Prenna and her community have a huge secret. They are from a future where the world has collapsed and a deadly blood plague carriedThe Little Bookworm
Prenna and her community have a huge secret. They are from a future where the world has collapsed and a deadly blood plague carried by mosquitoes is an epidemic. Sent back in time, the leaders of her community are suppose to be working on the solution. But in the meantime they are expected to assimilate into the 21st century and above all else, never tell who they are or where they came from. But Prenna falls in love with Ethan and the two make a startling discovery about Prenna's time and her community itself.
To get it out of the way first, I didn't like the romantic plot. It was strange. Yes, Prenna and Ethan had known each other for a long time but it moved so quickly into true love that it felt forced and I wasn't feeling it. It was more like teenage lust than love. And that's fine but don't pretend it to be otherwise. Anyway. I enjoyed the book despite my objections to the love story. It was a good read and I liked how feisty Prenna was and how she was willing to challenge the leaders of her community. I liked Ethan for how loyal he was and how he was just a good guy. I liked that there was just enough mystery to keep me going but not so much that it bogged the story down. And, honestly, I'm glad the author didn't get into the sciencey stuff too much.
Time travel is a tricky thing to write about, in my opinion. There's a lot to deal with and paradoxes, etc. It was handled fairly well and I didn't really have any questions at the end. I think it was all wrapped up pretty neatly....more
3.5 stars The Little Bookworm When the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupts during his first weekend home alone, 16 year old Alex finds himself on a journ3.5 stars The Little Bookworm When the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupts during his first weekend home alone, 16 year old Alex finds himself on a journey across ash covered land and extreme weather changes trying to get to his family.
At first when I started this book I felt it was going to be a retread of Life As We Know It, but I was happy to find out as I read on that it was different. Sure both books are about an event that causes extreme changes in the climate and changes society but LAWKI was more of a isolated book. Ashfall explores the world as it has changed. Alex is trying to get to Illinois where his parents went for the weekend. What is a three hour car ride takes him more than a few months. Along the way he has a lot of encounters with both nice people and cruel, vicious people. And there are some really horrific things happening in this lawless state. The most horrific happens off page but still just hearing about it was enough. It's all sort of pre-Mad Max.
Alex was a typical enough teenager and I liked his personality growth. He changed from normal teenage boy to a survivalist. I liked his relationship with Darla. I was glad that it didn't turn too mushy but instead maintained that balance between needing each other and still being their own persons. Alex is, in a way, more caring than Darla and she is definitely the tougher one. But it worked out okay for them. Everyone else is more anecdotal than fleshed out, but given the nature of the book that definitely fits. ...more
The Little Bookworm Kayla and Mishalla are GENS (Genetically Engineered Non-humans), people made from human and animal DNA to be slaves for the high clThe Little Bookworm Kayla and Mishalla are GENS (Genetically Engineered Non-humans), people made from human and animal DNA to be slaves for the high class trueborns. When each receives their Assignments on their 15th year, they find themselves involved with something more involving the children Mishalla is assigned to care for and the trueborn family Kayla works for.
I can honestly compare this favorably with the few Octavia Butler books I've read. And that is high praise indeed. While Tankborn seemed a bit heavy-handed sometimes with the genetically engineered slave concept, it was still a really enjoyable read and pretty thought-provoking. Kayla and Mishalla are ready made sympathetic characters and it is easy to care for them and their plight. The castes system in the book was a little confusing to me with the trueborns, lowborns and GENS and all the classifications in the middle. But really it was important to establish who everyone was and how they all fit together. Like I said, I really liked Kayla and Mishalla and their romantic interests were pretty likeable too. I liked seeing the growth of Devak, the grandson of Kayla's Assignment. The conspiracy of the plot was fairly surprising and actually a little horrifying as I become invested in all the characters. There were a few subplots that were not addressed and so I wonder if they are planning a sequel. ...more
The Little Bookworm Alison wakes up in a mental institution with no memory of how she got there. As she begins to remember what happened, she also remeThe Little Bookworm Alison wakes up in a mental institution with no memory of how she got there. As she begins to remember what happened, she also remembers confessing to killing a classmate. But how she remembers that event doesn't make any sense because people just don't disintegrate. Do they? As Alison struggles to make sense of that event, she always begins unraveling the mysteries of her own mind and her special abilities. So this was different. It starts Girl, Interrupted and then sharply detours into science fiction. Alison wakes up in the psych ward of a hospital covered in scratches and bruises with no memory of what happened. She is then moved to a mental health institution for young adults to recover and maybe tell what happened to her classmate, Tori, who disappeared the same day that Alison went crazy. The description of Pine Hills, the place that Alison goes, is really well written and very realistic. I could picture the place in my mind perfectly and it had a nice mix of patients that really illustrated the story the author was trying to tell.
