Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

When I first read the reviews for this book I was surprised, mainly because the descriptions didn't sound that appealing to me yet everyone seemed to love it.

Now I've finished it and it turns out I love it too. The plot sounds like a cross between a paranormal book and one of those mean girls chicklit type books, but it's not really. Sophie has to go to a special school for paranormals because she can't seem to get a handle on her powers. Her roomate, the only vampire is accused of murder and Sophie isn't sure what's going on.

What really makes it stand out for me are the characters. I loved Sophia and Jenna, there was something about the two of them that was just so compelling. I wanted to learn more about them and enjoyed watching them learn and grow. I really want to learn more about Archer. There is a character that you just know that you want to know more about their story. I'm glad there is another one coming out although I wasn't entirely happy with where the ending of the last book left us, so I hope that changes. It just felt like Sophie was running away from her problems instead of trying to learn how to deal with them. (I understand that her decision is a difficult one, but that doesn't change that it is a form of running away.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer

This book was an arc someone I work with got at some meeting or conference. No one seemed to really want to read it and it languished in our summer reading prize box. At the end of the summer we got to grab what we wanted and this made me think of my friend Jenn. She is the one I will go looking for when the zombie apocalypse happens and most likely she would be the reason I just might survive. She loves any and everything zombie. Naturally before I gave it to her I had to read it myself.

In Ally's world zombies, vampires and other paranormal creatures and critters are par for the course. Ally starts the novel and the snotty ice queen. She works on the school paper and her and her fellow journalists are known for her witty but cruel sarcastic commentary both at their lunch table and in the papers gossip column.

I actually really liked this book. I found it to be a more "realistic" Twilight story. (I use the term realistic very loosely I honestly just can't think of a better way to phrase it.) The "realistic" opinions and character development added a lot of humor to the story and made me really respect the author. Ally's first love ends up being a zombie. She goes through the typical responses of a girl in puppy love/lust, but she also realizes that this relationship has a short shelf life and she recognizes some of her mistakes along the way. The relationship changes Ally in a lot of ways, in ways that you would wish any teenager dating someone who's not quite right for her would. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad I thought it was a great take on a paranormal romance that hasn't really been seen yet.

Also worth checking out is the books official website. It's got a great soundtrack you can download for free and some other great extras, such as pamphlets and blog posts detailing where some of the inspiration came from. It's a quick read and I will admit to being sorry to have forked my arc over to my friend, but she loved it too, so it was worth it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

What a great book for fourth to sixth graders. It totally accurately portrays what first young romance is like, and it does it in a fun and funny way. Dwight is the weird kid in class, but he folds phenomenal origami and gets straight A's but only in math. He folds an origami yoda and claims it gives advice/predicts the future. Tommy a sort of friend of Dwight's needs to know if Origami Yoga is real because he asked a very important question and need's to know. The book is his case file, an organized collection of everyone's experience's with Origami Yoda so he can scientifically decide whether or not Origami Yoda is real.

Part graphic novel, part case study, I really enjoyed the read. Also includes directions for how to make your own origami yoda.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Other by Karen Kincy

Gwen is half-pooka in a small town where people don't really appreciate 'others'. She is forced to hide her secret from everyone except her parents and others like herself. Although she is thinking of coming out to her boyfriend. Then Others are being murdered and the police are turning a blind eye, so Gwen begins to search for clues before she becomes the next victim.

Gwen is a hugely likable character even if she is a little bit headstrong and her actions are sometimes unrealistic, to the point where I was becoming annoyed with it. I really liked Tavian too, although I would have liked to know a bit more about him and have had his character more fully developed. (Maybe the next book in the series could be told from his point of view.) Zach was annoying to me but most likely that is because his strong religious back ground. I am always irked by people who let their common sense be blinded by religious belief, even though in this case it lead to some major plot points. (I'm going to leave this ambiguous so that I don't spoil the story.)

I loved the different Others that existed in the story. I thought they were all really interesting and some of them were really unexpected. I particularly appreciated that the author selected mythological creatures from all over the world, and not just the standard vampires, werewolves and fairies.

There was a lot going on here in terms of plot, but it was all dealt with in a timely fashion. Nothing felt rushed or jammed in at the last second. As far as the mystery was concerned I felt like it was maybe a tiny bit predictable mainly because tolerance and lack of tolerance were such a big part of this story how could you not see this coming.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story by Adam Rex

It's been a while since I finished this book and I'm still not entirely sure how I know how I feel about it. It starts out as a funny read with a strong focus on nerdy/geeky humor. Doug is an overweight, geeky high school kid that gets turned into a vampire. He's into comics and computers and the book opens with him at Comic con in San Diego. Doug feels cheated regarding his transformation; he may be a vampire now but he's still an overweight nerd that no one really looks twice at. To make matters worse he's got vampire hunters chasing him for television ratings and his vampire mentor is kind of the pits.

The beginning of the book is extremely funny. It's very heavy on nerd/geek humor that maybe only a person that's really comfortable with their own nerdiness could appreciate (which I am), so I loved it. I couldn't stop laughing.

Then about three quarters of the way through the book, it suddenly gets super dark and serious. Friends are lost, personalities suddenly darken and the ending is extremely heavy. (I am leaving this ambiguous because I don't want to leave any spoilers.)

I will admit to really not liking the last page. It felt kind of unnecessary, like it should have already ended but the author was afraid that leaving it with such a dark ending would make readers unhappy.

I loved the beginning of the book and I liked the ending of the book. They were both very strong and definitely interesting. I'm just not sure I felt like they went together. The beginning and the end just didn't feel cohesive to me. However the since I did like everything I think it's still well worth the read.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Suzi Clue: The Prom Queen Curse by Michelle Kehm

I just couldn't get into this one. I really wanted to enjoy it cause the cover was cute and the premise was adorable; plus a friend of mine read it and really seemed to enjoy it.

Suzie Clue is kind of an alternative type chick and doesn't really fit in at school. The BG's rule the school and all of the prom queen nominations come from their ranks. When someone starts harrassing prom queens and playing mean pranks, rumors of a prom queen curse start circling the school. Suzi loves mysteries so she decided to investigate.

But the whole thing felt forced and completely unrealistic. Adults would never let things go as far as they did in the book, both with Suzi's investigations and with the actual pranks played. Now adults would intervene and have handle things quickly.

