As luck would have it Paige and I happened to get The Son of Neptune from the library at about the same time. Pretty remarkable considering we both weAs luck would have it Paige and I happened to get The Son of Neptune from the library at about the same time. Pretty remarkable considering we both we waiting in very long queues. So, we had to have part two of our long distance book club. For part one we read and then discussed the first book in the series The Lost Hero.
I liked book two in Rick Riordan's newest series more than the first. Perhaps I liked it more because Percy is back and it's always nice to read about a familiar character. It's also true that with a series like this each book gets a little more sophisticated as the plot thickens, which means that the first book, in retrospect, feels a little like groundwork. As in The Lost Hero we alternate between the perspectives of three different narrators, Percy, Hazel, and Frank. And, just as in the first book, I liked them all. They all have secrets that are slowly revealed. They all are sons or daughters of different gods, who must, absolutely must, work together to foil Gaia's plan. We learn a lot more about the Roman demigods in this book, and it's nice to understand more about that side of the equation....more
After finishing Connie Willis'sBlackout, I was eager to get my hands on the sequel All Clear. It's nice to come to a series after all the sequels areAfter finishing Connie Willis'sBlackout, I was eager to get my hands on the sequel All Clear. It's nice to come to a series after all the sequels are published. Instant gratification. Blackout ends with our three time traveling historians trapped in London during the Blitz. (They had finally found each other!) The sequel picks up right where we left off. The three are desperate to find their way home, worried they have changed history, and frantic that their meddling might have lost the war.
There is a lot to like about Willis's story. The book is so well researched. I learned a lot about England during WWII. (Fortitude South was particularly interesting.) In the end, all the little details of the story come together so nicely. The laws of time travel are not well developed or explained, but that is not really the point of the story. All in all, it's a pretty impressive undertaking. My only complaints would be that sometimes the characters get a little too inner-monologue-y, and they can get repetitive. Also, every chapter ends with a cliff hanger (no exaggeration), so it is really difficult to stop reading. ...more
In Trickster's Queen Aly and the rest of the Balitang household are back in the capital, Rajmuat. They have to navigate the court of the corrupt Regents to boy-king Dunevan. Meanwhile, Aly and the Raka are plotting their revolution. Dove soon gets in on the action.
These books are choked full of excellent supporting characters. Dove, the Raka conspirators, Nawat (still have trouble coping with the fact that technically he is a crow), Dunevan's guard Taybur Sipigat. The court intrigue, a great cast of supporting characters, and a well-wrought world really make the book pulse....more
Evie's attempt to be "normal" isn't going all that well. Despite the joy of lockers, there's her out-to-get-her gym teacher, her after school job at tEvie's attempt to be "normal" isn't going all that well. Despite the joy of lockers, there's her out-to-get-her gym teacher, her after school job at the paranormal hangout, her vampire roommate, and the reappearance of faeries, not to mention her immortal boyfriend. Maybe it's so hard to be normal because almost nothing about Evie's life is normal. Plus, Evie misses being special, so she takes a job with IPCA under strict stipulations, one of which (no working with faeries) means that Evie has to work with newcomer Jack.
I didn't enjoy this sequel to Paranormalcy quite as much as I did the first in the series. Evie is a bit too shallow for my tastes. She's often slow to figure things out, and she keeps way too many secrets in this book. Still, the world is still fun and funny. It's nice to read a paranormal series that doesn't take itself too seriously. ...more
My brother gave me this book for Christmas, as I knew we would be moving I saved it in my "between libraries stash." We finally moved, and so I finally read it. I'm not sad I waited because a) now the second book in the series is out, and b) my sister and I read the book at the same time (although separated by many states we had our own mini-book club over the phone.)
In The Lost Hero, Rick Riordan brings back the world we came to love in the Percy Jackson Series. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not much time had past between the end of the Titan Wars and the beginning of this book, so we get all our favorite characters back (yea!), but they aren't the stars of this book.
