Archive for July, 2010

Pardon the Interruption

Hello again, all. I just wanted to come on here and explain my absence. I am enrolled in summer classes at the college, and we are at the end of the term. You know what that means? Finals. Or in my case, projects due. So that is why it is taking me so long to read Halo. But rest assured, I will have up a review this week. It might not necessarily be of Halo, but one will be posted. So forgive the interruption, but I need to pass my classes. Thanks for understanding.

And if you’ve been paying close attention, you know that I am doing a giveaway soon. It hasn’t started yet, but I believe I can safely announce the prize. Will that get you to forgive my sin of not posting? It should, because the prize is….

an ARC of Ally Condie’s Matched. Stay tuned for more information.

Until then.


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Two weeks ago, the network site Page to Premiere was taking applications for reporters for books becoming movies. The day of the deadline at 11:15 or so PM, I decided to apply. The owner of the site, Kimmy West, graciously took me on. The only problem was, there wasn’t a book I had read that needed a reporter. So I said, “Well what books need reporting on?” and she replied “I have someone for all of them but Beautiful Creatures.” And that did it. I became the Page to Premiere reporter for all things Beautiful Creatures movie. So, of course, I immediately ordered the book and (im)patiently waited for it. Well now that I have finished it (in 3 days, reading only before bed/instead of sleeping), I’m going to make a statement right now that might catch you off guard. This is your warning, prepare yourself.

Beautiful Creatures is my favorite book.

Do you know what that means? That means that this book beat out Harry Potter, Looking for Alaska, and The Hunger Games. I didn’t think it was possible, but it happened. This books is nine kinds of amazing. No really… fine, here they are.

1) It’s Southern. Hello? I’m from Alabama. A = Of.

2) Best supporting cast ever. Macon and Amma made the book for me.

3) The girl is the supernatural one, not the guy. Sorry Eddie-puss.

4) It is the most truthful showing of what it is like to go to high school in a small town in the South that I have ever read (and living in the South, you get that a lot).

5) The allusions to To Kill A Mockingbird (by Harper Lee).

6) The romance between Lena and Ethan, how all supernatural romances (and regular ones, too.) should be.

7) Awesome librarian character? Yes, please.

8 ) The magic. Effortless, no wands, no studying.

9) The writing. It was exquisite. It was well-written and engaging and near-impossible to put down.

The worst part about the book: it ends. If I could just always have the next part of the story on hand, I think I would be supremely happy. This is the kind of book where you finish it and immediately hand it to the closest person so they can read it. Go buy this book. And buy an extra so your friend doesn’t have to wait. You know what, get as many as you can. You’re going to want them. The hardest thing about reading this book was not talking about it while I wasn’t reading it. I am glad that the sequel Beautiful Darkness comes out in a mere 88 days. Write that on your hand so you don’t forget.

In keeping with the story, I, a mere mortal, am giving Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl a happysad-contentwanting-darklight five half moons out of five.

This is where I usually say what book I will do next, and I will, but first I want to clarify some things. It has been a while between my last review and this one. And it isn’t because I haven’t been reading. I’ve started 2 other books in between these, but didn’t like them. I won’t be reviewing books I don’t like. Which means you’ll never see anything less than a two out of five on here. Yes, rating bad books would give me more range and make me seem less partial, but I’m not doing it. Every author deserves to have their book read, and I won’t be the reason someone decides not to read a book. So my ratings go from two to five. Two means the story is okay, but there were flaws in the writing style, inconsistencies, etc. Three means it is a good read, and if it’s your style of book you would like it. Four means it’s a very good read for most people, recommended. Five means this book is a must read, not in the you have to read it way, but in the you should want to read this no matter what because it is that good. So I hope that clarifies things. My tentative next review is of Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, which comes out this September. Until then, keep your countdown going, 88 days and less.

Sidenote: At some point I will be doing a giveaway. You know, once I figure out how. So, heads up.

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I was lucky enough to come by an ARC of Ally Condie’s Matched which I previewed earlier. This book doesn’t come out until November 30th, so my delight at getting to read it now, four months early, was horribly obvious. In my preview of Matched earlier, I told you that this was supposed to be the “next big thing in YA,” well I am here to tell you that it is true. This will be the next big thing in YA.

