Tuesday, August 30, 2011

& Baby Ducks

I finished reading this book last night, just in time for September!


Here are all the past posts about this book:
Ashley's Peace
Ashley's Love
Ashley's Baby Ducks
Paul's Pre Reading
Paul's Peace & Love


I enjoyed the conclusion to this novel. It thankfully brought closure to all the story lines. It was refreshing to read a fun, cutesy, teenage novel. One of my favorite aspects of the book was the parents' relationships with their children. The last discussion between Carly and her father really showed how insecure the father was about the video Carly posted. He complements Carly in a very unusual way. Usually in these kinds of books the parents are either not seen or they embody some stereotype. Not in this novel. Carly really gets to see her father as a human and not just a daddy.


Why did she kill Voodoo Baby?!? That whole section with the crazy party was difficult to read in that I was super nervous for her. Someone freakin peed on the wall! I can't imagine walking into my house and that going on. 


The sisterly love that took up the whole novel was interesting to read about. I'm sure Ashley got a lot more out of it, being both a female and having a sister. Maybe I should find a book about an only child white guy for Ashley to read, lol. September is right around the corner. I must now browse my shelf for my September choice. Hopefully I can find something I will read fast so I can start "A Clash of Kings"!


-PAUL

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peace & Love

I finished the first third in the Library today between classes and still had thirty minutes to spare so I went on, so instead of Ashley's thirds, this post will encompass the first and second thirds.


Prior Posts:
My Pre Preading
Ashley's Peace
Ashley's Love


This is quite an easier read compared to A Game of Thrones. It is refreshingly written very casually. I enjoy Myracle's witty humor. Although I can't relate to the sisterly moments, they are well written and remind me of my female friends with sisters. 


I don't really know what to write about for this novel. There isn't a big problem or mystery. It just follows the sisters through their school year. I like the way it is written. The family is intriguing. I like how the parents are very flawed. Ashley is standing in the room and I told her I don't know what to write. Hopefully I will write more extensively for the last third.


-PAUL

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Across the Universe

I'm currently made of huge fail when it comes to finishing books. In addition to People of Sparks and Wizard's First Rule, I'm in the middle of like five other books. But I'm going to start another one! I think I have literary ADD or something.


This book is going to be Paul's August pick, so that I can catch up with our "mandatory" reading for this thing. Here's his first post, in case you missed it: Paul's Across the Universe original post



Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Year Published: 2011
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents in a cryogenic state as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. It doesn't stop with her, someone is pulling the cryo units out early, intentionally attempting to suffocate them. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next. Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


Amy comes into the knowledge that this ship was not run on fuel, but on lies. Is there anyone she can trust? What will happen to her, so far away from Earth-as-she-knew-it?

Why?: Paul picked it and now I'm reading it because that's what the rules are.

Expectations: Well, since Paul liked it and we tend the like the same books usually, I assume that it's a pretty good book that will keep me entertained and such. I guess fairly high expectations for this one.

Judging a book by its cover: Based on the cover alone, I'm not sure I would have picked this book out. Especially with the title. It's all Beatles-y, and makes me think of the film of the same name. The colors are pretty though, and spacey, and the two people who are very close and look like they are about to kiss makes me think it's about a romance. And space. 


I'm hoping to actually finish this one and not just leave it on my "Currently Reading" shelf forever. Apparently August is not my month for reading books...

--Ashley

Monday, August 22, 2011

Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks

I am very tempted to read A Clash of Kings after finishing A Game of Thrones, but I guess I should read this. Maybe I will read them at the same time.


So, Ashley has already read this book. It was her August selection. Here is a link to her first post: Ashley's August Pick


Title: Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks
Author: Lauren Myracle
Year Published: 2009
Synopsis: Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her younger sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved , complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that 
even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat.


 Why?: I don't think this would be a book I would pick out for myself at the bookstore. Ashley picked this and enjoyed it. It will be nice reading outside of my comfort zone. 


Expectations: I expect this to be a story focusing on a relationship between two sisters. I expect self image and popularity will come into play. I have not read anything about this book at all.


Judging a book by its cover: The cover is cutesy and feminine. The peace sign is made up of flowers. From Ashley's posts it seems like each of these aspects of the title will be an act of the 
novel. I'm interested in what baby ducks will have to do with anything.


