Saturday, March 28, 2015
I struggle a lot with what to say about this book. Bear with me.
The story is so simple, complicated, convoluted, and mildly obnoxious for how deep it strives to be, yet doesn't quite achieve it's intention (maybe, boo).
An amazon summary, "Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this genre-defying masterpiece from storytelling maestro Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, ECHO pushes the boundaries of genre and form, and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories. The result is an impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Ultimately, this book is about a harmonica.
There, I said it.
This freaking, kind of off the beaten path, is about a harmonica.
This harmonica tends to travel between different young people at pivotal, and often politically charged moments of their life. It strives to create a snapshot into history in a very relatable way.
So there's changing narrators that all face different hardships, and as a kind of solace, they find comfort in the same harmonica they have all mysteriously come into contact with.
Like, I get what the book was probably going for; maybe something along the lines of every person's story is interconnected in this big strange world, but the stories didn't connect quite well enough or fully resolved enough for me.
I kind of felt like the book was a borderline "required reading book" with the level of mystery that surrounded it since there was so much to digest between it's pages.
But really, I just struggle so much with what to say about this. I liked the different themes and stories within the book, but I kind of wish I had been able to read each narrator's story as it's own separate book. What we get to see within the book is only a snippet of their story, and they were interesting stories.
I'm just hung up on the harmonica.
Friday, March 27, 2015
....I'm pretty much in love with Gail Carriger's writing. No further comments.
I've previously read & blogged about these books by Carriger:
THE PARASOL PROTECTORATE
CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES
ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE
WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY
This is the first book of The Custard Protocol series, which is the spin off series of The Parasol Protectorate series.
This is a book geared towards adults, I usually read young adult books....so the heads up feels justified.
so here's an amazon summary, "When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama ("Rue" to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do -- she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India.
Prudence has grown up and is ready for her own adventures. Raised in Lord Akeldama's lovely household with all of his dandies.
She's been slightly trained in art of espionage and she's bored at high society events. Prudence is ready to take on something a little more challenging...
With an assignment from Dama (Lord Akeldama), Prudence is off in a dirigible named The Spotted Custard that also looks like a giant lady bug.
This book is full of the same great humor, penchant for particular fashion, and interesting supernatural instances.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Today's news title is brought to you by Fall Out Boy: FOURTH OF JULY. ENJOY!
Where did you go?!
...I've been around. I'm still reading, I just haven't had much patience to sit at my computer and blog.
What does that mean?!
I'll start posting short & sweet blog posts of the 11 or so books I've read but have been silent about. They're going to be back posts but new to the blog? You're news updates/feeds/whatevers might get a little crazy. Heads up - not an apology. ;)
....I guess this is good.
Yes. Yes it is good.
Are you going to leave us again?!
Maybe? Who knows!?
I enjoy blogging, especially because it helps me keep track of books I'm on the look out for sequels to....although I still derp out about that sometimes. Hmm. Meh.
I'll probably be around, but I'm probably going to stick with shorter blog posts for a bit.
If I get less exhausted by the process....I'll probably write more blog posts.....am I write?! Hehehe.
...will you stop making puns? :|
You betcha! I'm going to updating THE COMIC BOOK CHRONICLES section because I've also been reading a ton of stellar graphic novels lately and should share.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Super powers? Villains? A world cast into crime and desperation with a weary band trying to eliminate the villains...or should I say, Epics?
Seems like it should be right up my alley....right?
An amazon summary, "Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn Trilogy, presents Steelheart, the first book in the Reckoners series, an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers breathless.
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary people extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. Epics are no friends of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man, you must crush his will. Now, in what was once Chicago, an astonishingly powerful Epic named Steelheart has installed himself as emperor. Steelheart possesses the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said that no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, and no fire can burn him. He is invincible. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, the Reckoners spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. When Steelheart came to Chicago, he killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David has been studying, and planning, and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He has seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Okay, three minute summary of the first part of the book, GO!
