Monday, August 31, 2009

Once (and Twice) Upon a Marigold, by Jean Ferris

Now this is pretty funny. This would mark the first time I've had to review a book my fellow Book-Club member, J. N. Future Author, has already covered (see his review here). ^_^ Of course, there's a major difference between our two reviews: I'm gonna go the extra mile and review both books in the series, both of which I read and thoroughly enjoyed. Hey, I guess this would also be the first time I review a series, and not just one book at a time. Maybe I should do that more often... That's what my friend Graham does. He "Chops" books, as well as series. ^,~

Anyway, let me say that J. N. was right about how great this book really is (not to mention it's sequel, which I'll get to later.) In the beginning there's a troll who finds a young boy named Christian lost in the woods, and the troll eventually takes him in and raises the boy as his own. I gotta say, Edric the Troll is definitely a ton nicer and good-natured than Shrek the Ogre is. Not to mention funnier. Ed has these silly expressions that sound like familiar sayings, only they're kind of mixed-up, so it doesn't make much sense but you get the idea of what he's saying anyway. He's a good character.

But what J. N. did not tell you (but what I'm about to =P) is that 11 years later, the teenage Christian starts falling in love with Princess Marigold, who lives in the castle across the river. It's a very sweet, innocent type of love, since he's lived with a troll for many years and doesn't know much about girls. On impulse, he sends her a message by carrier pigeon one day, and when she sends him her reply, a close kind of pen-pal friendship develops and blossoms beteen the two teenagers. To me, that's pretty romantic. ^,^

So a year later, Chris decides to get a job at the palace, even though he knows that he can't talk to Marigold at all, because after all, royalty never fraternizes with servants. While working however, he learns that the princess is about to be married off, so that's pretty tough for him. PLUS he overhears a plot from the evil Queen Olympia, who wants to "get rid" of Marigold, as well as her father, the kindly but quite lazy King Swithbert, so that she'd be the only one running the kingdom. And that wouldn't be good at all!

This book is a wonderful (and yes, short) read with an innocent, fairy-tale like style of story-telling and characters that seem almost literally to leap off the pages, fully formed with a personality, dreams, feelings, something to offer the world, and a history of life. The jokes are funny, the action is gripping, the romance is something to smile at, and at the very end every single loose end is tied up and everybody lives happily ever after. Nothing and nobody gets forgotten.

Or do they?...

"Once Upon a Marigold" was published in 2004, and the author, one Jean Ferris, had apparently meant the story to be a stand-alone novel, despite one last, obvious, tiny detail that didn't get wrapped up in the end. Last year however, the sequel "Twice Upon a Marigold" was released as a result of people writing Jean Ferris and asking to know what exactly happens after Chris and Marigold's "happily ever after." (Yes, they get married. Sorry I couldn't save you the suspense. ~_~) It's a good thing she wrote this next book, because to me, that one tiny detail I talked about just begged for a sequel to be made!

This takes place a year after the events of the first book. Unfortunately, I will have to reveal a couple more spoilers for you to understand the story. See, the evil Queen Olympia gets defeated in the end (sorry) and pushed off a terrace into the river, where she's washed away and supposedly never heard from again. But what really happens is that she turns up in another village where she's lost her memory and doesn't remember about being a queen or anything from her past life. So she starts life anew and actually gets a better personality, which seemed impossible to those who read the first book. Eventually however, she somehow gets her memory back and loses her niceness, so she begins a journey back to the kingdom, plotting a new scheme to be the one in charge of everything.

Meanwhile, it's been a year since Christian's and Marigold's marriage, and they've hit their first bump in the road. They start fighting for the first time and they don't even know why. Of course, things get really bad when Olympia shows up again and throws Edric, King Swithbert and Prince Magnus, the dude who was supposed to marry Marigold in the first place but had since got a life, in the dungeon. When Christian and Marigold find out about it, they start making a plan to get the servants, guards and the general public riled up about the Queen's return, so they can rescue their friends and King and Olympia can get what she deserves.

This story is a bit (okay, a lot) more complicated than the first one, so I've held myself back from revealing too much. I think I did pretty well, too, if I do say so myself. ^,~ But just like in "Once Upon a Marigold," in the end everything gets wrapped up nice and neat, with every character going off to live their dreams (mm-hmm, even Queen Olympia. Or should I say, Angelica?) and living happily ever after. And I'm sure that this time, there's no room for debate that this story is over, because I don't see how this series can possibly be made into a trilogy. Ms. Ferris definitely made a clean cut this time.

