Friday, September 30, 2011

Strange Angels

Uh…yeah, so I really had high expectations for Strange Angels by Lily St. Crow. The brief description of the heroine Dru is why I chose it. She seemed resilient when it came to fighting off monsters, and I thought I was going to read a female version of the show Supernatural, or something like Buffy, a champion expert at fighting, and the willpower to back it up.
Dru Anderson’s father is a trained hunter of monsters. He has trained Dru on what to do if she is ever attacked by the evil he himself hunts. Dru never expected that she would have to kill her own zombie turned father. She is now left alone to find the answer of why her father was turned into a monster. With the training that she received from her father, she will soon find that she is the one being hunted.
Like I said before I was expecting more from Dru Anderson’s character. I saw a glimmer of how strong she could be but didn’t really have the buy in. Her friend Graves is the one who seems to be helping her and reassuring her throughout the book. I do get that she is morning her dad but after the fact she is constantly questioning herself making her seem weak instead of the strong person that is described in the summary. I have a particular beef with major inner thought in a book that is not necessary. In Strange Angels, for me, Dru’s inner thought was always getting in the way of a decision. She was usually thinking about something that I wanted her to say aloud instead of keeping it to herself. It created too many stalling points for me making her seem less determined. I did enjoy the scattered thoughts of what her father might say throughout the story; the author was able to include her dad more, one of my favorite characters. Dru’s dad was an intense person, and a great introduction to the story as a whole.
I thought that Graves, Dru’s new friend at her new school was a refreshing change to the usual guys in teen books. Graves is described as skinny, gawky, half-Asian, and has a baby face with a quiet shadow of what he is expected to be as an older man. He is very original and believable. He provides comic relief that is typical of any guy, and his story takes an unexpected turn that incorporates himself into Dru’s world. Christophe, a half-human vampire killer, is the haughty point to the obvious future triangle of the three characters, and is a surprise that comes a bit late in the book for me. He is the one that holds most of the answers about Dru’s dad, and her other family secrets. August, a hunter friend of Dru’s dad is also a last minute add in that I would of liked to have read more of.
I don’t know if I would read the sequels or not, but I’d like to think that I would eventually get to them. I would still recommend this book, maybe to someone who wants to know what the lead character is thinking at all times. If you are a reader who screams at their book, telling the character to say exactly what they are thinking then maybe this isn’t the choice for you. I get that people may want some detailed depth to their characters and that’s fine, it was just too much for me in this case. If you appreciate shows like Supernatural, or maybe a fan of Buffy then I would recommend Strange Angels for you. It was a decent story with high expectations that I didn’t hate.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zombie Corner

After dipping my toe into the world of zombie’s I found myself wondering if anything had been written from the zombie’s perspective. I thought that it would be pretty awesome to be able to read what they might be going through, what they could be struggling with and if a zombie had any remorse or anger of what they had become. Into my hot little hands was given a copy of Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.
Warm Bodies gives a window into the world of R, a young man with no memory of his former human life, who is going about his routine as a zombie. He instinctively feeds on humans to survive, but savors what is considered a delicacy, the human brain, for it contains all memories of the human that a zombie devours. With each bite, a zombie can experience briefly, what it was like to be human, seeing its memories in their own mind like a drug. During a regular hunt, R takes a bite of the brain of Perry, a young man that carries memories of Julie the girl he loves. R sees Julie hiding in the corner watching in horror as her group is being eaten, another zombie takes hold of her, R reacts already knowing who she is and rather than stay and feed, he decides to save Julie.
This book did not go the way I expected. I got a quick possible view of what a zombie goes home to after a meal. R goes off meets a girl zombie, marries her, they’re given a couple of zombie children who R must teach how to feed and then of course his wife finds someone new who will pay her the proper attention. I thought it was a bit humorous and read on thinking this was how the story was going to play out, until R meets Julie. I enjoyed the idea that Marion, the author of Warm Bodies, tries to explore. He manages to create a reason why zombies crave humans, the possibility of feeling human again and tasting any memory of it. R is a character who challenges himself to not to feed in order to be better for Julie, the girl he now loves. With each bite R does not take, he begins to feel more human, he can speak with fewer grunts, and more like a human would, growing closer to Julie.
The discussions that Julie and R have are remarkable. As a reader, I was able to get a clear idea of what the two were trying to communicate, and with R only able to grunt at first, that puts Isaac Marion way up there as an author for me. R is a noble hero that I was cheering on for the entire book. I didn’t even stop to think that I was actually rooting for a zombie. I was rooting for both Julie and R; they find that they are part of a huge change that could influence the entire zombie infested world. Warm Bodies is a love story with a punch that shows how two people falling in love, much like Romeo and Juliet can have a ripple effect throughout their world.
Whenever a zombie book is recommended to someone who isn’t into zombies, they cringe and put it back on the shelf, thinking it’s not for them. DO NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN, I beg of you! If you care for romance, horror, epic tales that have an original ending you would like this book. Even if you like humor in your reading you would enjoy the funny scenarios that R finds himself in trying to look human when around other humans. All I ask is to give this book a chance; it would make a great introduction into the zombie realm. Oh and BTW this will soon be a movie as well, so read it before you see it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