Another aspect of Alison's story is her synesthesia. I've read a few books about this condition before and was interested to see it employed in this book. I liked how it was made integral part of the story but was not the point of the story. Alison didn't even realize that her extrasensory abilities had a name until part way through the story. It gave the story some interesting depth and played nicely into the climax of the story....more
I love time travel and so this book was right up my alley. The idea of a person being able to time travel on their own is pretty awesome. Gwyneth is nI love time travel and so this book was right up my alley. The idea of a person being able to time travel on their own is pretty awesome. Gwyneth is not expected to be the time travel in the family because of a deception on her mother's part so she is unprepared when it happens to her. I think her reactions are pretty spot-on for having no idea what to do when she lands in a different time period. Gwen is a pretty cool girl and I was cheering for her from the beginning. I didn't like how most of the adults and her cousin treated her and, even though Gideon is the love interest, he rubbed me wrong at first too. But Gwen actually has some backbone and does her best in every situation. I was really hoping that the other two books had been translated from German into English already but the next book, Sapphire Blue, doesn't come out till the spring of next year. Sadness. I can't wait to read more about Gwen and Gideon and their mission and see if Gwen will finally tell everyone how she can see ghosts. Love this book doubly since it reminded me (for some reason) of Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog, one of my favorite time travel books. The Little Bookworm...more
The Little Bookworm I really loved this book. It surprised me because I figured it to be some sort of science fiction Sleeping Beauty (which is was) buThe Little Bookworm I really loved this book. It surprised me because I figured it to be some sort of science fiction Sleeping Beauty (which is was) but it was took the story and molded into something beyond the fairy tale. It became less of just a Sleeping Beauty retell and more of a story of abuse and lost love. I was glad that there was no real romantic storyline other than the one in Rose's past because it would have felt more artificial. When Rose develops a crush on, Bren, the boy woke her up, I was worried since it seemed less like her feelings and more like a contrivance, but that is cleared up eventually. The "realest" relationship would be Rose's friendship with the odd alien-human hybrid, Otto. That was a relationship that was enjoyable to watch progress. Overall, it was easy to see where the story was going, except for two details revealed at the end that I wasn't expecting at all. It was nice to be surprised. One of my few complaints was how heavy handed the Sleeping Beauty or Briar Rose comparisons felt at times. The story had all the earmarks of that fairytale without it being forcibly shoved into the story. My only other complaint was an unresolved storyline that would be good for a follow-up book. I certainly hope it gets written since I am curious about what happens to Rose next....more
The Little Bookworm Tory Brennan (grand-niece of Temperance Brennan) lives on a secluded island where her father works for a university research centerThe Little Bookworm Tory Brennan (grand-niece of Temperance Brennan) lives on a secluded island where her father works for a university research center. She is friends with four boys her age who also live on the island. After finding some mysterious dog tags on the research island, Tory and her friends get caught in the mystery of a girl's mysterious disappearance 40 years ago and also discover an illegal experiment that transforms Tory and her friends into something more than human.
Having never read anything by Kathy Riechs I wasn't sure how Virals was going to read. I think that it is fairly evident that an adult writer is trying for a young adult audience. However, I can't find any fault with that. A few reviews I read complained that it felt dumbed down, but it didn't to me. There was a lot of science involved and it was written for someone who doesn't understand science (like me). I appreciated that.
I really enjoyed the mystery part of the book. That was my favorite since I am a big mystery fan. It was a little Nancy Drew mixed with Bones (of course). Tory is such an awesome, smart character that I loved her. I liked how all the kids are thrown together by little more than proximity and they become friends even with their distinct personalities and backgrounds. Each of the "Virals" is well characterized and thought out.
