Tag Archive: fast-paced


I really don’t think that there are many movies made from books that can hold a candle to the book that inspired them. Most of the time when I have read a book and enjoyed it I am very reluctant to see the movie version. There are many movies from books that I remember being TERRIBLY disappointing on so many levels, but usually I just don’t understand why they have to change something from the book to put it in the movie. It’s like they think that the movie-going public doesn’t read or is really stupid or something. But the bigwigs in Hollywood should know better by know, shouldn’t they? I mean, hello??, Harry Potter??? Like everyone who saw those movies hadn’t read the books? In this day of Avatar-esque technology is there anything that is written in a book that can’t be put in a movie? I mean, come on!

Because of past disappointments like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, My Sister’s Keeper, The Devil Wears Prada, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, P.S. I Love You,… really the list just goes on and on…. I generally try to stay away from movie versions of books I have loved. I will, however, gladly go and see movies that have been made from books that I have not yet read, or do not plan on reading. The Help would be an excellent recent example. Despite our library having 3 copies of this book, there has been a list of holds on it as long as my arm since about May this year. I suppose I could have put my name on the list and waited my turn… but I wanted to see the movie! So I did. And it was awesome. πŸ™‚ And now, when I finally get to read the book, I can be pleasantly surprised and happy about how much better it is than the movie. πŸ˜‰

So why, you ask, am I ranting about movies today? Well because the books I am going to be featuring in this post have already been made into a movie. One that I, thankfully, saw before I ever read the books. So now I can like them both for their own special reasons. πŸ™‚ I think that I’m going to make this my goal from now on: Never watch movies of books you have read if you can possibly avoid it because you know it will make you angry. πŸ™‚ Probably a good rule of thumb right? πŸ˜‰

Here they are, the books I’ve chosen for this week. Maybe you should go and find the movie first though … just saying. πŸ˜‰

Book covers for all 6 Scott Pilgrim books

The Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Summary:

Scott Pilgrim is 23. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is in a band. And he is dating a highschooler. Needless to say, drama will ensue. However, it won’t come from his high school aged girlfriend but rather from the girl he falls for next. Ramona Flowers. The girl with 7 evil exes who must be defeated to win her love. Good luck, Scott.

Review:

So first let me say, I did not discover this book on my own. There was a class at library school that was totally about graphic novels. I didn’t take it, but not because I was not interested. More because it was on a Friday at 9am in the summer semester. And I’m sorry because maybe this makes me a bad person, but I was not about to take a class on a Friday in the summer. It was hard enough going to school in the summer as it was. (Sunshine seems to be detrimental to my ability to learn.) However, this class took a field trip to see the movie based on these graphic novels and opened it up to those of us not cool enough to have taken the class. Which was pretty decent of them if you ask me. πŸ˜‰ Now this was great, I like any reason to go and see movies, but what made it even better was the personal connection those of us on that trip had to this series/movie. You see, the character in the books and the movie named ‘Other Scott’ is based on a man who went to library school with us last year. Not shockingly, his name is also Scott. So it was very cool to see our Scott immortalized in film. πŸ™‚

Since this movie came out I have been wanting to get my hands on these books. And let me just say that they did not disappoint. The movie was, in my opinion amazing… which is why I have forced friends to watch it with me on several occasions and I know that at least one of them has gone on to do the same to her other friends :D… and like I said above, when a movie is based on a book and is actually not bad, you know the book is going to blow your mind.

Bryan Lee O’Malley is a great writer. He also happens to be a great graphic novelist. His characters are so well fleshed out that you really feel that you are experiencing things alongside them, rather than just sitting back and watching a show. Also, he has managed to capture portraits of people that you already know. Everyone knows a guy like Scott who tries too hard and just really couldn’t get his life together if he tried. They know the girls that he used to date, like Kim, who are bitter but still hang out with him… which creates a crazy dynamic. And we all know people like Stacey (Scott’s sister) and Wallace (Scott’s roommate) who love Scott, but are not at all blind to his failings and don’t hesitate to call him on his stuff. Especially when it allows them to lord over him. As it invariably does, because, let’s face it, Scott kinda fails at life a lot of the time. πŸ™‚

This is also an epic underdog story. Scott is not super talented, not super handsome, not super smart, and definitely not super smooth with the ladies. And this is why you root for him. You want him to succeed because you know what at least some of that feels like.

Finally, these books are super fast reads. There’s love and action (Hello, Scott does have to defeat Ramona’s 7 evil exes… did you figure he did that in a dance sequence?? Hells to the No! There are Chuck Norris style kick butt fight scenes :D) and drama… not to mention awesome pop-culture shout-outs and Bryan Lee O’Malley’s fabulous artwork. Plus the series is done. While I did read an interview with Byran that said that he might consider more Scott Pilgrim in the future, for the present time, he’s not going to be doing any additions to the series. So this means that you can grab all 6 books and get the full Pilgrim saga, no waiting. Instant gratification… ain’t it lovely? πŸ˜‰ Now, I ask you, what are you waiting for? Go, get them!! πŸ˜€

Rating: 5 of 5 star rating

This book is Canadian and it doesn’t suck. (Yes W.O. Mitchell… I’m pointing at you. Again.) Please don’t think that I’m saying every Canadian book sucks. This is not true. But this book is Canadian. And it doesn’t suck. πŸ˜‰ Also, Michael Cera’s in the movie.