In The Lost Hero we meet Jason, Piper, and Leo. I liked them all, especially Leo, who was the funny-man but also smart and super essential to the success of the quest. I liked how the book rotates between the three characters and yet stays in the third person. (Sometimes I get so tired of first person.) And Colorado Springs, my hometown, makes another appearance (hooray). The city was also featured in The Battle of the Labyrinth.
Finally, I'm so pleased that Rick Riordan points out the difference between the Greek and Roman gods. New names and new personalities. I don't think I had a teacher who explained that until my classic mythology professor in college. Just one more reason why it's nice to read a book that's written by an (former) educator.
With The Scorpio Races Maggie Stiefvater once again delivers a book that is impossible to read quickly because the language is just too gorgeous to rush. The book has so much atmosphere. The island of Thisby and its Irish inhabitants, tempestuous storms, ramshackle streets, vaguely period air (I kept picturing something 1930ish), pagan rituals and most of all its saltly, fishy smells permeate every scene and every exchange. Puck and Sean are more mature characters than we often see in Young Adult fiction. Truly they are mostly grown. Both are private characters, and as readers we get to know them just as slowly as they get to know each other. The magnificent, deadly horses command the reader to be both awed and terrified.
The Scorpio Races is a book that sucks you in slowly until you are completely submerged in the language, the atmosphere, and the characters. ...more
It was about time that I got around to reading (the extremely short) Tales of Beedle the Bard. J.K. Rowling didn't a phenomenal job of crafting fairyIt was about time that I got around to reading (the extremely short) Tales of Beedle the Bard. J.K. Rowling didn't a phenomenal job of crafting fairy tales for the wizarding world. I especially liked "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" and "Babbitty Rabbitty," and "The Tale of the Three Brothers" is also creepy and wonderful every time read/hear it. I just wish there were more stories. ...more
Becca's book club pick is the story of Ernest Hemingway's marriage to his first wife Hadley Richardson, as told from Hadley's perspective. During thisBecca's book club pick is the story of Ernest Hemingway's marriage to his first wife Hadley Richardson, as told from Hadley's perspective. During this period of the author's life, the two lived in Paris and participated in the burgeoning artistic climate of the post-war period. I found everything about this book fascinating. In my academic pursuits, this time period is one of my particular interests. I very much enjoyed reading of Ernest's and Hadley's dealings with artists such as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford, and Gerald Murphy. The Sun Also Rises might be my favorite book by Hemingway, so it was also interesting to read about the circumstances surrounding it's creation (even if I don't necessarily agree with Paula McLain's interpretation of the novel). However, I also was extremely interested in all the more mundane and personal aspects of Ernest's and Hadley's life from their shabby living conditions to their use of birth control. I think that Paula McLain crafted the book so that Hadley is a very rich and captivating narrator. In her hands Ernest is an artist with a vigorous and energetic spirit who, although not without his demons and flaws, is clearly a fascinating person. The connection between the two main characters felt honest to me....more
I went into Matched with a lot of reservations, but ended up liking it pretty well. In Crossed Cassia and Ky are trying to find one another. And most of this searching takes place in the wilderness. We all know how I feel about wilderness survival books. They have to be pretty dang awesome in order for me to like them. Crossed basically removes all that I loved about the first book--The Society, its rules, its order, its sneaky opponents. What we are left with is Cassia and Ky. And I was never super into the romance of the first book. Plus, there is a real lack of danger and urgency in this cross-country trek to find one another. There's just not a lot of tension there.
My other major complaint about Crossed is the lack of differentiation between the voices of the two characters. The chapters are split between Ky's and Cassia's first person narration, but their voices are so similar that many times I had to look at the chapter heading more than once to see who I was reading. I think this book would have been better executed in the third person.
