"I may not know how to fly but I know how to read and that's almost the same thing."-- Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

"...while finding true love was one of the most splendid things that could happen to you in life, finding a friend was equally splendid." -- Felix J Palma, The Map of the Sky

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Among Others by Jo Walton

First I want to start by saying this is the most relatable character I've read in years. Mor loves books. 
"I care about so few people really. Sometimes it feels as if its only books that make life worth living, like on Halloween when I wanted to be alive because I hadn't finished Babel 17. I'm sure that isn't normal. I care more about people in books more than the people I see every day." 
This is how I feel all the time. It's hard for me to relate to non-readers, even harder to relate to people who have no imagination. When I open a book, creep inside its pages, characters can come to life. So when I read this story, this girl who sees fairies and reads SF, who sees her librarian more than her friends...Well, I can't help but wonder if Jo Walton secretly wrote a fantastical spin off of my life.

This is a story told by Morwenna (Mori) in diary formatting (a format I normally dislike, but the book is just that good) and she manages to drop titles and authors each and every entry, along with moving the plot onwards. The plot meanders, I won't lie. It takes awhile to figure out exactly what the main point is. But Mori is one half of a pair of twins; her sister Morganna dies and Mori winds up living with her estranged father, who then sends her to a boarding school. There are things left unexplained... Her parents separation, her mother's madness, are her aunts witches? And I admit to being a bit confused by the showdown between Mori and her mom; as cool as it was to see all that magic thrown around, there wasn't a lot about Mori's mom in the story. All that was ever said was that the mom was a crazy, evil witch... And seeing how important her mother being a crazy, evil witch, is to where Mori ends up, you'd think there'd be more about her.

But I like the idea of magic as a chain reaction, the idea the objects we love or hate can contain power for having sentimental value. And the fairies. Some are good and some are wicked although they aren't actively either. The ones who smile, help and the creepy ones, sneer... I think the point of the story isn't so much coming of age or defeating evil, but more that there's a point to being alive... You need a reason to live, a reason not to be a martyr for a cause, and it has to be your own. Life isn't a popularity contest, it's enough to love books and your crazy family... and the cutie-pie at your book club. But that's just my interpretation.

Rating 4/5
Original post date:
Dec 30, 12

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday REWIND --> Fave Quotes!

My picks for the Tuesday Top Ten, as invented by The Broke and Bookish. The rules for the Top Ten Tuesday REWIND, say to pick from previous topic that I want to do again or missed the first time around. So I read through the list and chose Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes from Tuesday, May 8, 2012...I didn't even have a blog in 2012, so it's safe to say I missed it!

     1.    "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."
--JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

     2.    "We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words."
--Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

     3.    "I have always felt that violence was the last refuge of the incompetent, and empty threats the last sanctuary of the terminally inept."
--Neil Gaimen, Neverwhere

     4.    "For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be."
--John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

     5.    "This is the truth: We are a nation accustomed to being afraid. If I'm being honest, not just with you but with myself, it's not just the nation, and it's not just something we've grown used to. It's the world, and it's an addiction.

People crave fear. Fear justifies everything. Fear makes it okay to have surrendered freedom after freedom until our every move is tracked and recorded in a dozen databases the average man will never have access too. Fear creates, defines, and shapes our world, and without it, most of us would have no idea what to do with ourselves.

Our ancestors dreamed of a world without boundaries, while we dream new boundaries to put around our homes, our children, and ourselves. We limit our potential day after day in the name of a safety that we refuse to ever achieve. We took a world that was huge with possibility and we made it as small as we could."
--Mira Grant, Feed.

     6.    "Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts."
--Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

     7.    "Any moment called now is always full of possibilities."
--China Mieville, Kraken

     8.    "If you ever have children, tell them the must always be drunk. Drunk on love, drunk on poetry, drunk on wine, it doesn't matter. This world is too goddamn painful to waste a second of your existence sober."
--Benjamin Hale, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore

     9.    "Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life."
  --Christopher Paolini, Eragon

     10.    "Writers perform an extremely important role: they make others dream, those who are unable to dream for themselves. And everyone needs to dream. Could there be any more important job in life than that?"
--Felix J Palma, The Map of the Sky.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In this futuristic world, there are Uglies and there are Pretties. Main character, Tally is an Ugly, who can't wait for her sixteenth birthday, that magical birthday when all newly 16-year-olds get to undergo plastic surgery to become a Pretty. Once Pretty, she gets to go to the New Prettytown, where a Pretty's only job is to have fun. Everything looks like its going to go according to Tally's plan, until her friend Shay, decides to run away rather than become pretty...And Tally is given the task of tracking her down and bring her back into civilization.