If an unrealistic investigative process and the lack of adult interference wont bother you there are some important themes about being yourself and being compassionate worth exploring here. There is a lot to think about regarding some of the decisions Suzie makes; particularly regarding the culprit (I am trying not to give a spoiler here so forgive me for being vague.)

Monday, May 31, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Shiela at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, and I want to give credit where credit is due so I want to let you know I heard about it through Bookworming in the 21st Century. The point is basically to share what you've reading, what you're reading and what you think you're going to read.

Read This Week:
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Suzi Clue: The Prom Queen Curse by Michelle Kehm

Currently Reading:
Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights by Vera Nazarian and Jane Austen
Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2) by Tamora Pierce
Birds of Prey by Chuck Dixon

To Be Read:
A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn
Slaves to the Empowered: Volumes of Lagéyan Lore (Volume 1) by Jeremiah Cain

The library stuff just keeps coming. These are the last two library books (and a couple of graphic novels, but we shall see what happens with those). Slaves of the Empowered I have been waiting for since last Halloween. I requested it for my library after the author posted about his book to a group I belong to on goodreads and I can't wait to read it. Bloodhound I am reading for a challenge over at Tempting Persephone called Pursuing the Lioness. My original plan was to read the first books she wrote about Tortall the Lioness Quartet, but then I found the Beka Cooper series which even though they were written recently actually go back even further then the Lioness books so I started with them instead.

I did read less then usual this week, but I think that means I might actually be able to get up all my reviews this week. I will probably be posting my Suzie Clue review later tonight or tomorrow morning. I hope everyone had as much fun I did. What are you reading this week?

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

Jess Parker has moved around from high school to high school and town to town her entire life. Now settled down in her mother's hometown for good she is having a hard time fitting in after having been an outsider for so long, until she is invited to join a secret society called The Cinderella Society. Now she is involved in a fued between the Cindy's and the Wicked's and she's not sure she isn't in over her head.

There is so much more going on in this book then meets the eye, and I don't just mean plot wise. This book is probably one of the greatest girl power, to thine own self be true type books I have ever read, without being preachy about it. I felt very girl power reading it and using a left over flyer from the local roller derby team, the Long Island Roller Rebels. The Cinderella Society is all about learning to be yourself, how to be comfortable in your own skin and knowing your strenghts and weaknesses. They call all this a makeover but truthfully I almost felt like it was misnamed because it's not about changing yourself but being your best you if that makes sense.

The Cindy's are all about balance and everyone getting their fair say, while thier counterparts, the Wickeds are all about gaining power over others. Evverything doesn't fall right into place once Jess enters the secret society; she continues to make mistakes and grow and spends a lot of time thinking about how to handle things when her opinions differ from the Cindy's. All in all I really enjoyed it and hate that I need to wait until next summer to find out what happens next. I do have one little gripe though; the author put a ton of pop culture references in the text such as current movies and music. While right now this isn't an issue, I think the book is good enough to stay popular for a long time, but the cultural references may date the book and turn kids off later. I hope I am wrong though cause it is a really great read.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dark Life by Kat Falls

Ty lives in an underwater colony that was formed after the earth started to fall apart. He meets a Gemma, a topsider searching for her brother and decided to help her. Ty is also dealing with his life and trying to be normal struggling against problems with the government and dealing with his own self.

I typed out this whole review and lost now I am retyping and I just know this one wont be as good, so I apologize in advance. Ty is an incredible character and was extremely likable and easy to relate too. His sister Zoe is also a great character and I kind of wish we saw more of her in the book. The way people live in the colony makes people grow up very quickly so Ty is extremely mature but like most teenagers still a little bit lost when it comes to figuring himself out, although his situation is probably a little bit stranger then most.

We don't get a lot of information about what living up above is like. Just little scraps here and there and most of it is extremely negative. However the descriptions of sea life, both animal and how the people in the colony live are just incredible. They sound amazing and gorgeous, and just incredibly smart.

Although this is not exactly the kind of dystopia we are used to seeing, mainly because the people from the colony live so separate from the colony that the day to day life seems quite normal. It is only the large deprivations that the government infringes on the colony that are seen. This definitely could has strong themes and ideas of how much power a government should have both over it's people and it's colonies.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Shiela at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, and I want to give credit where credit is due so I want to let you know I heard about it through Bookworming in the 21st Century. The point is basically to share what you've reading, what you're reading and what you think you're going to read.

Read This Week:
White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)by Holly Black
The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3)by Kelley Armstrong
Burnout by Rebecca Donner, Inaki Miranda
Festering Romance by Renee Lott
The Color of Earth (Color Trilogy, #1)by Kim Dong Hwa
Birds of Prey, vol. 7: Dead of Winter by Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Doug Hazelwood
Huntress: Year One by Ivory Madison, Art Thibert, Cliff Richards, Norm Rapmund
Black Jack, Volume 5 by Osamu Tezuka
Emma, Volume 2 by Kaoru Mori, Sheldon Drzka
Phoenix, Volume 2: Future by Osamu Tezuka
Marvel Divas TPB by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Tonci Zonjic

Currently Reading:
Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights by Vera Nazarian and Jane Austen

To Be Read:
Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2) by Tamora Pierce
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
Dark Life by Kat Falls
A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

I have been sick hence my skipping posting last week and my high graphic novel content this past week. Somehow I always feel like the addition of pictures to words makes it even easier to understand what's going on and easy to follow when I am sick.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3) by Kelley Armstrong

Tori and her friends are in hiding from the Edison Group, the people who performed genetic experiments on them to make their powers easier to control but instead made them almost completely uncontrollable. They hope that they will soon be heading back to rescue the rest of their friends, but right now nothing is as it seems.

Even though the characters are in a holding pattern for much of this book, there is enough going on between the characters and within their own heads to make it feel like it's moving along. All romances are also sorted out at the end, although it's really dragged out til the last minute. Chloe is not as wishy washy as she was in previous books which also made me happy. Her self confidence is beginning to grow and she starts standing up for herself more, which makes her a much more likable character.