See… there’s just so much to give 5 stars!! And there’s so much more awesomeness in the book!! I didn’t think it was possible, but it REALLY WAS! Ok… I might need to lie down. I’m a little overwrought. πŸ˜‰ Just go read the books and you’ll know what I mean. Do it for me, ok? πŸ˜‰

How to get these books:

  1. graphic novels

*Librarian note* Just a tip: Graphic novels live in a slightly different spot than other YA novels @ our library. We have chosen to shelve them as non-fiction, usually under the call number: 741. They are not, however, shelved with the other non-fiction titles. (Confused already?) Instead, they live on the top of the bookcase that houses video games, magazines and audiobooks/playaways. If you need help finding them, just head to the librarian at the desk upstairs. They’ll/I’ll be more than happy to show you exactly where they are. πŸ™‚

What it is about thieves? We certainly have a fascination about them that permeates western culture. Interestingly enough, what prompted me to do this book review this week was not the fact that I’d finished this book recently, but it was this news article about the Mona Lisa. This year marks the 100th anniversary of when the Mona Lisa was stolen. It is one of the more famous art thefts in history, but certainly not the only one.

But we’re not just intrigued by art thieves are we? No, we like the idea of people who steal anything. Case in point? Movies. We’ve got ‘To Catch a Thief’, ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’, ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’, ‘Snatch’, ‘Ocean’s 11’, ‘The Italian Job’, and ‘Fast Five’. And those were just the ones that I thought of in the 15 seconds I sat in front of YouTube today. πŸ˜‰

I doubt I’ll ever be able to answer the question … but I definitely fall into the category of people who loves the romanticized picture tv, movies and books paint of thieves. Real thieves… well not so much. But I don’t really have much worth stealing either… So I should be good!

Now it’s time for me to introduce to you a new thief on the block… star of this weeks’ book:

book cover for Hiest Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Summary:

Katarina Bishop is not like other girls. Her life thus far has been so far from ordinary most of us couldn’t manage to understand even if we tried. Katarina is a thief. A thief who comes from a very long line of thieves responsible for some of the most famous unsolved thefts in history.

But she’s had enough. Which is why she pulled the most elaborate con of her life to gain admission to the elite Colgan School. She figured it was the life she wanted, a normal life for a girl longing to be normal. She didn’t count on it being so boring.

But then, summoned to the headmaster’s office on totally false charges of theft and destruction of his prized Porsche, Katarina finds herself kicked out of Colgan, and immediately wrapped up again in the only world she’s ever known: the world of thieves. And no surprise, there’s danger and intrigue afoot.

Review:

So I must admit I did turn my nose up a wee bit when I saw that this book had been published by Disney. You know the folks responsible for Tinkerbell and this place:

The Castle at Disney

Them. They publish books. Oh good, because they needed another way to cash in on their movie and tv characters. *Head. Desk.*

But, as often happens when I’m being rather judgmental, I was proven wrong. This book was pretty darn good! I will take some points off, however, for it reading somewhat like a Disney movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with Disney movies really… I’ve seen many of them. Including (to my delight and shame) the HSM movies. But the book did feel a tad bit tidy and after school special at times… despite it’s appeal. I tend to like my books and my movies to be a bit messier. You know, like the original Degrassi?? No? Well I haven’t watched the new Degrassi, so I’m just going to assume they’ve stayed true to their roots there.

But I digress… hugely.

I really liked the characters in this book. All of them. Which is surprising, since I often find something I don’t like about at least one. But this was not the case with Kat and her friends. I also really enjoyed the idea of teens being able to pull off complex and challenging heists. It’s very true that you’re probably at your most daring while you’re a teen, so why not take advantage? (And no, I’m not telling you to go steal something for the thrill of it, so stop right there.) Clearly the number of teens with a heritage like Kat’s is as limited as the number of teens who have the funds available to her friend Hale, but that lends a sense of fun and unreality to the book that is great to escape with.

The plot moved well, and I liked how it was subdivided by location in the physical text. It broke the story into nice chunks, but wasn’t distracting and didn’t get in the way of the story. And who doesn’t love a good old fashioned story of kids pitting their wits against the evil adult villain. Now that I think about it, this book was also kinda like Scooby-Doo… but not at all in a bad way. πŸ˜‰

Rating: 3 of 5 star rating

I give this book 3 stars. Like I said, I took off points for being a little too sweet at times. But I’m definitely going to recommend it as a light, fun, fast read about stealing things because it’s what you were born to do baby. πŸ˜‰

How To Get This Book:

  1. book

Keep your eyes pealed for the sequel, Uncommon Criminals. It’s on order… I promise!!

