Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Yeah, this is the SEQUEL to Beautiful Creatures!  You know, that one that was like Twilight in some ways but  better. It doesn't come out til next month, but since I got an ARC, I've already read it!  Neener neener neener!
But . . . is it good?
I must admit that for a while it made me too depressed and I had to stop for like a month and read something light.  But I did go back to it, and it is a good story, but it is kind of depressing at times.
I mean, Lena and Ethan are supposed to not be together because apparently Ethan could die since he's a mere mortal and she's an All Powerful Caster.  But of course, he is still in love with her.
The main issue in this book is that Lena thinks everyone she touches will die, so she kind of pulls away from people and is all angsty and aloof.
But Ethan makes this new British friend named Liv, and she's training to be a Keeper like Marian.
Liv provides Ethan with plenty of information about the Caster world, is smart, attractive, and gutsy.  All in all, she's an a-ok chick.  She even helps him navigate the Caster Tunnels!
Remember how the Caster Library is underground?  Well, there are also tunnels that typically only casters, incubuses, and the keepers use.  And they're really awesome!  Like, you can walk around for an hour in Gatlin, South Carolina, and then pop up in Savannah, Georgia!  And then you can also find places that only exist for Casters, and all kinds of madness.  The tunnels are definitely one of the coolest parts of the book, and Ethan spends a lot of time in them. So that's a good thing.
He also finds out all kinds of stuff about people he thought he knew everything about, and that's pretty cool too. Because, you know, it's surprising stuff, and then you read it and you're like 'Hey!  I TOTALLY didn't see that coming!' which of course, is also Ethan's reaction.
A while back I watched a webcast that had someone from Little, Brown discussing this book, and she thought Ethan was a much more crush-worthy than Twilight's Edward Cullen.  I fullheartedly agree with this comment, because Ethan is not creepy and isn't very angsty. He's generally calm and collected, but also stubborn and brave, even though he's constantly up against people way more powerful than himself.  Kinda like Harry Potter (not like Harry in the Order of the Phoenix, more like Harry in Deathly Hallows) is.
Since this book is so complex, what with all the laws and twists of the supernatural world, having a main character like Ethan is a definite plus. He doesn't know what's going on, just like the reader, but since he's not freaking out constantly, he does a much better job narrating than Lena would. Sure, I like Lena well enough; she's complex, interesting, and unique, but there is a certain balance to having someone calm narrate through such a confusing world.
The supernatural world here is not as straightforward as in some other books, and because of this, it can take a while to get through the story.  But once you do, you'll be glad you did, and you'll be hoping the third book comes out sooner rather than later.

Also recommended:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan

So like, there's this one kid named Will Grayson, and he has this gay best friend.  And then there's this other kid named Will Grayson, and he is gay. And they both have Angst. You know, the kind that only gay, straight, bisexual and transgendered teens have.  But they don't know each other until they meet in a porn shop.  The straight one was just looking for something hilarious to do with his messed up fake ID which said he was 20 (bummer), and the gay one was meeting his imaginary boyfriend who didn't show up. And so they were talking and being all 'OMG, my name is Will Grayson and yours is too, whenever we go out, the people always shout 'there goes Will Grayson lalalalala' and so on.  And then their lives intertwine. All the while Will Grayson hetero/type's best friend is putting together a muscical he wrote, and Will Grayson homo/type gets cozy with the best friend, who can't seem to stay in a relationship for more than an hour, and he disguises his Angst by putting everything into this play, and then they all end up Angsting over how they're teenagers and they're gay and straight and all that jazz. But they learn stuff and develop as people too, which is always a good thing, unless they're developing into Hitler or Stalin or my mother-in-law or someone like that.
It's great if you like books about Angsty teenagers, which I do, and things really turn out alright, and Will Graysons around the world hold hands and sing.

Also Recommended:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Books coming out that I can't wait for!

As you know, there are plenty of books being released at any given moment.  One which I can't wait for is this:  Across the Universe, by Beth Revis.  Coming out in January, this one is a brilliant sci fi involving the colonization of a new planet, a spaceship mutiny, and a teenage girl who isn't sure she wants to leave Earth. I managed to read the first chapter online, and it was fantabulous.  This is Revis' first book, and if she keeps it up, she'll have a promising career.
Another one coming out very soon (three days) is Torment (Fallen), by Lauren Kate. I have mixed opinions about Fallen, yet I will not be able to resist purchasing Torment because it's pretty.
Maybe I should just try to find a poster.
No, I do want to know what else will happen. Not like how I wanted to know how Harry Potter ended, but I am mildly curious. In comparison. Mild. I mean, they're all star-crossed lovers and whatnot, and in Shakespeare's time that was bad, but apparently these days it all works out and Bella gets to be a vampire too and there are hardly any complications except for her ex crushing on her infant daughter.  Oh wait, that never happened. In my mind, Breaking Dawn Does. Not.  Exist.
And this? Well, look at the title! Hold Me Closer, Necromancer comes out October 12, and is another debut author, Lish McBride. Her main character is a college drop out fry-cook who turns out to be a necromancer.  And of course this other necromancer wants to either kill him or enslave him, so he enlists the help of a ghost and a werewolf/fairy hydrid ( I really want to see what that looks like; the pictures in my head are just . . not making sense).  Oh, and there is a promise of VIOLENCE!  Whooohooo violence!
Cannot.  Possibly.  Suck.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Yes, this one.  What we've all been waiting for.
The conclusion to The Hunger Games.