I didn't love this book from start to finish, but some parts were definitely more lovable than others. At first the story was hard to get into: Even though the story is told by Tally, who is almost sixteen, her voice seemed to belong to someone much younger than a teenager approaching adulthood. In the beginning it was hard to relate to someone so childlike, but when Tally started meeting with the Agents of Special Circumstance, her innocence worked in the book's favor taking a bad situation and making it so much more disturbing.

As Tally goes off on her quest to find Shay, it eventually gets easy to get lost in the adventure of traveling to a secret society by hoverboard. Once she finds the group, you can't help but feel a little bad for her: Society had groomed her to desire artificial beauty and now all she wants it to be pretty; now she's left facing a moral dilemma about how far she's willing to go to get what she wants and who is she willing to hurt...And just as you're beginning to find substance in the story, Scott Westerfeld had to go and cheapen it with a teenage-love triangle. I don't know why so many YA authors want rely on romance to make their stories stick, and I can understand how Tally and David would work as a plot device... Someone needed to make Tally see herself beyond how the government wants her to perceive herself. But why the third person heartbreak? It didn't advance the story and as a subplot, it went no where.

 I think the morals Scott Westerfeld was trying to express got across clearly, but I think it could have been done better. I understood why he chose simple names for the two classes. Everyone wants to be Pretty, no one wants to be Ugly. But then I read the names of cities: New Prettytown, Uglyville, Crumblytown, Rusty Ruin, and thought, It's like you're not even trying. Then there were things that weren't ever addressed, things that you'd expect to be addressed in a science fiction novel taking place in a futuristic society: Like why parents aren't involved in their children's lives, what kind of government is in place-->If Special Circumstances are in charge of keeping the peace, who gave them that job? And I was able to guess almost immediately from Shay and Tally's conversations about New Pretty behavior, that more than plastic surgery was going on on the operating table, although, that might be because I'm older than the target audience...(Who else noticed the shameless Smash Mouth shout-out?)

In some ways, Tally seemed to mature with the story, in others she regressed. The more pressures she had to deal with, the smarter she became, making decisions cautiously, instead of impulsively. On the other hand, there were numerous time where she could have and should have told the truth, and each time choosing to invent foolish, elaborate lies, rather than asking for help. Which make her a bit of an oxymoron in the end; she wants to do the right thing by her friends, but doesn't care how many people get hurt by her lies.

This book was certainly based on a thought provoking premise, but the story fell short of the concept.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

"Are you punishing Regan?" Yes.
"You wish to harm her?" Yes.
"To kill her?" Yes.
"If she died, wouldn't you die too?" No.

I would like to start by saying two things:
1. I have never seen the movie and have no idea how the novel compares with the film.
2. Do not read this book before bed, unless you're the kind of person that enjoys sleeping with the lights on.

The story opens with Father Merrin, who is working on an archaeological dig in Iraq and is overcome with a feeling of foreboding as he discovers a statue of the wind demon, Pazuzu. Miles away, in Georgetown, Washington DC, Chris MacNeil is finishing up the filming of her next movie with director Burke Dennings before going home to her daughter, Regan. A normal life in the day of an actress except for the Jesuit priest watching the performance; Father Damien Karras. And it quickly becomes clear, that everything is not normal.

Chris's Regan is developing behavioral problems; waking up terrified during the night and spending her days talking to imaginary friend, Captain Howdy through a Ouija Board. Father Karras, who is new to the area and an expert in Black Masses with a degree in psychiatry, is questioning his faith after the death of his mother. After his church is vandalized, his superiors suspect that he may have done it himself and have him transferred to a less stressful job. As Regan's problems increase from overactive imagination to violent outbursts and psychokinetic phenomena, Chris seeks out medical help. The doctors have plenty of theories, it could be physical, it could be psychological, but they can't prove anything. As if Chris and Father Karras didn't have enough problems, Detective Kinderman won't stop asking questions nobody wants to answer.