The paranormal aspect is fun, very sciency though it wasn't my favorite part of the book. But it is cool to have an almost reasonable explanation for the thing that happens to Tory and her friends. And the abilities they gain come in handy. I'm curious to see where this series is going to lead. Hopefully to a lot more mysteries.
The Little Bookworm Savannah has moved around a lot between foster homes, never caring to get to close to someone. Then she meets Reece and they realizThe Little Bookworm Savannah has moved around a lot between foster homes, never caring to get to close to someone. Then she meets Reece and they realize that they have something in common: something in their throats that they wish to protect, a weapon. As Savannah's power grows and her relationship with Reece progresses, she realizes that the weapon was created to fight a monster of epic proportions.
Though this is listed as horror, it is horror-light. And that is fine by me because I am a scaredy-cat. I think the alternate chapters on the monster made it less frightening for me. I am always one to be more afraid of the monsters I can't see and so understanding more of the monster made it easier. In fact, the monster's story was as intriguing as Savannah's plot if not more so.
Savannah, as a character, is sort of season one Buffy. She has plenty of superpowers and plenty of angst though is surprisingly accepting of what is going on in her body. It is only when her friends are threatened that she freaks out. I liked her as a character in general though for some reason all the human characters felt a little flat next to the monster. And the whole "love" relationship is something that will continue to bother me in every book that does the instant falling in love thing. I realize that there is a generally sound reason behind it in this book, but still, it bothers me. I was much more interested in Savannah's relationship with her friend Nina and I feel like that could have been something more. But it is what it is and I liked how Nina was such a loyal friend.
But honestly, it was the ending that made this book for me. I love it when I am surprised by a book. It happens so rarely that an author will fall out of line and do something more original and that is what happened in the end. I was really and truly shocked. And so that was so awesome.
The action starts off a little slow and I was getting a little tired of no one answering questions (but then I'm a Lost fan so I've been almost desensThe action starts off a little slow and I was getting a little tired of no one answering questions (but then I'm a Lost fan so I've been almost desensitized to that) but once Thomas hits the maze, it's on like Donkey Kong. The Maze Runner kept me guessing and I kept thinking that I knew what was coming up and I had like three different ideas about the ending, none of which happened. I liked that. I don't like guessing the ending before it happens. I was hoping that the second book was out so I could start on it right away but it doesn't come out til the end of the year. I won't say I was completely blown away but I wished I had gotten around to it sooner. It was a good read. The relationship between Thomas and the girl was very cool and I wonder more about his relationships between him and some of the other Gladers. I can't wait to find out more.
Ender's Game is one of my favorite books and Ender in Exile was an excellent followup. It does a great job of bridging the gap betwThe Little Bookworm
Ender's Game is one of my favorite books and Ender in Exile was an excellent followup. It does a great job of bridging the gap between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, between Ender of the first book and Andrew of the later books, a gap that was wide enough that it felt like they were two different people. What always bothered me was there was such a significant amount of time between the first two books that I never really got a sense of how Ender evolved into Andrew and I always wanted to know how he came to terms with what he did at the end of the game. I mean I know that he discovers the hive queen and all but there was so much more than that and I was curious about the missing years. Most of the events of this novel have been discussed or hinted at in other novels in the series, but here we get a complete picture of Ender's travels after winning the war to governing the first off-Earth colony to his first trip of many to other planets. Starting where Ender's Game left off, Ender in Exile finds Ender still on Eros awaiting his fate after his victory over the formics or "buggers." Valentine and Peter are highly influential people on the nets and, while Peter is figuring out how to use Ender for his own end, Valentine is working on what is best for Ender and what is best for herself. Of course, Ender is made into the governor for a colony and Valentine goes with him. There is a power struggle aboard the ship and Ender becomes involved with a young girl. It was nice to see him act like a teenager even for a few seconds. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now what to go back a re-read the rest of the Ender series. ...more
A short novella from the Enderverse focuses on Dink Meeker and the small act of giving a Sinterklaas present to one of his friends.The Little Bookworm
A short novella from the Enderverse focuses on Dink Meeker and the small act of giving a Sinterklaas present to one of his friends. Little does he know that this is going to incite a war among the Battle School students. Zeke Morgan comes from a fundamentalist Christian family. His father preaches that everyone is full of sin and that is why they cannot hear the Lord's Word. He "purifies" Zeke, but knows nothing of Zeke's phenomental metal abilities until the Fleet come for Zeke to bring him to Battle School. There Zeke does his best to remain a pacifist, believing that God does not glory in war. But when Dink leaves his friend a Sinterklass present as a token of friendship, Zeke takes it upon himself to turn this simple act and turn it into something bigger. And Dink retaliates in return. But Ender Wiggin seeks to create an understanding in the Battle School between Dink and Zeke and the conflict they have bought to it.