Released in August, the final chapter of the Hunger Games has been an eagerly anticipated book among young people and many older ones too.

This book differs from the first two, in which Katniss Evderdeen particapted in the televised Hunger Games and fought many to the death.  This one does contain quite a lot of fighting and killing, so do not fret- THERE IS STILL VIOLENCE. Huzzah!

However, Katniss is not playing a 'game,' but is involved in an actual bloody revolution.  She doesn't get to do all the things she wants to do, and finds that the people in charge of the revolution, namely the president of the previously thought to be non-existent 13th District, to be less than palatable.

Through it all, she has to deal with adjustments to life in 13, her two good friends who are in love with her (Peeta, her partner in the Hunger Games, and Gale, who she hunted with for years).  Peeta is still a captive of the Capitol, while she and Gale are both in District 13 showing off how great they are.

No matter what Peeta says, whenever he is televised, Katniss can't help but think that he is being tortured and wants the revolutionaries to save him and any of the other Hunger Games participants who remain alive.

To many people, the love triangle between Katniss and her boyfriends is one of the most important aspects of the story, thus resulting in the Twilight style 'Team Peeta' and 'Team Gale.' Personally, I think this issue is minor compared to the rest of the story.

What will you get out of this book?

Well, plenty. In addition to the glorious VIOLENCE, there is rocking suspense, plot twists, and of course, things to think about.

Such as:

"Why must we kill all these people to make life better?"

"Is the enemy of my enemy my friend?"

"What is the meaning of humanity?"

"Should we get our revenge, or show that we're 'better' by being kinder to our vanquished foes?"

"How do the people of Panem make all these crazy weapons?"

"Will dying your skin green really be considered beautiful in the future?" (Captain Kirk says 'yes.')

"How could I pull off a Katniss Everdeen costume for Halloween?"

And so on.

Now, the question is, if you have not already answered it for yourself:

"Should I buy this book as soon as possible?"

My reccomendation is 'yes.'

I know, I work in a library, and I should tell people to get books from the library, but honestly, the waiting list is so long you would have to have the patience of [insert name of saintly matyr here].

Personally, I loved this book.  And I love having this book. And the rest of them, even though one of my friends still has the first one and NEEDS TO GIVE IT BACK PLEASE.  So yes, get this book.  I even have a link for it to make it easier for you!

Also reccommended:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bloodthirsty - Flynn Meaney

Yes, we are back with STUFF YOUNG PEOPLE READ with a BANG! (did you hear it? It sounded like this: BANG!)

Today I am reviewing Bloodthirsty, by Flynn Meaney. She's a new author!  Yay for fresh talent!
And what do I have to say? Well, I managed to snag an ARC, and gobbled it down like junk food.
Anyway, this is a hilarious romp about a pasty smart teenage boy with an ADHD twin athlete brother and his quest to get girls and not be a whiny pushover. So to do this, he pretends to be a vampire (this way he can still be whiny but NOT a pushover), and this is not that hard considering he's allergic to the sun and is really tall. Unfortunately for him, his name is Finbar, which is one of those names that really hasn't been used since the 1700s, and even then, only in Ireland. This poor Finbar, however, is a Catholic Indiana boy, and then he moves to Weshtchester County, NY, which is apparently a much better place to meet girls than Indiana is (anyone who has been to both these places, please contact me and tell me if this is true. for research purposes only, of course). So he makes an ass of himself, and then does things he never thought he could do, like glare at some jerk enough to scare him off and talk about how to cut open his jugular just for added effect, and then somehow manages to get all these girls liking him, which is something he's never experienced before, but of course there are consequences because some of them think he's a vampire when in actuality the sight of blood makes him pass out (wimp).

This is the sort of book which is much more interesting if you know about all the vampires and werewolves in pop culture lately, and if you think dorky teenage boys are hilarious, which in some cases they are.

So really, you should read it. It's not even that long!