08.19.10

Meow by Bridget

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:54 pm by Bridget

images.cgiOne more book rec on the supernatural spectrolitaritrum and then I will switch to something realistic-ish for a change, but I have to mention White Cat by the super awesome Holly Black because it haunted me, wiggling its way into my psyche and FORCING me to read it! It’s compelling. But dark, v. v. dark. And I’m pretty sure I have experienced the bizarre blowback sensation she describes when you aren’t sure which body parts are which and if they are quite in the right places and numbers. Not due to anything as exciting as magic or curses though. Sadly. Unless my oncologist is using secret tricks on me I don’t know about.

I read White Cat on the beach so I wanted to mention it before summer is over and the beach is cold. Of course, if your beach is the Oregon Coast or icy old Lake Michigan, it’s probably already cold and might require a sweater or two. Not that White Cat is particularly beachy in any way, but I read it there so you might want to too.

It’s about grifters, con-artists, magic, crime and getting kicked out of boarding school. Like The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks meets, um, I don’t know… something scary with possible mob connections?

Bridget

08.15.10

Evanston and Authenticity, an Update

Posted in Favorite Books, Geography at 3:25 pm by Janet

Now that we’ve had a book discussion at the library about Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I can report on the reactions of some actual teen readers. First of all, this group of girls really liked the book. They definitely preferred Will Grayson to grumpy will grayson. They thought Jane was awesome. They liked Tiny but found him a little over the top. Some of them even said the book made them want to join their school’s Gay-Straight alliance.

Since the issue of geographical/Evanston/Chicagoland authenticity was stuck in my craw, I brought it up to the group. The kids told me that it was important to them that geographical details ring true–they make the book seem authentic and grounded. They said the Chicago stuff seemed real, for the most part. Some of them wanted to figure out if Frenchy’s really does exist and where exactly it is (!). Then I asked them about Evanston’s high school. They were all pretty much convinced that the events in the book could not have taken place at ETHS because it’s full of gangsters and thugs. Now, it should be stated that ETHS and their high school are rivals, and that as a result certain stereotypes about ETHS may exist in their minds. I have to take their comments with a grain of salt. I’m still waiting to hear from someone who actually did go to ETHS to get a second opinion on that one. Bottom line, geographical authenticity does matter to teen readers (at least on Chicago’s North Shore). Writers, keep doing your homework.

A last word: although ETHS’s mascot really is Willy the Wildkit, there are no murals at ETHS, the girls in my group reported. So here’s my virtual mural:

wildkits

wildkits

08.12.10

Supernatural Summer Reads by Bridget

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:01 pm by Bridget

I’ve got a couple of book recommendations on opposite ends of the paranormal/supernatural spectrum.

Aries_Rising

Aries Rising by Bonnie Hearn Hill is sort of a supernatural light book–if you like books with just a touch of mysticism but aren’t interested in all-out paranormal, this is the book for you! The story is all intertwined with astrology tidbits and very fun–a nice summer read. Janet kindly shared her copy that she picked up at PLA which is great because sadly Multnomah County Library doesn’t have a copy in the system so if you live in Portland and are interested, you’re going to have to buy it. It looks like the second book Taurus Eyes is out already, so if you like it, you can keep going!

On the other end of the spectrum is Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is paranormal and a bit dark (there are lots of knives and swords and things). Yet also funny and addictive with hot guys. Suzanne Young recommended it on her blog and has all sorts of gushy interesting things to say about it (thanks Suzanne!). So click through to her site to hear more about it. This book also has a sequel out The Demon’s Covenant which you will most likely want to pick up when you get hooked on the first one.

Enjoy!

Bridget

07.15.10

Skinny Jeans and Eclipse, THE MOVIE by Bridget

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:26 pm by Bridget

humptydI am not a fan of the skinny jean. The skinny jean was a look made popular by that inimitable fashion icon Humpty Dumpty. He was one of the first to put together (possibly with the help of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men) the black magic and physics involved in the skinny jean. Only through much struggle were they able to create a pant that gives a person such a dramatic tiny-legged, ginormous arse look.

Elipse, the movie, was rampant with skinny jeans. Bella’s pants were an unpleasant distraction from the otherwise visually stunning movie filled with lots of guys without shirts on.

Other than the distraction of the pants, I quite liked Eclipse, the Movie. There was plenty of action, and, of course, all of those guys without shirts  on. They even strayed from the Bella Would Do Anything for Love storyline and put in a few bits about independence and how she wants to be changed for her and not for Edward.

My favorite parts of the movie were the snatches of humor that popped up now and then.

Random bits quoted from memory, not verbatim, in no particular older  –

“Where I’m from getting married is how you say, ‘I love you.’” “Where I’m from, getting married at my age is how you say, ‘I got knocked up.’” (Edward to Bella, Bella to Edward)

“Doesn’t he own any shirts?” (Edward about Jacob)

“You know I’m hotter than you.” (Jacob to Edward)

“I’m starting to like him better now.” (Bella’s dad after she’s informed him that Edward is “Old School” and that she’s a virgin)

Also, pretty much anything the dad says or does had me laughing.

I thought these little chunklets of funny broke up the trauma-drama nicely.

Has anyone else seen the movie?

Bridget

photo taken by nellyfus

06.23.10

Ever Feel Like You’ve Been Cheated?

Posted in Complaining, Random at 7:39 am by Janet

My dog is out of town this week, visiting his doting grandparents, so I have time for one more blog entry. This one is a desperate plea to writers, publishers, and editors: please, for God’s sake, stop publishing series books that don’t stand alone. A case in point: I just read The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood. This book, about a young governess caring for children who have been raised by wolves, has been getting great reviews, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent reading it. But when it was over, I felt cheated. Empty. Fooled. Why? Practically nothing gets resolved. We don’t know where the children came from. We don’t know who their parents are. We don’t know who released the squirrel in the party. We don’t know what Lord Frederick is up to. We don’t know what Old Timothy’s deal is. At this point, we have way more questions than answers. Where’s the payoff? This book is one long exposition. Exposition is appropriate for the first book in a series; however, you need some resolution mixed in with all that exposition. I feel like I’m being forced into reading the next books.

Take a great series like Harry Potter. Every book has its own plot and set of challenges, and most of those issues get resolved by the end of the book. But a few niggling questions remain, and the series plot arch continues. You’re left pining for the next book. A good series should make you want to read the next book, not make you feel duped.

I fear this is a growing phenomenon. I read The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink, and was left with the same empty feeling–very little was resolved. I’m so annoyed that now I refuse to read the rest of the series. What’s going on here? Did the author mean this to be a single book, and then the publisher decided to extend that single book into a series? Couldn’t the author just write a second book? Series are great, but not every book needs to be part of one. Sometimes it’s better to tie up all the loose ends in one fell swoop.

Please, writers and editors, throw us readers a bone and publish more books that are self-contained.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »