In "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore, to be gifted or talented in some extreme way is to mark you with a grace. People who have a grace whether it be reaIn "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore, to be gifted or talented in some extreme way is to mark you with a grace. People who have a grace whether it be reading others thoughts, having the skill to manipulate people or being able fight or see things in your mind, are marked with having the grace by having different coloured eyes.
Katsa's grace is the ability to kill people with little effort and she is under the service of King Randa who uses her grace against those who displease him. Katsa wants freedom and she has to fight and kill to achieve that liberty.
Katsa meets Po who is also graced, but in a different way, he is able to sense his surroundings and is one of the few people who can fight with Katsa and give her a slight challenge.
Po and Katsa are from different kingdoms, but they soon bond and become lovers. Katsa and Po have to save the seven kingdoms from a king who possesses a horrible grace that manipulates people into believing he is benevolent when actually he is wicked and tortures people and creatures.
I found the beginning of this book a bit slow, but the last half is intriguing and makes up for the slowness at the beginning. Katsa is a strong female character and she grows from a girl who is in the servitude of her Uncle and has to kill the people he requests her to kill to a young women who is independent and is teaching other women to fight and defend themselves. She grows from servitude to independence and she also has a soft side and learns to love.
Po is a caring and loving companion who accepts Katsa for who she is and wants her to grow and become the best she can. This book portrays their relationship in a sound and caring matter, they respect each other and they both grow in their relationship.
I did find the anti-marriage and anti-children view of Katsa’s disturbing. Her and Po have a physical relationship and are committed to each other, but heaven forbid Katsa actually marry him. I do not get it, if she is so opposed to marriage, why not be opposed to any relationship in or out of wedlock? To me this view of marriage is a weak point in the book.
The exploration of Katsa’s feelings of all the killings her Uncle had her commit and how that affected her psychologically would have been interesting if it was explored in the book. Bitterblue who is the daughter of the wicked king has a strong role in the second halve of the book and she seems a bit unrealistic for a girl her age, a girl with wisdom beyond her years.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book and I will definitely check out Kristin Cashore’s other books. ...more
"A Gathering Light" is the title of this book in the United Kingdom, but here in North America it is titled "A Northern Light" why the change of title"A Gathering Light" is the title of this book in the United Kingdom, but here in North America it is titled "A Northern Light" why the change of title, I have no idea.
I enjoyed this book, it would definitely appeal to fans of "The Word of the Day", and the book's heroine is a word collector named Mattie Gokey.
Mattie Gokey's mother has died from cancer and Mattie is burdened with the chore of raising her sisters while her father struggles to put food on the table. Royal Loomis a good looking neighbour boy has been paying attention to Mattie and helping her out whenever he can and taking her for thrilling rides on his buckboard.
Mattie is an intelligent girl with a gift for words and she is able to express herself with the pen. Her teacher encourages her to write and to finish her high school education and to apply for a college education in New York City. Mattie is accepted into a college, but there is her family to consider, the money to consider and there is Royal Loomis to consider.
In the background of the life of Mattie, there is a murder mystery that adds an extra dimension to the book and makes it an intriguing read.
A delight to read, I loved the word duels between Mattie and her best friend Weaver who is a young intelligent African-American who will not put up with racism and is willing to fight for his rights, which he does numerous times throughout the book.
The book has a funny way of jumping through time that could be confusing to younger readers, but then again this book is not meant for younger readers, so it should not pose a problem.
The premise of this book is intriguing, there is nothing better than a story about feudal Japan with secret tribes and ninjas running around in stealtThe premise of this book is intriguing, there is nothing better than a story about feudal Japan with secret tribes and ninjas running around in stealth mode, but the book is quite dull and did not live up to its expectations.
Takeo is rescued from his village as it is being massacred and he is adopted by Lord Shigeru. He is trained to assassinate Shigeru's enemy, but just before the assassination is to take place something unexpected happens and this event affects the outcome of everyone in the story.
The love story between Takeo and Kaede just seems so unrealistic. Kaede has just killed a man who was about to rape her and Takeo comes in and then beheads him and then to top it all off Kaede and Takeo decide to get intimate with each other while the beheaded body is right there in the room with them. I just think it would be hard to be passionate at a time like that and a person would end up with nightmares about it the rest of their life.
Overall the characters are hard to relate to and hard to bond to, there seems to be a lack of character development. Only if you are absolutely nuts about Japan and the feudal era do I think you would enjoy this book. ...more
"Mistik Lake" by Martha Brooks won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award and being a Canadian book I knew in advance that the book would"Mistik Lake" by Martha Brooks won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award and being a Canadian book I knew in advance that the book would be liberal in its ideas and themes and I was correct.
"Mistik Lake" contains an array of small town characters whose lives are all intertwined. There is the lesbian Aunt Gloria, the schizophrenic mother, the runaway mother who has children from three different partners, the architect father and the teenage daughter who has sex.
I enjoyed the book, but I would caution that it is for adults and for at least seventeen year olds and older young adults.
The book takes place in the province Manitoba where a family of three girls and their father are abandoned by their mother who heads to Iceland with her lover. Their mother had never been normal because she was haunted with an accident that occurred when she was sixteen years old of which she was the only survivor, three of her friends died, but she lived.
The girls have to come to terms with the loss of their mother and their lives are turned into havoc because of her abandonment. Each girl handles the separation differently; the main focus being on Odella the oldest of the three girls. Odella is seventeen and she has a hard time adjusting. Odella encounters a boy and is heart stricken by him, but returns home and latches on to a leach of a boy who is only after sex; eventually Odella and the first boy reunite and this time it is the real thing for Odella.
The family has to discover who they are and refocus their lives. The book ends in a satisfying way with a bit of a surprise ending about Odella when all the mysteries of her mother are revealed. ...more
"Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath" is a biography written in verse. At the bottom of each verse is a footnote that provides more inf"Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath" is a biography written in verse. At the bottom of each verse is a footnote that provides more information about Sylvia's life.
The book is for older teens and it definitely is not an uplifting book, Sylvia did not live a life free of turmoil, but it is written in such a novel way that it is an interesting read. Sylvia does attempt suicide by overdosing on medication, but her family rescues her, but later on in her life she succeeds in the task of killing her self.
If the purpose of the book is to get the reader to search out Sylvia's poems it succeeds. I will check out "The Collected Poems" at my library. ...more