Sunday, January 20, 2013

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

I had this book sitting on my shelf for several years already. I remember I purchased it as part of my banned-book-week hunt. Flipped through it a couple of times, but never really fully embracing the book. Because of my recent book ADD (the grey area between reading books where nothing seems to capture my attention), I randomly just picked it up. Next thing I knew, I was already half way through.

Written in verse, the book chronicles high school student, Sophie, through her misadventures of being a teenage girl who falls in and out of love at a whim. Sonya Sones mixes the universal teenage problems--depression, bullying, seeking acceptance, parental disagreements, love, issues in cyberspace, etc. It's well written, just not my cup of tea.

Why it landed on my banned-book list that year is quite obvious, though I find it silly.

While Sones illustrates a vapid teenage girl in the eyes of some of the younger readers--i.e. the target audience--it's obvious that there's nothing exaggerated about Sophie.

What My Mother Doesn't Know is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Thrift Books (cheapest, free shipping). An e-book edition is available for Kindle and Nook. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

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Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

I finally picked up book two of the five-part trilogy, and I wondered why it took me so long to read it. It's just as funny as the first (and who wouldn't have guessed that? I mean, it's obvious that Douglas Adams was a genius), and leaves me longing for the third (which I have, but I won't read it for a while).

If you haven't heard of the Holy Trilogy in Five Parts (better known as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series), then you live under a bigger rock than I did (I heard of it, just dragged my knuckles to read it).

Picking up where the first ended, Arthur Dent, Ford, Trillion, Zaphod, and Marvin are back. But their trek to the restaurant at the end of the galaxy - a time, not a place - is interrupted by the same Vogons responsible for blowing up Earth. The tackles paranormal, time travel, and the origin of man in a fun way. Well, the latter's a little depressing, but in a funny way.

You can purchase the omnibus at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, for your Kindle or Nook.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cuts Like A Knife by Darlene Ryan

I took a chance with a slim, Young Adult novel by a writer I've never heard of before. Usually, this sort of thing ends with me throwing the damn thing at the wall. Not with Darlene Ryan's slender novella. Instead, I found myself sucked into it quickly and couldn't put it down (might have finished it last night had it not been for the responsible decision to sleep).

The story follows Daniel - Danny Boy - as he searches the night for Mac, his friend and love interest, after he learns that she has been saying goodbye to all her friends and giving her prized possessions away. Fearing the worse, he's determined to find her before its too late.

Where there were cliches I could live without, the story packs so much in its hundred-and-nine pages. From pain to bullying to suicide, Darlene Ryan invokes teenage problems that are so universal it's hard for an older reader (such as myself) not to see a reflection of a past long forgotten. If there's one book to purchase for your teenager son, daughter, niece, or nephew, let it be this one.

Cuts Like A Knife is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Thrift Books. An e-book copy available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Well, they've gone and done it. They Twilight-ified zombies. At least Isaac Marion had the decency to not sparkle the true undead up. Instead, he does something a little more bold–he gives them thoughts! Gasp! Oh my! What a novel idea! Like that has never occurred to any other writer before.

Still, Isaac Marion's writing capabilities out does his Mormon vampire counterpart. He also flexes his literary muscle by making allusions to Romeo & Juliet. And by allusions, I mean he's drilling hammering the tragedy like an eighth grade English teacher. Don't believe me? Well, the stories about R, a zombie who falls in love with a living girl named Julie. His best friend's name is M. He knows the consequences about falling in love with Julie, and that no one in his family or hers will accept them as a couple. Not enough? I kid you not, there's a balcony scene in which Julie states the following: "I mean, isn't "zombie" just a silly name we came up with for a state of being we don't understand? What's in a name, right? If we were...If there was some kind of..." Seriously, Isaac? Couldn't you just state what's in a zombie? and get it over with?

I will give it the benefit of the doubt. The book isn't horrible. I just hope that Issac Marion doesn't get the bright idea and turn it into a series. Goddamnit! He does have a way with words when he isn't paraphrasing Shakespeare. And his story structure is thought out. He doesn't ignore the importance of character development, at least.

So pick up Warm Bodies before the movie hits theaters this February. Copies are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, for Kindle and Nook. Until next time, happy huntin'.