I liked this book because of the addition of a couple new characters, who showed just as much life as the original cast, and because of the funny references to future inventions, such as the development of knock-knock jokes (imagine how that came about. Someone actually doubted it would catch on! ^,^) and the start of Christmas. It was all just hilarious.

I honestly absolutely loved this series of two and recommend it highly. Both books remind me somewhat of the Shrek movies, though these books were much better in my opinion. Also, the style in which they were written made me think of the classic fairy-tale modernized, just like J. K. Rowling's "Tales of Beedle the Bard." Collectively, it really seems like a great story for young and old readers alike. Pick them up! You won't be sorry!

Edit: Oh, and I forgot to mention something really cool... I read Twice Upon a Marigold in just one day! Can you believe that?! Yeah, it's that short a read. So why don't you check both these books out? Because they won't take up too much of your time!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

This book was highly recommended to me by the "Latiener Gang," who are now holding a contest for it's prequel, "Fire." You can find more info about it on their blog. I figured I'd keep an eye out for this book, since the prequel was getting so hyped up, but I had no idea I'd find it so soon after thinking about it. O_0

Anyway, this story is a great one. The basic setup is that it takes place in some medieval time when people still rode horses for transport and kings laid down the law. It's not exactly a fantasy story, like, there's no elves or dragons or anything like that. But what's special about this world is that there are some people who are blessed with special powers that give them a certain uniqe talent, different from everyone else's. These powers are called Graces, and the people who have them are Gracelings. (Hence the title of this book.)

All Gracelings are easily identified by their eyes, because they're always two different colors. Every Grace is completely unique for each individual, just like everyone's special talent is pretty much unique. There are Graces for baking, or having a green thumb in the garden, for master fighting skills, or superior strength. There's even special mind-reading Graces, although everyone reads different things, depending on the Grace. (Sadly, there's no Grace for flying, or having control over the elements. That's still imposible in this world. =P)

Anyway, most Gracelings are sent to live in their respective kingdom's palace (there are 7 kingdoms in this land) because, hey, royalty's got to have the best people working for them, right? So the main character of our story, a Graceling woman by the name of Katsa (everyone has one name in this old world too), appears to have the Grace of killing. At least, that's what people think it is. Graces are sometimes hard to quantify, if they're not blatantly obvious. But she seems to know how to "bring down" a guy, so her mean uncle, who is one of the kings, uses her for some of his dirty work. (He isn't one of the nicer kings, but he's not necessarily the villain here.) Of course, when you're looking at it from Katsa's point of view, she's not really all that monstrous and scary. She's just a regular person who is just used to being feared by the people.

I don't want to bore you with all the complicated, convoluted plot elements here, but when the story starts getting real momentum, it's mostly a love story between Katsa and a Graceling prince, Po, whose Grace is also not exactly what it seems, though it does allow him to be about the only person who can hold his ground in a fight with the fierce Katsa, so that's saying something.

This book reminded me strongly of certain other stories I've come to love. Example: the powerful Gracelings, as well as the romance, reminded me of the awesome vampires from the Twilight Saga. The name Katsa reminds me of the main girl in the "Hunger Games," Katniss. (Pretty darn similar, huh? But I don't hold it against either author. Both charcters are amazing!) Finally, the ending that resulted in "Graceling" seemed, to me, to have a Jane Eyre type of feel to it. (If you've read Jane Eyre like I have, maybe you'd know what I mean by that.) Ooh, plus there's the character known as Po. Now, please tell me you didn't immediately think of the fat, pudgy panda voiced by Jack Black who couldn't do any Kung-Fu? Well you don't have to worry, because this Po is nothing like that.

This book was an absolute pleasure to read, and I can't wait to read more by the author. ^_^

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spaniard in the Works, by John Lennon

A few years after writing "In His Own Write," the famous Beatle, John Lennon, came out with a new book that was just as wonderful, funny, and just flat-out silly as his first one! The same hilarious style of suggestive mis-spellings, purposeful grammatical errors and non-sequiting sentences is applied to this volume, and is still extremely funny. Trust me! ^,^

There's not much difference between John's two works. His stories and poetry barely make any sense, but they're sure to raise a smile every time you read them aloud. The books appear to share roughly the same dimensions and page length as well. The only real difference is that in "Spaniard in the Works," the stories are longer than just a page per. So that means fewer stories to laugh at. ~,~ But it's quite alright. It's still a perfect read for when you're in that particular silly mood. (Or, if you don't already feel silly, this book will quickly put you in a good mood, that's for sure. ^_~)

Oh, and of course I can't forget to mention the doodly pictures John provides. They're all so cute and funny. ^,^ John Lennon may be most famous for being a member of the Fab Four, but this guy was a true artist in just so many areas, on many levels. He could write, he could draw, he could sing, he could play, he could act... What could this guy not do?