One of my favorite books is Ender's Game. And I love reading stories set in this world and getting to know more of Ender's world and his time spent in Battle School. It's stories like this that add to the over-all story and later are alluded to in Ender in Exile. A War of Gifts presents an excellent commentary on the true nature of religion and the religion that children will create around their parents and for their parents. Zeke's struggle to become pure is interesting one since he was only taught he was impure by his father. This leads to an incident where Ender can show what a great leader he is becoming, helping Zeke without Zeke really understand what is happening. ...more
At only 80 pages, D.A. is a very fun but very short novella. First off, Connie Willis is one of my favorite writers (she wrote my fThe Little Bookworm
At only 80 pages, D.A. is a very fun but very short novella. First off, Connie Willis is one of my favorite writers (she wrote my favorite book, Bellwether). And this was an excellent story and has some very cool pictures included in the story to help give more a visual idea. Because it is a novella there is very little character development and a lot more action, but in a clever way. I like the twist at the end and how Theodora figures out how and why she was shanghaied with the help of her friend, Kimkim. I would like to see more of a world build for this story one day. It would make an excellent full length novel especially if it added on at the end. ...more
The Little Bookworm Jenna Fox spent 18 months in a coma. When she wakes she finds everything is different. She's in a new house in a new town and she cThe Little Bookworm Jenna Fox spent 18 months in a coma. When she wakes she finds everything is different. She's in a new house in a new town and she can't remember most of her life. But as she begins to explore her new life, she starts to remember her old one and it is very plain that her parents are keeping secrets from her.
I finally got around to Jenna Fox. I wasn't surprised by what I found frankly. And I really wanted this book to surprise me. The first half found me yelling what I though she really was (I was sort of right because I've read a book before). But despite my disappointment in the lack of surprise, I actually enjoyed this book. I like the exploration of the two main questions this book raises: "How far would a parent go to save their child?" and "What makes us human?" Interesting questions that are often raised in dystopian novels. It was good that this was written in first person so I got to feel how Jenna felt and understand her thought process. It's hard to get that in third person so I was glad for the perspective. I'm actually okay with not being surprised by this book. And it turned out to be fascinating enough despite being a riff on an old concept. I'm excited for the next book, The Fox Inheritance, because I think that one might have just as interesting ideas....more
Miranda is a typical sixteen year old, obsessed with swimming and figure skating. But when a meteoroid crashes iOriginal review at The Little Bookworm
Miranda is a typical sixteen year old, obsessed with swimming and figure skating. But when a meteoroid crashes into the moon knocking into a closer orbit to the Earth, her life changes drastically. Suddenly all the creature comforts of everyday life are gone and her family must learn to survive on less. But will they survive a cold, harsh winter?
I cannot express how much I loved this book. I didn't want to bring it back to the library. It was a touching look at what one family does to survive in the midst of the end of their world. The book starts in the spring and ends in the middle of winter. Told in diary form from Miranda's, the daughter, point of view, Life As We Knew It goes through how the world outside changes and how Miranda's personal world shrinks until she learns what is truly important in life. Her emotional growth is so wonderful and she goes from a typical selfish teenager to a caring sacrificing woman in about eight months.
