Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book With No Pictures reading

I've seen plenty of wordless picture books in my day, but this is a first... The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak sure looks like fun.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Star Wars Reads Day

Tomorrow is Star Wars Reads Day. I've never quite understood why it isn't on May 4th. (May the Fourth be with you! Get it??) Okay, I'll stop with my dad jokes. This month I put together a display of all our Star Wars books and graphic novels for kids - they've been going like hotcakes!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blue Moon review

Blue Moon
by Alyson Noel
St. Martin's Griffin

In this sequel to Evermore, Noel explores what might happen if psychic teen Ever had the choice to return to her past and prevent the car accident that took her family's lives at the cost of losing Damen, her one-true-love over the centuries. Is it worth it?

There is trouble in paradise, as Damen's secretive nature creates conflicts in their relationship. Ever doesn't feel ready to take their relationship to the next level, chastely insisting that since he's waited 600 years for her, what's a little longer? And, she's still a little intimidated by how perfect he is.

New guy, Roman, appears to bring everyone under his spell, including Damen, who, predictably, turns on Ever once again, and begins to court queen bee Stasia. Damen begins growing sick with a mysterious illness, and Ever is certain that Roman is behind whatever is poisoning him. This puts Ever into tailspin of depression, as she desperately tries to figure out what's going on. Eventually, she sorts out a few secrets, including the fact that Roman is a rogue Immortal, bent on harassing Ever as punishment for the loss of Drina. When she figures out how to time-travel, she's faced with a choice. Should she go back to the point in time when Roman turned Damen against her? Or, go even further back in time, and save her family (which would mean she never would have moved to Laguna Beach and met Damen in the first place?) Ever decides to try and have it both ways, by writing herself a note, not to forget her sweatshirt (she blames herself for the car accident that killed her family when they turned around for her forgotten camp shirt, and hit a deer), and to not forget Damen.

To me, the most interesting part of the book was when Ever finds herself back in her old life in Oregon. On the whole, she is pretty happy, but she's plagued by niggling doubts that something is off, something is missing. She finds herself suddenly very unattracted to her boyfriend, and wishing for something different. As her memories start to come back, she feels certain that she can prevent the car accident. At the crucial moment, her sister Riley reminds her that she doesn't belong there, and even though Ever's done everything she can think of to prevent it, the car accident happens anyway. 

I thought the whole family vs. true love presented a false dichotomy. If Damen's been hunting her down and finding her over and over again for the last couple of centuries, surely he'd find her in Oregon, eventually, right? And it sets up the possibly disturbing idea that you can't have a relationship and stay close to your family at the same time. In this world, you've got to choose one or another.

When Ever returns to her own timeline, she is tricked by Roman into giving Damen a potion that she thinks will cure him as he's on the brink of death. The book ends with quite a cliffhanger, as Damen's life is saved, but he may not be able to be with Ever anymore. Readers with an uncritical eye looking for some fast-paced pleasure reading could do worse than to tackle this sequel in the popular Immortals series.

I borrowed this book from my public library.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Read in October 2014

The past month I read the following books:
1. The Lonely Polygamist - Brady Udall
2. Beast Keeper - Lucy Coats

picture credit: Girl Reading by Otto Scholderer

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top 10 books that were hard to read

This week's topic from The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Books that were Hard to Read. 

 Here are mine, in no particular order, books I only gave a 1-star rating to:

1) Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris
The penultimate book in the Sookie Stackhouse series had so little plot development, I kind of gave up finishing the series.

2) Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout
This series of interconnected short stories about a bitter old woman was absolutely not my cup of tea.

3) One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I do not care for magical realism! My friends like to joke that I like my magic systems to be realistic, but don't want my realism to be magical.

4) The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
I know! Shocker! This should be the kind of book I love. It came so highly recommended to me, I don't think it ever could have lived up to the hype. It just didn't feel magical enough for me.

5) Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree - Lauren Tarshis
The main character was so painfully awkward. This was a tough one to slog through.

6) The Mephisto Covenant - Trinity Faegen
I read this on the heels of reading several teen paranormal dysfunctional relationships parading as "romantic" and it was just too much for me to take.

7) The Unfinished Angel - Sharon Creech
I love Sharon Creech! This book was so not her normal style though. The angel had such a disjointed way of speaking. I didn't care for it.

8) The Reformed Vampire Support Group - Catherine Jinks
Ugh. Depressed vampires didn't do it for me.

9) Burned - P.C. Cast
This is where I ran out of steam for the House of Night series. The scenes where Zoey Redbird confronts her child self are just so very, very cringeworthy.

10) Forever Lily - Beth Nonte Russell
Worst. Adoption. Book. Ever. Russell's racist dream sequences and highly unbelievable set of "coincidences" with her adopted Chinese daughter make for an excruciatingly embarrassing read.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Banned Books Week display

I love this display for Banned Books Week, at one of my favorite independent book stores, Little Shop of Stories. The "caution" tape is de rigueur but the BAN ALL THE THINGS! cartoon really makes this display stand out to me. Love it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blackbird review

by Anna Carey
September 2014

Fast-paced second person narration places the reader squarely in the head of amnesiac teen girl who only knows that she has a blackbird tattoo on her wrist, and someone is trying to kill her. Quickly adopting the nickname Sunny, the main character soon finds herself framed for theft. Not trusting the police, she manages to find sanctuary amongst a group of wealthy Los Angeles teens. There is some romantic tension between her and Ben, her rescuer. Sunny soon finds she has abilities she didn't know she had, dodging assassin’s bullets and escaping into a crowd, but also excelling in close hand-to-hand combat when cornered by her pursuers. Tantalizing flashes of memories along with clues from her pursuers reveal that Sunny is a teen runaway without a family, who depended on a handsome friend to survive the rigors of being hunted by jaded elite. 

Plenty of sudden plot twists will leave readers guessing as to who to trust. Inspired by Richard Connell's classic short story, The Most Dangerous Game, the book draws to a satisfying close, but leaves plenty of room for more issues to be resolved. Readers of contemporary young adult thrillers will be clamoring for the sequel.

This review originally appeared in School Library Journal.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.


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