Well, Here it goes!


-PAUL

Winter is coming


I finished A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. And Ashley totally has the two books she is behind and she hasn’t posted so…



Here is my first post about this novel: A Game of Thrones

I really enjoyed this book. It was the first true high fantasy I have read. It took me a little time to get into it at first though. The mention of so many names and bloodlines and the geography of a completely new continent pushed me away at first, but it didn’t take long for me to get the hang of this world Martin has created. The characters he creates have so much depth. None of them are one-sided and you get to read from many of their perspectives. One of the only things I disliked was the ending. I don’t feel this novel in itself was a good story. It was a good part of a story. It was excellent storytelling, but If there was no sequel this story was left completely open without any closure. I understand why they created this into a television series as opposed to a film. There wasn't a clear climax. All the stories of the different characters peak at different points and then peak again multiple times. I am anxious to start the next novel in the series, but I may have to read Ashley’s pick of the month first.  

SPOILERS AHEAD

My favorite part of the novel was the alternating perspectives. You never got tired of one main protagonist doing something boring like walking from one city to another because the next chapter would be across the Narrow Sea or far off in the North. I liked the children’s chapters. I felt they were written with the actual age genuinely considered. Bran responded as a child would. Arya saw things that may have saved her father, but she saw them through the eyes of a little girl. I also liked that main characters died or were thought for dead. Bran was my favorite in the beginning of the novel and when he fell I thought he was dead. Dany’s story, though completely separate from the main plot, was one of the most interesting to me. It was simpler and easier to follow. Her character definitely evolved. I am looking forward to where her path will take her. I think I would be completely fine with her ruling the Seven Kingdoms, maybe with Tyrion by her side.

I also liked the way magic and mythical creatures were incorporated. They were very minimal and delt with as though they were real. Within the world, they are thought to not exist anymore so it is interesting to see them start to rise. The zombie body was a little farfetched, but I think it was a good lead in to whatever is cooking in the North.

I hope later books introduce chapters from more characters perspectives. I am intrigued by Tyrion’s lady friend. Theon Greyjoy is also interesting. I will probably read the second novel in the series before seeing the television show whenever the first season comes out on DVD. 

-PAUL

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Game of Thrones



Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: George R. R. Martin
Year Published: 1996
Synopsis: In a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of a throne. Some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. Beyond the Wall to the north, meanwhile, the Others are preparing their army of the dead to march south as the warmth of summer drains from the land. After more than a decade devoted primarily to TV and screen work, Martin (The Armageddon Rag, 1983) makes a triumphant return to high fantasy with this extraordinarily rich new novel, the first of a trilogy. Although conventional in form, the book stands out from similar work by Eddings, Brooks and others by virtue of its superbly developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness. Although the romance of chivalry is central to the culture of the Seven Kingdoms, and tournaments, derring-do and handsome knights abound, these trappings merely give cover to dangerous men and women who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. When Lord Stark of Winterfell, an honest man, comes south to act as the King's chief councilor, no amount of heroism or good intentions can keep the realm under control. It is fascinating to watch Martin's characters mature and grow, particularly Stark's children, who stand at the center of the book. Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes, including Hugos, Nebulas, Locus Awards and a Bram Stoker. He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least." (Amazon)

Why?:  I don't remember hearing much about this series until the tv show came out. I have heard raving reviews of the tv show and the story sounds interesting. Before I watch the series, I wanted to read the first novel, which may take me a while. It seems like the writing is heavy on characters and character development. From what I've heard, each chapter is from a different character's perspective.

Expectations: I haven't read much, if any, high fantasy. I think this book is a good start. I am expecting it to take a long time to finish, but be written well and tell an amazing story. I expect a well developed world full of evolving characters that are shades of grey. I'm really hoping to get into this book and actually finishing it. I will be very disappointed in myself if this book ends up on my shelf again with a page dog-eared less than halfway through. 

Judging a book by its cover: The cover of the version I have is pictured above. It merely shows a sword. It doesn't really add much or hype anything for me. 

So, I am back to work tomorrow so I will possibly be able to read a bit if I have large breaks.

-PAUL

Friday, August 5, 2011

Across the Universe REVIEW

I finished the book last night! Not even 5 days into the month and one novel down. I think this month may be a good one for reading.