I think this story was perfectly terrifying. Chris Macneil, is facing down a problem she isn't equipped to handle. So many doctors are willing to write off her daughter's behavior as mental illness... A mental illness they aren't sure how to name or treat. Chris is surrounded by people who want to help, but at the same time she's fighting all alone. It's her who has to care for Regan, no matter how repulsive her daughter gets, and it's her who believes that Regan's problem is supernatural not psychological. And Regan isn't just a little creepy, she's downright sleep-with-the-lights-on-disturbing. Incredibly strong, violent, angry, murderous, verbally and physically obscene, disgusting, and a whole bunch of other adjectives not normally associated with a little girl. Regan isn't just a parent's worst nightmare; she's everyone's worst nightmare.

I love the elements in this story; it's more than Good vs Evil. It's a little bit of Science vs Religion and Believers vs Non-Believers and mostly a giant test of faith. Chris Macneil is an atheist; she doesn't believe in God but her daughter's affliction is enough to make her believe in the Devil. Father Karras believes in God, even though its harder some days than others, but he can't bring himself to believe that Regan is truly possessed. Bringing important questions to the light: How can you fight something you don't believe exists? How can you truly believe in God/Satan, if you don't believe in his counterpart? And how can Regan be saved, if you can't identify what's wrong in the first place?

Rating 5/5

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quotable Thursday

This week I read The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, and I absolutely loved it. William Peter Blatty's got a great voice.
"Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men's eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all. It was difficult to judge."
And so starts one of the worlds most notorious horror stories.

Quotable Thursday originally brought to you by Bookshelf Fantasies.

My review for The Exorcist will be up on the blog tomorrow so drop in again!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

If your edition of this book is anything like mine, it'll be decorated with rave reviews from critics who throw about words like "thrilling" and "sexy" and "addictive". These critics were clearly on the take.

This book's only saving grace, is its characters. I love flawed characters and this book had plenty of them. Mikeal Blomkvist, adulterer, bad father, yet somehow still tortured by morals. Lisbeth Salander, no morals, frequently victimized, hacker extraordinaire. Not to mention the rapists, murderers, anti-semites, and traitors. Unfortunately, most of the characters aren't fully developed until halfway through the story and by then you're bored bonkers, waiting for the good stuff to happen.

The book starts -- skimming over important things like character introductions -- by presenting you with a character dialogue about another character dialogue. Basically this story starts by having a character you don't really know, tell you a story about a guy he didn't really know, giving him insider information on a crook named Wennerstrom. Which had the potential to be fascinating but wasn't... because for much of this, the conversations are purely factual sentences with no personality shining through. You are asked to take an unknown character named Blomkvist at his word because he's the main character... which you could do, but you are also asked to take a long lost friend on his word about his inside info to shady undertakings, which is in itself shady. Confused yet? Because that's just first 60 or so pages.

So you read on, thinking this Wennerstrom thing could get interesting when the reality is, the Vanger family is about to offer up an entirely different and unrelated mystery. Bye-bye Wennerstrom. Thanks for playing. Hello to the Actual Plotline, where the hell have you been?

Was the book "sexy"? No, not really. If you're a rape fetishist, maybe. Because a central theme of the story, is men who hate women...which in turn leads to some pretty angry men doing God-awful things to unsuspecting women. Mikael Blomkvist is a womanizer -- at least I can give him his props for being upfront about his need for casual sex as his character begins to develop long at last -- who does have sex throughout the book but its really not sexy because its merely hinted at...Which means the writer could have just mentioned his characters sexual proclivities and moved on with the story and saved the ink but I digress on that matter.

Was the book "thrilling"? It was about as thrilling as a early 90s episode of Law&Order, when those writers were still unsure of just how far they'd be allowed to take crime on tv. It was very analytical, which would probably have served better if the leading man was a detective instead of a reporter. One scene has him carrying a conversation with a serial killer, and all I can think is: Is this it?

Addictive? Not even close. There was no suspense forcing me to keep flipping pages, to convince me to forsake eating and sleeping to find out more. If anything, I found other activities to help me avoid having to read the story... Including watching the movie which was fantastic! Cool music, fight scenes, sex scenes, a mystery that made you half afraid to look at the evidence being pieced together...

And the book did have a solid plot with great clues, and no question was left hanging that shouldn't have been (eventually the Vanger family mystery gets solved and the character decides to solve the Wennerstrom thing too). But there were too many facts, too soon and too little personality in characters who -- according to the facts -- should have been overflowing with it. Too many facts slowed down the progression of the story and the plot twists that arrived were gifts to break the monotony instead of actual surprises. I'm very sad to say that this story could have gone a lot farther with a lot less... I wanted to like it so badly but couldn't.