I was so excited that the series was finally going to be finished, but I have to say that in that respect I am a tiny bit disappointed. While this was just as well written and exciting as the others, it doesn't feel like the end of the series. Yes their immediate adventure was over, but it definitely felt like the story could continue and I am disappointed that it is being billed a trilogy making this one the last one. I hope that they decide to make more of these because the premise of the series is interesting, and it would make me happy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1) by Holly Black

Cassel is the only normal person in his entire caster family. Because of that he's constantly being left out of the loop in his crooked caster family. Although he guesses he's not that different, cause he did kill his best friend Lila. But now he's older, in boarding school and pretending to be normal. Until he sleepwalks his way to the roof. Now everything has changed and Cassel needs to figure out what's really going on with his family.

Cassel is a great character. And the word he lives in mirrors our own, except for there being people with magical abilities. I think how close their world is to ours will make this a good beginner fantasy for teens. I liked the twists and turns that the plot took and I was extremely glad for the relationships Cassel developed, with both friends and family, regardless of how they were developed. Even though Cassel is a con artist, at heart he does appear to be a good person, which is what makes him an enjoyable character. This was a great beginning for this series. It's story was self contained enough to keep you from being frustrated but there is also enough to keep the series going. All in all I really loved it and I hope other people love it as much as I did.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

I wanted to read this book cause I loved the cover and the title sounded interesting. I love new takes on old tales, whether it's high literature or fairy tales. But this was kind of a strange book. It was easy to get into but I had to take a break in the middle so I could read the new Sookie Stackhouse because of library due dates and that made it hard to get back into.

Five unhappy children are whisked away from their homes in the middle of the night at the age of ten. They are all given special powers as part of their deals with their governess or in order to entice them into making deals. The powers threw me off a little. Since I had never read Faust and only knew the basic tale I couldn't figure out exactly how the stories were connected, but by the end I think I figured it out. We watch the children go through a year at one of the most prestigious high schools in New York as they try to use their powers to get what they want. In the end the children must each decide for themselves how they want to live their lives.

I found the parts regarding the governesses life at the beginning of each chapter and occasionally tucked into a chapter, very interesting. The authors had her interacting with famous figures so that readers could see how futures can be affected. I also really liked all of the interesting ideas regarding language. While this book is probably not for everyone (the ending is a little ambiguous and I know some people really hate that) if you do choose to read it there is definitely a strong "be careful what you wish for" theme.

Foiled by Jane Yolen

Aliera doesn't fit in at school. She's just a little bit too different to fit into any of the cliques. But she has fencing and her cousin so she's still pretty happy. Then Avery Castle shows up, he's gorgeous and nice and he seems to be interested in her. Is there more then meets the eye to Avery?

I liked this graphic novel although I felt a little disappointed about how quickly it was over. This one was a ton of set up and very little plot moving forward type stuff. I feel like that happens a lot when a novel writer writes a graphic novel series. It does have it's own self contained story that is an extremely cute take on the frog prince (kind of if you think about it and stretch the bounds of the story.) It was a fun story and I loved the illustrations and the integration of black and white and color. The story looks like it's going to be an interesting one and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Cameron Smith is a sixteen year old focused on being a slacker, and doing as little as possible. There is nothing really wrong with his home life, he just feels overlooked and has decided to exploit that for all it's worth. Everything changes when he contracts Creutzfeldt-Jacob or “Mad Cow” Disease and Dulcie, a punk rock angel, tells him that if he finds Dr.X he can be cured and he can save the world.

This book has a really great road trip adventure story that focuses on the importance of living life, without being overly heavy and trying to beat the reader over the head with a message. The author makes sure that Cameron gets a chance to experience everything, both the good things and the bad, without dwelling on Cameron’s disease. The adventure that Cameron and Gonzo go on is all about parallel dimensions and possible time travel, but the reader isn’t bombarded with a bunch of technical science terminology so that even those that are not really into science fiction can enjoy this work.

I totally understand why this book was selected for this years Printz Award. This is a book that I think could really grab someone who isn't necessarily a reader. It's a phenomenal adventure story that has a great deal of depth.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Shiela at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, and I want to give credit where credit is due so I want to let you know I heard about it through Bookworming in the 21st Century. The point is basically to share what you've reading, what you're reading and what you think you're going to read.

Read This Week:
Bite Me (Love Story, #3)by Christopher Moore
The Naughty List (The Naughty List, #1)by Suzanne Young
Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin
Yakitate!! Japan, Volume 2 (Yakitate!! Japan)by Takashi Hashiguchi
Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10) by Charlaine Harris
Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka
Phoenix, Volume 1: Dawn by Osamu Tezuka

Currently Reading:
Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri, Dina Nayeri

Up Next:
Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2) by Tamora Pierce
Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights by Vera Nazarian and Jane Austen
White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)by Holly Black
Black Jack, Volume 4 by Osamu Tezuka
Dororo, Volume 1 by Osamu Tezuka
Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely, #4)by Melissa Marr
The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3)by Kelley Armstrong
Foiled by Jane Yolen, Mike Cavallaro
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

It happened again, stuff that I ordered months ago just came in on interlibrary loan. But hopefully this is the last of it and I will get all caught up. Looking at the last few Monday posts I am noticing that I read a lot of manga and graphic novels...maybe I should start some kind of feature. Are features fun? Any suggestions? Or is there some kind of graphic novel meme that I could be participating in? How was your reading week?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

I was so excited to get the new Sookie Stackhouse novel and while it was good and I did like it, I felt like it was slower then previous books. This volume seemed to focus on Sookie getting her life back into some semblence of order and there was a lot of emphasis on her living her day to day life; gaining a new roommate in the form of Claude and working on recovering her body physically from the torture she experienced in the last book. Even Sookie felt the lack of action, frequently complaining that she felt lonely and bored.

The mysteries weren't solved until the last couple of pages (which is good cause I was getting soooo close to the end I was afraid that they were going to carry over into the next book). We also get a lot of interesting background on both Bill and Eric and their makers, which I always love, and a really great couple of chapters dealing with Sookie and her nephew trying to figure out how to teach him to deal with his powers. A lot of this book felt like everyone was still in a holding pattern, like the author hadn't really decided what direction certain parts of the story were going to go in. Hopefully the next book will be a little bit more dynamic the way previous books have been.(As it has to becuase there were a few unresolved problems.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Naughty List by Suzanne Young

The cheerleaders at Washington High School are more then just cheerleaders. They are an elite team of spies who have their own detective agency the Society of Smitten Kittens. SOS checks out guys for girls who are afraid they are being cheated on, and if the guys a cheater he gets his very own spot on the Naughty List. When Tessa the captain of the squad and head of SOS gets a text annonymously accusing her boyfriend Aiden of cheating, her perfect life starts to show some cracks.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I should have because it was so much more then I expected it be (I know this sounds weird but I will explain). I loved the premise and I thought it was such a cute idea and that it would be a light fluffy read, which is what I was looking for when I started it. But as I read the book I realized that this was not going to be a piece of light fluff, there was some serious character development and mental issues at play here. Which normally I would love because there is nothing better then finding out something is better then you expected but you know how sometimes you just want something that is a quick and dirty fun read? That's what I was in the mood for.

