Friday, July 19, 2013

7/18/13

This round I read a couple of books labeled "must read"  and once again, unimpressed......sigh.....I think I will never be on an awards committee or indeed serve as any sort of "literary expert".....because the stories that they love I find boring....or weird......or both.......anyway, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is the story of a young man who has decided to kill his nemesis, and former best friend, as well as himself.  The story takes place mostly on the one day, which also happens to be his birthday.  He goes around giving presents to people, some well received, others not so much......and is actually called on his odd behavior by his beloved English teacher who tells him to call him before doing anything dangerous.  Leonard has a moment when he realizes that killing his former best friend won't actually change the things that have happened; which reinforces the suicidal thoughts....I won't say the ending.......ok, I will because it ties into the reasons for my feelings on this book....so here.....SPOILER ALERT!!!

There, duty finished, so, Leonard calls his teacher who helps him through his crisis and forces Leonard's mom to come home (she spends most of her time in NYC).....but then, his mom doesn't believe that he was suicidal and he ends up in essentially the same place he was before......which is where the story ends......WHY?  If you're going to write a book about a suicidally depressed kid, why would you LEAVE him in the same place with some bandaid of a "oh I feel better today, I'll never do it again" ending?  It's terrible, and depressing......and honestly leaves you feeling awful, like, hey look, he lived...and still no one cares.....oh and yeah he confessed to being raped....and since he didn't tell his mother only his teacher, no therapy, just the same old same old........why the critics liked this book I will never understand......blech.......

Sadly, along the same lines......is Maggot Moon.
I ended up completely confused with this book....it was set in a sort of alternate world...kind of looking like Nazi Germany but seemed to be set in America......and the main characters find out that the "Motherland" is staging a moon landing to impress the world with their power and he decides to make a statement of protest with it instead.  I really didn't understand this book, especially as it wasn't clearly an alternate history book, nor was it set clearly somewhere else......and it was just hard to read.......lots of violence......not my cup of tea at all, so I'm sure it will win numerous awards.....sigh..



Now we move onto my accidental trip through multiple fairy lands...haha......first up, Dust Girl...Callie is a bi-racial girl pretending to be white on a farm with her mother in 1930s Kansas, right in the middle of the worst of the dust bowl.  Unbeknownst to her, she is also not completely human, which she finds out when her mom allows her to play on her long lost dad's piano and everything in her world changes.  Callie's mom disappears, and she is left on her own in a world suddenly full of "other" people who have now recognized her as one of their own.....and perhaps the person to fulfill a prophecy of great import.......Callie is determined to find and rescue her mom and is accompanied by a young man, Jack that she meets along the way.  I really enjoyed this story and it's mixing of historical truths set in reality and magical beings getting along right under everyone's noses......it reminded me very much of American Gods by Neal Gaiman.....loved it SO much!


Kill Me Softly had a great premise, but I was less than blown away by the execution.  Mirabelle is an orphan raised by her godmother's with a strict set of rules to live by....just before her 16th birthday she decides to go back to where she came from and see her parents' graves.....sort of trying to find herself and understand why things are the way they are.  What she finds, instead, is a town where fairy tales really happen...and that she is inside one of them......and now she needs to figure out her own fairy tale in order to stop it......I enjoyed the idea, sort of like Once Upon a Time the tv series....and it was alright, it was just frustrating to me that Mirabelle didn't recognize any of the fairy tale elements right under her nose.....I realize the author set up the premise that she wasn't allowed to read fairy tales, and there probably are people who don't know them; but it was frustrating to me.......maybe if I didn't read them all the time I wouldn't have had so many "why don't you get it?" moments with the protagonist. I also found her incredibly whiny and a bit too naive to be believable completely......but hey, just my opinion.  All in all, a nice book but not a great one.

Looking Glass Wars is one I have been meaning to read and never got around to....and boy, what an awesome and fun book!  Alyss is sent from Wonderland when her parents are killed by her Aunt Redd, and ends up in Victorian London where she is completely confused by the lack of magic.  Alyss becomes Alice when she tells the story of her childhood to a family friend (she was adopted by the Liddell family).....which, of course ties into the whole origins of the story.......I loved the writing and the intricacy of the intertwining story lines.....the action is swift and intense and the characters are really well created and much more "badass" then the tame little story of Wonderland I loved as a child.   I can't wait to read the next two parts of the trilogy!

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