Will I read the next one? I'll probably wait, see the movie first and then decide if its worth it.

Rating 2/5
Originally posted on:
May 23, 12

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Reader

My picks for the Tuesday Top Ten, as invented by The Broke and Bookish. Today's theme is Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Reader and, like many of my fellow bibliophiles out there, this is a list that could go on forever, but I'll restrict it to 10.

I love being a reader because...

1. ..my life is always full of exciting characters.
2. ...I'm always learning new things.
3. ...I get to travel to new, and sometimes strange, places.
4. ...I get to leave stark reality behind me, at least for a few hours.
5. ...It's an excuse to blog and chat with you fine people!
6. ...I never have to worry about getting bored.
When I read...
7. ...Magic is real.
8. ...Monsters do exist.
9. ...So do heroes.
10. ...I feel.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant

Parasite is the future. As humanity tries to scrub and sterilize every surface they and their children might encounter, they reduce their bodies’ tolerance for allergens. SymboGen, pharmaceutical pioneers, design a solution for the world health crisis. They've genetically altered a tapeworm to combat allergies, diseases, and even act as birth control. All you've got to do is swallow one little pill, every couple of years. What could go wrong?

Main character, Sally Mitchell becomes the poster child for SymboGen, after almost dying in a car accident and being saved by her patented Intestinal Bodyguard. One problem: When she wakes up from her coma she has know idea who she is, who her family is, or what they're saying to her because she's also forgotten English. Six years later, Sally Mitchell is still an amnesiac living under the thumb of Big-Pharma and it isn't easy. They treat her like a lab rat and expect her to behave, while her family treats her like a child because the old Sally is gone and this one has only been alive for six years. All this pales in comparison to a mysterious pandemic afflicting people who aren't supposed to get sick anymore.

The tone of Sally Mitchell's voice is different from anything I've read in awhile. She speaks and thinks "young" in some ways because all she has is six years. However, she isn't stupid, she's learning fast, and her past traumas and current predicaments make her emotionally older than most. Her boyfriend Nathan appears to be the only one in Sally's life who sees her, trusts her, and is honest with her. This last thing is important, because as the plot-line increases in intensity it becomes abundantly clear that everyone is lying to Sally about something. And the more they lie, the more determined she is to find out the truth.

And I don't blame her one bit, because there are points where the lies and the manipulations flow so heavy, I actually got angry on her behalf. Who the hell are these people to say they have her interests at heart, when they haven't actually asked her what her best interests are? And who is Mira Grant, to make me look like a crazy person, yelling away at fictional characters? Then I took a deep breath to calm myself and read on, desperate to see how Sally handles each new deceit.

As a fan of Mira Grant's, I had high expectations for this book going in: I wasn't disappointed! She should get an award for coming up with creative ways for mad scientists to screw humanity. I found Sally Mitchell to be a compelling, oddly relatable, and occasionally frightening character. Her family is infuriating, the science sickening, and the conspiracy she finds herself unraveling is exactly why curiosity killed the cat. I couldn't put this book down. There were points that were creepy and gross, points where I cringed and felt as if I needed to shower with a sandpaper loufa. There were points that were frightening and heartbreaking. And at the end, I've got two big questions: What will she do now? And did her dad know?

I am horrified that I have to wait for a sequel... I want it now!

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quotable Thursday

I am officially here by reinstating Quotable Thursday to my blog and declaring my personal commitment to keeping frustration from sucking the fun out of my life. And I finally decided I couldn't wait any longer for a copy and brought the new Mira Grant novel, Parasite, home.
"Some people will always be ungrateful. It's an unfortunate truth of the human race that we see everything as a zero-sum game. For them, if I have happiness, there's less happiness for you; if I have health, there's less health for you. When you look at life that way, it's inevitable that you'll start looking for the catch in everything."
It seems I couldn't have picked a better book to start with...It was so suspenseful, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up half the night trying to find out what happened next. Which brings more good news, because the review should be up on Friday.

Quotable Thursday originally brought to you by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French

As a child something happened to Rob Ryan and his friends, something horrifying that he cannot recall. Now  he is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad partnered with Detective Cassie Maddox who has her own checkered past. The pair find themselves investigating a murder that is eerily similar to the mystery of Rob's childhood...