Also of news about this book… it’s been optioned into a movie. IMDB says so. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, they’ve decided to age the characters into their 20’s… which I think is a stinker of an idea. Teens can too save the world… why doesn’t Hollywood get this???????????

πŸ™‚

I have to admit, I am slightly suspicious of writing juggernauts like James Patterson, Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel. Mostly because you have to wonder about someone who can push out that many books in a year (did they make a deal with a demon or something??). I mean, how do they find the time?!? Don’t get me wrong, I have read books by all of them, and enjoyed them very much. But I do get suspicious.

Another thing that makes me suspicious is when authors who have written a zillion and five adult titles* suddenly jump on the YA bandwagon. Yes YA is SO HOT right now. (Just like Hansel.) Yes, when something is SO HOT it is rather lucrative. And it has the ability to bring you, and your astounding back-catalogue, onto the radar of a new generation of readers. But should you be allowed to cash in on this trend if you’re not truly devoted to writing YA??? But this is just my cynical take on things… please make your own opinions! There is absolutely no reason you can’t read one of Mr Patterson’s non-YA novels after all. πŸ™‚

*According to Wikipedia (the most authoritative source ever obvs) Mr Patterson has written 71 books in 33 years. That’s an average of 2.1515151515151 etc. books per year. Doesn’t seem like much… but I think he’s become faster as he’s aged or something.

So, given how suspicious I clearly was about this week’s book… I found I was actually pleasantly surprised. And so, I present to you book number 3,654,842,108 in Mr Patterson’s career:

book cover of "Witch and Wizard" by James Patterson

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson

Summary:

Whit and Wisty Allgood are living normal suburban lives in a world that has started to become a little bit topsy-turvy. There is a new government in charge and it isn’t unusual anymore for armed soldiers to march down a street at 2am and take people from their homes at gun point. Or it is not unusual if you’re Whit and Wisty anyway.

If being taken into custody by the new government isn’t strange enough, try adding the mysterious disappearance of Whit’s girlfriend, Celia, 3 months ago! Nothing is going the way it should be for Whit and Wisty, and it is becoming clear that things are going to get much worse before they ever get better.

Review:

Like I said in my intro, this book actually surprised me. I was expecting … you know, I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I’ve read some of James Patterson’s adult novels and remember enjoying them, but that was a long time ago and I’ve read so many books since then I don’t really trust my memory. But for some reason I think I was expecting drivel. (Sorry Mr Patterson!)Why, you ask? Well mostly because I’m judgmental about authors who churn books out more often than most of us change socks, and about authors who jump on the newest trends (in this case YA lit and supernatural stories) so they can make even more money.

Man, I’m rather cynical aren’t I? πŸ˜‰ But I think my cynicism comes from a good place. If you haven’t figured it out already, I love YA lit. I believe that it should be high quality and should never be produced just to make a buck. All readers of YA deserve this, but especially you readers who are yourselves young adults. This is your genre after all!! You have a right to demand quality and I assert my right to demand quality for you. πŸ™‚

But I’m getting off track aren’t I? So what I liked about this book is that it was a fast-paced and interesting story with likeable and believable characters. The pacing was great; if you like a book that moves and doesn’t stop for anything, this is a book for you!

I liked that the story was set in a world that clearly had magical people living with muggles (thanks J.K. for giving us that word!) prior to the new regime coming into power. But since new regimes always want to change the world to their particular vision, clearly these magical folks would need to go. What I did find rather frustrating about this book though, was the fact that it did a lot of assuming. (And you know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of u and me. It’s an oldy, but a goodie. :D) It assumed that you knew what the world was like before the new regime. That you knew about words or sayings when there had been no prior explanation in the book, or even in a footnote or glossary in the back. Rather frustrating, wouldn’t you agree?

My only other criticism was the lack of character development. Whit and Wisty seem like rather cool people (who am I kidding, I’d love to know a witch and wizard!!!) but we don’t get too much detail about who they are as people and what makes them tick. But like I said, this is a fast-paced, action-packed, thrill-ride of a book. So character development clearly wasn’t priority number 1. Which is fine, since it’s totally just my bias and personal preferences acting up again. πŸ˜‰

Rating: 3 of 5 star rating

This book did not light me on fire. But nor did it completely offend my delicate sensibilities. Ergo, ipso facto columbo oreo, I give this book a fair-to-middling rating. I’m not going to rush out to read the sequel, but nor will I avoid it. πŸ™‚ You dodged a bullet Mr Patterson… carry on. πŸ˜‰

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook
  3. e-book

As with many YA books right now, and most of the books I choose to read myself, this book is part of a series. SHOCKING RIGHT? lol You currently have access to book number 2 (The Gift) through OverDrive as a downloadable e-audiobook. Book 3 (The Fire) comes out in December 2011. And if that’s not enough of Whit and Whisty for you, there is also a graphic novel (Battle for Shadowland).

