Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Week 13 Gap

I read Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum for my Week 13 pick. I lent out the book to my mother-in-law and will be completing my review once I have the book on hand. :)

Is it not good to make society full of beautiful people? ~ Week 14

Oh young-adult fiction, how I love thee. Uglies is book number one in a four-part series by Scott Westerfield. It centers on Tally Youngblood, a 16-year old living in a futuristic and superficial society. In this society, on your 16th birthday you are subjected to a complete body overhaul which makes you into a Pretty. Cities are segregated into sections; where you live depends on whether or not you've had the surgery and how old you are. The story begins with Tally just a few months from her 16th birthday and anxiously awaiting the surgery that will rejoin her with her best friend Peris. Peris is a couple of months older than Tally, and has already been living with the other new Pretties in New Pretty Town. Tally is just biding her time until she'll be with her friend again when she meets Shay. Shay is unlike anyone that Tally has ever met before. Shay actually believes that there's nothing wrong with being who she is. She challenges everything that Tally has grown up believing about becoming pretty. Tally ends up having to make a choice that will ultimately change the course of her life.

The good: Really cool concept. What will life be like in the future? I love books that approach this subject creatively. With our society so superficial already, what's to say that once the technology exists people won't have a whole-body overhaul done to make themselves into the perceived image of perfection?

The bad: I really have nothing bad to say about this book. I'm anxious to read the next two books, Pretties and Specials.

The verdict: Uglies introduces you to a whole new futuristic world that's completely intriguing. It has it's own language - bogus, bubbly, Specials, SpagBol... I could go on and on. In a word, this book was fun. Go ahead and get yourself a copy and ENJOY!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 12 update

So far I'm doing pretty well with my book a week goal for the year. Unfortunately, with work and all, I'm a little behind on posting my reviews. As a means of tracking the books I've read I've been using my Goodreads account. Then when work dies down, I have a chance to go back and update. I have the next two weeks off of work so look for more updates! Also, I'm in the process of fixing up this blog a little bit with a custom header.

I'm having a great time reading all these books and I hope that someone out there eventually reads my reviews. If it's just here for my satisfaction that's okay... but I'd love to have the chance to share my love of books with others!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Death smells like birthday cake. ~ Week 12

Sign me up for the Maggie Stiefvater fan club! After reading Shiver and Lament, I just had to grab this book. Ballad picks up a couple of months after all the action of Lament. A marked difference between this book and the first "Book of Faerie" installment is that our narrator is James Morgan, instead of Dee. After the intense and scary summer that James and Dee had last summer they've decided to head to Thornking-Ash, a school for musical prodigies. Just when they thought that life was going to return to normal (or as normal as life can be after carousing with faeries...), things get a little crazy once again.

The good: James. Oh James and his sarcastic, wise-cracking, bagpipe playing self. At first I was really thrown off by him being the main focus of this book. I'd really grown to love Dee and I was sad that she didn't have such a big role in Ballad. After reading a few chapters, I really started to like his perspective. And he's FUNNY.

The bad: Dee. She was horribly conflicted, whiny, and depressed for about 99.9% of this book. While she wasn't the main focus of the story, we're treated to what's going on in her life through James' interactions with her. In Lament, it became pretty obvious that James was completely enamoured with Dee. To put a long story short, she was oblivous and ended up falling for someone else. I would like to give Miss Dee Monaghan an award for the worlds shittiest best friend. Yes, I am biased because I love James. Dee irked me for most of this book.

Another thing. I finished Lament wanting more of Luke and Dee. Shamelessly, I became wrapped up in their passion and I wanted more. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed because the focus of the next book veers away from Dee and her love affair with Luke.

The verdict: Despite the change of pace in Ballad, it's still a great book. It didn't take long for me to really enjoy James as the narrator and get wrapped up in the new characters like Paul and Nuala. For you saps like me, don't worry - there's another love story. You'll probably start out a little let down because you're looking for a continuation of the story narrated by Dee... but give it a few chapters and you'll catch on. Ballad is another hit from Stiefvater. I seriously hope this woman keeps writing books because she is phenomenal!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here is another secret: I have no business being fascinated by you. ~ Week 11

I am quickly becoming a fan of Maggie Stiefvater. After reading Shiver, I knew that I had to try some of her other books. Lament is part of her "Books of Faerie" series. It delves into some faerie and celtic-lore that I wasn't really familiar with. When I read the title, I was a little hesitant... "The Faerie Queen's Deception." Sounded corny to me. Well, I was WRONG... this book was extremely interesting, sexy, and fascinating.

The good: As I said after reading Shiver, Stiefvater's writing is gorgeous. Just dripping with beautiful quotes and amazingly lyrical. I found myself marking the pages with Post-It flags so that I could go back and read them again. I've never had much interest in faerie-lore... honestly never even really heard of what it entailed. Well I found myself totally wrapped up in it. Another good thing about Stiefvater's books = good characters. She really gets you to feel and become attached to her characters. James is hands down one of my favorite literary characters. Also, I loved the emphasis on music. I'm a complete music nerd so this book really drew me in.

The bad: I really have to stretch to find something bad about this book. I didn't like it as much as Shiver, but honestly... I am obsessed with Shiver. I wasn't crazy about Dee... I thought she was kinda flaky and didn't really appreciate the amazing friendship that she had in James.

The verdict: Read it! If you like young-adult fiction, this is a must-read. It has everything... adventure, romance, comedy and folklore.