Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" by Paul Theroux

This book is a non-fiction, travelogue about acclaimed travel writer Paul Theroux retracing the steps of his first successful travelogue “The Great Railway Bazaar”. While that book was light, eccentric, and filled with joie de vivre, this book is an entirely different animal. He views the places he visits with a kind of venom, and cynicism that comes with 40 years of travel experience. While he has often caught flak for the sardonic, self-deprecating tone of is later works, I actually prefer these. His prose boils and bubbles with sarcasm throughout, and he is the most entertaining when he’s petulantly complaining about something. The book lags when he visits places like India, which he seems more cynically bemused by, and Turkey, a place he doesn’t seem to cast his usual jaundiced eye on. But these are minor quibbles. As a whole, this book is highly entertaining, and I was enthralled by the state of modern Europe and Asia told through the uniquely cantankerous eyes of Paul Theroux.
Grade: A-

"Hate List" by Jennifer Brown

This book is about a girl named Valerie Leftman whose boyfriend commits a gruesome school shooting. What followed was the terrible fallout from that event. While it’s a well written book, it is painful even to read the opening chapters. You see the disintegration of Valerie’s personal life, her discrediting, and deep depression. To read of Valerie’s plight can be often very jarring, and quite disheartening. This doesn’t make this book a bad one. In fact, these gut-wrenching scenes are filled with compassion for Valerie’s troubles, but never sentimentality. I suppose it was to depict the harsh reality of school shootings. This book, for all its dark, depressing episodes, is lightened by the gallows humor of Valerie’s first person narration, but the eventual heartbreaking conclusion will leave readers feeling empty.

Grade: B

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
Hardcover, 485 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Netgalley
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for. – Goodreads
My opinion: Julie Kagawa was amazing at faeries and now I am proud to say she is amazing at vampires. I could not put the book down. Allison was a great character and Zeke was awesome too. Allie was my favorite character not just because she was the main character but her personality and how she feels responsible for others in a world where caring about others could mean your death. Just like when she took care of Stick and the betrayal in the end, she still had enough courage and trust to open herself up a little. My second favorite was Kanin. Although, he is a vampire, he isn’t like the others and basically told her to make her choice of who she wanted to be.
The plot was easy to follow and kept you consuming the book wondering what was going to happen next. Allie kept surprising me what she could do and what she was willing to do for her “food.” The rabids were kinda cool too. They sort of reminded me of the zombies in I Am Legend, without them actually being like the zombies. They both had that mindlessness where all they were concerned about was the food. I loved how they pop out of the ground. That was very different and cool actually. It makes the reader experience the adrenaline that the characters are going through so that they are also wondering if Allie or Zeke or someone else is stepping on a Rabid sleeping and they are just going to pop out and eat them.
I liked that story. I liked the action. I liked the characters. I liked the plot. There was absolutely nothing that I didn’t like. I can’t wait for the next in the series and that is going to be next year probably.
Over all: 5+ out of 5

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Write Me A Vision: Inheritance, By Christopher Paolini

Write Me A Vision: Inheritance, By Christopher Paolini: Summary: If you have not read the books before Inheritance, I would suggest reading in order Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr before picking up...

This is my best friend's review. Please click the link and read it :)