Ally Condie is one of the most gifted writers I have ever read. She has a mastery of metaphor that I am not sure is matched (pun not quite intended) by any other living author. I was actually writing down lines of this book because they were so strong, so moving, and so true. This was one of those books that you pick up and read a while, then look up for whatever reason and it has been four hours and you missed your haircut appointment and you haven’t eaten all day and you really, really have to pee. I found myself awake at 3 a.m. when I had intended to go to bed at 11 p.m. I was playing the game of “one more chapter” without even knowing it. Time well spent, well worth being a zombie all the next day.

The book is made up of two parts in my mind: the world plot and the character plot. The world plot is probably my second favorite I’ve read (behind Hunger Games, above Uglies). It was immersive. She gave so much detail into every aspect of the world that you could see it, you could feel it. When things happened in the world, you cared. It bothered you. It’s the mustard seed of truth that the world is built around that makes you believe this future world is possible, maybe even probable. The character plot was generally amazing. As a male, I truly appreciate how Ally wrote the romance in this book. It had all the romance and love expected without all the gratuitous scenes describing rippling muscles and sinewy backs. She managed to make you care about the characters without making you want them. If you asked me to tell you what any character looked like, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I know Xander has blue eyes and Ky has supposedly blue eyes and black hair. That’s it. That’s all I know about their looks because, and here’s a shocker, looks don’t matter.

If the sequel to Matched isn’t already being written I will be extremely sad, because that just adds time onto when I get to continue the story. (Yes, it’s set up for a sequel, and I’m pretty sure it’s a trilogy.) I expect that the second book will be even better than the first. While expectations like these are usually ill-fated, in this case, I don’t think so. Mark my words; the sequel will be even better. Pre-order Matched right now. You really are going to want this. Although, if you wait and not get it now, the wait for the second book will be less torturously long, but who wants to do that? November 30, write it down.

In keeping with the story, I am giving Ally Condie’s Matched a wish-I-had-a-bigger-scale five blue tablets out of five.

Hopefully, that will tithe you over until November!

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I’ll admit it, I saw the movie before I’d ever heard of the book. It’s best we get that out of the way immediately. I watched it because I’m one of those good boyfriends who watches chick flicks and uses his girlfriend as an excuse when really it’s because the movies are good. True story. But anyway, after watching the movie, I don’t remember who, but someone said i just HAAAAD to read the book. So we bought the book, Amy or myself, it’s hard to tell who nowadays. She read it first of course, and then she said i just HAAAAAD to read the book. So I, being the good excuse-using boyfriend I am, read the book.

I’ll start off by saying that if you saw the movie, you have to read the book. The book is infinitely better than the movie. Partly because of time constraints and partly because of changes made in the movie to ease the process of creating it. This story says a lot about relationships and loss and how you can lose someone without them ever being gone. It tells of love that defeats, love that is envied, love that is tested. It truly is a very good read.

I may like it most because of how human the characters are. Henry, the male lead, is a real prick, but in the good way. Clare, the female lead, is a living, breathing contradiction of herself and everyone else around her. Gomez, my least favorite character, is the only one I can’t say anything good about, because he was that well written. He played his role so well I refuse to say something good about him.

The plot obviously follows the wife of the time traveler. What you don’t infer from the title is that the book is written in both hers (Clare’s) and his (Henry’s) perspective. The two-POV narrative style gives the story a whole new dimension. You may learn something about Henry and get to watch as Clare discovers it. Or you may learn something about Clare and listen as she reveals it to Henry. It gives you a good hard look into the inner workings of a working relationship. The time traveling is almost a sub-plot. The main plot, as I observe it of course, is the story of the relationship between the time traveling Henry and his eccentric, artistic wife Clare. It goes from the  beginning (in a library for Henry and in a field ten years earlier for Clare) to the very end. I won’t ruin the ending, don’t worry. If you’re a fan of romance novels, or Nicholas Sparks’s love stories that aren’t romance novels, this should be high up on your To Be Read list. If not, throw it somewhere in the middle. Be warned though, the book is much darker than the movie. Don’t expect the same level of family-friendliness.

In keeping with the book, I’m giving it three violins out of five.

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