Here are links to my other posts about this novel:
Before Reading
Midway Through


I really enjoyed this novel. Like most YA books that I enjoy, so much was revealed in the last hundred pages or so. I thought the characters were developed enough and the world was interesting. Amy's relationship with her parents was different. It made me think what I would do when put in that situation. Would you go willingly, leaving your home and everyone you know to be an unneeded member of a deep space mission? Her father didn't think she would. At Amy's age, friends and your social life are so important. 


SPOILERS follow.


So, Orion was the prior Elder. It didn't surprise me, but I think it may have been a little too obvious. How did he avoid being noticed all that time? Did Eldest not notice that the Recorder didn't show up on his ship diagram showing everyone on the ship? The Feeders were a creepy, especially when they were all horny. Their regular behaviors reminded me of the adults' behaviors in Delirium. Thy had faded eyes and didn't care or feel. Both books had the idea that to truly live you must experience the good and the bad of emotions. 


One of my favorite characters was Harley. I just wish he would have stayed on his meds for his obsessive behaviors. The rape scene was hard to read. It was almost like zombies with a thirst for sex were attacking her. The idea that Luthe was "normal" and he truly wanted her was also scary. 


I thought the ending left the novel in a good place. I didn't feel any plot-worthy questions were left unanswered, although the future of the Godspeed is left unknown. Well it looks like we will find out what happens to the Godspeed. A sequel, A Million Suns, is expected to be released January of 2012. I will most likely read it, although this new every-book-is-a-start-to-a-trilogy-thing is kind of getting annoying. 


Before I see Ashley and am able to exchange books, I will most likely be starting A Game of Thrones, to match her start of Wizard's First Rule.


-PAUL

Wizard's First Rule

I was going to finish People of Sparks next, but I just can't get into it. Still. Or again? So, I'm giving up again and starting this beast. 



Title: Wizard's First Rule
Author: Terry Goodkind
Year Published: 1994
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help ... and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-- to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed ... or that their time has run out. This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend. 

Why?: I watched both seasons of Legend of the Seeker, which is based on the series Sword of Truth, of which this is the first novel. I enjoyed the show, I enjoy fantasy novels, and I enjoyed Debt of Bones, so I figure I'll enjoy this novel as well. 

Expectations: I'm not going to lie, I've got pretty high expectations for this one. I know Goodkind writes very well, and I enjoyed the TV series. I do expect some parts to drag though, since it's like 1000 pages long. 

Judging a book by its cover: Wizard's First Rule has a picture of two people (probably Richard and Kahlan) standing on a natural bridge with forest on either side and a waterfall in the background. The colors are pretty vivid, and it's a pretty picture. I hope that means it's a pretty novel!

This one will probably take me a while to read, and I may or may not post a ton of blog entries about it, since it is so long. I also might have to put it on hold whenever I get Across the Universe from Paul if I haven't finished it by then.

--Ashley

& Baby Ducks

I wish there was a cute little baby duck symbol I could have included in the title.


I finished Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks last night! Here are the previous posts about it, in case you missed them:
Love ♥
Peace ☮
Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks





I really, really enjoyed the conclusion of this novel. Although a few conflicts were raised, most of the ones brought up earlier in the book were solved. Standing up for Anna, Carly finally confronts her mother about making comments about Anna's weight. Anna confronts her fear of the high dive, and attempts to do it again in front of her coach and her gym class. Carly finally realizes that Anna actually looks up to her and envies her. She also realizes that Peyton is a terrible friend, and becomes good friends with the only black girl in the class, Vonzelle, because Vonzelle is not fake and plastic like most of the other girls at Holy Redeemer. Carly (finally) understands that Cole is a terrible person and a terrible boyfriend, and that Roger is really her "ironic love boodle." Carly and her dad even share a touching moment where they begin to understand each other.


This novel was a refreshing break from most other YA books. The realness of the situations and the emotions makes it appealing to any girl growing up with a younger (or older) sister, and who is dealing/dealt with the trials and tribulations of high school. It more than met my expectations, and I'm so glad that I decided to pick it up without knowing anything about it. A perfect summer read.


I really enjoyed the way that Myracle writes, and I would probably pick up another of her books if I ever come across them laying on some clearance table at some bookstore. Assuming, of course, they weren't about vampires or werewolves or any other supernatural creatures...




