Archive | October 2012

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Well I was strolling through the library’s ebook collection on OverDrive, and I’m running out of things I want to read on there I think. I have yet to read a Nicholas Sparks book because I have to be in the mood for something that sappy I think. So alas the time came when I thought I’d give it a try.

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Summary: This story centers around Ronnie, a teenager (who in all summaries they call rebellious— I wouldn’t call her that, I’d say she’s pretty normal for a teen that’s just mad at her family), who has to stay for the summer with her father on the beach in North Carolina. Most kids may like this kind of a getaway. Who doesn’t want to spend the summer right on the beach? Except Ronnie is horribly mad at her father for leaving them and splitting up the family. The story moves through her time on this summer getaway and follows her as she gets in trouble with the law, monitors sea turtles, falls in love, and grows closer and closer with her father.

Review: I think reading this book came at a good time for me—- or at a bad time, whichever way you look at it. I had a lot going on in my personal life and was pretty emotional. Needless to say, as I’ve heard of most Nicholas Sparks books, this was a tearjerker. The entire last quarter of the book I was on and off in tears. It was really a good book. When I mentioned I was reading this book to friends, they all said “Ooh a sappy romance!” Yes, the book is about a teenage romance, and we all can relate to that in one way or another. But it was the family dynamics and the home life that really got to me and made me really like this book. Steve is a wonderful father, a kind of father I definitely wish I had (no I’m not dissing my father, I grew up sans one is all). He makes the most of this summer with the kids, and it’s a wonderful journey.

Unlike the last book I read I really believed all these characters. Each chapter was from a different perspective and Sparks does a good job in changing the voice of each of the characters, I believed them all— even the psychopath Marcus. I do think I’ll check out more Sparks books now— only if I’m in the mood to cry though!

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls: Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Well following my YA trend recently I decided to check out this well rated series. This was my first audiobook ever! I actually enjoyed it I have to admit. I began listening to this book while undergoing a root canal— it definitely was nice to distract me from the 1.5 hours I was in that chair! Overall I’d say the book was alright. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it either. I will be reading or listening (whichever copies become available first!) to the next book in the series at the very least.

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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, courtesy of Scholastic

Summary: Grace, a 17 year old girl with a neglected home-life, is entranced by the wolves that live in the woods behind her house. The story begins when Grace was attacked by these wolves, but was saved by a yellow-eyed wolf she immediately is taken with. Years go by and this wolf and her remain interested in one another, this is putting it lightly. Little does Grace know, these wolves are actually werewolves. After a series of events Grace and the yellow-eyed wolf, Sam, meet and fall deeply in love. This is the story of their fight to keep their life together as long as possible.

Review: I think my biggest issue with the book is the overuse of purple prose. It was very flowery and a lot of the dialog did not seem fitting for either Grace nor Sam. When I’m reading a book with a lot of dialog or internal narration I want to believe these characters are actually saying/thinking these things, not an outside writer. Other than that I did enjoy the overall story. I admit, I’m a bit of a sap lately. But goodness gracious Sam’s song and bits and pieces of lyrics were horrible. Keep you day job kiddo, you’re no musician haha. Anyways, like I said I did like the book alright. This is a good book for mature teens (as their is quite a bit of sexual tension in the book— but nothing too outright), and fans of this type of fantasy romance genre.

My Oh My— A Trip the the Dentist

Ok so this is totally unrelated to any books or schooling but I thought I’d share. So I’m one of those typical young adults who refuses to go in for medical/dental because of lack of insurance. My latest excuse is hopefully sometime soon I’ll be getting a full-time position with a library where I’ll finally get insurance— but that’s still a ways off I guess. 

In the past couple weeks I’ve had some facial pain followed by a sharp tooth sensitivity to cold. Finally I bit the bullet (my boss says it’s probably not so good to go around biting bullets when your teeth hurt :-p) and went in the dentist. Well I guess it’s a good thing, my pain would only get worse. I have to have a root canal tomorrow, followed by a tooth build up & crown. $2400 later… *sigh* why oh why couldn’t I be working for a library (in more than my on call position) yet? Oh well, life happens! 

Going in at 8am for this root canal… wish me luck. On the flip side I think I’m finally going to check out an audiobook. I’m not the biggest fan of the idea because my brain is really hard to keep focused unless I can be reading something along side it. I get highly distracted. I think I’m going to try and listen to the audiobook throughout the procedure and force myself to focus on the book, as I’d rather not focus on anything else! I’ll share my experiences on that at least—- see I connected it back around to books. Yay. 

-Danielle

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I’m not sure where I first heard about this book, but I saw it on the ebooks list through my library and immediately knew I had to put this on hold. I then, while doing a bit of work in the YA section at my library, stumbled upon the hardback copy at the library and skimmed through. You can’t help but notice the photographs while flipping through the pages. Boy oh boy were these photos creepy. It intrigued me more.

Image

So my time came when my hold was available and I began to read the book. I was hooked. If it weren’t for being busy with grad school, I would’ve had this book done in a day. I finished the book last night and I loved it. 5 star book I say. 

First note, when reading the book really look at those photos. The shame of the ebook version was the poor quality of the photos. I’m going to get the physical version just to look at those again. The photos are real! I didn’t realize this at the time, but the end of the book gives thanks to the collectors who lent these photos for use in the book. Really cool.

Anyways it’s hard to review this book without giving away any spoilers, but I’ll do my best. The book is very eerie and intriguing. It follows the main character, Jacob, and his relationship with his grandfather— and beyond. Abe, Jacob’s grandfather, was one of those grand old storytellers. He filled Jacob’s head with all sorts of stories of children with many oddities. To top it off he had photographs to show Jacob.

The premise was that Abe lived with these children after escaping Nazis (he was a Jewish boy and his family sent him away to an orphanage). Abe also explained the horrible monsters he was always afraid of. Jacob soon began to dismiss these fairy tales— but after some horrible turn events Jacob is on a mission to understand these stories his grandfather told. It brings him back to the origin, the house for the children that Abe grew up in. That’s all I’ll say about the plot. But it’s terribly exciting and keeps readers on the edge of their seats. I can’t wait for more. 

I think this book can appeal to all: the mystery and fantasy of the book is fascinating, and the suspense can be exciting for adults, teens or children. I can see kids or teens relating to the feeling of being singled out and not belonging. The need for a “community” of their own— friends & family is important. It’s also just plain ol’ fun!

MIA status

Wow. I can’t believe I had neglected my review for so long. Life catches up with us sometimes. I enjoyed the rest of my summer off (other than work of course) then hit the books (textbooks that is) and ran with the new semester. In the middle of all this I’ve been nursing my puppy, Sophia, back to health after getting her hip surgery. It’s been 4 weeks now and she thinks she’s back to normal— which makes it supremely tough because she’s just not there yet. Vet appointment tomorrow for an X-ray of her hip. *crosses fingers* I sure hope the bones are healing well! That brat has done just about everything she wasn’t supposed to be doing: jumping, running, escaping from kennel and pen whenever possible, etc.

I thought about this blog just recently because I wanted to take a Readers’ Advisory course next semester and part of the class would be creating a database of nearly 40 books in the semester. As much as I’d like to take the class I think I need to take something else to better serve my Core Competencies. Boo! But I’ll be buying some (more—as I own the historical fiction one already) of the Genreflecting books and some others the Prof. has assigned for “textbooks.” I love teaching myself anyways. Besides, the basis relies on creating and keeping up with good reviews of books so that we can look back and access these.

So here I am. I need to go back and look at the books I’ve read in the past few months. I don’t think I’ll be reviewing them all. But I will make a conscious effort to keep this up better.

-Danielle