I'll probably still read the next book in the series (even though I will have to endure more of Ky and Cassia sounding and thinking exactly alike). (view spoiler)[In the next book we will be back in The Society, and I'm interested in learning more about The Rising (sounds like it has its own flaws just like the rebels in Mockingjay). (hide spoiler)]...more
Hex Hall was the last library book I read in Kansas, and appropriately, Demonglass was the first library book I read in Maryland. Love the symmetry.
In Demonglass Sophie goes to England with her father for the summer. There she learns more about being a demon. She also (surprise, surprise) gets entangled in a pretty hairy mystery. One that involves some of the most powerful Prodigium. Oh, and there might be a run in or two with Archer, Sophie's crush/nemesis.
I am really loving these books. Sophie has just the right amounts of snark and sincerity. Rachel Hawkins manages to keep the tone light as the plot thickens. Basically, the books are hard to put down. I read this one in two sittings. The only thing I don't love? The cliffhanger ending. Especially since the next book doesn't come out until March 2012.
Kendare Blake'sAnna Dressed in Blood is such a creepy ghost story. Scary enough that I sometimes wondered what I was during reading it in the middleKendare Blake'sAnna Dressed in Blood is such a creepy ghost story. Scary enough that I sometimes wondered what I was during reading it in the middle of the night when everyone else was sleeping. Did I want to creep myself out so badly that I didn't want to walk downstairs in the dark? More than once I kept reading until I got to a not so scary spot before I turned off the light and went to sleep.
Cas is a ghost killer. He rids the world of the ghosts of those who lives ended in murder. They tend to haunt the living, killing any who stumble upon them in a search for revenge. A creepy premise right from the start. Cas goes to Canada seeking out Anna Dressed in Blood who kills anyone that crossed the threshold of her childhood home. Anna turns out to be a very difficult ghost to vanish. She stronger and very different than the other ghosts Cas has encountered.
This would be a perfect Halloween read. It's the scariest book I've read in quite some time.
Jonathan Harr'sThe Lost Painting chronicles the events leading to the discovery, in 1993, of a lost painting by Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ. SchJonathan Harr'sThe Lost Painting chronicles the events leading to the discovery, in 1993, of a lost painting by Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ. Scholars had known of the painting and many copies existed, yet Caravaggio's original canvas was lost for hundreds of years.
I know I am an art history nerd, but I found this book incredible suspenseful even though almost all the big discoveries were unearthed in archives (tedious work). The book recounts the contributions of several people, an eminent octogenarian Caravaggio scholar, an Italian art restorer living in Ireland, and a Roman graduate student of art history. Much of the credit for unearthing The Taking's provenance goes to Francesca Cappelletti, the aforementioned grad student, who was in her twenties at the time and a Master's student. Seriously impressive.
I know my background and interests make me predisposed to appreciate this book, but I found it even more enthralling than I expected....more
The year is 1942. Rosie Winter is an aspiring actress living in New York City. To make ends meet she works as a secretary for a Private Investigator. That is until one cold January morning when she finds her boss dead in his office. Rosie is then plunged into a complicated mystery. Who murdered Jim? What does his death have to do with the mysterious playwright Randolph Fielding?
This is a fun book. The mystery has plenty of twists and turns. I did not guess the outcome, and I loved how the murder was so wrapped up with the theater. ...more
Jamie Ford's novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a Romeo and Juliet story featuring two immigrant families living in Seattle during WorldJamie Ford's novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a Romeo and Juliet story featuring two immigrant families living in Seattle during World War II. The young Chinese Henry and Japanese Keiko are the only two Asian kids in their middle school. As scholarship students they bond over lunch detail and blackboard cleaning, then later jazz. It's not a good time for the Japanese immigrants and Keiko and her family are sent to an internment camp.
I found Henry and Keiko to be very likable, if not always incredibly realistic, characters. I think the choice to move between 1986 and 1942 was a good one that gave a fullness to the story that would have been lacking if we only saw these characters as children. The importance of the local jazz scene was probably my favorite part of the novel.