--Ashley

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Love ♥

Finished the middle part of my book! In case you missed the other posts about it, here are some links:
Peace ☮
Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks


The first part of this book was definitely more light-hearted than the middle. The middle part has more conflicts between all the characters, and although most are resolved, many are ongoing. Carly and Anna, for instance, get into a huge fight when Carly insults her sister on a variety of subjects and refuses to let her grow up. Sometimes it seems like Carly is the immature, younger sister and needs to grow up, and sometimes the two girls almost seem as if they're the same age. 


In this section, the focus moves more to Carly's relationship with boys and away from her relationship with her sister. Although that element is still there, there is more about the boy Carly is falling for and how she wishes he would choose her over his current girlfriend. Somehow, the author manages to paint jealousy from both Carly's perspective (regarding Cole) and from the perspective of the boy who like likes Carly, Roger, even though the novel is still in a first person viewpoint from Carly. It's brilliant.


The dysfunctional family is also more emphasized here as well. Carly mentions to her mother that she wants to go shopping, and her mom drops everything to take her to Nordstrom's, thinking Carly needs a cocktail dress for some charity ball. In fact, Carly just wants a cute outfit to help deliver stockings in so that she can impress Cole. Anna and her Dad also have a yelling match, in which Dad is furious about Anna having failed PE. Carly, on the other hand, receives straight A's and gets no recognition from either of her parents.  It seems like Anna and Carly are the only two members of the family who can function on a personal level, and relate to other people without always hurting someone's feelings.


The last major topic that's touched on in this section (apparently this was a pretty intense section, especially compared to the first one) was religion. Holy Redeemer is a Christian school, and everyone there is expected to be a Christian and act like one. They do things because "that's what Christians should do" and have Christianity crammed down their throats all the time. Some of the students, like Roger, Carly, and Cole have their own beliefs that don't exactly coincide with what the school teaches, and Myracle is able to deal with such a touchy subject very nicely. Instead of criticizing anyone's beliefs, she simply presents how Carly feels and what Carly believes without pushing any beliefs on the reader or even on any of the other characters. 


Oh, and two thumbs up for the Teen Girl Squad reference. I really love when I get references in books. It makes everything so much better and so much funnier. (That link is there for you to go figure out what in the world Teen Girl Squad so you can get it too.)


Only Baby Ducks left!


--Ashley

Peace ☮

I just finished reading the first third of Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks, and since it is so conveniently divided into thirds, I decided a blog entry would be a good idea. Since I've been failing about writing in the middle of books so far.


(Here's the link to my first post about it: Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks)


The novel focuses on two sisters, Carly (who is a sophomore in high school), and Anna (who is a freshman). The sisters live in the "best" part of Atlanta, and their family is very wealthy. Over the summer, Carly volunteered at a wilderness camp in Tennessee, while Anna stayed at home. During her time away, Carly has become a little rebellious, and doesn't want to continue living her life as if money and wealth and makeup and clothes are the only things that matter. She also discovers that Anna has transformed over the course of six weeks and is now absolutely gorgeous and has sprouted huge boobs.


Since the book is from Carly's viewpoint, a lot of the description of the school (Holy Redeemer), the town, and life in general is very "stick-it-to-the-man." However, Myracle also does a very good job of showing how protective Carly is as an older sister, and how simple things can make her jealous of her younger sister. The emotions are very evident, and you don't have to guess at how Carly is feeling about any given situation. 


Although the sisters are growing up and seem to be growing apart in some aspects, Myracle still paints a picture of two sisters who, although they fight and may not agree about everything, are still always there for each other and who still love each other very much. Whenever Anna is upset or scared at night, she asks to sleep with Carly, or asks Carly to sleep with her. The reassurance of just having her older sister there comforts her and allows her to sleep more soundly when she otherwise couldn't sleep at all. The girls also deal with real-world problems - parents who don't seem to understand anything they're going through or to care about their feelings, boys, failing classes, and other ordinary high school drama.


I am definitely very much enjoying this book, especially since I can definitely relate to some of the things going on (having a younger sister myself). Especially since the younger sister is into the name-brand clothes and the makeup and the tanning and etc, and the older sister isn't really. The author's writing style is also different from any of the other books I've read recently, and it's really refreshing to read a book that happens in the real world to relatable characters. There's no dystopian world, no fear of being consumed by "amor deliria nervosa," no pressing threat of death, and no people living underground. 