 I'm left with mixed feelings on this book.

It was really slow to start and I felt I had to force myself into it... But once it had me hooked (by chapter five) I couldn't stop turning pages. I enjoyed that the author fleshed out her characters back stories so much and gave them depth because so many authors fail to tell us why characters are the way they are. But the downside is, is that there is such thing as having too many red-herrings. As the end neared, I kept expecting any minute now, any sentence now, one of those ghosts of the past will pop up to complicate matters...but they never did. And instead of being relieved that the main characters were safe, I was a bit disappointed. I did enjoy the occasional plot twists and I loved the vivid interrogation scenes.

In the end, this is not one of my all time favorites... But it is certainly intriguing enough that I'll give the sequel a go, the next time I'm in the mood for a police-driven mystery.

Rating 3/5
Original review posted:
Apr 2, 12

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I've Been Gone

So for the past couple weeks, I’ve been AWAL. My Top Ten Tuesday and Wednesday Review post are filled out in several week advance so they don’t get forgotten, but you may have noticed I haven’t been doing Quotable Thursday as devoutly or posting reviews for my more current reads. If you haven’t noticed I was gone, please keep it to yourself. And in the interest of honesty, I admit, despite starting several books and I haven’t finished any of them this year. The sad reality is I’ve been sailing the HMS Depression and all together feeling sorry for myself.

People say the job market is more competitive than ever. I don’t like the word competitive in relation to the job market. It implies competition. There is no competition. There are companies, both private and retail, running ads, online and in newspaper, for new employees. People fill out applications and resumes and cover letters and send them in, hoping for a nibble. These companies don’t require themselves to give a courtesy call or email. So people like me, people looking for work, are forced to sit by the phone and on their computers and wait for a message that never arrives. “I’m sorry we aren’t interested in you,” or a, “We’d like to schedule an interview.” There is no real competition involved because they don’t give you the chance to compete. If there is any game at all, it one of impatiently waiting for silent rejection while your day slips away, quietly wasted by the phone, because companies don’t care enough about their applicants to consider that unemployed people might want to do something with their day other than sit around.

So I’ve allowed myself to sit around, feeling sad, lonely, angry and rejected. I started sleeping late, not dressing until noon, starting books I lacked the attention span to finish. I watched several Law & Order and The Walking Dead marathons and cussed out several phone solicitors. I used my Kindle Fire to develop an unhealthy Sims Freeplay Addiction.

This past week, I woke up. The haze lifted. I can’t make someone choose me, but I’m not going to sit dejectedly by and wait anymore either. Either they’ll call me or they won’t. The longer I wait around, the more time I have to focus on things like my dreams getting flushed down the toilet, and in the long term, that probably isn’t as true as it feels. My life isn’t over yet it’s just on an unpleasant pause. So I put Sims Freeplay in a drawer, polished my riding boots, charged up my Kindle Touch, went for a jog in the freezing air, and started typing this post.

I bought a copy of Parsitology because its at the top of my read list, I will finish Biomass Revolution because its actually pretty good, I might even find the courage to finish The Dark Witch although I think my review of that will probably be bordering on flames. And I won’t pick up my Kindle Fire until two out of three are finished because videogame addiction is as dangerous as self-pity.

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

My picks for the Tuesday Top Ten, as invented by The Broke and Bookish. Today's theme is: Books That Will Make You Swoon...And I admit I hesitated with this list, because I hear the word "swoon" and I know it is something often related to romance... And I don't read a lot of romance. I briefly considered not doing TTT today or just a partial list, but then I looked up the definition of "swoon" for inspiration and courage.
to faint from extreme emotion.
2. to be overwhelmed by ecstatic joy.
 By those definitions this list opened up a bit, didn't it? Some of my favorite books are favorites because of the emotions they evoked.

1. Dracula by Bram Stoker. This book inspired so many spin-offs: movies, plays, shows, and books. And for those more familiar with the "romantic" versions: The original was never really a romance novel. I swooned with fear from the intense atmosphere, the fate of the Demeter, and the cold obsessive rage of the monster.

2. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman. I nearly died of laughter! Ironic because you'd think the Apocalypse would be no laughing matter. When I read it, people looked at me strangely, because I'd just burst out and couldn't stop.

3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I swooned with desire. This book made me want to slip through the cracks and find a new world beneath my feet. It's a rare author that can make me jealous of a fictional character.

