Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Reviews

Here is a list of books I have read recently and my thoughts on them.

The first set of books is my crush on Young Adult Fiction. Specifically the fantasy/sci-fi genre.

City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare

This book was suggested by a student who I tutored who loved them and said it was the best series he had read in a while. When I first started reading this book my thought was "Eh. Do I really want to have to immerse myself in a new author's world of all things mystical?" My answer after reading the book. "Meh". I would give it an S for satisfactory rating. The romance story within the book is compelling enough but there is a twist at the end that I guess doesn't resolve itself until like the 3rd or 4th book? And that my friend is a lot of reading. I looked up the spoiler and haven't decided if it was worth it to read 1,500 more pages to get there. Although I have heard the second book is better. If you are going to read this series just be prepared for a new world of vampires, werewolves, spells etc. And to kind of feel like a nerd.

Author: Ally Condie

This book was suggested by my friend Erica on her blog. I feel like the author did a good job of keeping to the point and keeping me interested without being too wordy and descriptive. It was a pretty quick read but was very reminiscent of "The Giver" by Lois Lowery. I think it is difficult to come up with a new concept of a dystopic society without repeating some similar ideas from other books. For example this book has certain responsibilities coming at certain ages, jobs being assigned by ability, and a predetermined death date for those aging so they can die with dignity. It was very similar to "The Giver" but with a romance story intertwined. Hence the name matched. This story focuses on how the main character is matched with her perfect mate and the ceremony and rituals surrounding that. I think the second book is slated for November 1st and I will definitely pick it up. It will be interesting to see what happens. She did a good job of leaving it open for the next book and I am assuming there are many more layers to the society they live in.

The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner

Our school nurse suggested this book to me. It is about a group of boys who lose all of their memories and wake up traveling in an elevator that opens to a giant maze. There is a group of 50 or so boys ages 12-18 stuck in the maze trying each day to find a way out. The walls move every night and so it is a harder task then it would seem. Shortly after the main character arrives in the maze a girl arrives in the elevator, the first to enter the maze. This was another adventure story with a romantic story line. It was pretty good. I enjoyed the author's creative setting. He did a good job a setting the scene without being annoyingly descriptive. I give it an S+.

Not trying to be Debbie Downer about the last three books but I have to say that once you have read "The Hunger Game" series, "Twilight" series and/or "Harry Potter" series then the this genre is kind of destroyed for you. A book has to really have good character development and a compelling story to compete. Thus my satisfactory ratings. They are all series books and I like them enough to give the second book a try but beyond that...well we'll just have to see.

The next few I have read in the last week or so. Apparently I switch from the above books to memoirs? I didn't do it on purpose but it's kind of how it worked out.

I'm Down Author Mishna Wolff

I LOVED this book. I will warn you there is a fair amount of swearing so those faint of heart, you were warned. The story is about Mishna, a girl born to a white, hippie mom and dad until the dad resorts to his roots and the parents divorce. She then grows up living with her dad who has turned back into what he was in high school, a white home-boy. It goes through her life trying to fit in with the "sistas" even though she has no rhythm or natural swagger. She does a really good job of telling the story from an appropriate perspective for the age she is at the time in the story and its awesome to see her perception of her dad grow over time. It is hilarious and awkward and I loved it. I give it an O for outstanding.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Author Amy Chua

This book was very entertaining. The mom is intense but I didn't judge her for it. She works really hard to help her girls become something amazing. And yeah, she kind of yells at them to get them there but overall the end results are pretty impressive. I give this book another O for outstanding. Great book and I got tired just by reading all the mom did. I really don't know how she had hours in the day to do it.

Books in cue- "The Glass Castle" to finish out my memoir list, "A Reliable Wife", "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", and "Royal Panoply". I will report back.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

I'm not really one to give book suggestions (and I had to google what a memoir is) but if you get a chance you should read possum living. Here is a description from google cuz I'm lazy: In the late seventies, at the age of eighteen, and with a seventh grade education, Dolly Freed wrote Possum Living about the five years she and her father lived off the land on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia.

And it made me cry.

I may check out I'm Down if I ever happen upon it in a dark shelf at the airport... I can't promise anything tho.