While the spying story is a little incredulous and definitely has some fun aspects to it, what was really interesting in this book and what I wasn't expecting was getting to watch Tessa develop. Tessa has been trying to be perfect and in this book you see the beginning of her desire to become a well developed person. Unfortunately because it's a series (or at least has a sequel) the development doesn't fully flesh out before the story ends. I hope this trend continues in the next book in the series.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin

I saw this book forever ago in a store and loved the cover. I was recently reminded of it somehow and it was one of my last requests from the library before I decided to cut myself off. I read this whole book this morning while waiting online at the dmv to register my car. It was so interesting that it really made the whole trip go by much much faster, so I decided to share it.

Sophie thinks she is losing her mind, seeing an ice cream truck and having horrible nightmares where she wakes up with bruises that make her wonder what's really going on. Kenny thinks he's losing it to, hearing and experiencing weird feelings, static and mysterious computer code. What does it all mean?

This book kind of reminds me of the Matrix (I'm afraid to explain why cause it might be a spoiler so if you care about things like that skip the end of this run on sentence) because of the Virtuality and the multiple realities where people experience the best the world has to offer. It was kind of neat and much like the Matrix I think this one needs multiple readings to understand everything that's going on.

The other thing I loved about this book is that in most dystopia type books you see the after affects of whatever changed the world. In this case you kind of get to see how a dystopia is starting. You are reading about the corruption of an idea that has the possibility to change the world for the better or for the worse, depending on how it's being used and the decisions these few people make in how the idea is used. I think that is what makes this a really interesting read.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bite Me (Love Story, #3) by Christopher Moore

In what looks like the final entry of the Love Story series, Chet the vampire cat has become something of a problem, attacking both other cats and people, Jody and Flood are bronzed this time and Elijah's other fledglings return to the city to clean up his mess.

This is my favorite of all of the Love Story books (granted it's been a while since I read the first two, fortunately Abby spends the first couple of pages catching us up on the past two books via her blog.) This one was just as silly and irreverant as the first two, but it also has a few more serious and kind moments that I really enjoyed and that kept it from getting too rediculous.

I loved Abby's blog updates and I know that considering the time when the first book takes place blogs and texting are a little out of place but I loved it anyway. The only thing that really threw me about this book was that the book would jump from character to character and when it jumped character it also seemed to jump time sometimes and I couldn't figure out if things were happening the next day or earlier the same day. But I really liked how the ending worked out and was very happy, I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Shiela at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, and I want to give credit where credit is due so I want to let you know I heard about it through Bookworming in the 21st Century. The point is basically to share what you've reading, what you're reading and what you think you're going to read.

Read This Week:
The Sorcerer King (Faerie Path, #3)by Frewin Jones
The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)by Carrie Ryan
Stitches by David Small
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Children of the Sea, Volume 2 by Daisuke Igarashi
Buddha Volume 1: Kapilavastu (Buddha)by Osamu Tezuka
Rampant (Killer Unicorns, #1)by Diana Peterfreund

Currently Reading:
Bite Me (Love Story, #3)by Christopher Moore
It Must've Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten (I am actually not sure that I am going to finish this one right now; more on that later.)

Up Next:
Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2) by Tamora Pierce
Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin
Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri, Dina Nayeri
The Naughty List (The Naughty List, #1) by Suzanne Young

So these are what remains of the forty library books I had out last week. I came home from work on Monday and got rid of everything that wasn't a book I had been waiting for to be released or on a hold list for forever and this is pretty much what I was left with. My plan is to finish these last few books. (I haven't actually decided on the Steingarten book, I was thinking of sharing this with my honey which is why it hasn't gone back even though it doesn't fit the criteria outlined above.) My request list at the library has been whittled down to books that have not been released yet (which will hopefully keep me from being slammed all at once.)

After I finish these last few books my plan is to begin reading the stuff I own. I have all these great arcs I got at work, stuff I bought at ICon (my local science fiction/fantasy convention) plus stuff I bought at a crazy shopping trip to the Strand on Thursday and at my local comic book shop Saturday (Free Comic Book day, woo hoo) and things friends have loaned me. I hope I can at least catch up with myself and try not to get as much stuff out of the library for a while. Wish me luck.

Rampant by Diana Peter

Unicorns are not the light happy creatures we think they are, they are dangerous man eating beasts and after 150 years of supposed extinction they have suddenly reappeared in the world. Only virgins descended from Alexander the Great can hunt unicorns but very few people remember this, but Astrid's mother does and she is shipping Astrid off to Unicorn hunter training camp.

At first I couldn't get into this book because I was so incredibly turned off by what happened to Astrid with Brandt and Kaitlyn. However once Astrid got to Rome and Phil showed up I was entranced. I loved watching Astrid develop as a person and Phil was a ray of sunshine in amid a bunch of heavy, troubled characters. For me Phil was what this book needed to keep from getting too dark and it is a very dark book. But Phil wasn't all light and sunshine, she had darkness too keeping her from being the obnoxious peppy character.

***Possible Spoiler***Trying to avoid spoilers so I am going to be as general as possible, but feel free to skip this paragraph about my big gripe.
There was one issue regarding sex and rape that I wish had been clarified by the author. This is a book for teens and I felt the author should have made it clear that the second someone says no, it is rape. While she did do a good job handling the mixed feelings that people experience, there should have been a more solid clarification that it wasn't that certain characters felt it was rape and others didn't. As soon as the character said no, it was date rape.
***End possible spoiler***

I feel this story could end here and doesn't really need any sequels since all of the major villains appear to be vanquished and the only real loose ends involve a minor character I wasn't really thrilled with to begin with. However I am extremely curious about where the story is going to go since it is clearly being labeled as a series.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stitches by David Small

Stitches is a memoir of David Small's life revolving around his cancer and his family's extreme dysfunction. This was such a great graphic novel and I really want to do it justice in a review but I don't know if I know enough to describe what I liked about it, but here I go.