As a book club pick, I think we had some really interesting topics to discuss: immigration, assimilation, integration, parenting, internment camps, etc. ...more
Bianca is the DUFF, the designated, ugly, fat friend of her group of three. At least that's what Wesley Rush tells her, and she is furious, but it reaBianca is the DUFF, the designated, ugly, fat friend of her group of three. At least that's what Wesley Rush tells her, and she is furious, but it really bothers her. Bianca has a lot to deal with. Her parents' marriage is failing. Her father is drinking again. Her mother is basically MIA. And what does Bianca do to deal with this? She starts sleeping with Wesley Rush.
Bianca and Wesley both experience a lot of growth in Kody Keplinger's novel. And I just had to keep listening to see how it would all turn out. However, there's a lot more teenage sex in this book than I'm comfortable with. That being said, I liked these characters, and I kind of felt a little proud of them for facing their demons in the end....more
This Tortall story follows Alianna (Aly), the daughter of Alanna and George. Aly has her fFeatured in a Reading on a Theme at Intellectual Recreation.
This Tortall story follows Alianna (Aly), the daughter of Alanna and George. Aly has her father's talent for spying, but she doesn't have her parents' permission to get into that family business. Then Aly is abducted by pirates and sold as a slave to the Copper Islands. She fails into the Balitang's household that has recently fallen out of favor with the king. Kyprioth, the old god of the islands and of the suppressed Raka people, makes a wager with Aly: keep the Balitang children alive through the summer and he will send her home.
The Trickster's Series is one of Tamora Pierce's most sophisticated stories. The plot is full of political intrigue and danger. The setting is extremely sophisticated as well. The Copper Islands are ruled by a immigrant class of white-skinned people and the Raka, the dark-skinned natives, are oppressed. However, so many of the ruling class have intermarried with the Raka people. It makes for a very tenuous situation. I thought of the book as an India-inspired setting. Aly is a bit snarky at times for my liking, but I very much like Dove. My main problem with this book is that because I listened to it I have absolutely no idea how to spell any of the names, nor do I really know who half the people are because the Raka names are all so odd. Oh yeah, and the love interest is a crow. I have a hard time getting past the fact that he's a crow. ...more
Blackout begins in Oxford in the year 2060 where historians are preparing to time travel to the past. The historians that we follow all go to WWII. MeBlackout begins in Oxford in the year 2060 where historians are preparing to time travel to the past. The historians that we follow all go to WWII. Merope is studying evacuees in the countryside, Polly is in London during the Blitz, and Michael is researching the heroes of Dunkirk in Dover. That's the plan, anyway. Things go awry when the characters get to WWII. Not only do they have to deal with unexpected quarantines, demanding bosses, and all kinds of delays, but also time travel doesn't seem to be function properly.
I really enjoyed this book, and I read it really quickly. It seems like there are a lot of WWII books out there right now, and some and good and some are not so good. Connie Willis's novel offers a really interesting perspective on the war because the characters have all studied it intensely, and they have insights that the contemporaries do not, and yet they are still unprepared for the harrowing experiences that they face. In some instances knowing more is worse. ...more
I felt like I had been waiting forever for the sequel to Thirteenth Child, which I read in December of 2009. I stumbled upon Thirteenth Child while brI felt like I had been waiting forever for the sequel to Thirteenth Child, which I read in December of 2009. I stumbled upon Thirteenth Child while browsing the new books section in the library. I don't do that very often anymore unless I am childless. I've had a soft spot for Patricia Wrede ever since my sister and I listened to Dealing With Dragons on a car trip home during college, so I immediately snatched up Thirteenth Child. I really enjoyed the book and then began my impatient wait for the sequel.
I was thrilled to see that Across the Great Barrier was due out before we left Kansas, and even more excited that I got it from the library in time. In this second installment, Eff is 18 and newly graduated from secondary school. Her twin brother Lan thinks she should go to college for more magical training, but Eff really wants to go west not east. She starts working at the menagerie and eventually gets hired to travel west for a survey with one of the college's professors. In this novel Eff continues to develop her unique approach to magic.