What I had to say on Twitter sums it up: @lilbookworm: "Life as We Knew It" is my new favorite book of the year . I love it so very much. @lilbookworm: I love it like cake, sad beautiful wonderful cake. "Life as We Knew It" read, love, thank me later....more
The companion to Life As We Knew It is told from the point of view of 17 year old Alex. Worried about college, he**spoiler alert** The Little Bookworm
The companion to Life As We Knew It is told from the point of view of 17 year old Alex. Worried about college, he and his family are unprepared for life after the moon is pushed out of its orbit by a asteroid. With his parents missing and his older brother gone, Alex must take care of his younger sisters and navigate a new and dangerous world for the three of them.
I'm going to say that this was a very impressive book. Usually sequels and especially middle books don't live up to the first book. I think The Dead and the Gone completely lived up to Life As We Knew It. There was very little rehashing of the events leading up to the moon crash and we get to the complex problem of living with hardly any resources very quickly. I found it a little hard to believe that Alex's family didn't really know about it since Miranda's school made such a big deal about it, but maybe since they were in NYC they didn't think it would affect them. I don't know. But, while Miranda had her mom, Alex doesn't have any adults living with him to make the hard decisions so he has to make them for himself and his younger sisters and he questions his choices all the time. And while Miranda's family had very little religion, Alex's family are devoted Catholics. The Catholicism is very heavy in this book and while it bothered some people, I know families who are very Catholic so it was okay with me.
While I don't normally look at other reviews right before I write one, I did for this book. It seems a lot of people had a problem with the switch from first person diary form to third person narrative. This didn't bother me like it did others. Only because I know that the third book (This World We Live In) will involve the characters from both books and I'm hoping that it is written from Miranda's POV. To me that would make sense and the change of POV in TDTG won't matter since I don't like moving one person's head to another in a trilogy. The only way I will care about the shift is if the POV alternates between Alex and Miranda and then I will call bull. The OTHER big problem that people had so the stereotypical portrayal of a Puerto Rican family. Now I will admit that I can't comment one way or the other on whether this is true or not. But I will say that I remember wondering if this was really how Puerto Rican fathers acted towards their families and sons, especially. But it played out since I know that a lot of fathers expect their sons to act a certain way, no matter their nationality and that since it was Alex's impression of his father, it might not be the most accurate. Sometimes what we think people think about us is not the actual truth.
As dark as LAWKT was, it was nothing compared to TDTG. Dead bodies, rats, riots and violence permeate this book and it seems completely natural given that all this takes place in a large city. The threat of violence in LAWKT is almost non-existent since Miranda is sheltered and separated from the rest of her town, but living in NYC increases Alex and his sisters contact with others and, of course, they are teenagers living alone so it heightens the reality of their situation. One of the good things is that you get more information on what is happening worldwide and more about the cause and effect of the moon crash. And while the ending was sad and abrupt, it was also hopeful. TDTG could almost stand on its own. Meanwhile, I can't wait for the third book to come out. I have high hopes. ...more
It's been 3 months since everyone over the age of 15 has disappeared and the situation is getting even more desperate. The childrenThe Little Bookworm
It's been 3 months since everyone over the age of 15 has disappeared and the situation is getting even more desperate. The children of the FAYZ are running out of food and tensions are running high between the "normal" kids and the ones with extraordinary powers. Sam is trying to keep the kids town feed and sane while Caine is trying to control the Darkness growing in his mind. But the Darkness has awoken and it's hungry.
I was going to take a little break from this book after I started reading, but I never managed to walk away. This is the second in the Gone series. I like the first book and I like this one too. I think it is a fairly realistic portrayl of what would happen if an entire town was bubbled off from the rest of the world by a superpowered child and where there are no adults, if you know, things like that happened. What I mean is that the kids are very realistic and act like children would act. Some would be responsible and some wouldn't lift a finger. I find the amount of violence disturbing though given that we are dealing with children. But kids can be brutal in the normal world. So in a hyped up situation I could see the outcome being very much like this.
This book moves right along and at a very fast pace. So much happens, there is hardly time to breath before going into the next thing. The characters are so well developed and I found myself just hating Drake and wishing he would die. I love Sam and can deal with Astrid and Caine, poor thing (in a way), and Diana who just doesn't know. I'm curious, though, what the next book will be about given the way this one ended. Oh, and the ending *shudder* ...more