I also wanted to mention, for John's sake, that I've tasted the Ben and Jerry's ice-cream flavor that was named in his honor, "Imagine Whirled Peace." I gotta say, he sure is tasty! Plus, on September 9, 2009, (ha ha. 9-9-9!) a new edition of the video game Rock Band will be released that is all about the Beatles! It'll play Beatle songs, the characters will be the Beatles, the instruments will be just like they used to play, and if you master the songs you get to see never before seen bonus material about the Beatles!!! I don't play video games that much, but I know that I'd definitely start if I owned this game!

Eat-Pray-Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Sorry it's been a while for me. I'm glad that Jacoby finally put up another post for me. Now his official count is 2 books so far! =P Hope we see more sometime soon.

But anyway, this book I read recently because I didn't have anything else I wanted to read, and my mom recommended it to me. It's a very nice book, I must say. A little branching out of my comfort zone of Young Adult/ Fantasy fiction, but still one of those really special, satisfying reads. What's even better about this book is that it's supposed to be based on a true story, which is pretty awesome, because the things that happen in the book are just amazing.

Basically the story is that the author experiences some really sad, stressful times when she divorces her husband, and then certain events start a chain reaction that leads up to her deciding to take this special vacation from her old life. She spends an entire year abroad, living in 3 different countries for 4 months each. Italy, India, and Indonesia. Each adventure through these places was awesome in their own right.

In Italy she has a fabulous time. If I had to pick a favorite part out of this book, it would have to be when she's in Italy. Especially because I absolutely love Italian food, and she gets to live there for 4 months, eating real, actual Italian food every day!!! She also learns to speak the language there, which sounds pretty fun, because Italian really is a beautiful language. Most of the time her home base was in Rome (when in Rome =P), but she travels to Naples (apparently they have the best pizza ever!!!) and Venice (I was jealous here. I want to go there! ~_~ I want to see the city that lives on top of the water, with rivers for streets!) and other really famous Italian cities. She makes really good friends there too (including someone with the last name Spaghetti! =P), even spending a lovely Thanksgiving at a friend's house! It was just really, really awesome and fun to be reading someone else's adventures in this European country, and to dream of going there myself someday. Which is what I wanted to do, even before reading this book.

India and Indonesia are kind of a different story, though they were both great to read in their own, different ways. It's where the author goes to "find herself," to meditate and get that much closer to God and stuff. I was kind of reminded of Shirley McClain here. I've only read The Camino by her, but she writes about different spiritual escapades too. Anyway, this author, when she goes to India, stays pretty much in one place, called an Ashram. (Look up the word. It's kind of hard for me to describe.) She makes friends here too and has all sorts of spiritual epiphanies and dreams, and makes lots of big improvements for herself.

Finally she goes to Indonesia, because beforehand she'd met this interesting guy, an old ninth- generation medicine man. (Imagine! That means his dad was a medicine man, and his dad was a medicine man, and so was his dad and his dad... etc, all the way to his Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather!!!) I really like this character, because he's described really interesting. He doesn't know his age (so he could be anywhere from 65 to 112!) and he's like a dark-skinned, toothless, wise Yoda man. He actually reads her palm and predicts that someday she would come to see him again and live with him so he could teach her spiritual stuff and she would teach him better English. And this was two years previously or, something like that, and when she goes to Indonesia he recognises her and it's really cool and funny.

She lives in this city called Bali, which has a very fascinating culture. It was almost as if I was reading one of those fiction books about alternate worlds or something, because I find it difficult to believe that people live like that somewhere on Earth. You know the people there only really have 4 names to choose from? It doesn't matter if you're a boy or a girl, they're the same names. That's so they know which order you were born in your family. You can decide on your own name or nickname later in life (so you can stand out from everyone else! =P). Pretty wacky, I say, but also cool! Anyway, she makes really close friends here, even saving someone from poverty and finding a new guy to love! Heh heh. The part where she gets a new boyfriend is pretty interesting. I'd say there's even more sex here than in Breaking Dawn. But it ends all happy, which is really good, because this lady so deserved it.