I also found this book trailer for The Gift… and it makes mention of a movie?!? But I couldn’t find anything else on the interwebz to confirm or deny this. Your guess is as good as mine!!

So I think we all have to agree that in popular culture, mentors are key to making a successful hero. Luke had Yoda, Bruce Wayne had Ra’s Al Ghul, Daniel had Mr. Miyagi, and Buffy had Giles. Each of the mentors, although they could come in a deceptive package… like a tiny old green dude or a librarian, were totally kick-ass in their own right. Not only did they impart knowledge and provide excellent guidance, but they lay a smackdown when needed and then went right back to being all mentorly. Clearly versatility is important in a mentor. πŸ˜‰

This week’s book, has a pretty sweet mentor in a very interesting guise. I look forward to getting to know him better as the series moves on! But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me introduce you to this week’s book:

book cover of "Shadowland" by Meg Cabot

Shadowland by Meg Cabot

Summary:

Suze loves her mom, and she really likes her new step-dad. But moving to California… who were they kidding? This was not her first choice. She may not be the most popular girl, something her mom has never really understood, but moving from New York where she’s comfortable and fits in to the land of surfing and palm trees… not to mention the 3 step-brothers that she’s gaining and will have to live with… Well needless to say, Suze isn’t really ready for everything that she is going to have to get used to with this move.

One thing that hasn’t changed despite moving coasts, however, is Suze’s ability to see and communicate with the dead. And guess what, the house that she’s moving in to has a resident ghost. One that lives in her room.

Review:

So I’m going to be straight with you. This book is not new. SHOCKING! Meg Cabot is incredibly prolific (honestly I don’t know how she writes as much as she does… she’s a machine!) and thankfully they keep re-releasing her books so that we can always get our hands on them. This book is one of her back-catalogue that has recently been given new life. It has been published as a 2 book set with the second book in the series, The Ninth Key. But honestly, this book doesn’t feel like it’s not new. There may have been one or two places where I thought, ‘Oh yes, I remember what she’s talking about … nice reference there Cabot’, but on the whole, you will not find this terribly dated. More like awesomely retro!

Suze is my favourite kinds of main character. She’s smart and sassy and able to kick ass, but she’s got some depth. Suze genuinely cares about people, even dead ones. She may not really know how to show it, but you can see it shining through. And I like that. I know I feel this way sometimes, and I remember feeling it more when I was her age. Meg Cabot once again does a wonderful job of creating a relatable and funny character, with lots of depth. And her secondary characters are awesome too. I’m not going to spoil the book for you, but Suze’s new friends are awesome. And her brothers… well I don’t know what’s better about them, Suze’s nicknames for them or the characters themselves!

This book fits right in to the current trend of supernatural stories that is still going strong. (Yes dystopian stories are the newest hottest thing, but who are we kidding, there is always interest in a good ghost story.) So get out your flashlight, make some s’mores and curl up with this series. You won’t regret it. πŸ™‚

Rating: 4 of 5 star rating

I give this book 4 stars. Meg Cabot, is there anything you write that I won’t love?? But my biases aside, is there really anything not to love about a quick read, with lots of funny characters, a fast-paced story and a seriously awesome mentor?? I didn’t think so. πŸ˜‰

How to get this book:

  1. e-book
  2. playaway

Like I said, this book is part of a series. We have access to several of the books through OverDrive: The Ninth Key, Reunion and The Twilight. Unfortunately that leaves books 4 and 5 out. But don’t worry, we can always Interlibrary Loan them for you. Hopefully OverDrive will see the error of their ways and fix this. (I should really email them about that shouldn’t I??)

We also have tons of Meg’s other books if you’re interested. Her newest one, Abandon looks pretty awesome!!!!!!

Most people have heard of the book Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Even if you weren’t made to read it in high school, or in a college or university English class; most people are also familiar with the basic plot of the novel. (If you aren’t, this can help you out. If it sounds like something you’d like to read, we’ve got the book, (in two places), a playaway copy, the movie, and access to an e-book and an e-audiobook. Don’t everyone rush out and read/listen to/watch it all at once. We might not have enough copies. πŸ˜‰ lol)

The point of my mentioning Lord of the Flies?

Right, I did have one! And it was… that there are many similarities between that book and the book that I reviewed for this week’s blog post. But don’t hold that against this week’s book. As many of the recent trend of book mashups have proven, adding a twist on a classic can take it to a whole new and completely awesome level. So without any further ado, please give a warm YABooks@BPL welcome to

*pause for effect*

book cover of "Gone" by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant

Summary:

Sam Temple never expected his life to change as drastically as it did a few weeks before his 14th birthday. He’d been sitting in math class with his best friend Quinn when the teacher, and some of his classmates just disappeared. Poof. Gone. And not just from his class, but from the whole school. Every adult and some of the kids, gone. But where?

