Friday, November 04, 2016

Lots of books! Reviews from Saleena 11/4/16

I got a bit crazed and totally forgot to keep up with Goodreads or my blog.....sigh.....perils of a working person I guess.

So, here is a GIANT amount of stuff   =)

Dan Vs Nature is not one I might have picked up on my own, but it was assigned for review, and I read it....and boy am I glad I did, it was REALLY funny, very slapstick and sliding in under the door was a message of acceptance & not trying to be someone you aren't.   The basic premise of the book is that Dan's mother is in love...again, and he isn't prepared to accept the new man.  Worse, his mom is now talking marraige and moving and he just doesn't want to go through all of that, just for her to be dumped, again.  His mother has a habit of changing herself completely with every new man, and this one is a wilderness survival nut, so Dan's mother sends Dan and the Fiancee out to the wilderness to "get to know each other" and "commune with nature".  Between the silly (and ridiculous) antics of Dan and his friend and the bad luck that happens on the adventure, the reader will be in stitches.

Continuing the Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows is the story of Celeana and her ever escalating war against the evil king.  I don't want to spoil it, but there is treachery, assassins, magic and threats behind every won't be able to put it down!  And, like me, you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting for the next volume (I think the concluding one).

Stick is Brett's nickname, because when he plays football the ball sticks to his hands.  Preston is an outcast that just doesn't fit in.  When the football team decides to play a mean prank on Preston, Stick decides that he has had enough.....even though he loves football, he hates it.  He hates all the politics, the way it's the only thing his dad can focus on, the way it consumes his life and he cannot find any joy left for the game.  So, he quits.  And he starts to get to know Preston.  And nothing is as it seems, and nothing will be the same....

I love this book, I didn't expect to, but it's a quick read, with a great topic and the character of Stick is so frustrated and looking for a magic fix to how messed up everything felt like someone I knew.  This is a REALLY good book!

White Rose is another assigned title that I quite enjoyed.  It's the middle of a series, and even though I hadn't read the other title, Jewel, I figured it out and found myself intrigued.  I may even have to read the other titles.
This book begins with Violet escaping the Duchess and the life, but finding a rebellion that calls to her.  Ewing really brings many dimensions to all of the characters, making the story more enthralling, as you uncover the good and bad of the enemies and heroes.....this is an intense book, and it doesn't shy away from the horrible things people can do when rebelling, or when they have unlimited power; but I think, if you like a truly compelling fantasy story, you should try this one.

Leveller refers to the job of retrieving people lost in the MEEP, a virtual reality hooked directly into your brain.  Most people aren't truly lost, just not in a hurry to return to work or school.  Nixy specializes in bringing people back, so she isn't surprised to be called by someone at her father's job; but she is shocked when she finds that the person she needs to retrieve is the creator of the MEEP's son....who just won't return.  Going in after him, she finds that he is trapped, and now, so is she; until they can figure out who has done it and how to trick them into letting them go. 
This is a fast paced adventure with a touch of romance, and a fun ride for all.

I mistakenly thought that this was part of Maas' other series, but once I dove in, I fell in love.  This one is a more character driven, fairy tale style book, with a girl who kills a beast, only to be taken to the house of a beast as punishment....and then to fall in love.  There is a curse, but Feyre, the main character is no wan princess waiting for a rescue, no, THIS girl goes into the mouth of hell to do what is right and to save her love.....a bit intense for some, but I loved the tale and can't wait to read the next one.

This is the concluding volume of the Trelian series, and it wraps it all up pretty well.  It's not the most amazing book I've ever read, nor is it the's just an interesting fantasy adveture with lots of moving parts...and Knudsen does a really good job of tying it all up in a bow so that the reader feels it's resolved.

You know me well is a book told in two voices, and written by two authors, LaCour and Levithan.  Mark is at a bar (that doesn't check ID) for Pride Night at a bar, and he's there with his best friend, whom he wants desperately to be more, but who is deeply in denial of his gayness.  At the bar, Mark sees his friend hanging out with another guy and is suddenly struck with how hopeless the situation is.  Kate is an out lesbian artist, about to graduate high school but terrified of what comes next.  She's in NYC to meet the cousin of her best friend, someone that she thinks might be perfect for her; but she is very aware of her own imperfections, and instead of meeting her, runs away and ends up in a random bar that doesn't check ID.  Kate & Mark have seen each other around school, but aren't friends....but tonight they start talking and make an instant connection.  Can they help each other deal with their issues?  Or is this just a random thing that happens and means nothing?

I absolutely adored this book, devouring it in one sitting, unable to put it down.   Much like Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, the action in the book happens over a short period of time.....this one is a week.  I also was happy with out characters who aren't fighting with their sexuality (a la the classic "why am I gay?") but who are just dealing with regular issues, falling in love with the wrong person, worrying about the future, and trying to figure out how to deal.   This is an excellent book and everyone should read it.

I have said many times that I will pretty much anything by Neil Gaiman, so when I saw this new comic, I had to try it.   The title makes it sound much more I was not surprised, but instead delighted to find that the girls in the book are actually (at least probably) not human at all and that the boys (mostly the main character) are clueless about girls but trying hard anyway.   It's a quick read, quite fun and funny.

Golden Boys is one of those books that English teachers love, full of symbolism and "language" and "deep thoughts"; but which I abhore because while all the symbols and language and thinking are fine, I really just want to read a story....and this book had no story......or at least not one I could find.   The author lays out the issues quite early, but then with all the fussing, and talking and discovering of each others issues, nothing actually happens.  It's like watching a reality show that's actual reality, lots of nothing really happening.   I read it because it was an assigned review, and I really disliked this book, but upon looking it up; found it had indeed won many awards, and gotten many kudos (a perfect 10 from VOYA?  wow); which as far as I'm concerned, just goes to show how far I am from the awards crowd....I'm never looking for anything high brow, just a good story with characters I feel a kinship with (even if we have nothing in common).....I want to be transported, not examine a book for all the parts and then declare it a "feast for the mind".....but if you like that sort of thing, this is your kind of book.

No comments:

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...