I'm not sure who to recommend this book to. Certainly to adult women, probably. But I think if you've got an open mind, like I did, anyone could enjoy it. It's a great read, and the author's writing style is quite admirable.

In other news... The Lateiner Gang got interviewed by a big book blogger, and they're really happy about it. I am too. ^_~ Also, their Maze Runner and Alvor contests end in a couple more short weeks, so that's exciting. Plus Laura Bingham (who actually wrote Alvor!) is holding a contest herself to give away her own book, and it ends in just a couple days! Better hurry if you want to get a copy with both her and her husband's autographs! ^,~

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Once upon a Marigold

Once upon a Marigold is a fantastic short read! Clocking in at 266 pages its a pretty short read

What I love most about this book is the fact that it really does keep to the old style of fairy-tales. While at the same time it has a lot of humor in the story that will make you smile and even on occasion, laugh out loud.

The story starts with the character Edric, a forrest troll with two dogs that will walk paths and scavenge all the treasures he finds there.

(before I continue, to break the cliche I'm sure you are thinking of, think of the movie Shrek. If you told someone it was a story about an ogre, they would think man-eating monster. when he isnt't. Same thing with Edric, he is not evil, or man-eating, but a generally nice person)

While he was looking around, he found a 6 year-old boy hiding in a bush. After asking him where he was from he found out that his name was Christain, and he was a runaway. Edric, noticing it was getting dark, took Christain home with him for the night. The next morning Edric told him that he was going to go and try and find Christians parents. Christain (being crafty for a 6 year-old) told Ed that if he turned him in he would tell them that Ed had kidnapped him and planned on ransoming him. So Ed had no choice but to let him stay.

11 years later is when the story really picks up. A wild ride involving princesses, curses, fairys, comedy, evil poisen-making queens, befuddled kind old kings, inventors, p-mail and love.

This story is a must read for anyone that is looking for an overall feel-good story

I rate it 4.9 of 5

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In His Own Write, by John Lennon

Does anyone recognise this guy? He was part of the best rock and roll group of the 20th century, the Beatles. I love John Lennon, and all his and his band's songs and albums, but now that I've read this book, I love him even more!

John Lennon probably had the best sense of humor of the Beatles, the one who did silly voices and made sarcastic jokes and remarks. He also sometimes drew funny doodles that didn't appear to make much sense, but made good art. Personally, the style reminds me of Shel Silverstein-esque sketches. In fact, just like Shel Silverstein, this book is full of silly drawings and all sorts of nonsensical poems and short stories and things that make very little sense, except for what you make of it.

Every page is humorously filled with misspellings and vague sentences that leave you scratching your head and thinking, "What? I don't get it! What is he supposed to be saying here?" If you're an editor, this book might possibly be one of your worst nightmares. But if you want some audible laughs escaping your mouth from the simple act of reading, I suggest you read all these stories out loud, to a friend or a two. You might find yourself tripping over some bizarre words, but it's all in pure fun. It's almost like reading Lewis Carrol poetry, or a Dr. Seuss book. Well, at least those guys made some sense, whereas John Lennon makes absolutely no sense at all!

I thought I'd give you a taste of the kind of style this book shows, so here are a couple short stories that I personally enjoyed the most. One is especially short and makes absolutely no sense when you think back on it, and the other one might cause a tiny bit of recognition to stir in your brain, but then turn it right on it's head. All the spelling mistakes you might (and will) catch are not my fault. I copied it directly from online. Remember to read it aloud to yourself, for full effect! And if you find yourself wanting to read the other hilarious stories, then you absolutely must find this book!!!
The Wrestling Dog
One upon a tom in a far off distant land far across the sea miles away from anyway over the hills as the crow barks 39 peoble lived miles away from anywhere on a little island on a distant land.

When harvest time came along all the people celebrated with a mighty feast and dancing and that. It was Perry's (for Perry was the Loud Mayor) job to provide (and Perry's great pleasure I might add) a new and exciting (and it usually was) thrill and spectacular performer (sometimes a dwarf was used), this year Perry had surpassed himselve by getting a Wrestling Dog! But who would fight this wondrous beast? I wouldn't for a kick off.
Treasure Ivan
In a little seashore pub in Bristow, a ragged gathering of rags are drinking and makeing melly (before sailing to sea in serge of grate treashy on a sudden Isle far across the ocean).