I really enjoy this magical world that Patricia Wrede has constructed. I feel like I'm reading about a real person's life when reading Eff's story, rather than a tightly constructed adventure. I want to know more about Eff's world. I want to learn more about how magic works there. I want a map so that I can see the parallels between my United States of America and her United States of Columbia. ...more
I just reread the final Harry Potter novel in preparation for the last movie. It was just as good the third time. Reading it might have been a smart iI just reread the final Harry Potter novel in preparation for the last movie. It was just as good the third time. Reading it might have been a smart idea for a couple of reasons, not the least of which I have now determined that I must bring tissues to the movie because there are some pretty touching moments.
I reread all of Maggie Stiefvater'sMercy Falls books in anticipation of the conclusion of the trilogy. I read all three books in a week. It was fast.I reread all of Maggie Stiefvater'sMercy Falls books in anticipation of the conclusion of the trilogy. I read all three books in a week. It was fast. My plan was to save the three books for our move when I'm between libraries, but one day while browsing the website of my beloved local library I saw that Ms. Stiefvater was coming to Kansas City in exactly one week. So...I got a group of fellow bookworms together and bought our tickets. Then I read furiously.
Book review first then meeting Maggie.
When reading Linger (my favorite of the three) last summer, I really wished that I remembered Shiver better. Thus, my resolve to reread the books before picking up the final installment. In Forever the wolf pack is threatened by Tom Culpepper (Isabel's dad) who organizes (and gets legalized) a hunt by helicopter. Basically everyone would have no hope without Cole who has decided to use his powers for good rather than self-destruction. Grace is navigating life as a shifting wolf. Sam is moping and trying to come to grips with being a leader. Isabel is, well, Isabel. The book is pretty beautiful. Maggie Stiefvater writes with such grace, and the books themselves have got to be some of the prettiest on my shelf.
Now, on meeting Maggie. Seriously. It was so much fun. Maggie is hilarious and quirky. She obviously has a real artistic soul. We were among that last to get our books signed and Maggie and Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff seemed to think there were quite a few of us (only 6). We told them it was a book club outing, so they, of course, said we seemed like the funnest book club ever, which we are. I asked Maggie during the Q&A about switching voices. I wondered if she found that to be difficult or a natural process. She said she brought Cole and Isabel into Linger so that we could get an outside perspective on Sam and Grace. She also said that she tries to pick the character who experiences the most growth in the scene when determining which character will tell us about that moment. Also, Maggie said that her new book The Scorpio Races is her personal favorite but that Ballad used to be her favorite. Ballad is my favorite of Maggie Stiefvater's books, so I think that bodes well. I shall be looking forward to The Scorpio Races....more
Lady Knight is a nice conclusion to Kel's series. The war with Scanra is still waging. Kel is assigned to protect a refugee camp. This is particularLady Knight is a nice conclusion to Kel's series. The war with Scanra is still waging. Kel is assigned to protect a refugee camp. This is particularly worrying to her as she knows that the evil mage Blace uses children for his killing devices and within the wall of her refugee camp sleep 200.
Kel is different than most of the heroes who populate Tamora Pierce's novels. She is a leader who understands strategy and who inspires loyalty. I love Kel's friends - Neil, Owen, Toby, Dom. I was so glad that Kel didn't have to fight on her own. I would have liked to see Kel a little sorrier or sadder about Cleon. I feel like a little heartbreak would make her a better, rounder person in the end. The killing devices are terrifying and their creation is truly horrific. They are also described really well. I could easily picture those snapping pincers. ...more
I finally read Goliath, the conclusion of Scott Westerfeld'sLeviathan series. I have loved these books. They combine a lot of elements that I find reI finally read Goliath, the conclusion of Scott Westerfeld'sLeviathan series. I have loved these books. They combine a lot of elements that I find really appealing: 1. an alternate history 2. a WWI setting 3. girls disguised as boys 4. steampunk at its finest (seriously the Darwinists creations are just perfection). On top of all of that, these books feature engaging characters and amazing illustrations. They are a fantastical romp around the world, from England and Austria to Switzerland and the Ottoman Empire to Russia and the United States. I'm honestly sad the series is over. I could read more about this amazing setting and the characters who populate it.
