Friday, April 2, 2010

Four Mini Reviews

I'm a tad bit overwhelmed with all of the reviews that I have to write :/ I tend to do that to myself. And I haven't written any mini-reviews in awhile. I like mini-reviews. Let's face it, most of my reviews are basically mini-reviews anyway...but these will be even more miniature. I like them because they're short, concise and force me to get to exactly what worked or didn't work for me with a book. So here are four recent books that I've read: The first is This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I've waited SO long for this book!!! I absolutely love this series. I've come to call it "the moon series". Don't know if it actually has a name, but it's that series where the moon gets pushed closer to the earth and all sorts of natural disasters happen which in turn causes horrible things to happen to PEOPLE. In the first book, we followed the story of Miranda, in the second, the story of Alex. Well, with this book, their paths meet. And I really can't say much more than that because this book just has to be experienced. Pfeffer is a master of "the experience." She can MAKE you lose your breath when you're reading her books. She goes back to journal form with this one like she did with Life As We Knew It. Which I liked. I know it didn't work for some, but it worked really well for me. Some of the book I found to be a tad unbelievable, but I was able to suspend my disbelief overall and just enjoy the story. It's a good one. And I'd be happy if the series ended with this book. Though of course, I'd love to see more as well. I also recently read Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein which I know you've all seen MANY times on it's recent blog tour. Sadly, I was given the book for the blog tour but was unable to keep up my end of the bargain due to life circumstances beyond my control. But let me tell you this....I totally think the hype surrounding this book is actually justified. Damn, I fell in love with this book!!! It has everything I love. A touching personal story that felt real and not contrived in the least bit, tons of mythology and folklore, it taught me about a culture that I didn't know about before, and the writing was just exquisite and so unique. For those who don't know yet, it's the story of a woman who journeys to Alaska to find closure and to find herself after things fall apart between her and her husband gradually after the death of her young son who died in Alaska. She turns to a shaman and finds herself entangled in Alaskan folktales and mythology and comforted by the arms of strangers as she goes on her journey and it's all just such a beautiful tale. I so hope that others read this one if they haven't yet!! Next up is The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan. This one is a graphic novel! And it's from the library. Woohoo! I finally read one of my library books! I just wish I could've read it a few more times before I had to return it because I feel like I didn't spend enough time with it. I feel like I may have read it at a bad time. I just never fully connected with this one. It's the story of a young boy growing up in a town that's been taken over by dust and has become barren. It hasn't rained in years. The boy is picked on by his classmates, his father can't find a use for him and his sister is sick with pneumonia like symptoms. The doctor in town thinks that the boy may have "dust dementia" but he thinks he has found the reason for the drought and it lies in a barn adjacent to his home...a dark entity lies in wait with water dripping from it. Sounds like something I would love, right? So I don't know why I didn't :( I honestly don't. It seemed maybe too rushed or unfinished or unpolished or something...I don't know. But try it out anyhow, you may disagree with me! And finally, I finished my first Dorothy Sayers book today and OMG I loved it so much!!!! I'm a sucker for reading books in series order, so I read the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery series, Whose Body? and I plan to continue reading the remaining 14 in order after finishing this one :p Prior to this book, I've never really been a mystery reader. I've read mysteries that have fit into other genres, like John Lawson's Sorrow for instance which is also a dark fantasy type tale, but never just an old fashioned mystery. I found that I loved it though! I can't thank Ana enough for recommending Sayers to me. But I guess I should tell you what this book is actually about. Lord Peter Wimsey is an amateur detective that is really anything but amateur. He's widely respected for what he does though he sees it as a hobby, really. His other hobby by the way is book collecting, a fact that I absolutely loved!! And he has a wonderful library filled with rare editions and a fireplace and leather chairs and...ok, the story Chris, the story....Anyway, Peter is summoned to an apartment when a dead body turns up in a couples bathtub to their surprise one morning wearing nothing but a pair of gold pince-nez (those little eyeglasses with no ear pieces). The book follows his deduction of the crime and is filled with wit, intellect, humor, wonderful writing, and fantastic characters. Seriously, I just can't wait to read more of Sayers stuff. In fact, I've already ordered the next in the series :p And now I can breathe a sigh of relief because I'm all caught up on my reviews!!!

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