'Belay there me 'earty scaba,' says Large John Saliver entering. Pegging along towards some old saviours whom have soled the several seas.

'Where be the Parable you normally 'ave on your shoulder, Large John ?' Asks Blind Jew looking up.

'Never ye mind' responds Large John 'And anyways where be your white stick ?'

"Ow the 'elf should I know when oi can't see ?'

All of a suddy Small Jack Hawkins creep in unobtrugell with a siddy grip on his head.

'Ha ha aa ear Jack lad' says Large John in a typical mariner merino.

Soon they were heady fir the harboar with Cpt Smellit and Squire Trelorgy. That morgan they sailed with a hearty breeze behind.

Large John began to look upon Jack as a son or something, for he was ever putting his arm about him and saying 'Ha Haaaaar', especially with a Parable on his shouldy. One day, however, Small Jack Hawkins was just happening in a barret of abbeys when he overheated Large John and several other saviours planting to botany against the Captain.

'Lung Ho' cry a voice from the pidgeon tow on high, 'Lung Ho and alls well!' Yes and it were true-a little Ivan, cyril carpet ageist the horivan with palmist trees and cockynuts.

'I wouldn't be suprised if there was not a beardy old man hobbing from rock to rock.' Thought Disreali Hands who'd seen the film, and there was.

The first lungboot ashore contained Large John Saliver Small Jack and some others what were numerous and sweaty to behold. Anyway they landed on the Ivan and an owld loon jumps out calling himself Sten Gunn and he's been living all over the treasure for years because cruel old Captaive Flint has put the Black Pot on him and you know what happens with a black pot.

So after a bit of stockade and that they sail home to Bristow where they're all arrested for development and Jack Hawkins turns round to be a thirty two year old midget and Large John Saliver has to pay for a new woody leg because they run from fireplace on the Ivan. Sten Gunn turns round to be a young man in the prime of minister and Tom the faithful cat returns to Newcastle.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Farworld: Water Keep, by J. Scott Savage.

Sorry it's taken me so long to post about this book. So many other things in the Blogosphere have been distracting me. The Authorpalooza... certain contests... other stuff...

I think I'll make this short and sweet. This series, Farworld, seems to show some promise here. I'm not sure I liked the beginning all that much, (especially the first chapter. What the heck is an ishkabiddle???) but by the end of the book I was curious about what would happen next.

The story is that a kid in a wheelchair, named Marcus, has this pretend world that he goes to in his imagination, Farworld. The animals talk and make corny jokes, magic runs rampant, and he's friends with a pretty girl there. In fact, it's a little weird, because Marcus can actually do certain magic tricks, like disappearing and knowing when certain bullies are about to attack him.

But soon Marcus is sucked into Farworld, for real. His imaginary friend, Kyja, is the only girl who cannot perform magic, and Farworld is in danger. (What kind of story would there be if the world wasn't in danger?) To save Earth and Farworld, the two kids have to go to the Elementals of Water Keep, Land Keep, Air Keep and Fire Keep for help, which is supposed to be a near impossible task because the Elementals want nothing to do with one another. In their first adventure (obviously), their mission is to find Water Keep.

I think my favorite parts were whenever Marcus and Kyja "world-jumped" to Earth. Kyja's reactions to Earth things, like cars and fast food and basketball, are pretty comical.

Despite there being 4 Keeps the kids need to go to for help, I've heard that there will be 5 books in the Farworld series. The last one will be Shadow Keep. I wonder what that's about...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Maze Runner, by James (who else) Dashner ^,~

Well, I know how many people were expecting and anticipating this post (including the author himself! ^_^), so I'll just get it over with already. I read 5 chapters the evening I got the book (after I'd finished blogging about how excited I was and everything), and used practically all of yesterday just to finish the much awaited ARC. That meant a lot of reading for me. It was almost too much! But I didn't care. Every minute curled up with that book, turning page by page, moving ahead chapter by chapter, until the very end... I think it was all very much worth it. ^,^

But good-golly-gosh, how on earth can I describe such an awesome book without spoiling it for everyone else?! When I remember that I'm among the only people who knows what happens before the rabid general public even gets a single copy... I find myself smiling extra widely. But then again, this makes it so much harder to say how much I liked this book, because most of you would have little idea what I'm talking about. I'll do my best, though, and I promise I'll do my best not to reveal anything you'd rather wait to read to find out...