Behemoth picks up where Leviathan left off. Alek and Deryn are on the Leviathan heading toward Istanbul. Just as in the real WWI the Turks are pretty peeved that the British are "borrowing" their war ship and British are scrambling to placate this powerful nation. In Behemoth they attempt to do so with a fabricated, Darwinist egg (and the beastie inside, of course). But the large German presence in the city and their generous present of two war ships puts a damper on the whole reconciliation attempt. Thus Deryn finds herself on a top secret mission. Meanwhile, Alek has escaped from the Leviathan and is waging his own war against the German/Ottoman alliance.
Westerfeld does a masterful job of weaving real WWI history with his Clanker/ Darwinist alternate world. Alek and Deryn are just so dang likable too. Boys especially, but girls too, will really like these books. And, bonus, they have fabulous illustrations of the crazy Clanker contraptions and Darwinist fabrications. Barking spiders I'm excited for the next book in the series....more
I don't often get a chance to browse at the library, so I have to take advantage of the rare occasions when I do. I picked up The Keepers' Tattoo ofI don't often get a chance to browse at the library, so I have to take advantage of the rare occasions when I do. I picked up The Keepers' Tattoo off the "new release shelf" not having heard a thing about it.
Gill Arbuthnott'sThe Keepers' Tattoo is basically your typical fantasy fare. Really interesting world. The main character, Nyssa, can't remember much of her life before she was taken in by the innkeepers at the Drowned Boy. Then one day the Shadowmen come seeking a girl with a crane tattoo. Thus begins Nyssa's and her uncle Marius's flight. Cue fantasy journey.
I loved the archipelago setting in this novel and especially the half-submerged city of Thira. I like the idea of clan tattoos. Nyssa's friends are loyal and implacable. The Players were a great addition. And the magic of this world is so subtle that Arbuthnott causes her readers to question its very existence, and that in itself is an interesting twist on the traditional fantasy.
I think I'd give this 4 stars for the younger crowd. ...more
Jennifer Haigh'sFaith is about a priest in Boston in 2002 who is accused of sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy. The novel deals with how this accusJennifer Haigh'sFaith is about a priest in Boston in 2002 who is accused of sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy. The novel deals with how this accusation is handled by the priest, the church, and his various family members.
Faith is extremely realistic and well written, but it was kind of like watching a train wreck. You just couldn't take your eyes off the devastation. Also, none of the characters are particularly likable. The issues that the book raises, however, are ripe for discussion and discuss them we did.
So, overall, I'd say, good book club pick, but one that I wouldn't have picked up on my own....more
I saw Cat Patrick'sForgotten in one of The Story Siren's Out-this-Week-Posts. And, I didn't put it on my to-read list, even though I did read the premise. Then, a few days later, what am I doing but thinking about the premise of this book. I could not let it go, so I had to go searching through Kristi's blog to find it.
Every night at 4am London forgets her past. When she wakes up in the morning, she has forgotten everything that happened the day before. What she does remember is the future. She can remember is college with her best friend, who will be valedictorian, and what will happen to her classmates. So London pieces her life together with notes to herself about her past. Then she meets a boy that she can't remember from her future. Reason says if he's not a part of her future he's not worth getting to know now, but London can't help herself. And meeting Luke opens up a whole other part to London's existence. She starts searching for answers. She ponders changing the future.