As kids started to act like it was a holiday from reality, raiding vending machines and generally running amuck; Sam, Quinn and a girl from their grade named Astrid began to wonder what was really going on. Finding no working phones, tv or internet they set off to find out what else had changed in that split second. And nothing could prepare them for what was to come.

Review:

It is my opinion that Michael Grant has done his homework. He has watched teenagers in the wild, and he knows how they react in their natural habitat… minus adults/authority figures. Overwhelmingly, they’re good people. They may not pick up after themselves and they may sleep until noon and be up until all hours… but really, without pesky responsibilities and all of the parts of our society that run from 9-5 requiring you to stick to a schedule, who wouldn’t sleep in and stay up late?!?!? (Plus it’s a documented fact that teenagers need more sleep, and need it during different hours of the day than other people. There’s even a documentary about why! So there. πŸ˜‰ ) This is why I love this book. Michael Grant seems to get it. And boy does he ever do a good job at fleshing his characters out in to believable, 3 dimensional people!

But don’t take my word for it. Read the book! (And then tell me what you think please and thank you.)

Oh and another reason I love this book? The pacing. It’s good. Page-turner good. πŸ™‚ With enough action, introspection, romance, and moments that make you go “What the…?!?!?!” to please anyone. So have at ‘er!

My only question about this whole book… could someone who is learning how to drive read this and let me know if it really is as stressful and complicated as it is portrayed in the book? I’ve been driving for too many years now to remember that part. I do, however, remember how awesome it was to drive alone for the first time!

Rating: four out of five star rating

I give this book a solid 4 stars.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Do I ever not like a book???? Because I seem to be very giving with my star ratings. And what I have to say to that is this:

a) I’ll give as many stars as I want, thank you very much!

b) It takes a lot for me to not like a book. Although in high school I remember having to read several books that made me want to step into traffic Γ  la Regina George. Thankfully that part of our lives is short-lived. πŸ˜‰

and c) You’d give this book 4 stars too. And you know you would. πŸ™‚ So don’t hate.

How to get this book:

  1. book

FYI: As I mentioned, this is yet another book that is part of a series. And guess what? We’ve got all of them. WIN. After Gone, you’ll want to look for Hunger, Lies and Plague. Aren’t series’ the greatest???

Also, Harper Collins (the publisher) has a book trailer up for Gone. Lamesauce is my comment… but you let me know what you think.

Finally, this is what Michael Grant had to say about Gone.

“Anyway, Gone. My goal in writing theΒ Gone series? To creep you out. To make you stay up all night reading, then roll into school tired the next day, so that you totally blow the big test and end up dropping out of school.” TrΓ¨s funny, Mr. Grant. (from publisher’s page)

So I have a confession to make. Kelley Armstrong is probably my favourite author. And this is a feat, because I like SOOOOO many authors and read them faithfully. However, the biggest reason I say that she’s my fav is that when I was travelling in Australia I contacted her to see when her next book would come out there, as I was dying to know what happened next in her Women of the Otherworld series. And she responded!!! Unfortunately it was to tell me that she didn’t think I could get her books in Australia, unless I had it sent from North America. Huge bummer, but very awesome all the same. Any author who responds personally to me about something like that is aces in my book. (She’s a fellow Canadian too, eh. Excellent!)

Also, I just love her writing. And this book did not disappoint. So YAY KELLEY ARMSTRONG!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

book cover of "The Summoning" by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Summary:

15 year old Chloe has a pretty average life. Granted, the fact that her mom is dead, her dad is always away working, and she’s pretty much always on her own doesn’t make for the most average circumstances to grow up in. But despite this, she’s pretty normal. She’s worried about flunking Spanish, busy with friends, and wondering if putting red streaks in her hair really will make her look older. Or less like she’s 12 at least.

But one morning on her way to school someone steps out in front of her cab… and disappears. He doesn’t get run over, and the cabbie doesn’t see him! The day just get’s stranger from there, until Chloe realizes she’ll never ever be average again.

Review:

I DEVOURED this book. I don’t even think it took me a day to read it. Granted, I’m one of those annoying people who reads really fast, and can easily read a book in a day if I am hooked. However, I really think that the pacing and plot of this book played a big part in why I was able to get through it so quickly. There is quite literally no point in this book where I was tempted to jump ahead a few pages to skip a dull spot. And I’m bad for that. πŸ™‚ Kelley Armstrong’s writing draws you into Chloe’s story, and demands that you follow it through until the end.

Another awesome thing about this book is how well Kelley manages to capture teens’ understanding and awareness of some pretty heavy things, like mental illness. She doesn’t shy away from difficult topics like this, but she also doesn’t get heavy handed or preachy like some authors do. It is clear that Kelley respects and understands that the general population doesn’t give teens nearly enough credit for what they know and can handle.

