August 18, 2008

P.C. and Kristen Cast: Marked

I've been really busy these last five days and haven't had the time to write about my Early Reviewer book just yet. Luckily I have two days off work now so I may do just that, besides getting in some decent reading time. I did manage to finish a book as I read a few minutes here and there over the last few days.

I'd seen someone reading PC and Kristen Cast's 'House of Night' series over the summer. I was curious about it and mooched the first book from BookMooch later when I got home from my trip. Happily in doing so, I discovered a really nice series.

There was something really different about the main character in Marked than in a lot of books I've read. Zoey Redbird didn't come across as the typical teenager, nor the mature young adult who seems to already be grown up. There is no doubt as to this being a teen's story - there are the typical teenage things thrown in with the mixed theme of vampyres - but Zoey's personality really made this book something more amazing. It isn't that she has humor, but that her own is very unique to any I'd read before. She's a charming character with excellent moral values and a kind nature.

Intro and potenial spoiler.
Zoey may have a friend who K-babbles away while only slightly playing the part of a good friend, but Zoey was still nice to her and never hurt her feelings. Her boyfriend might have been far from the brightest crayon in the box and not an altogether good person, but Zoey was still rather kind. Her mother may have picked an awful "step-loser" to parent alongside her to raise her three children, but her middle child still adored and loved her mother very much. Her grandmother whom she likewise loves so much may be human, but Zoey is close enough to her that their relationship stays strong through this new life change that's taken over Zoey.
End spoiler.

She's admirable for these things and proves to be for more, in the House of Night. Marked is only where the story begins. You can feel there is much more to come and that much is on the brink of rising. Never have I picked up the rest of the books in a series on one bookshopping trip*, but that is what I am going to do with this series. I can't wait to read the other books and am excited about the newest release coming up next month. I found this series just in time to enjoy the excitement of a newly published book.

August 15, 2008

Ann Rinaldi: A Break with Charity

This story is a Young Adult novel about the Salem Witch trials. Someone recommended it to me last year after I read a short nonfiction book on the subject and had said I'd like to read more about it. This was a really wonderful recommendation and I'm sorry it took me so long to read it.

This is a great book and provides the reader with an idea as to what could have happened during those terrible times using Susanna English as the main character of the story. The author sets you straight on what was fact from what was fiction in the Author's Note after the end of the story.

I had already studied this subject lightly in a college U.S. Women's History class but this book opened my eyes and let me see a new perspective about some of the people I had learned about in my class, such as Tituba. This book also gave me a closer perspective of what life may have been like not only during the life of one of my favorite poets, but also for her as well as she was also a Puritan. This poet is Anne Bradstreet, the first American poet.

August 14, 2008

Sean Stewart: Cathy's Book: If Found Call 650-266-8233

You can really tell right away that a lot of effort and hard work went into this small book before you even begin reading. The front cover provides a phone number. Curious? Call it! It's a real number, (though long distance, so make sure you're covered for that) with an actual message on it from the main character herself. You can find two other phone numbers in this book as well. If you flip the front cover of the hardback edition, there are all kinds of little things in a plastic envelope, clues left by Cathy for Emma.

Unfortunately, these things and the phone numbers were the best feature. I'll say this. Cathy needs a hobby . . . and maybe to work on a few more things. I think I'll give it 2.5 stars, 3 to be nice. The adventures continue. I'm not going to pick up the second book, but that's simply me. Others may certainly enjoy this book better. One of my sisters is putting it to the test right now.

August 13, 2008

Ellen Wittlinger: Hard Love

This one needed kleenex. John doesn't have much of anyone in his life before he discovers and becomes friends with Marisol. I can truely see how, with so little having much meaning to him in his life, Marisol came to mean so very much to him. When there is no one else and nothing else to look forward to, one may race with glee to communicate with merely one person because their world is so empty. It puts a big smile on their face and everything is good, or in John's case, at least for the moment. Sadly, these people come to mean just too much sometimes. This is hard love. Good read.

August 12, 2008

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series

Yes, I read the series yet again. I did this in order to be better prepared for the release of the fourth and advertised last book in the series, Breaking Dawn. It also probably helped me that while I became more anxious to read the new book during the final week before it's release that I was buried in this series. Second thought, maybe it made it worse. No matter. I was ready for it.

For those who've never read the series, I'll soon advise you to stop in your tracks. First however, I'll link you to my first blog entry on the series. If you'd like, you may scroll down on this next link to read my review of the first book, Twilight. Be weary of the newest review and scroll down quickly so you may avoid my review for the latest book in the series.

In case the non-Twilight readers haven't disappeared yet...Movie poster!

Honestly, I will keep this spoiler free.

