Monday, June 18, 2012

A Few Mini Reviews

I'm in a very blah/stay away from me/I don't know why but I'm really cranky mood, so I figured blogging may help...and I have this stack of books staring at me that I need to review so I figured I might as well review them! Well ok..it's not exactly a stack, it's three books...but with my slightly obsessive tendencies, they look like a giant stack until I review them finally, so here we go.

First up is A Chance in the World by Steve Pemberton. This one was a solid "good" book. It's not something that I'm going to recommend that everyone has to read now, but it's certainly not something that I'm going to deter anyone from reading. In fact, I'd highly recommend it for those into memoirs about people overcoming horrible circumstances because that's exactly what this is. Steve Pemberton, the author has no memories of his very early childhood. His earliest memories are of being in the foster system and in particular of living with an awful family that inflicts horrible abuse upon him. I mean HORRIBLE abuse. Physical and emotional abuse that would be hard for anyone to overcome. But overcome it he does, hence the book. And along the way, he searches out his roots, where he comes from, who is family is and who he really is. Like I said...this really is a solid book. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

I wish I could say the same about this second book because I wanted to love it so so much. But Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer was just not meant to be for me. What this book needed was a good editor. It's about a young girl who's father who she never knew is coming to murder her after he has murdered the other family that she never knew that lives in another state...and she cuts...kind of...and her step family kind of likes her and kind of doesn't like her....and her mother's new husband wants to adopt her...and many other things and the book is like 250 pages. It's just TOO MANY STORYLINES for too short of a book. It would've been a GREAT book if it were about a girl struggling to fit into a step family where one side is priviliged and she isn't...or a story about the father she never knew coming to murder her...or her getting to know that side of the family after the father comes to murder her...or the story of a young girl who cuts because of emotional problems. All of these are story lines in this short book plus more! But it was just too too much for this one book and no one story had time to develop fully, much less the characters when you're trying to push forward plots like that in so short a time. Maybe she could've made it work if the book was 600 pages, but not in 250 pages.

But at least we finish these reviews with a really AWESOME book that I hadn't heard of and just picked up on a whim! The Chronicles of Harris Burdick features the art of Chris Van Allsburg and accompanying short stories by some AMAZING authors like Lois Lowry, Stephen King, Walter Dean Meyers, Gregory Maguire, Cory Doctrow, Sherman Alexie and MANY MORE!!! I love Van Allsburg's artwork...always have. The story behind this book is that the illustrations are supposed to be illustrations that were dropped off by a Harris Burdick at an office one day along with a title and a short line and Burdick was never heard from again...and the illustrations remained a mystery until now when these authors tell their story. At least this is what Lemony Snickett tells us in the introduction. I really should do a full review of this one and tell you about each story, but instead I'll let you enjoy them for yourself because they're pretty much all awesome!

And there you have them...Good, Blah, Awesome. Have you read anything lately that's just blown you away?

9 comments:

DesLily said...

I hate hitting a slump of books that don't do something for me..
Glad the last one perked you up! I wish I liked short stores more.

Heather said...

That last book sounds wonderful! I'm going to go hunt it down. I hope your reading will pick up, now that you're moved, settled in, and happy! :)

Bellezza said...

I wanted to buy The Chronicles of Harris Burdick for my class this past fall. Maybe I'll do it for the one coming up; I love Chris Van Allsburg pictures so much, and the authors in this compilation are wonderful! Kate de Camilla and Walter Dean Meyers (who actually spoke at our elementary school!) are incredible.

Bookfool said...

Must look up The Chronicles of Harris Burcick. That sounds so fun. What an amazing cast of authors!

Nope, haven't read anything that's totally blown me away, lately, although I'm enjoying my reading. It's gotten slower since we've been in the process of buying a house. Still have a few weeks till we close and then life will *really* get hectic.

If I find anything great, I'll let you know. I've been leaning toward more YA because it's light and I can finish something if I stick to YA! But, now I'm trying to finish up a couple non-fics that I've been reading for over a month, so I can move on.

Anyway, I'm sorry you're slumpy and blah (yes, the weather always does that to me, too, although the excitement of buying a house has certainly helped perk me up). If I find anything wonderful, I'll let you know!!! Love you!!!

Bookfool said...

BURDICK. I remember the days when I could type . . .

christina said...

ZOMG I hate being in moods like that. Also, glad that I could hear your opinion about Blood Wounds first. It looks like such a "me" book...but there's plenty of others out there that deserve my attention first.

Trish said...

Well the awesome looks...AWESOME! I haven't heard of Harris Burdick before but am going to look for it next time I'm at the bookstore. Looks fantastic!

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

Ooh... The Chronicles of Harris Burdick looks interesting!

softdrink said...

I read all sorts of great books this week...A Grown Up Kind of Pretty was particularly good. Have you ever read Joshilyn Jackson?