I'm pretty excited to read the next section, and actually to finish this book. But I guess I'll have to spend a little more time reading tonight since Paul is so far ahead in his book...




--Ashley

Godspeed!!!



Godspeed is not only the name of the starship in Revis's Across the Universe, but also an accurate descritption of my monthly reading progress this month compared to last.


This is my midway through the book post. I am currently on page 214 of 398.


Continuing reading if you have read up to here:


I am really enjoying this novel. I like the alternating points of view of Amy and Elder. They both are different from everyone else and think differently. The ship itself is well thought out. I'm interested in the Plague. Was it a disease that ravaged the population? Or possibly something more man made? The Eldest system overhaul seems like it was a move to control. Were the people monoethnic before the Plague?


Who is the mysterious killer? Or saboteur? I'm thinking it has something to do with the last Elder. We have no idea how he died or if his death was finite. He may be hidden somewhere. He may have also had followers or reprogrammed the ship to do something at a certain time. I do not like Eldest. I think his intentions are good, but he admires Hitler so that's pretty self explanatory. What's up with Orion? I think I like him, but there's something up there. I had an inkling early on that he is the old Elder, but I don't think that's true. Maybe he was a sympathizer? 


Well, I'm off to continue reading. I may not have work for the rest of the summer...unrealiable mechanics...but it seems I will have plenty of reading time before school starts. If i procrastinate some cleaning and other responsibilities that is.


-PAUL

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paul's August Pick: Across the Universe by Beth Revis





Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Year Published: 2011
Synopsis: "
As the spaceship Godspeed travels toward a new earth, the lives of 100 cryogenically frozen settlers hang in the balance after someone endeavors to quietly murder them. The other passengers aboard the ship have never known life outside its walls and are enslaved by the machinations of Eldest, their tyrannical leader, who divides them into three distinct classes. When Amy, a frozen settler from earth, survives being thawed in a murder attempt, she immediately bonds with Elder, Godspeed's lone teen and future leader. Amy’s individuality, her rebellion, and her fierce desire for freedom, inspire Elder to act on his own doubts and defy Eldest--his mentor and keeper--with shocking results. Eldest’s methods of twisting history and altering the lives of this captive community are a frightening echo of tyrants in our own history, and Across the Universe challenges readers to consider the impact of unchecked power, blind trust, and the ability of one dissenting voice to make a difference."  (Amazon)

Why?: I like spaceships. I like dystopias. I will probably like a dystopia on a spaceship. 



Expectations: I really don't know if this is a dystopian novel or possibly the leader is just very evil. I have heard that this novel is like small town living, but in a huge spaceship. I am interested in the science of it. Why are these people cryogenically  frozen? What do the operators if the the ship do?
Judging a book by its cover: The cover shows a boy and a girl almost touching lips in front of a space scene. Maybe there is some Spiderman-style kissing on this novel. Or many some interesting zero-g encounters.The relationship between the protagonist and Elder will probably be a big part of this novel. What I like even more about the cover is that when I took it off I noticed that it is "reversible". All the folding would be messed up, but there is a complete other image. This is of the blueprints of their ship. It seems the ship may be another major character of this novel.

Here goes Month 2. Hopefully we each get both our books read this month!

-PAUL

Delirium

I pulled an Ashley and completely read this book without posting anything. I feel that it's okay.


So this two books in one month thing didn't quite work out with me. I finished it this past night, so technically in August. Ashley hasn't started Sisters Red yet though, not that that is my fault or anything...shifty eyes. And it's not like she's read a million other books in the mean time. I'm back to work this month, at least for a week or two so my reading should be speedier as long as I have plenty of breaks. Fpr instance, I got off three hours early this morning after reading about 100 pages to finish Delirium. 


Anyway, here is my full review of Delirium by Lauren Oliver:


As a reminder, this was Ashley's pick of July. Here are her posts:
Ashley's Pre-Reading Delirium Post
Ashley's Post-Reading Delirium Post


I didn't do a Pre-Reading Post, but here's a mock-up of what it may have looked like:


Expectations: I thought the idea sounded interesting making love into an illness. I was weary about how lovey dovey it may have been.