Twilight was a little hard to get into after having read it so many times in one year (four times!), but I still really enjoyed it. The movie is due in theaters December 12th of this year, though I will not be rereading it a third time for the year 2008. I will simply have to rely on memory. I think I'm set. Anyhow, this will allow me to enjoy the movie better since there's bound to be differences. I try to always judge books and their movies separately and can then enjoy them much better this way.

I was actually rereading New Moon when I left on my trip in May, but was forced to leave it at home. After coming back from a six week trip and so close to August, I knew I would just let it sit to read once more from the start of it as I did.
This book had always been my least favorite of this series. Rereading it this time, I found I liked it loads better. It always helps to be in a different place in your life when you read a book over again if you didn't agree with it so much the first (or even second) time around. I truly loved it!

Eclipse was amazing as always. I had seriously worried if I would finish in time and actually hadn't before I left for my midnight release party. However, as I showed up five hours before the clock would strike twelve, I sat down with a store copy and began to read from where I'd left off. The book was completed with lots of time to spare!

And now for the book so many people were dying to read, Breaking Dawn! Since it's still early since the release of this book, I'll again not spoil here. I will, however, refer you to my Breaking Dawn book review, which is also mostly spoiler free.

It would be interesting if Meyer chooses to branch off parts of this series into series of their own. Otherwise, it seems all there is left of it is simply her book in progress, Midnight Sun, Twilight from Edward's point of view. If it's the last of the series or not, it was still immensely enjoyed and loved by many. The story is now complete.

August 7, 2008

My TBR pile

My to be read pile increased by another two books today and this is why one of my sisters says I can't buy any more books. (I told her I get some for free. Heehee.)

August 6, 2008

Dianne Wynne Jones: Howl's Moving Castle

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I bought this book. A lot of friends had been praising it and I became curious about it. While I was otherwise occupied reading other books, it sat on my shelf along with my many other TBR books (standing at 117 right now) where I soon forgot it. When I was visiting friends on my trip, a couple of them talked to me about this book. It soon got so I was very eager to read it once I got back. I felt tortured by all the time that had to pass before I would be able to get to it. Happily, I began reading it the day I got home, nevermind the huge events of that weekend.

I loved this book! It went with me everywhere. I was teased for carrying a book in my purse and had to remind people this is what I always do. I was so busy that I'd take it out for hardly a minute before I would have to put it aside, but soon enough I could read for long amounts of time and that's when I could really enjoy it.

There were a few things in this book I thought I saw coming though it also held surprises. From page one, it's let on to the reader as though the first born child in a family never stands a chance and that the chance at happiness and a successful life come strongest to the child who is the last born. I wasn't quite sure if this was simply Sophie's belief, or a general opinion where the book takes place. Either way, I was upset for Sophie, the first born of three daughters, for not seeing that she could have more. She seemed happy enough with her small life, however, and probably would have kept living that way. Except! I won't give spoilers, but clearly a book has to change. Joseph Campbell says there is always the call to adventure, be it forced or otherwise. I was very happy with the ending and would read this book again. I want to continue the series and am going to just as soon as I can manage to get copies of the other books. I can't wait to read them!

(No counter because I have six more books to write about that I've read since this one. I'm getting one entry done a day, though the next four will be grouped in one entry.)

August 5, 2008

Reading on Vacation

As I kept in mind how much I would have to catch up on here, I avoided coming here despite how long it's been since I came back home. The plan had been to enter all the books I read during my trip in one post, which I am doing now.

First up, C.S. Lewis's Prince Caspian. Can you guess what movie I went to go see while away from home? One guess is all you'll get.

I dug myself into Scott Westerfield's Uglies series while I had the chance while a couple of the books were available to me. These were the second and third books in the series, Pretties and Specials. I did not find these books all that special. Rather, I liked the first one a great amount more. There's still another in the series I've as of yet to read. Having gone this far in the series, I suppose I'll read it. The books have lost the meaning and messages that I had at first thought mean to much, however. I expect not much pleasure in whatever books come to follow.

Next, a map in the form of a book. I'm serious about this, though. If you're ever wandering around Manhattan, NY as a visitor or tourist, Michael Middleditch's The New York Mapguide, 5th edition really helped me out! I'd have been lost without it, and I really was.

More of Rachel Caine's vampire series. I read book three, Midnight Alley and hoped to pick up the latest, Feast of Fools, but never got the chance to read that one. Another time.

Kleenex time! This next book wasn't like the others. It was very deep and touching. Ginny Rorby's Hurt Go Happy was truely amazing and well written. It brought back some very painful memories to me but it takes a really good book to have someone cry as much as I did when I read it. I'm afraid I can't say much as to the tears without spoiling. I'm definitely going to pick up my own copy someday.

Sort of last but not quite least, Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. I then jumped into her sequel, Ink Exchange, but time ran out on me. Rather than spending the last day of my trip on a book, I closed it for when I will read it over and finish it someday.

That's it for six weeks of vacation time.