When I was first told about Delirium by Lauren Oliver I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea, but interested. My friend said that it was something she knew that I would like, and she wouldn’t steer me wrong. I mean when you here it’s about a future where love is considered a disease, there is actually a cure for it, and society actually wants it; it made me curious.
Lena is 95 days away from the day that she can be administered the cure for deliria nervosa (love). Symptoms of deliria nervosa are; dizziness and disorientation, disruption of sleep, insomnia, or constant fatigue, complete breakdown of rational faculties, erratic behavior, and fantasies or hallucinations. She fears love and anticipates with each closing day when she will be safe from the disease. While going through government testing to determine her future after she receives the cure, she meets a guard named Alex who has been cured. Alex will pull the curtain, exposing everything Lena thought was real her entire life.
The writing consumed me instantly. The shocking details that Lauren Oliver is able to give, showing the lack of emotion with the future society is jaw dropping. I wanted to shake the characters into sense, especially, when it came to Lena’s family, because with the cure there is no love in the home either. Lena’s family speaks with a lack of love and endearment sometimes that I as a reader wasn’t expecting, because my first thought of love is between two people, the love for your family is just, well there.
Alex is a character you see coming but not his story. His life and back-story totally took me by surprise. Lena is a girl I see who is constantly living in fear, even in her home because of the raids that the government issue without notice, that by the way gave me chills. Alex and Lena find a sense of security with each other that anyone would cling to living in this unthinkable future. You don’t realize how much love can affect the world, and what it would be like if there were no love. There story is high paced with intimate moments laced in between. Alex and Lena together find answers for the reason they have become living in fear of love. I will definitely be reading the second book, Pandemonium to see what happened to Lena and Alex. The ending really is a major nail biting cliffhanger, and I REALLY have to know what happened!
So yeah, the idea of a society without love may sound a bit corny to people, I can literally see the eyes rolling. But seriously that’s the exact person I would challenge to read Delirium. You don’t realize how much it affects everything we as a society do. If you liked Hunger Games then you’d think this is a great book like me, plus the movie rights were recently sold and you want to read it before that happens, because you know how that sometimes is a hit or miss. So I challenge you to read Delirium so that you can wait impatiently for the second book like me.       

Friday, September 9, 2011

You Should Be Reading: Finding Kaley

Finding Kaley is an adorable short story by independent author Kristen James. For only a buck, you get a very detailed story about life, loss, and love. Since I’ve purchased my Nook, I found that I was more willing to take a chance on authors who decided to face the challenge of putting their work out there on their own.  These books, and short stories are something special, offering new ideas at a good price, such as Finding Kaley.
Finding Kaley is a sweet story about a woman who is thrown a curve ball in life. She is like many people today who had a plan that was forced into change. The first couple of pages of the story gave so much detail, and background of how Kaley has now come to own her father’s pub, and possibly the loss of it. Patrick the Irish bartender finds her at the end of her tattered rope, until a letter arrives that will change everything. 
What I liked about this story was that you get a peek into the window of two people who have known each other, and are about to change everything in a good way. Kaley has so much pressure on her to keep the pub running; that she doesn’t stop to ask for help. Patrick, who was just an employee before, becomes the man in her corner who tells her what she needs to hear. Kaley and Patrick are two characters who are clearly explained by author Kristen James, which is why I had an honest buy in. You know who they are and where they both come from and can see why they should be together.
This is a short story you should definitely download, and is available through Barnes and Noble exclusively. I would recommend this to anyone who reads Nicholas Sparks, Emily Giffin, or likes the usual romantic comedy. That’s a big selection of people, who I encourage to take the time to read this charming short story.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Hot Buy!