Judging a Book by its Cover: I hate the cover! Well, the cover of the actual book, not the book cover. The book cover looks interesting with the face hidden. The actual book has the face in full force on both the front and back. It's awkward to read in public, especially when you work at a macho masculine, spit and cursing kind of job. I would have prefered a blank color with maybe a little indentation on the front.






REVIEW ( finally...this post seems long...)


I wish I would have written a midway post for this book because midway through I was not a big fan. I thought it had a slow progression. The illness seemed a little farfetched. But, thankfully the second half of this book exists! I think I read the last 200 pages or so in two sittings.


I loved the similes and metaphors Oliver used throughout the book. I noticed them more towards the end. I'm not sure if I just was late to catch on to the intricacies of her writing or whether she used these flairs to show Lena's mental progression.  The characters and their relationships seemed very real. I loved the development of the main love story. I am not a big fan of fluffy love interests. I have never read Twilight, but I can imagine I wouldn't enjoy it, from what I've heard. A love connection has to make sense. 


SPOILERS AHEAD


I hope Alex is dead! That may sound bad, but I think it would make a better story. I went to the goodreads site for the sequel, Pandemonium, and all the posts were "OMGZ...Alex CanT be ded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". I think his death would add the the Romeo and Juliet vibe of the story. You can't experience the highs without the lows. Oliver did an amazing job of expolring every aspect of love. Wow, does that sound cheesy/corny or what? By that I mean she did have the Lena-Alex relationship, but she also had the Mother-daughter memories, the best friend love, and Lena's love or nonlove for the rest of her family. 


I liked the world that Oliver created. It wasn't so far-fetched. It had the one alteration of amor deliria nervosa and the world was wrapped around that. Most utopia/dystopia YA books alter the world so much. Lena still worked at a Stop-N-Save (i think that was its name) and there was a realistic class divide between Lena and Hana. Technology hadn't progressed to anything ridiculous. I was unsure about the world politics though. So many utopia/dystopia YA novels take place in one city. I'm sure this will be explanded upon in the sequels because I am interested. Is there still a president of the United States? Do all those in charge go through the procedure too?


In Conclusion, I really enjoyed the book once I got into it. It had similarities to the Uglies series, but had a strong focus on love that stayed throughout the whole book. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.


-PAUL

Monday, August 1, 2011

Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks

Since it's August, that means it's time for a new book that Paul gets to read once I finish! And this month's choice is....



Title: Peace, Love, & Baby Ducks
Author: Lauren Myracle
Year Published: 2009
Synopsis: Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her younger sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved , complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat.

Why?: Honestly, I don't have a really good reason for choosing this book. I needed to find a book that wasn't part of a series to read for this month, and this seemed like a nice book about two sisters growing up, maturing, and probably ending up closer than they've ever been after they drift apart for a while. Plus, it was on sale at Books-A-Million.

Expectations: I don't have any expectations for this book, since I didn't research it at all before I picked it out, and I've never even heard of the author. I'm just hoping for a good story about two sisters in the real world. No dystopian society, no werewolves or vampires, no unicorns and fairies and magic. Just a nice story that could happen to anyone.

Judging a book by its cover: The cover of this novel is very simple - just a white background with the author's name, and a picture of a peace sign, a heart, and some rubber duckies. From just that, it seems like it will be a simple story that somehow has a motif of baby ducks.


Here's hoping that a random bookstore find turns out to be a pretty decent book!

--Ashley

The People of Sparks... are on hold.

I wanted to finish this book before I started my book for August, but I just can't get into it. I'm not even 10 pages into it, and I honestly have no motivation or interest in continuing to read it right now.  The story is very slow, and I feel like all of the characters are ridiculously annoying. 


I mean, I know it's got to be hard for the Emberites to transition from living underground to living above ground, and the people of Sparks are angry because they can barely take care of themselves but they can't just throw these crazy people from underground out to fend for themselves... But I feel like everyone just complains too much. And there's not really any plot. It's definitely not the "riveting sequel" that it claims to be.


So, for the time being, the People of Sparks are being put on the back burner. I'm going to start reading my August book while I try to forget how boring The People of Sparks is so that I can have another book for Paul to read when I see him again in a week or so. 


Stay tuned for more about the People of Sparks! Eventually...




--Ashley