highly recommended by, well everyone, I can't think of one person I know who read it and didn't like it. Due to hype I put it off, just like Harry Potter (which I still haven't read, shame on me) and thought I may just watch the movies instead (which is what I did for Harry Potter). I honestly didn't know what the book was about aside from it being a dystopia likened to Battle Royale (which I do now own in paperback, but which I also watched the movie first).
I am glad that I picked the book up and began reading. It's very well written and I read it super quick. Throughout I was concerned with how the story would end and how they would each tackle the ever escalating amount of obstacles. I was immersed in the book and its pages, pushing past the gross scenes, clenching my teeth during the scary scenes, and trying to swallow the lump in my throat during the sad scenes. This book did provoke emotions, and as far as characters go I liked Katniss straight away. She was a good strong female lead.
The storytelling in The Hunger Games is top shelf. I found myself swiftly enthralled with the world the author created. I cared about the characters (especially Rue). I felt the pain and agony of the games. The author tells the story from the first-person perspective through Katniss, throughout the entirety of the book. I found myself getting caught up in the character's thoughts to the point that I forgot it I was even reading it in the first-person perspective at times.
Knowing it was a trilogy I thought that the actual Hunger Games combat/survival portion, with 24 tributes, would go through all three books, alas, I was wrong. I did mind, and why the book is getting four stars instead of five, is the ending. It was very rushed compared to the beginning. The whole first part of the book was a slow and detailed account of the events leading up to the games; Whereas, the end hits you like a brick wall. The most irritating part was the cliffhanger at the end. I've always been of the opinion that books in a series should stand on their own and that the desire for a new, separate story because you like the world or the characters is the incentive to read the next book. This ended more like a lame soap opera. "To be continued," or "stay tuned for the continuing story of..." The book didn't end like this part of the story was over, it ended more on a commercial break - as though one very long book got chopped into pieces. Yeah, I'm going to get "Catching Fire" and read it, but it feels like I'm kinda forced to, and it left me feeling a little upset. I really would have liked to have learned more about this new fallen United States. How did the U.S. get to this point of rebellion that seperated the country into 12 districts? How big are the districts and how are they laid out (A map would be cool)? What's life like for people outside of Katniss's personal world? This was touched on, but it would have been interesting to learn more. I'm sure that later in the trilogy some of this is fleshed out, but there again, we get back to my earlier complaint about having to buy the next book to continue the story, it's not stand alone.
But that aside, it's still an outstanding book. You should read it, and you might as well buy the other books right away, as a set, because you'll be all kinds of frustrated if you get to the end and then have to wait to go to the store, or for the next installment to be shipped. (less)
An action packed punched to the gut. Alyssa really embodies the phrase, "All Killer and No Filler" in this collection of stories. I mean seriously how...moreAn action packed punched to the gut. Alyssa really embodies the phrase, "All Killer and No Filler" in this collection of stories. I mean seriously how many people do you know, or authors, can cram 24 little vignettes/stories into 1 book under 100 pages? ONE - Alyssa Sturgill.
A great little amalgamation of great stories you can read during any short breaks of your day. Standouts to me being: No.5 Simian Place, Beware of Kittens, Love Samurai, We Twins, etc. But they were all great, not a dud in the mix. There was funny, BIZARRE, gross, poetic, sleazy, and so much more.
Great little snippets and glimpses into the authors bizarro mind, a great introduction to the genre for non-bizarro readers. 4.5 Stars! (less)
I felt as though Ira Levin really got into the characters' heads, especially reformed party-girl Ellen and spinster-in-training Marion, although it co...moreI felt as though Ira Levin really got into the characters' heads, especially reformed party-girl Ellen and spinster-in-training Marion, although it could be that their relative depth was a relief after lovestruck wannabe-wed Dorothy. The novel was peppered with newspaper items relating to the various crimes of the story. They were all pretty tongue-in-cheek and served as nice palate-cleansers between the point of view changes. The thing that sets this book apart from other, similarly plotted suspense stories is the way that Levin plays with our emotions concerning the murderer. For the first third of the novel, there is a small part of us that is sympathetic with this man; we almost catch ourselves hoping that he doesn't get caught, I mean he worked so hard to marry money I felt like he deserved it. Several surprises later, however, and our emotions are totally flip-flopped. Now we are given information from another perspective, and we can see just how monstrous this man really is.
The dialogue is so natural and easy. I wonder if some of it ended up in the film, which I will now permit myself to see. The women in the novel are lively enough but I just wished that one of them didn't need a male protector; However, this was written in the 1950s, and I need to remind myself of that. The mind of the hero/villain though is convincingly done and the overall plot makes this one a real page-turner. An excellent guilty pleasure. 4-stars indeed. I definitely want to read "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Stepford Wives" now.
If your into the hard boiled crime genre definitely pick this up!(less)
Great little book. I quite liked the tale, I couldn't help but imagine an anime in my mind the whole time I read it, I could definitely see it being a...moreGreat little book. I quite liked the tale, I couldn't help but imagine an anime in my mind the whole time I read it, I could definitely see it being adapted into one, maybe by Miyazaki.
The main character Ohime is such a likable ignorant of the dome world creature, innocent in every way which is a stark contrast to Timbre, the "good person," as labelled by Ohime, who grew up on the streets, is a trained killer and assassin and knows the threats and dangers of the dome world.
The story is Ohime's journey to find good people and escape the increasingly dangerous dome world which will soon be overrun by deadly yellow algae.
The host of characters good and bad is great, I liked the steampunk touches, the mutations caused by the yellow algae and the mechanical implants Dr. Ichii is putting in fish to slow the mutations were pretty cool.
There are some pretty graphic scenes, sexually some people might be put off but hey this is bizarro, and with bizarro you come to expect the unexpected. I didn't see it as a girly bizarro book as some people have said, I mean if you look at the cover you may assume that, but man this thing is action packed, and quite the journey driven book. I like it, good job Villaverde, look forward to your next one.(less)