The main body of the memoir starts when David is young and goes until high school with periodic skips in time, and a brief period of his adulthood. The slightly messy art style fits the tone of the story; almost like you can feel how the craziness he was experiencing was affecting his mentality through the illustrations. I also felt that the expressiveness of the illustrations and the dialogue selections helped me understand his feelings, without needing him to spell them out with thought bubbles. He also gives the reader brief sections at the end so you can find out what happened to various members of his family and how he straightened his life out. While this was all obviously a very painful time in his life and generally a dark memoir I really think it's a worthwhile read.

I hope I gave this book justice and other people give it a try.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Kat used to be a thief (it's the family business) but she decided she wanted out and conned herself into one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the United States. But now Kat's dad is being accused of a robbery he didn't commit (mainly cause he was busy committing another one somewhere else) by a pretty scary guy. With Interpol hot on her dad's trail Kat needs to clear her dad of the second crime, or else. So Kat sets up her team and breaks into one of the most well protected museums ever.

This was an extremely fun read, think of it as Ocean's Eleven with teens and girls. Kat and her compatriots are incredibly likable characters. While technically they are criminals, they do have a code of honor that is highly important to them and their own sets of morals that are important to them. This goes a long way to making them likable. A lot of this book focuses on that code of honor and on righting previous wrongs and contextualizes an important part of how theft can sometimes be justified. (Yeah I know that sentence was really ambigious but I am trying not to be spoilery.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

So I have decided to participate in my first meme. This one is hosted by Shiela at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, and I want to give credit where credit is due so I want to let you know I heard about it through Bookworming in the 21st Century. The point is basically to share what you've reading, what you're reading and what you think you're going to read.

Read This Week:
Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1)by Tamora Pierce
Rex Libris Volume 2: Book Of Monsters by James Turner
Ôoku: The Inner Chamber, Volume 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga
Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 2 by Fumi Yoshinaga
The Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Kim Deitch
Crogan's March (Crogan Adventures 2)by Chris Schweizer
Blood Song: A Silent Ballad by Eric Drooker
Buzzboy Volume 2: Monsters, Dreams, & Milkshakes by John Gallagher
Antique Bakery, Volume 4 by Fumi Yoshinaga
Black Jack Volume 3 by Osamu Tezuka
Children of the Sea, Volume 1 by Daisuke Igarashi

Currently Reading:
The Sorcerer King (Faerie Path, #3)by Frewin Jones
Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar by Peter Macinnis
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book by Anita Silvey
Essential Moon Knight, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials)by Doug Moench, Bill Sienkiewicz, Bill Mantlo

To Read:
The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)by Carrie Ryan
Would-Be Witch (A Southern Witch Novel, #1)by Kimberly Frost

I linked everything to Goodreads although I had a little more time this week so I have actually reviewed some of it, and you can check out my thoughts if you want. I read a ton of graphic novels this week in my effort to reduce the amount of stuff I have out from the library. Unforunately it didn't help that much, as I still have 40+ items out (why does everything you requested months ago on interlibrary loan come in at the same time?). I think sometime this week I may have to make a difficult decision and return some things either unread or half read to be taken out again at a future date in time, so basically this list is kind of tentative. Wish me luck and good luck to everyone else.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ooku The Inner Sanctum by Fumi Yoshinaga

What a phenomenal concept. In fuedal era Japan, men have died off to only a quarter of their numbers from a mysterious plague. Women now do everything that men did, including run the country. The changes in how society is run and how people behave just kept me entranced. The illustrations are great and I always really love Fumi's characters, they are just so likable.

Each volume follows different characters and shows how these changes have affected their lives. The first volume gives a brief explanation of how society has been changed by the plague and then follows Yunoshin as he joins the Ooku, the inner sanctum in the shoguns home. Unfortunately that means Yunoshin from the first volume will not be returning as a main character, but I know he will be replaced with new interesting characters. I really loved Nobu, she is a very fair and interesting ruler and most likely one of the few characters that will return.

The second volume (which I am about half way through) follows the beginning of the change over of how society is run extremely closely. I can't wait to find out how the fact that women were basically running the country became an acknowledged fact in Japan.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pursuing the Lioness Challenge & Terrier by Tamora Pierce

Tempting Persephone is holding a challenge called Pursuing the Lioness. All you need to do to participate is read at least one of Tamora Pierce books between January 2010 and June 2010. As a bonus part of the Challenge you can also read something off of Tamora Pierce's Ultimate Ever Fantasy List. My original plan was to read the Song of the Lioness Quartet, but when I saw the cover of Terrier the first book in the Beka Cooper Trilogy, I just had to read it. I still plan on reading the the Song of the Lioness Quartet and something off of Tamora Pierce's Ultimate Fantasy List, but I don't know if I can get it done by June so I decided to post this for now.

Beka is a Puppy (or Dog in training) which is basically like being a police cadet. She works in the worst part of the city but since this is where her life started she is happy working here. She wants to help the community where she was raised and make it better for those that are stuck living a difficult life in a hard world. Instead of going for glory, she picks difficult cases to work because she wants to help people. The cases of the diggers and the shadow snake went ignored for a long time because they were happening to people that are often ignored by those of authority. Beka with her special connection to those living in the Lower City makes it a point to help those that would otherwise be ignored. She isn't a perfect heroine either; she suffers from crippling shyness and has special abilities to talk with the spirits of the dead. What really makes me lover her is her strong desire to help people and to hurt those that make life harder for people who's lives are already exceedingly difficult. She is not in it for the glory and in an organization where bribery is actually what makes the police system work she doesn't get greedy either.

