Posts filed under ‘Book Reviews’
I am kind of ashamed to say that this is my first Francesca Lia Block novel. I never got around to reading her acclaimed debut novel, Weetzie Bat (even though I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s). Perhaps I will have to place that on my reading list, now that I have read her latest YA novel, Love in the Time of Global Warming.
First things first- I really thought, because of the title, that the story would be a play on one of my all-time favorite reads, Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Not so. Love in the Time of Global Warming is a post-apocalyptic story based loosely on the Odyssey, a story that most of us had to read while in secondary school. Block shifts away from following that story too closely- her protagonist is a girl named Pen, who is on a journey to locate her family, after an earthquake and tsunami have devastated Los Angeles (and most of the United States, we later find out). There are the usual Odyssey characters- a giant cyclops, a conniving witch, faithful companions on the long journey, even a group of lethargic lotus eaters. I won’t give away any more of the book, but I have to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned. I enjoyed the main character, but was occasionally thrown off by the almost fanciful and romantic nature of Block’s writing style. However, I was pleasantly surprised by an interesting twist of Pen’ s romantic interest’s character, but I won’t say anymore about that. You’ve just got to read this highly entertaining (and rather short!) book about the end of the world – Homer-style.
Celebrated graphic novelist, Gen Lueng Yang, has taken the story of the Boxer Rebellion in China and created two wonderful and heartbreaking novels. Boxers tells the story of a little boy who is mistreated by Western ideology and revolts by later joining the Boxer Rebellion. Saints tells a different story about a little girl who is taken in by kind Christian missionaries and later, she and her faith become targets of the Boxer Rebellion.
Completely engrossing, these two novels are beautifully illustrated and keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.
So…..it’s been a while since the last post. But I am going to make it up to y’all and share some of the BEST new YA lit that I have had the joy to indulge in reading the last few months. I suggest that you read AT LEAST one of these excellent books…if not all!
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE
by Laini Taylor
I never thought that a book with angels and chimera would actually interest me. Thankfully, I put my feelings aside and read this wonderful book (first one in a series!) Karou is a blue-haired art student living in Prague (one of my FAVORITE cities!) who carries a sketch book of hideous creatures. The thing is, these creatures are real…and they are the only family that she has ever known. I won’t give anything else away…you’ll just have to read it yourself!
by China Mieville
This is one INCREDIBLE book. I can’t say it enough! If you can get past the quirky format that China writes in (trust me…you will), this is one book that you MUST read this year. Loosely based on the classic story, Moby-Dick (do they make you read this is school anymore?), but instead of a whale, they are tracking a giant, white mole. Sound crazy? It is..but in a good way. Even if you don’t like science fiction or fantasy, you will like this. I promise.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
by John Green
Could John Green get any better? Yes. Yes he can. This HANDS DOWN is the best book I read all year, and is definitely in my top 10 fave books EVER. Heartbreaking, funny, romantic (did I say heartbreaking?), and completely WONDERFUL. Two terminally ill cancer patients meet and fall in love. Do I need to say more? This is Tom at his finest. I am buying a copy of this for my personal library…and you should too.
THE DROWNED CITIES
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Now that I can say this author’s last name correctly (total FAIL), it’s time to rave about his latest book. This futuristic story is a companion novel to his great book, Shipbreaker (read it if you haven’t already). Cities have crumbled, anarchy is rampant, and child soldiers are the norm. This book is quite violent- some may not have the stomach. I plead with you to get beyond that and indulge in this edge-of-your-couch story about a future world that seems oh so close to home.
THE TALK-FUNNY GIRL
by Roland Merullo
A wonderfully quiet story about a girl that is raised by back-woods parents that isolate themselves so much that they speak in their own hybrid dialect. The title and the cover may not seem exciting, but I have to say, I could not put this book down until the very last page! (Yep. This is a one-sit read.) It feels altogether REAL, like the character of this novel is actually alive and breathing, and that she might give an interview about her harrowing experience on Dateline. READ THIS BOOK. Period.
The Maze Runner is one of those books that I would say that if you have not read it, then you have not lived. Over and over again, I found myself clinging to its story like my life depended on it. I would absolutely and I repeat MOST DEFINITELY recommend it to anyone, whether you read historical fiction or fantasy- sci-fi. I almost guarantee that anyone who reads The Maze Runner will skip their favorite activities to read this book.
Now let me explain a little bit of the plot just in case you don’t believe me…
Thomas is one of many in earth’s newest experiment. Two years ago, a group of boys were sent up into what seemed to be a gigantic maze. Now, two years later, things are gonna change. Thomas is forced into an environment that proves to be the worst place he can think of, not to mention the horrible creatures that screech during the night-time. Surviving his first day wasn’t very easy, and it only gets worse.
A girl is sent up only a day after Thomas is sent up from The Box, where all the new “Gladers” come from. She’s the first ever to arrive in The Glade, but even more terrifying is the message she brings with her…
“Everything is going to change…”
Now he will fight for his life to find not only answers about himself, but about everything his world has become…
Reading this book will completely change your view of whether a book is boring or well written. And, it will most certainly change your attitude about reading. If you love The Maze Runner, be sure to read the sequel, The Scorch Trails. Both books are by James Dashner.