The premise of this book is what is truly magical. London and Luke and good characters, but it's a short book, and we don't get to know them that well. One thing I really liked about this book is how supportive London's mother is. She knows about London's condition, and she is encouraging, helpful, and understanding. This may have seemed particularly impressive because I had just finished the Mercy Falls Trilogy, and we all know the parents in that book are abysmal. Forgotten is a fun, fast read. It's not life-changing, but it is enjoyable. ...more
Sarah Rees Brennan's series just got better and better for me with each addition. The Demon's Lexicon, the first in the series, started a little rockySarah Rees Brennan's series just got better and better for me with each addition. The Demon's Lexicon, the first in the series, started a little rocky for me, mostly because I had a hard time relating to Nick. Of course, by the time I got to the end of that book, I realized that my inability to connect to Nick was just part of Brennan's sheer brilliance.
The Demon's Surrender is a fabulous conclusion to the series. Each book follows a different character (book one was Nick, book two Mae, and book three is Sin). Sin is a bit of an outsider when it comes to the characters we've grown to love over the course of the last couple books, but seeing our characters from another perspective is refreshing, and you had to know that Sin had an interesting story to tell. As always, Brennan is a master of the twisty twist. She is just as conniving as her characters who seems to always have a unimaginable plan up their sleeves. ...more
For me, Lola and the Boy Next Door suffered from my inevitable and uncontrollable comparison to Anna and the French Kiss. I didn't like Lola or Cricket as much as I liked Anna or Etienne. Although Lola and Cricket are basically the same ages as Anna and Etienne were in the first book, they felt much younger. Anna and Etienne were seniors in high school, but they were on their own in a foreign city. It felt more like college. Lola and Cricket are doing some of the same things that Anna and Etienne were doing, but because they seemed so much younger I was more uneasy with these situations. Lola especially seemed less mature than I would have liked. Also, and this is purely personal, San Fransisco just doesn't have the same magic for me that Paris does.
That said, Lola and the Boy Next Door is still incredibly cute. The side characters are great. I loved Lola's dads, her best friend Lindsay, and even Calliope is someone I couldn't do without. The quirky touches, such as the costumes, the rubber bands, and the pies (kind of made me want to bake), add spice as well.
So, I can see how this book might work better for a certain reader than Anna did. I'm still eager to see what Stephanie Perkins has in store for us in Isla and the Happily Ever After.
Karou is an art student in Prague. Every day she shows her friends her sketchbook, filled with images of the individuals who are a blend of human and animal forms, chimera. "Very imaginative" think her classmates, but all of these creatures are real. They are the only family Karou has ever known. She is living between two worlds, the human and the magical, where wishes are given in exchange for teeth (love this detail). Karou, although raised by the chimera, understands very little about their world. She is forced to unravel the mysteries surrounding her life when the centuries-long war between the chimera and the seraph finally enters the mortal world.
Everything in this book, from the various settings, our blue-haired heroine, her quirky friends, and even quirkier "family," to the mystery of Karou's origins is fantastically developed. The novel rolls along in this perfect progression, never revealing too much or too little. I particularly loved the beginning of the book. Taylor's blend of the ordinary with the extraordinary has a Neil Gaimon-type quality. And that is a huge compliment. ...more
This latest book club pick is a fabulous read about a controversial topic. Henrietta Lacks's cells became the first immortal human cells, HeLa. ThoseThis latest book club pick is a fabulous read about a controversial topic. Henrietta Lacks's cells became the first immortal human cells, HeLa. Those cells helped create the polio vaccine, AIDS and cancer treatments, and were a crucial component of cloning and nuclear research. But Henrietta Lacks had no idea she had "donated" those cells and neither did her children or husband. When they found out, long after Henrietta's death from cervical cancer, that knowledge haunted them.
Rebecca Skloot weaves the tale of Henrietta and her children with the history of the HeLa cells. Skloot is as unbiased as possible both celebrating the advances that HeLa has made possible and never sugar coating the trauma suffered by Henrietta's family. The book causes readers to question the morality and legality of tissue research and illuminates what a tricky issue this is.
A seriously good book club pick by Gigi. Everyone had lots to say on the topic. And Skloot's writing is pretty fabulous....more