Beka isn't the only fantastic character in this work. The two dogs she is assigned to Goodwin and Tunstall are also interesting. There personalities are opposites and allows Ms. Pierce to play them off of each other. It also showcases two different styles of working and provides us with yet anothers fabulous strong female character. Rosto the Piper and his freinds Aniki and Kora were other favorites of mine and Rosto the Piper maybe my new literary crush, so I really hope he makes an appearance in the next book in the series. They come from another country and even though they are Rats, they have a strong sense of honor. They also see the importance of helping those who are weak and can't necessarily take care of themselves. (I could go on forever about these characters and others but I assume you have other things to do with your day.)
While there is alot of world building in this book I really feel that what makes Tamora Pierce's work stand out are her fabulous characters. I always find myself loving them and they are just so easy to connect to. The more I read, the more I like her work so I think eventually I will read all of it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

This is a very strong retelling of the traditional fairy tale. It takes a while to get into this book though. Initially Ani is such a weak person (not a weak character but a weak person, there is a difference) that it was very difficult for me to really care about her. How could I care about her if she wasn't willing to take better care of herself (i.e. care about herself)?

However as she starts to grow and change I really came to like her and enjoy her tale. When she allowed herself to explore her abilities and make friends with her fellow workers. I also love that the things that her family thought made her weak, are what really made her strong. There are alot of other things I loved but I am afraid that I will start giving things away (I may have already given things away).

On a side note I am totally psyched that the next book is about Enna cause I really loved her as a character.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

So I have decided to participate in my first meme. This one is hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, and I want to give credit where credit is due so I want to let you know I heard about it through Bookworming in the 21st Century. The point is basically to share what you've reading, what you're reading and what you think you're going to read.

Read This Past Week:
Challengers of the Unknown Must Die! by Jeph Loeb
Antique Bakery, Volume 3 by Fumi Yoshinaga
Buzzboy Trouble in Paradise by John Gallagher
Black Jack, Volume 2 by Osamu Tezuka
Rock and Roll Love by Misako Rocks!
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black
The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Currently Reading:
Beka Cooper #1 Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Essential Moon Knight, Vol. 1 by Doug Moench, Bill Sienkiewicz, Bill Mantlo

Upcoming Reads:

I linked everything to GoodReads so people could add to their to read lists if they wanted. Someday I hope to be able to post reviews of everything I read, but I know while my boss is on maternity leave it's not going to happen. And in case anyone was wondering all of these books (and the 25 others I have out) are all from the library.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid

My post earlier this week on what famous person I would want to be made me think of this book which I read last week, so here's the review.

I really loved this book. It gave a great overview of the place that women have held in comics over the last 70 years. The author writes in a very personable style that makes the book easy to read and enjoy. For each decade since comics have been popular, the author addresses the changes occurring for women in the society and how these changes were reflected or not reflected in comic books. There are also chapters devoted to specific characters or even arch-types within the comic book industry.

My biggest problem now is that I want to go out and read all of these comics he talks about and some of them just aren't available. The only negative thing I will say is while it would be completely inappropriate to have a book on female superheros without devoting a chapter to Wonder Woman; the author also covers parts of Wonder Woman's background in other chapters so by the time you get to that chapter, you do kind of feel like "okay I read alot of this already." But stick it out because it's totally worth it to get to the chapters on the superheroes of today. Otherwise this is a great read for any girl that's into comics and graphic novels or anyone who want's to see how womens issues are reflected in different types of media.

This post will eventually be cross-posted at Reviews for You

Monday, April 12, 2010

What Celebrity Would You Be?

Over on Green Been Teen Queen they are holding a contest for Runway (An Airhead novel). You could win a $50 gift card to American Eagle Outfitters and the first three books of Meg Cabot's Airhead series.

As part of the contest you get extra points for saying what celebrity you wish you could trade bodies/lives with. This got me thinking about what celebrity I would want to be, which somehow led me to think of Wonder Woman and Lynda Carter. I have always loved Wonder Woman in pretty much any incarnation and Lynda Carter is still pretty damn gorgeous as evidenced by 1-800- Contacts commercials. I wish I looked that good now, lol.

Anyhow head over to Green Been Teen Queen, a fellow teen/tween librarian's site and enter the contest. If nothing else it will be fun to think about what celebrity you would want to be.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim

This book was such a brilliant idea, and the authors did a great job. I read Presenting Lenore's blog post about Flow and she just had such a strong reaction to it, not positive or negative really just strong, that I thought it was definitely worth reading. Flow tells the cultural history of the period and how woman's status and health care have changed over time. It's written in a friendly, personable style. While many reviewers feel like this means the book was geared at the younger set, I think what the authors were really going for was making the book readable, and to try and make a topic that makes many people uncomfortable a little bit friendlier. The book isn't couched in a bunch of scientific jargon that most of us will never understand. Everything is in language that is respectful and completely understandable.

Some of the information in this book is definitely scary. It is absolutely terrifying to see how woman's bodies have been mistreated over the years due to lack of scientific study and information. While there is a lot of good explanation in this book regarding fertility and how a woman's cycle really works, the most important thing I think a woman can take away from this book is too make sure that you are well informed about exactly what it is you are doing to your body when you use medications or how you handle your period.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I haven't posted in a while cause life has been super hectic and busy. But I saw this video on The Fire Wire and it was just so cool I had to put it up. If you are a fan of old school video games or just love silly creativity check this out.

Uploaded by onemoreprod. - Arts and animation videos.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Astro City Vol. 5: Local Heroes by Kurt Busieck

Another great book from Busiek in the Astro City collection. This book brings together several different tales where the only consistent character as through the entire series, is the city itself. This volume focuses more on ordinary people living in Astro City and the heroic (or not so heroic) things that they do when they find themselves in situations that would really only occur because they live in Astro City. The book comes across as residents trying to explain what it is about Astro City and it's heroes that draws them there even though they are constantly being put in dangerous situations.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Prince of Persia by Jordan Mechner

This graphic novel is part of the storyline followed by the Prince of Persia video games. However it doesn't actually tell the story from the video games; it's more of a backstory. The book tells the story of twins, a boy, Guiv, and a girl Guilan who will rule Persia and a boy, Layth that grows up with them who is the prince of an enemy their father defeated. Eventually the Layth marries the Guilan, but other's interfere in the ruling of the kingdom and all end up dead or in hiding. The story then moves forward a hundred years or so to the love story of Ferdos and Shirin. Shirin finds Ferdos in a well, he is hiding in an abandoned city. At times the stories are told parallel to each other on the page so that the reader can see all of the connections between the two tales and their characters.