But the best part about this book, in my opinion, are the supporting characters. Chloe’s an awesome girl, and I really liked her, but I loved the kids she meets on her journey. Even Victoria… and she’s not the most likeable character out there!! I don’t want to spoil things for you though, so I’ll just leave it at that. πŸ™‚ I really hope that Kelley writes more books in this world of Chloe’s… because I honestly can’t get enough.

Rating: 4 of 5 star rating

I really hope that Kelley writes more books in this world of Chloe’s… because I honestly can’t get enough. This book is nearly 5 stars… but I’m going to give it a 4 because it’s not long enough. I want more!!! And I hope you will too. πŸ™‚

How to get this book:

  1. book

We also have The Awakening and The Reckoning, books number 2 and 3 in the Darkest Power’s trilogy. So get reading! But get in line, b/c I’m going to be reading these first. πŸ˜‰

Oh and look out for the Darkness Rising trilogy, too. The first book came out this year: The Gathering.

So much to read… so little time!!

(If you really like where these books take you, you can also try Kelley’s Otherworld series. It starts with Bitten. They’re in the general fiction collection… don’t be limited by the yellow YA stickers folks!)

Who is Bernie Kosar again??

So every once and a while my mother asks me if I’ve read such-and-such a book. Generally speaking, if it’s not YA… I haven’t read it. And true to my 13 year old self, I don’t want to read it. KISS OF DEATH people. She tells me something’s good, I do not believe her.

Well that’s not entirely true. In fact it’s not true at all anymore. However, we have very different pleasure reading tastes; and, while I’m very happy when she’s read a book she loves, I usually don’t want to read it. Because it will probably be work for me. And pleasure reading is not about work. EVER. So never let anyone tell you off for not reading something they loved if it’s not something you love too in the first 50 pages. (This doesn’t apply to school. You will have to read books that you hate. I did. So move on, k?)

But like I mentioned above, YA is where my mom’s and my own reading tastes intersect. image of a two circle venn diagramJust like a Venn Diagram. (See, they do teach you good things in school!)

So several months ago, my mom asks me if I’ve read a book that her kids are all hepped up about. Since I hadn’t, and she’s never steered my in a wrong YA direction before, I immediately took her copy and devoured it. Good thing too, because now I get to be a cheerleader for yet another awesome YA series. So thanks Mom. Good job!

And the book is…

book cover of "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Summary:

Imagine that you have moved 21 times by the age of 12. You’ve never been to a party, never had close friends, and the only constant in your life is the man everyone assumes is your father. Weird right? Not even.

“John” (that’s his name now; but it has, and will, change) came to Earth when he was 5. He doesn’t remember much about where he lived before (Lorien was the name of the planet), and only barely remembers saying goodbye to his grandparents. It took a year of travelling to get to Earth, and he and the 8 other children he was sent with have not seen each other since they arrived. They can’t stay together you see. To do so would break the charm that protects them from being killed out of order. And they are being hunted.

“In the beginning we were a group of nine.

Three are gone, dead.

There are six of us left.

They are hunting us, and they won’t stop until they’ve killed us all.

I am Number Four. I know that I am next.” p. 9

Review:

I loved this book. And true love lasts a lifetime.

It is so amazing to me the books that are being written for YA readers right now. There are so many great books… makes me jealous that these books weren’t around when I was a YA.

But why do I feel this way? Well I think that this book was the perfect mix of escapism and realism. There was just enough different in the plot for me to go “What the…”, but not so much that I couldn’t relate to the ideas presented. I never moved as a kid, but I could totally imagine what it would be like to live like John, never knowing when you’d have to run again. The total chaos that would create in your life, and h0w resigned to it all that you would become. Other aspects of John’s life (which I won’t share due to their spoilerish nature) I couldn’t relate to at all, but that didn’t make them any less awesome!! And awesome is always good. Amirite?

John and Henri were totally relatable characters and I became completely invested in their story. I still am! I thought that Pittacus Lore used totally appropriate language for both of them… especially given that he is an elder from Lorien and English wouldn’t be his first language. Props to him, right?? πŸ™‚

As for the storyline… the real reason why I loved this book… well let’s just say that it was pretty intense. In an action-movie, thrill-ride sort of way. But better, because it wasn’t on a screen. This one was in my head… so I could see it just the way I wanted to! And sometimes that’s really better, isn’t it??

Rating: 4 out of 5 star rating

A solid 4 stars in my book. I want to know what happens next!!

The reason it’s not 5 stars: the movie came out so quickly after the book. This superimposed Hollywood’s vision of the characters over my own before I’d had them totally solidified in my mind. And I hate that! Espeically because Hollywood is wrong. πŸ˜‰ (Why? Because I said so.)