4. The Sight by David Clement-Davies. I read this as a kid and years later I still come back to it. There's something magical about wolves; we love to fear them, we love to love them. This story took iconic sights a white wolf, a black wolf, a pack...and turned these things into a tale of good vs evil, nurture vs nature, man vs wild, and power vs intention. Euphoria and sadness.

5. The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin. Oree a blind artist, gives a man suffering from a strange curse, shelter. This is a story of vengeful Gods, convoluted politics, and love. I was awed by the power in this work Jemisin created, and the sacrifice "Shiny" is forced to make.

6. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. And we're back to fear, lol. Ever wonder what would happen if the bad thoughts you dared to think were ever given a life of their own? David is a sad, angry little boy who is caught between dark, petty desires, and the right thing; he'll be forced to confront both when he climbs through a hole in the wall. Nothing terrifies and enlightens, like a fairy-tale turned sour.

7. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I swear to God, I did not want to love this book as much as I did. It's cheesy, the writing wasn't as strong as it could be, Bella wasn't strong as she could be, Edward wasn't as nice as he could be... But I loved it. When he jumped in front of the car for her, when she followed him to the meadow... Maybe the writing could have been better, but the story was there. And maybe my ideal boyfriend wouldn't be a control-freak, but I wouldn't say no to half that devotion and trust.

8. The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Once she hooked me with Twilight, I wanted to see what else she'd do. Twi-hards didn't like it as much as Twilight---> I thought it was way better. The writing improved, the characters had to go through a fair amount of chaos and pain before the could consider settling down. And I admit, I always wanted to see an alien story where the aliens aren't so easily defeated.

9. Feed by Mira Grant. Okay, so this book makes it onto just about every list I do... Even with that in mind... Georgia Mason's last scene in this book left me stunned, speechless, and tear-stained. Never had I seen an author do something like that with such emotion and such brutality.

10.  Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I started this list with a vampire novel and I'll end it with one. What I love about Mr. Lindqvist's work? He depicts protagonists who are as unnerving as the monsters. By the time you know who the "bad-guy" is you're a little slower to point finger. I'd compare this guy to Bram Stoker before I compared him to Stephen King... He made me love a villain.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs by Rick Yancey

The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs (The Highly Effective Detective #2)

Private Investigator Teddy Ruzak, is about to be shut down for practicing without a license when a dead body is found just outside his office...He's also planning on adopting a dog. This book was really bizarre; it wasn't a bad story, it was just weird.

First the writing style is just so young, I was under the impression that the book had been intended for children... until a couple of grope-scenes and dropped F-bombs reversed that line of thinking. Second, we're dealing with an overweight, amateur sleuth, with an ADD train of thought and a middle-school sense of humor...Which brings me right back to this book is for children even if there a child-inappropriate moments. I suppose this could also be for adults with childlike attention spans, but that person is not me.

I marked this book with three stars because I gave me a laugh and kept me busy. The problem is, I can't tell if Rick Yancey's writing is amateurish or if he was purposely writing a juvenile story for adults because this is his idea of a joke. Airing on the side of generosity, I've decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and say this story is exactly as it was intended: A light, easy, readable, mystery with more laughs than thrills. That said a part of me wonders, if I haven't been overly generous.

Rating 3/5
Original review date:
Aug 3, 12

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

My picks for the Tuesday Top Ten, as invented by The Broke and Bookish. Today's theme is: Books to make you cry...I actually make it habit to stay away from books like that, but occasionally they sneak into my reading list.

1.Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I made my feelings about this book known in an earlier list, but in case you missed it...do not read it if you like dogs.

2. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. The ending...How could anyone stand it?

3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. This book ended on a happy note, but there were some tough moments mixed in.

4. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck. Don't read if you're particularly fond of horses!

5. The Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkien. This book was tragic from start to finish and I loved it anyways. Partly because it's Tolkien, partly because it was written in such a way that the reader knew ahead of time that this story was meant to be sad.

6. The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin. Great book. Surprisingly sad ending. I'm working up the courage to read another one in the series.

7. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien. This was a memoir about a biologist adopting a baby owl. I wouldn't say this was sad, but definitely emotional.

8. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. One of my favorite tear-jerkers of all time.

9. San Domingo by Marguerite Henry. Sad things happen to a boy and his horse. 

10. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I'm sure many people know this book, but just incase, this is about rape victim in high school.