When David was 8, his Dad was trying to get a loan at the bank. An Epic came in when Epics were relatively unknown and started murdering a hella lot of people.
Another Epic by the name of Steelheart came in, and wrecked more havoc. David's father shot the first Epic, but managed to make Steelheart bleed in the process.
Steelheart freaked out, turned the whole place into steel, while David hid in the vault. David was later rescued but faked death before escaping once he was outside the bank. Steelheart made sure everyone remotely involved with that bank incident DIED.
Ten years later, the Epics have run rampant, ruined Earth and it's established societies, and now David is hell bent on killing Steelheart.
He's trying to become part of the Reckoners crew, humans who hunt down Epics and destroy them.
He meets Meg from the Reckoners and instantly goes ga ga over her. Helps her out to kill an Epic. Meets up with other Reckoners.
AND THEN THE BOOK BECOMES REALLY LONG AND DRAWN OUT ABOUT SPECULATING THE BEST WAY TO TAKE DOWN STEELHEART AND WHAT HIS WEAKNESS IS.
It was 400ish pages of David being all, "Man the Reckoners are SO COOL", "Dude, Earth is pretty screwed up...but that's the way it is! We should kill Steelheart!", "Hey guys! We should kill Steelheart! Let's figure out how!" "Oooo, cool piece of future technology!" "LOL, I can't drive! WHEEE!!! *crash*" "Man, Meg is so hot." "I wonder why Meg hates me!?" "I know completely random and slightly useful facts about most Epics!" "Epics are my life!" "I HATE EPICS" "Man, guys, we have to kill Steelheart" "Meg is totes Mcgoats hot as hell" "I bet I can figure out every other Epic's weakness besides Steelheart's."
There was a lot of neat world building that was going on but the book was seriously so long. IT WAS SO LONG.
Very unnecessarily long. WHYYYYYYYYYY.
400ish pages? Pfft, that's like an afternoon's worth of reading for me?
REALLY DRAWN OUT SCENES WHERE THE NARRATOR IS OBSESSED OVER THE PRETTY GIRL AT ALL MOMENTS?
About a week and a half for me to read. Because it's sooooo boring for most of the time.
Also, don't forget that 'Newcago' is cased in steel because Steelheart is an Epic that NEEDS to be killed!
Many unimpressed noises. So many.
....but probably something else.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Admittedly, this one took me a little bit to get into. I had to struggle through the first few chapters, but the overall book was well worth the effort!
An amazon summary, "Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Not only does this book strive to portray the infinitely curious relationship that exists between twins, but it also depicts family dynamics in unique ways.
It did very well on both fronts.
While trying to conquer different problems and issues that arise within Jude and Noah's lives, they often are discovering more about themselves and what they want out of life.
For both twins, art is their life. For Noah, it's an intense passion to draw whenever possible. For Jude, it's an escape.
This story is super complicated so it's challenging to summarize and speak in broader terms of normal book concepts as this book is irregularly awesome.
How about this.
It's a dynamic depiction of twins growing up as they overcome loss, discover truths, and understand each other.
There was a lot of art within the story that some of the finer references were lost on me, but I was able to understand enough to appreciate the depth and severity of the works.
The occasional grandma ghost intervention helped too.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Despite the giant lettering of the author's name on the cover, this isn't a romantic novel. Hehehe.
That being said, this is the third book in the Raven Cycle series.
I reviewed the first book, The Raven Boys, HERE.
I reviewed the second book, The Dream Thieves, HERE.
This is the third book in the series; undoubtedly this review will contain spoilers about the first two books. If you would like those to remain unspoiled, then do not read this review. You have been warned.
Also, if you've read the previous posts or are familiar with the books, I'm severely annoyed with myself. I never wondered before, "Why does Glendower want to be awakened after sleeping for so long?" I don't know if that'll play into plot at all...but I hope it does.