But still, it’s an awesome book, and I will be in line to get the next installment when it hits stores. πŸ˜€ See you there!

How to get this book:

  1. book
  2. e-audiobook
  3. e-book

Interesting factoids:

  • TPTB (the powers that be) made this book into a movie. In case you missed that memo, check out the trailer.

How do I feel about this?Β  BLARGH.Β  I think that sums it up nicely.

Basically, had I not read the book 1st, I would have coped. I like action-y movies, and I like when there is potential for sequels. I also like Timothy Olyphant (dude who plays Henri). But, unfortunately, I did read the book first. And so I sat through the entire movie like a Harry Potter-phile, picking apart every little stupid difference between the two. Hence the blargh.

I am not saying don’t watch it. Just don’t blame me if you have a similar reaction. I will do the told you so dance if you try.

  • Pittacus Lore’s author bio. Because it’s awesome.
  • Book 2 “The Power of Six” comes out August 23rd. Say it with me now… SQUEEEEEEEEE! πŸ™‚
  • Finally, some info on the mysterious Bernie Kosar. Because, honestly, who is this guy! (I totally did not know. So I will just save you having to look it up. You are welcome. πŸ˜‰ )

A huge trend in YA lit right now is dystopian themed stories. This book is a kick-butt example of the best out there right now, hence it’s my pick for this week’s review!

book cover of "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Summary:

Todd Hewitt is the last boy left in Prentisstown. There are no other children, and no women at all. Only 142 men, Todd, and his dog Manchee. In 30 days Todd will become a man, but he is starting to sense that maybe something strange is going on in town. Aside, of course, from the obvious lack of women and children, oh and the fact that everyone’s thoughts can be heard all the time. ALL of their thoughts, ALL of the time. Needless to say, it gets pretty noisy in Prentisstown.

Very quickly Todd’s world is blown apart. He is forced to run away from his home by a hoarde of violent and angry Prentisstown men and heads into the wilderness without a clue as to where to go or how he will get there. With only Manchee for company, Todd’s run for his life very quickly forces him to see the world as it truly is, rather than how he had always thought it was… and what he and Manchee find is not pretty.

Review:

This book grabbed me by the face and didn’t let go until I had finished it. Twice I had to put it down and walk away because I was so shocked/upset, but within minutes I was back… dying to know what happened next. Totally not for the faint-of-heart, this is a book that if you start it at 9pm you will be up until 3am with your flashlight on under the covers.

Patrick Ness writes this book in a crazy, almost punctuation-free slang. Todd very quickly has a voice inside your head thanks to how unique the writing is; but, unlike some books with lots of slang, I didn’t find it hard to understand at all. I found that you could hear Todd and the other characters talking very clearly while you were reading, and that their voices were very unique. Definitely one of my favourite parts of the book.

I’m not normally a huge thrill-seeker in my reading, but this is one adrenaline ride I will be pushing at people for years to come!! Be prepared to laugh, cry, rage and be triumphant; not necessarily in that order and sometimes almost all at once. But whatever you do, you’d best hang on to your shorts people, and get reading!

Rating: 5 of 5 star rating

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for being, quite frankly, amazeballs. Books that make me cry don’t usually get rated highly… mostly because crying makes me look like a mess and my nose run. Ugh. Never a good thing in my view. But this one managed to escape this curse. So read it. NOW! πŸ™‚

How to get this book:

  1. e-audiobook
  2. e-book

Remember ladies and germs*, you will need your library card to access these online jobbies. If you don’t dig the online/downloadable formats, just call (705-645-4171), email or come on by and we’ll get it in for you from another library. This will also require a library card. Perhaps you should get one of those. Just sayin’.

*germs = my cute way of saying gentlemen. No disrespect intended. I swear.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to occasionally drop you some classic YA lit. And by classic, I mean I read it when I was YA-age appropriate or maybe my babysitter did back in the day. I will obvs have warm fuzzy feelings about it, and this is why I’m sharing. B/c when you have warm-fuzzies about something you just want the whole world to know.

Our 1st official Wayback Playback?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Summary:

Meg Murray feels like a freak. With her glasses, braces and mousey-brown hair; combined with her temper and being stuck in the lowest learning group in her class, Meg sticks out at school. And at home, Meg is faced with a brilliant and beautiful scientist mother, popular and athletic twin brothers and a father, who she loved more than anything, who has been missing for years. The only person who seems to understand her is her genius baby brother, Charles Wallace. But he’s only 5, as well as being a freak like her, so what can he really do to help?

When a strange woman stops by in the middle of the night, Meg and Charles Wallace’s world is turned upside down. Joined by one of the most popular boys in Meg’s class, Calvin O’Keefe, they are sent on a journey beyond imagining… beyond this world.

Review:

So like I said above, I’m sharing this book because I loved it years ago. And I still love it. It’s a small book, my copy has 190 pages, but this makes it no less exciting and mighty.

