Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Readin, Readin, Readin

What I have read in the last few weeks in order from bad to good:

Ship Breaker-Bacigalupi
This novel had such a good set-up, futuristic society, gave me a feeling of Waterworld-esque style-then they took a turn for the worse and wasted a really interesting plot development.

It's Kind of a Funny Story-Ned Vizzini
A very good grasp of teenage interaction, particularly since it was written based on the author's experience of being put in an adult clinic due to depression. It's about his experiences there, but through the eyes of a fictional teenage boy. Well done. One of the best teen books I have read.

Gregor the Overlander series 1-3-Suzanne Collins
If you loved the Hunger Games like I did, you are craving more Suzanne Collins. This won't quite quench your thirst, but it is her earlier series, meant for a younger audience. Still, though the plot can be a little predictably twisted, the writing style in excellent.

Little Brother-Cory Doctorow
Teenagers in a slightly more modern America decide to fight against an ever-increasingly suffocating government. I have a soft spot for rebellious teenagers sticking it to the man when the need presents itself, and this book was an awesome read. Reminiscent of Ender's Game, and very technical, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I am a new Doctorow fan.

I am currently reading outside of YA fiction. I felt compelled to dive into some serious sci-fi, and am trying my brain out with a Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. It is a litt
le tedious, but interesting and challenging. A nice change! And a weird cover, check it-

What's not to love?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and Going Bovine

This cover has enticed me for months-the colors and title are so eye-catching and memorable. I was curious about the book, then it received several awards, making me that much more curious. However, upon reading it last week, I have been disappointed.
The book is not memorable-it is the epitome of normal. A forgettable plot with predictable characters and an anti-climactic ending. Very. Disappointing.
It was written in the style of a slightly peppier Little House on the Prairie novel, but they added a hint of Darwinism and the theory of evolution. Just a hint.
A tomboy named Calpurnia Tate dreads becoming the lady she is doomed to become as she grows older, and she learns to hope for more in life after studying nature with her eccentric grandfather. She wants to be a scientist, but the book ends with her being no closer to that goal or even being able to hope for it since her parents are both wanting her to become a traditional young lady, wife, and mother.
I kept reading, just waiting for the worthiness of such high awards to become clear.....alas.
Calpurnia Tate is a tease of a cover and title. Such a shame.

On the other hand...

Going Bovine was a very intriguing novel. The main character, Cameron, discovers that he has contracted a fatal disease-essentially Mad Cow for humans. There is no cure, and he will slowly fall into a state of hallucinations, then his brain will completely shut down and he will die. No hope. He is an average loner high schooler with no friends and an inability to show concern for anything or anyone. He ends up going to the hospital, then travelling a long, crazy journey to search for a cure he hopes will work. The state of the story is always questionable, whether it is a hallucination from his rapidly decreasing mind or just an insane reality is hard to tell. But he begins to learn what it is to truly live.
The story got a little out of hand for my taste, and I got bored by the end, but the plot was not the jewel of this novel. Nor the characters.
The most impressive aspect of the novel is the way the author grasps the language, attitudes, interests, and actions of a modern teenager. She writes very believably, and I found myself completely entranced at her ability to so accurately portray a teenager, being far removed from that generation herself.
I have read many novels "about teenagers" and their "real lives", and they have all come short of striking the reality of their moods and actions. I thought she was incredibly accurate, and I intend to read some of her other novels to see if this trait carries through.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I am alive.

OK-so I have decided to restart blogging on books I am reading for you, my 3 avid followers to enjoy. yep. Partly because I work in a Barnes and Noble now, and I get unlimited access to new, exciting books. Mostly because I have time again to read and write and read some more! I am 4 pages till the end of The Brothers Karamazov, then back to YA/Child Lit.....
Book discussions likely to be posted soon for those interested:
Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay
Megan Whalen Turner, author of The Thief, The Queen of Atolia, The King of Atolia, and her newest!!!
Going Bovine-my next book to read