An amazon summary because damn I'm getting long winded, "Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost. Friends can betray. Mothers can disappear. Visions can mislead. Certainties can unravel. In a starred review, THE BULLETIN called THE DREAM THIEVES, the previous book in The Raven Cycle, "a complex web of magical intrigue and heart-stopping action." Now, with BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE, the web becomes even more complex, snaring readers at every turn." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
...so...my previous reviews of these books are kind of long winded and crazy. I love them dearly, but this one is going to be a lot shorter because dear book adventurists, WE'RE GETTING ANSWERS!!! ...and avoiding spoilers. Avoiding so many spoilers.
Blue's mother goes off in search of Glendower and is essentially absent for the book. Just to get that out of the way because some characters get a bit mixed up about it.
The boys are finding some answers at long last; the professor Gansey has kept contact with has come stateside to help them find the ley line.
This book is filled with so much of just discovering truths about the ley line, resolving personal issues (such as Adam getting crap done about his Dad), and finding out more about the sleeper who shouldn't be woken.
The Gray Man also has a tangle with Mr. Greenmantle; his employer who personally comes to see what's going on with Glendower and the ley line in general.
There's more back story happening, but as the story is so complicated at this point, I just want to sit on my heels and wait for book four. I suspect that everything is going to be wrapped up super spectacularly and book three definitely made up for so much GARBAGE that was thrown around in books 1 & 2 that I'm overwhelmingly excited for book four to happen. LIKE WHOA.
GUYS, LIKE WHOA.
Super spoiler alert....Neeve is back. WIKKITY-WHAT!
This is definitely book that you're just going to have to read to understand; there's no amount of overtly long freaking out that I could do to have any of it make sense at this point without regurgitating the entire thing at you.
I will say, I'm glad that some of my hunches are coming to light. I'm glad we're finding out more about the town and local superstitions, and how the characters are developing in ways that make sense (aka getting over their teenage angst).
Flipping fantastic....although very questionable if reading the confusion of the first two books is worth things beginning to resolve in the third book....especially because we only have a fraction of the answers....but presumably book four will wrap everything up?
Time will tell.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Disclaimer: I read the advanced reader's copy, undoubtedly there will be some minor differences between the version I read and the edition that will be published on April 7, 2015.
This is the second book in a series, I reviewed the first one, Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile, HERE.
An amazon summary because that was a lot of intro text, "Now that he has become the NYPD’s youngest crime-solving hero, Eddie Red and his best friend Jonah are ready to relax on a family vacation to Mexico. But when Eddie’s father is falsely accused of stealing, what they find is another complex mystery. Can Eddie – with his artistic talent and photographic memory – and Jonah uncover clues and catch the real crook in time? "Fast-paced, funny, and a sure pleaser for Cam Jansen Grads" (Kirkus), the Eddie Red series stars a hero worth rooting for." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Eddie is back! He's on an adventure to Mexico with his family as his mom is attending a work conference. He's able to bring Jonah along and all of Jonah's quirks; of course he winds up in the midst of mystery!
They arrive at the hotel and marvel at a really cool ancient relic in the lobby before checking into their rooms. Jonah is bound and determined to not miss out on any adventures this time around...so he's already looking for a mystery that needs solving.
Eddie just wants to have a nice vacation.
The family takes a tour and Eddie & Jonah make fast friends with the tour guide's daughter, Julia.
The next day, it's discovered that the cool ancient relic is stolen from the lobby and Eddie's father is one of the prime suspects.
The relic also happens to belong to Julia's family so she's pretty on finding the thief, Jonah is ecstatic to have a mystery to solve, and Eddie is up for another adventure.
If you liked the first book, the second book definitely winds itself through another fantastic Eddie Red adventure. Same great quality as the first book with some more humor sprinkled in.
I won't say anymore as I don't want to ruin the mystery....(see what I did there?! Hahaha)