Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Review!

The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

This novel is the sequel to The Forrest of Hands and Teeth, the debut novel by the same author.  The first novel was very interesting and very depressing, but I really liked it because it was so different from other books that I've read.  I read it so long ago, that I never reviewed it on here.  Maybe I will later, but for now, know that I would recommend it.

Back to the review!  

The Dead Tossed Waves takes places years after the ending of the first novel.  The world has been overrun by Zombies whose only purpose is to infect the living.  Gabry is the daughter of the main character from the first book and is someone who likes to play it safe. Taking risks is not part of her character, but one fateful night she is convinced to do something against her better judgment as she follows her friends into an area that is off limits.  This decision sparks a series of events that seem like a whirlwind of chaos in Gabry's life.  She is pushed beyond her limit where personal safety is concerned, as she tries to make right the wrongs that were done.

For me, I liked this story better than the first.  I felt more invested in the characters.  Even though Ms. Ryan's stories seem to follow what is the most popular formula for current YA novels (girl with two boys to chose from), this felt a little more fresh to me.  Things aren't necessarily sugar coated with happy endings for the characters.  In both of the stories, the characters experience real loss and regret.  

Definitely a book to escape reality with!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


First time author Sheila A. Nelson is sponsoring an ARC giveaway!  Go here for your chance to win a copy of Forbidden Sea!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Funny story....

My neighbor told me the best story about my 5 year old daughter the other day.  

My daughter and her best friend spied the neighbor's teenage daughter eating some oh so yummy starburst candies in her backyard.   The two little girls put their heads together and came up with a brilliant plan to share in the chewy, tangy bliss.  They knocked on the front door.

Neighbor: Hello girls!  How are you today?

Daughter: Our moms are making pie today.

Neighbor: That is great!  You are very lucky.

Daughter: Well, since my mom is making pie, she wonders if you have any starbursts that she could use. (blinking eyes and feigning pure innocence)

Neighbor: She needs starbursts for her pie?

Daughter: Yes, it's a starburst pie.

Neighbor:(laughing at this point) I don't think I have any starbursts, I'm sorry.

Daughter:  Yes you do.  I saw your girl eating some in the backyard.

Neighbor: Oh! (laughing even more) Well come in.  Let's go see.

They went to the backyard where the teenager was bathing in the sun only to find wrappers of starbursts that had been all eaten.

Neighbor: Well, it looks like we did have starbursts but they are all gone now.  Do you think your mom could use chocolate chip cookies for her pie instead? 

Daughter: (grinning ear to ear)  Yes!  That would work!

My neighbor gives the two little girls each a cookie and as the girls were walking away she overheard my daughter whisper to her friend "We are so sneaky!"

I love 5 year olds.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Review!

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

First off I must say that I love the author's name.  It sounds so literary.  Not only that, I love the name she chose for her main character, Sydelle Mirabil.  Very cool.  Now on to the review.
Sydelle lives in a far away corner of the Kingdom, where her village has suffered from a drought for as long as she can remember.  Not a single drop of rain has fallen on the dusty earth until the day the wizard, Wayland North, arrives.   He is offered anything he could want and he chooses Sydelle.  She is angry and obstinate as she follows him far away from her village and can only think of returning home.  
Sydelle possesses a talent unmatched of weaving cloth, and through her skilled hands she repairs the cloaks of Wayland along their journey.   As Sydelle begins to discover bit by bit why she was chosen by the smelly, drunken wizard to join his quest, she discovers more about herself and what her talent truly is.  Together they face danger as they race to stop an unnecessary war between two kingdoms.   

This is a Young Adult novel and I would recommend it to someone as young as 10 or 11.  Perfect for an afternoon at the beach or in your hammock.  
I enjoyed it very much.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Markus Zusak you are a word shaker indeed.....

The title of my blog should give away the fact that I love to read.  I love it so much that sometimes I feel like I am cheating on my family.  They understand that books are as much a part of me as breathing is for life, (at least I hope so) and some of them have become infected with the need for words and language as well.  My son keeps up with me at a pretty fierce pace and is always asking me for the next suggestion. 

Sometimes I read books that would be considered silly.  Other times I read books that require more thought and time.  No matter the type of book, for me the enjoyment is usually equal.  I love thinking about the writing style and the content.  There are times when I am impressed and times when I laugh and wonder how the book ever got published.  

Recently, I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.   

I loved it.  I loved it.  I loved it. 

After finishing it, I had to sit and really think about it for a long time.  The story is set during WWII in Nazi Germany and is about a young girl who is sent to live with foster parents.  This girl, Liesel, finds her way among heartache, hunger, hatred, loss, but most importantly, love.  Sometimes this love is disguised and unrecognizable, but when she reflects back on her experience, she can see it for what it is.  The whole story is narrated by a very unlikely character, Death.  We are brought along with Death as he experiences, second hand, human emotions.  To me, he became a dear friend.    

I have read many comments of others who have read this book.  Some good, some not so good.  For me, the most fascinating thing about the book was also what was the most frustrating thing to those who did not like it.  It was the writing style Mark Zusak used. It was so new and refreshing that I followed my husband around the house reading bits and pieces hoping that he would hear the magic that was in the words.   

Here are a few examples:

Steam was rising weirdly from his clothes.  His hangover was visible.  It heaved itself to his shoulders and sat there like a bag of wet cement.....

Had he not lost his cigarettes to  Hans Hubermann, he wouldn't have despised him.  If he hadn't despised him, he might not have taken his place a few weeks later on a fairly innocuous road.  One seat, two men, a short argument and me.  It kills me sometimes, how people die......

"'My heart is so tired,'" the girl had said.  She was sitting in a chapel writing in her diary.
No, thought Liesel as she walked.  It's my heart that is tired.  A thirteen-year-old heart shouldn't feel like this......

The book thief did not retreat.  She took a few extra steps and sat down.  Her cold hands felt for her sleeves and a sentence slipped from her mouth.  "He's not dead yet."  The words landed on the table and positioned themselves in the middle.  All three people looked at them.  Half hopes didn't dare rise any higher.  He isn't dead yet.  He isn't dead yet.....

Liesel calculated that there were four more reading sessions like that with Frau Holtzapfel before the Jews were marched through Molching.  They were going to Dachau, to concentrate.....

Yes, I would recommend this book.  Maybe you will be as touched as I was.  Maybe you will have a crush on a narrator named Death like I did.  I know.  I am weird.