Kissed by an Angel, by Elizabeth Chandler is my official first Hot Buy pick.  It is a 3 in 1 volume for about ten bucks that is a quick and fun read.  Chandler even wrote a follow up titled Evercrossed, which is good if you want more from Ivy’s character, but not a must for the series.
Due to her mother remarrying, Ivy is a young girl who is adjusting to a new extravagant home, a new school, and a new step- brother. She catches the eye of Tristan who later becomes her boyfriend.  Just when Tristan and Ivy realize they are in love a tragic accident takes Tristan’s life. Of course, until he becomes an angel who realizes it was no accident, but murder.  Will Ivy’s now lingering faith in angels be enough to see Tristan and help solve his murder? Will Ivy ever be safe herself? Sigh.
Once again, I preferred the hero in the story. Don’t get me wrong. Ivy is likable, she has to be, but sometimes she can be clueless.  The undying faith that Ivy has in angels is convincing, but then she’s so angry at the world she can’t be bothered with the possibility from her adorable younger brother who believes. She is redeemable later in the series, after she is finally able to see Tristan, because you know she has to. Tristan was an interesting character to read, he has to deal with his death, developing his skills so that he can touch and talk with the living, and get Ivy to realize he’s still with her. Sometime during the series the two begin to work together, narrowing down suspects, seeing how far secrets that they uncover about family and friends takes them. I hate to say that the ending is predicable but the fact that the story still kept me reading rather than closing the book is…well…a pretty good book the way I see it.
If you don’t want to be caught up in something to serious, want a change in your usual genre then this might be a pick for, especially at the price. I can say that I would probably pick up one of Elizabeth Chandlers titles, they keep your attention, and given that this book was a 3 in 1 mystery, she lays the facts out smoothly. If you like angels, mystery, or the movie Ghost then you’d like this series, or anything that Elizabeth Chandler writes.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

You haven't read Hunger Games...really?

The purpose of this post is to convince some of the stragglers who have not read this epic series yet. Those who know me personally, you know who you are. Honestly with the movie coming out, and you not having read Suzanne Collins trilogy, you will seriously feel left out.
I will admit that when I first tried to read Hunger Games, I wasn’t really into it. If I could go back in time, I would slap myself for thinking such a thing. That's when a good friend stepped in and brought the book to me and asked me to read it, just so she had someone to talk about it with. (Thank you J) So I pushed through and was hooked the moment Katniss sacrificed herself for her sister Prim. I was captivated with the first book, and could not have predicted the ending, that’s a hard achievement these days. Catching Fire, the second book in the series has tremendous OMG moments, and because I had attachments to the characters like Cinna, I found that I took the book more to heart. Mockingjay, the final book is a rollercoaster of events. Each one gripped my heart pulling me through an emotional maze of love and loss. When Haymitch gives Katniss an order over her ear intercom, and she pulls it out ignoring him, I cheered. I personally feel the entire trilogy ends as it should, with a bit of reality as well.
That’s my brief summary of the books, I could tell you more, but I won’t. I will however tell you what I appreciated the most about Suzanne Collins books, and why I feel this series is different from others. Every one of her characters is in the book for a reason, no matter how small. They each are significant and when I talk about these books with people who have read them, I have realized that each character has their own special moment, their own spotlight. Rue, Cinna, Mags( tear), Finnick (tear), and even the Avoxes.  Everyone has a story, and a purpose. Suzanne Collins successfully achieves an emotional attachment with her characters and the readers.  
Bottom line, read this series. If you couldn’t get into it, try again, it’s worth it. People of all ages are reading, parents are reading because their kids are, teachers are reading because their students are, guys are reading because, well, some girl is. If a book can spark this much interest you have to be willing to give it a chance.