The story was interesting and the artistic style definitely fits the story, with vibrant colors and style that reminds the reader of the stories Arabic roots albeit in a superficial way. However Ferdos' confusion about who he is makes the story difficult to follow at times, and also makes it difficult to figure out when the two plot lines are happening in relation to each other. This is where the parallel story telling becomes especially helpful.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Graphic Novel Day

Today is my birthday so I have decided to spend the day reading graphic novels and doing laundry. Mainly it's cause I love graphic novels and I have the day off so why not, partially it's cause I have something like 30 items out of the library and reading the graphic novels is a quick way to get some of them returned. If this weren't a work day for most people I would make it a contest but I know most people don't have the day off (I only have off because I working on Saturday) so instead you will just have to see what I read. I will post a list at the end of the day and probably post reviews over the course of the weekend.

(2/26) All of the libraries I work at have closed due to inclement weather so I am extending my graphic novel reading day. Yay.

1. Prince of Persia

2. Astro City: Local Heroes

3. Abe Sapien: The Drowning

4. B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess

5. Oishinbo A La Carte: The Joy of Rice

6. I Kill Giants

7. Elektra Lives Again

8. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

This is the final count, I will start posting reviews sometime later today.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sorry for the Hiatus

I never meant to be away from the blog for so long but it's been a way crazy month. I moved (yay), got engaged (double yay) and had some other craziness occur, but I am looking forward to to begining posting again this week.

Sorry for the Hiatus

Sorry I haven't posted in a while but it's been a crazy month. I moved (yay), got engaged (double yay), had to house/dogsit in a house that had something in it I was allergic to and some other familial dramas. I plan on beginning to post again tomorrow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sing Out

From the good folks over at VSL another fun website. This one is called Let Them Sing it For You. It was created for the internet platform of Src for Swedish National Radio. The idea is that you type a sentence in and the words are sung back to you. Each word is taken from a different song, with a different famous singer and a different melody.

The site is extremely simple looking a gray site comes up with the name, a red play button and a message telling you if the window doesn't pop up click here. The pop up window is even simpler a box for text with a play button on the bottom. You simply type in your words and hit the play button. Then it plays for you. Once your message has been played back to you, you have the option of e-mailing it to a friend.

The words you hear in any given sentence can come from 1989 Wicked Games by Chris Isaak to what could be a Def Leopard song. My favorite part of this program is trying to figure out what song each word comes from.

Legacy by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Lucas finds out that his father is wealthy billionaire Clayton Hartwell, who by night is the superhero Raptor. Clayton is getting on in age and looking for a replacement. When Lucas' mother is murdered by the Science Club he decides to try and take up the mantel of the Raptor to take revenge; however there may be more to what's going on then meets the eye.

My only complaint about this novel is that it's so short. They could have explored and gone further into several different elements of the story. The author really had the opportunity to explore good and evil and the shades of gray that exist in between them.

***Spoiler*** He also could have spent more time going into the Raptor's mental state and the explanation of his past and what exactly happened with his other children. ***Spoiler Ends***

This was an enjoyable book but it could have been so much better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Invincible: The Ultimate Collection Volume 4 by Robert Kirkman

Invincible is Mark Grayson's tale. He is the son of Omniman, an extraterrestrial superhero. If you have read previous volume's then you know that Ominman was actually sent here to prepare the earth for takeover. When Mark found out he defeated his father and has since become a superhero in his own right, Invincible.

I love Invincible, it just keeps getting better and better. Even though this graphic novel doesn't hold back on violence, I think it's a great young adult pick because Mark is trying to deal with life as a high school and then college student; including trying to attend classes and having first loves. He is trying to figure out if going to college was the right decision for himself and a lot of people feel that way after they first start college. In the middle of this he is trying to keep the earth from being taken over by other mutants, aliens and super villains. The colors and artwork are vibrant and phenomenal as usual and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman

Rick, a cop, gets shot and goes into a coma. When he wakes up, zombies have taken over the world. He miraculously finds his family and they and several other survivors ban together to try and make it through the end of days.

I love that they decided to do black and white illustrations, it really adds to the feel of the book and gives it the air of a zombie movie. The author states in the introduction that he is trying to look into the human spirit and how it handles situations such as these. He has definitely succeeded. This is not another goofy zombie book. This book is all about how it's characters interact with each other and grow as people (or don't grow, as the case may be.)

Lone Wolf & Cub, Vol. 2 The Gateless Barrier by Kazuo Koike

This book is just as beautifully illustrated as the first book in the series was. Unfortunately, like the last book it was mostly focused on showcasing individual adventures rather then how each adventure relates to Lone Wolf as a person/character.

The lack of closure in individual stories was also starting to bother me in this volume. We never learn what happens to the other characters involved in Lone Wolf & Cub's adventures, which was especially frustrating in chapter where Diagoro is accidentally captured and helped by a servant girl. I really wanted to know what happened to the servant girl after she was rescued.

I am not really sure if this manga series is supposed to have an over arching story line or not, and while there are certain really wonderful attributes to this series I don't think I will be reading anymore of them.

Raven Summer by David Almond

Liam and his friend Max find an abandoned baby in a meadow. Liam's writer father and artist mother end up making friends with the baby's foster family and eventually his mother decides to adopt her. Liam makes friends with two of the other foster children, Crystal and Oliver. When Liam finds out Oliver's true story, he must evaluate what he thinks about friendships and life in general.

This was an extremely quick read; however the subject matter is extremely heavy and thought provoking, so I recommend reading this when you have the time to devote to it. Although this is a very heavy read, it is written beautifully and in such a way that the heaviness of the subject matter doesn't detract from the beauty of the writing itself (if that makes any sense). Basically it is written well enough that I didn't feel boggged down by all of the depressing (if you think about it) subject matter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Serendipity Market by Penny Blubaugh

I loved this book. Mama Inez knows that the tilt of the world is off and they need the power of stories to set it right. Mama Inez invites 10 people to the market at the end of the world and tell their stories to set the world right.

I found the beginning a little bit confusing; I had to reread parts of it a few times, but once I started meeting the story tellers it all comes together. The story's are familiar fairy tales, folk tales, and nursery rhymes but all with a twist. Sometimes the twist is as simple as telling the tale from another characters point of view; other times the tale is more drastically altered, changing the species, sex or sexual orientation of the character. All of the tales are entertaining, and it's definitely worth the read. This may be one of my new favorites.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Serious Dose of Cuteness

Zooborns is possibly the cutest website ever. They pull all new stories from other publications regarding the birth of new animals at zoos around the world and post them up on their site.

