Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I love love this series of books from Lockhart.  This title is a worthy successor of the line starring Ruby.  The irreverant style of writing and her view of the world as Ruby is enjoyable and fun.  It also makes one feel pretty normal about obsessing or worrying about being slightly freakish, as Ruby embraces her own insanity (not that she's insane but her life does get that way, much like so many "real" people's lives do)

Sorta Like a Rock Star is one that really got to me.  Amber is such an optimist in a situation that would bring so many people down: homelessness, an alcoholic mother and a life generally out of control.......instead she tries to maintain her happiness and to spread it to others.  This modern day Pollyanna learns how much she is valued and loved when tragedy strikes and she loses her mother.  When the reader sees Amber in the depths of a depression it feels like a punch in the gut because you've seen Amber withstand any number of pressures with a smile that when she cracks you feel the impact double strength.  This was an amazing book.  Did I see the happy ending (ala "It's a Wonderful Life") coming from a mile away?  Yes.  Did I care?  No, in fact I welcomed's nice to think that sometimes, just sometimes karma works and the good-hearted people get the happy ending....even if it only works in fiction.

Wildthorn is a rough read, due to the subject matter and (for me) due to its very strong roots in historical fact.  When Louisa is locked away in an institution for the insane, I knew why (mostly because I have an love of reading historical works on a variety of topics) a teen reader I probably would've been shocked to hear that a girl who dreamed of being a doctor could be locked away as insane.  The idea that in the 19th century it is deemed unnatural for a woman to want a career more than a family is one I did know, but probably will be eye opening to modern generations.  I don't know that the lesbian angle needed to be there, but it didn't detract from the story......and it was sort of nice for it to be a sort of addendum to the main story, rather than the main focus.  I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, though I will read anything.....this was a well written and well researched novel that some will love and others will find enlightening.  I think an English or History class could use this to highlight the progress of the women's movement or simply to give a human side to the history studies in this period.
This was a very interesting read, lots of pictures and verbal snapshots of people.

So, confession time, I tried to read this before but never quite finished as I found I didn't enjoy it much.  As it got more and more hyped I decided to take another look at it, especially as the movie preview looked pretty cool.  So I gave it another go....and decided that having read it all the way through it wasn't as horrid as I thought originally.....yes, still a bit dark and no, it will never be a fav of mine but it wasn't bad. I guess that's the best I can do on this one.....but I figure I read TONS of sf/fantasy so if I don't follow the crowd on this one, life will go on......and I get to keep my "queen nerd" pin due to the volume of books read in spite of disagreeing with the "OMG best book ever" statuses of the library world   =)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This was a tough book to read, but definitely a quality read.  I put off reading this one due to the subject....(I usually snatch up Peters' novels as soon as they come out).  It was every bit as rough as I expected, but Julie really nailed the blackness and emptiness that comes with suicidal depression.  I like that she left the ending open so that the reader could hope that she maybe changed her mind, but I just don't know.......someone who has attempted suicide multiple times it's hard to believe that they would suddenly have a change of heart or attitude, though one can always hope.  I have to say that this novel hit a little too close to home on the savage pain level....the protagonist goes into detail on the numerous incidents that have confirmed her opinion that the world would be better off without her and having been in that dark place, I saw a bit of myself.  I think that this is an important novel and I think that it's excellently written but it's not an easy read......and I worry that those who might benefit won't find it......or will misread the intention (which is to say how things CAN get better and you should fight to stay alive and not, hey, go ahead, kill yourself).  Try it, see what you think

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When Jace shows up on his brother, Christian's doorstep battered and exhausted; he isn't sure what to expect.  After all, his brother disappeared leaving him and his mother alone with the same dad who was abusing Jace isn't sure he'll care that the beatings didn't end or that he'll like having his kid brother living with him.
This book follows the struggles of both boys to deal with the legacy of their dysfunctional family.  The reader follows along as both guys learn to not only "deal" but to heal and to grow beyond the abuse and to try and end the cycle.   I liked this.  It's not the best thing I've ever read, nor is it the worst.  The characters read well and the anger and coldness feels read but I just couldn't fall in love the way I wanted Split and I will stay amicable acquaintances.....=)

 Blood Red Road takes place in the world many years after an unknown apocalypse has ended civilization as we know it.  Saba and her twin brother Lugh have never been apart, until he is kidnapped by soldiers.  She vows to get him back, and the journey as well as the separation will change both of them in innumerable ways.  I loved the writing style of Moira Young in this novel.  I also really enjoyed Saba as she struggled to learn her strength, as well as the strength to care and let others care about you.  This is what I call SF know it is science fiction, but it feels like an adventure.....and it was fun.  Looking forward to another installment......

Bruiser sat on a shelf for quite awhile.  I kept looking at it and thinking, "I should read that" but thinking it was a book about abuse, I kept putting it I wish I hadn't waited.  This is a very subtle science fiction/fantasy tale.  Bruiser (real name Brewster Rawlins) gets involved with Bronte and Tennyson.   Bronte begins dating him because she is intrigued, Ten is against it because he thinks Bruiser is a loser and not worth his sister's time.  As things progress, they both discover that Bruiser has some unique abilities that he's been hiding from the world.....and they get caught up in the use and usefulness of his gift.  I really enjoyed this book, especially as it takes all the viewpoints and shows them as the story progresses so that the reader can really see all sides as the tension mounts.  This wasn't anything like I thought it would be, and another great example of why Shusterman is such a good author.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Jason is dealing with a lot right now.  His mom just passed away, and she was the only one keeping his dad on his now, he is solely responsible for his mentally unstable father......and things are falling apart.  Jason has no money for food, clothes or bills and he's desperately afraid his father will hurt someone or himself...but he doesn't want to tell anyone because he feels like it'd be a betrayal of his father.  Then it's taken out of his hands when a few friends from his school support group (which he was placed in by the school for his growing erratic behavior) tell the authorities because they fear for Jason's life.  The whole story is told from Jason's point of view and he has an imaginary audience that he caters to, which helps him distance himself and also feel less alone.
I really enjoyed this realistic view of what it's like to be responsible for a mentally ill parent.  It truly is overwhelming (I speak from experience trust me, I know).  This is an awesome example of realistic fiction.....just grab the tissues, you'll need'em.

Dust and Decay is the continuing story begun in Rot and Ruin. And it's AMAZING!!!  I have to say it's got more sadness and less triumph than the first book, but it reads so realistically and it makes sense with the characters and the situations as they are drawn.......ok.....getting ahead of myself......first I should explain exactly WHAT the book is

Benny and the gang are leaving their small town to find out where the plane they spotted at the end of the last book was going.  They hope to find a place where people are clearing away the zombies and trying to live a somewhat normal life.  Unfortunately, things go wrong from the start and the gang is caught in the middle of a war for the zone they live in as well as the sights of the people who run the Zombie Games......(trust me, NOT good)........what they go through and how they get there is a speedy fast read and simply amazing.....READ.THIS.BOOK!

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, review by Nina Soukhanovskii

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.  A Quote to Consider: “With a shiver of foreboding he saw his marriage becoming what most of...