I would say that everyone, despite their IQ, feels like Meg at one time or another. And Madeleine L’Engle does such a fabulous job of telling us a story, and making Meg’s experience feel real. She contrasts this reality with an epic story of adventure and fantasy, but it feels almost possible the way she tells it.

There are so many things that I would love to say about this book, but they would spoil the story. So I’m going to restrain myself! And you are just going to have to trust me. πŸ™‚

If you’re anything like me, you will want to read the next book in the series to find out what happens to this extraordinary cast of characters. Take a look at the list below to find out about what to read next!

Rating: 4 out of 5 star rating

I give this book a solid 4 stars. I read this book when I was younger, and because of that there is such a wonderful feeling of coming home again every time I read it. I also think that Madeleine L’Engle was a brilliant writer, and that is why her works have stood the test of time. Book love, ladies and gents… isn’t it the greatest? You can discover new reasons to love a book and things you missed with every reading, but it still feels like a friend.

How to get this book:

  1. book – don’t be offended that you have to go to the Children’s Dept to get this book. It’s just b/c they didn’t have the YA category back when it was written. True story.
  2. book on tape (Yes, that’s cassette tape. What?)
  3. e-audiobook

Like I said, if you want more you can have it! This is book 1 of the ‘Time Quartet’ series. Next up is:

Madeleine L’Engle also wrote these books which connect to the series as well:

  • The Arm of the Starfish
  • Dragons in the Waters
  • A House Like a Lotus
  • An Acceptable Time

So we only have one of the other titles, but I will be seeing if we can’t get the others very soon. Not having every book in a series irks the heck out of me. How about you? As usual though, we can get these books from other libraries. πŸ™‚ *Update, we’ve got more of the series in now! Check out the links above*

Graphic novel fan? Have no fear, an adaptation is in the works.

There was also a movie, but I refuse to link to the trailer. Mostly because it looks lamesauce. And I don’t want you to associate that lamesauce with the book. But I know you can google, so I’m sure if you want to see it badly enough, you’ll find it. πŸ˜‰

In case you have been out of touch with the world since 2009, this review will feature this little book here.

book cover of "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Maybe you’ve heard of it??? If not, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you all about it! (With as few spoilers as possible. Promise.)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary:

Katniss Everdeen is 16 and lives with her mother and younger sister in Panem’s District 12, aka the Seam. (Panem was founded in the ruins of what we call North America and is divided into 12 districts and one capitol territory.) They live in poverty, surviving on what Katniss and her friend Gale bring home from their dangerous and illegal hunting trips in the forest outside the Seam.

The morning we meet Katniss is a holiday of sorts in Panem. Called the reaping, it begins the Games; a huge televised event held every year in Panem pitting two children from each district against each other in a fight to the death. The winner of the Games each year is given fabulous riches and lives in luxury for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, to manage this they have to survive the unimaginable horrors of the Games.

At this year’s reaping Katniss’s sister, Prim, is the first person, or tribute, picked in District 12 to compete in the Games. Not willing to let her sister die in the Games, Katniss volunteers herself and begins the terrifying journey to the Capitol where the Games are held each year.

Review:

I LOVED this book. It moves so quickly, the story just pulls you from chapter to chapter. *Be warned, this might not be a good book to start before bed. You won’t want to sleep!* Katniss is a really well written character; and, while I certainly didn’t agree with all of her decisions as the story went forward, I understood her well enough to at least get why she makes the choices she does. I really felt that Katniss was a real person, she is so well described. I connected with her quickly and felt the whole range of emotions (terror to happiness) with her as she competes in the games.

Suzanne Collins does a really great job of helping the reader to see the world of Panem and the games clearly. Her characters are equally vivid, and she builds so much suspense in the story with her strong clear writing. Thankfully this is the first book in a series, so you don’t have to worry about saying goodbye to Katniss and Panem when this book ends. Also, you know that Suzanne will make the next books just as suspenseful and fun to read as the Hunger Games!

Rating:

four of five star rating

I give this book 4 stars. It kicked-butt and took names Γ  la Chuck Norris.

How to get this book:

Because I know you are now totally excited to read this book, I will share with you the 2 ways that you can get your paws on it from our library. And remember, you’ll need your library card for both!

  1. book (This link is currently broken… we had to get a new copy of the book, but it will be on the shelf and the link fixed soon I promise!)
  2. e-audiobook

Once you’ve read it, let me know what you thought!! Oh and btw, you are allowed to disagree with me. πŸ™‚

Want the next two books? Find Catching Fire and Mocking Jay at the library too.

P.S. This book is being made into a movie. I can’t decide if that’s a good idea or not… We’ll see!

Hot off the interwebs: Check out this killer glog (it’s like a blog smashed with a poster smashed with YouTube) for books that you may like if you liked The Hunger Games. I take no credit, some other awesome librarian did this sucker! πŸ˜€