Having a crappy day? Check out the baby sea horses at Monterey Bay Aquarium. They are so tiny they don't even wrap all the way around a blade of grass. Who could be sad after looking at a cutie like that.
Also great for children, who will appreciate seeing other creatures their own age. It's updated on a regular basis, be sure to check back frequently.

Tarnished Angel by Kurt Busiek

Another great book in the Astro City series. Tarnished Angel is the story of Carl, a recent paroley that wants to go straight. He gets hired by the residents of Keifer Square to try and stop the murder of black masks, what you or I would know as super vilains.

The title refers to Carl himself who is also known as Steel Jacket and sees being a hero as being an Angel. The illustrations are spot on and just gorgeous. They complement the noir style of the story. The story itself is interesting and as usual we get to many different and interesting characters, including one of my new favorites Mock Turtle.

I just love this series and the way each book focuses on a different character and location within the city. I can't wait to read the next one.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jinx by Meg Cabot

Jinx has a problem back home in Iowa, so she is sent to NYC to live with her cousin Tory's family in NYC. This book pays serious homage to (or rips off, depends on how charitable your mood is the movie the Craft(1996). It's about girls who practice magic and don't pay enough attention to the consequences; then one goes to far.

There is romance and magic, and if you haven't watched the Craft, you might be surprised. Otherwise Jinx is just a little too good and Tory is a little bit too bad. There were a couple of things that seriously bothered me but they are spoilers so only read on if you don't care about having info on the story and ending.

*Spoiler alert* I do have a major problem with Jinx believing that she brought having stalker on herself. I understand that they are trying to send a message about consequences and being careful what you wish for, but they should have addressed the fact that no girl should ever feel like they bring being stalked upon themselves. My second major gripe is that at the end of the book Jinx basically replaces Tory, and Tory gets sent off to boarding school. This just rubbed me the wrong way and didn't feel appropriate either.

Betrayals by Lili St.Crow

In this book in the Strange Angels series Dru and Graves are at Schola, but nothing is going the way Dru thought it would. Dru is very isolated because of both her sex and because no one seems to be training her. Christian has pretty much just dumped them there and while Graves is assimilating really well, Dru is just left in the cold. Eventually when it becomes clear that there is definitely a traitor high in the ranks Dru, Graves and some new friends are forced to flee.

Dru spends the first half of the book being extremely introspective, which is fine excpet that whenever she comes close to trying to deal with the things that have happened to her, she backs off. This kind of leaves Dru stuck in a rut.

Graves on the other hand is changing quite a bit, but since this seems to involve him spending less time with Dru and the story is told from Dru's point of view, we miss out on that character development as well.

There are some interesting new characters like Dibs and Shanks, I hope we see all of them develop further. About half way through the book really picks through and I can't wait to see what develops next. I don't want to spoil anything but trust me, the end picks up; the slow beginning is worth it

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Read Your Own Books Challenge

MizB's Reading Challenges is holding a Read Your Own Books Challenge. Since reading more of my own books was part of my New Years Resolutions I have decided that I need to join in. I went through my goodreads account and I read 20 of my own books last year. This year I would like to improve so I am going to try and read AT LEAST 30 of my own books. Fortunately I started off the year by reading a couple of books I got for Christmas, including a few graphic novels.

1.Nemi by Lise Myhre
2.The Middleman: The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
3.Strange Brew by P.N. Elrod
4.The Diamond Secret: A Retelling of "Anastasia" by Suzanne Weyn
5. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
6. Showcase Presents:Batgirl by John Broome
7. Monster High by Lisi Harrison
8. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
9. Grimm Sisters #1 The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley
10. Stitches by David Small

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn

This book is part of the "Once Upon a Time" series, a series that rewrites fairy tales for young adults. This story tells the story of Anastasia Romanov. My biggest complaint about this book is that it really was JUST LIKE THE MOVIE. The villain was Rasputin's assistant and there was less of a magical element, otherwise it was still the story of a girl found by two con men who wanted to pass her off as the Princess Anastasia. The personalities and stations of the two men were even the same, and although Ivan was a soldier and not a castle worker, he lies and tells Nadya that he was a castle worker.

IF the reader can past the similarities between this story and the movie (or if you have never seen the movie), then the book is actually pretty good. Dialogue is interesting and the added drama of Sergei and his missing wife and child add an interesting side plot. My only other gripe was that the foreshadowing in Nadya's dream was a bit heavy handed, I mean we already know from the blurb on the back that she is supposed to be Anastasia, they didn't have to spell it out quite so much in her dreams.

This series is written by many different writers, and I am curious to see how other's in the series are. I might try to pick up another one

Strange Angels by Lili St.Crow

Since I am starting the second Strange Angels book Betrayal today, I thought I would post my review of the first book to refresh my memory regarding the story.

Dru and her father have been traveling the country exterminating paranormal bad guys for a long time. Since she has never been in one place for long, she doesn't really know anyone or have any friends in the area or any area really. Dru's father disappears and because of the way they have lived, she doesn't really have anyone to turn to. Until Graves, a new school mate takes interest in her. He is also now alone in the world.

Dru and Graves have an adventure in which they both become more then they ever imagined and barely escape with their lives. Now they are off to a school for people like them. Dru and Graves are great characters and I think that's what really kept me interested in the book. The way they interact with each other and how they tick kept me interested.

Lone Wolf & Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road by Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima

Lone Wolf and Cub refer to the title character and his child, a man who was once a samurai that performs assassinations as a ronin (a lordless samurai). The beginning chapters of the manga left me a little bit disappointed. It was action sequence after action sequence that had very little story, just how the main character became involved in the current debacle and the completion of the job.

The illustrations from these stories are what really make this manga worth reading and what kept me reading even though I wasn't into the story. The illustrator uses the illustrations to create tension and mimics how movies are shot. The illustrator uses long shots and close ups in a very dramatic way. The reader should pay careful attention to these illustrations because the author relies very heavily on the drawings to move the story along, with little to no text for long sequences.

The last chapter in the book finally starts in on the personal story of the ronin and his son. This was by far the most interesting story in the book. I am hoping it will be continued in the next book, in which case I might consider reading the whole series.