Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Storybound (Storybound #1)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Monstrumologist

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1)
by Rick Yancey

“He knew the truth. Yes, my dear child, he would undoubtedly tell a terrified toddler tremulously seeking succor, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I read:

by Brian Selznick

by Marissa Meyer

Both of these books are excellent - see my reviews in my earlier posts...

I'm reading:

by Gena Showalter

Tales of Death and Dementia
by Edgar Allan Poe

The Monstrumologist (the audiobook)
by Rick Yancey

What I will be reading:

I have NO idea. My book stack is long and my time is short...

Book Review: Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck (*****)
Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick did it again - his story telling, in both words and art, pulled at the heartstrings and made me fall in love with a book. Wonderstruck tells two stories, one entirely in his spectacular pencil sketches and one entirely in text. Both stories feel completely full and realized.

Both stories revolve around children, Rose in 1927 and Ben in the 1970s, who find themselves running away from home on a search for something life-changing. Rose and Ben, when their stories first begin, seem to be very different, but it's not long before their similarities emerge, their stories begin to overlap, and Selznick deftly weaves the tales together.

There are a few things that draw me to Selznick's work. First, he really is a brilliant artist - the drawings feel so life-like - and I love to stare at each picture, finding all the pencil strokes and seeing how he shaped his images. Another aspect of his work that I appreciate is his dedication to research and how he shares real bits of history. For example, he uses several real museum pieces in his story - he could have created a fictionalized exhibit, but instead he shares a bit of reality, something that those who have seen the exhibits can relate to, and those who haven't can add to their bucket list.

I loved this book. I highly recommend it to grade school aged children, parents who read to their children, and adults who are still young at heart.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) (*****)
by Marissa Meyer

What if...Cinderella was a Cyborg. I can honestly say I've ever asked myself that question. But Marissa Meyer did, and I'm so glad! Meyer takes the classic fairy tale and puts it in a futuristic, sort-of post apocalyptic world, and manages to keep it fresh and new and familiar at the same time. I read more fantasy than sci-fi, and this was my first venture into a Cyborg story, but I really enjoyed the journey.

The new and fresh: Cinder lives in New Beijing, over one hundred years after the 4th World War, and while the world is unrecognizable, people haven't really changed. Here, a person will become a cyborg when they've been badly injured and surgeons will add robotic parts and advanced computer technology to take the place of body parts too damaged to work. Cinder has a robotic leg and arm, can access the net with a thought, and see news and data literally out of the corner of her eye. While these operations save lives, the newly created cyborgs are considered less-than-human and are reviled in society.

Another new aspect to the story is that some time in the book's past, people from Earth colonized the moon, but the moon changed them. They (the Lunars) are able to influence the bioelectrical something-or-others and basically control the thoughts and actions of others, including making themselves appear beautiful and making someone else kill themself. And now they're trying to take over Earth.

The other major plot point is a plague that has been decimating Earth, one that is highly contagious and kills quickly. Through a series of events, Cinder becomes a test subject in the search to find a cure (becoming a test subject is certain death in this world) and discovers that she is somehow immune.

The familiar: despite the fact that we're dealing with cyborgs and Lunars and plagues, there's still a ball, an evil step-mother, and two step-sisters (though only one is evil).

Will Cinder make it to the ball? Will she escape her step-mother? Will the prince return her foot???