From the start, I should say that this book is recommended highly to the young male population. I'm not saying that girls wouldn't enjoy this (because I surely did), but for a long time, almost the entire book actually, all the characters in the story are teenage boys. Except for one girl, who seemed pretty tomboyish. And except for the very end, which I promised I wouldn't spoil. ^,~ Another thing I'd like to say (and I'm congratulating Dashner on his immense creativity here) is that I thought it was really funny how these boys, living in the middle of a giant maze, made up such interesting slang for themselves. Words they could curse with, so that the young boys who read this book won't use real curse words and make parents ban Dashner's book from stores. =P

I really liked the story, because it had such a unique and original feel to it. Like, every once in a while I'd be reminded of certain elements from other books I've read, but it felt very new and cool. I remember thinking, when I was in the middle, "Why does James need to make this a trilogy? I mean, these kids are in a maze, right? If this story is any good, they'll be out of the maze by the end of the book, and then what?" Well, I was half right, half wrong. Around the last several chapters, I realized that as each chapter got me closer to the end, I could only guess at what would happen next, and I knew that Dashner would not fail in leaving me begging for the next volume in the series.

I'm only sorry that I can't bring myself to reveal any more details. In the meantime, I hope this keeps people occupied for another couple months. ^,~ James, what you've written here is amazing! I'm sure that you've penned an instant classic. I'm just tickled that this book gets to remain on my shelf even after I've finished reading it, since I'm usually content with borrowing from my library. You'll be thrilled to know that my younger brother has shown interest in Maze as well. I guess my excitement was pretty contagious. =P I'll let everyone know his reaction when he finishes it (although he usually takes a lot longer to read books than it takes me, so don't hold your breath).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Just got the Maze Runner!

Yes, that's right. My precious ARC is here! And you can tell it's an ARC too, because it says so quite clearly in the corner of the front: Advance Reader's Copy. Unbelievable. Oh, I'm going to have so much fun with this book!

It's almost scary... I don't know whether I want to gobble this book up in a flash, or take everything in very slowly... stretch the thing for a few days... so I can make the experience last longer. I've heard from lots of people that this book is incredible, probably the stuff of classics. I'm hoping it doesn't leave me with too many questions in the end, like Dark Infinity did.

Good luck, Dashner! I'm counting on this to be a big hit! I know you won't disappoint. ^,~

For more excitement, check back on my regular blog.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Hunt for Dark Infinity, by James Dashner

At last, today I am done with this awesome sequel to Dashner's 13th Reality series! It's taken me a long time to read it (in fact, I believe I started it back when Annette and I were still in Boston), but I'm finally finished with the thing. Boy oh boy, I'd say that James outdid himself with this one! I mean, yeah, it's darker and scarier and the stakes are higher than in Curious Letters, but that just makes reading it even better!!!

I don't want to reveal too much, in case there are still people who haven't read it yet (it's only been out for a few months, after all), but this was really, really an incredible book. Tick and his friends, Paul and Sofia, go off on more riddle-solving adventures and visit different realities, Master George still tries to figure out what it is about Tick that makes him so special, and you even get to see a strange side of Mistress Jane. And I do mean strange. As in Proffesor Snape strange. I have no idea what to think about her anymore...

From beginning to end, this book was a page-turner. Especially the last 12 chapters that I read in my final sitting. The climax is just amazing. James was totally right about Tick needing a lot of therapy at the end of this adventure, though. ^_~ Also, the ending leaves tons of screaming questions in your head, even when you're finished, but I think it was worth it. I will look forward very much to Book 3, which is rumored to come out next April. A long time to wait, but that doesn't matter much to me. Not to a true Dashner fan, like myself.

Speaking of James Dashner, I am still waiting patiently for my ARC of Maze Runner to come in the mail. Don't worry, it should come in any day now. Well, that's what I keep telling myself, anyway. I hope nothing happened to it. It's been more than a week since I won that contest. Still, you can bet that as soon as I get that book in my hands, I'll be jumping up and down like an excited cartoon character, like the Animaniacs or something. Maybe I won't be able to bounce off walls or anything like that, but I'll probably be that happy! ^_^
Also I thought I might as well mention that recently I've been reading something really cool online. It's especially cool for those who loved Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga, like I did. See, Stephenie Meyer started writing a book that was from Edward's point of view, when he first meets Bella, and Meyer called it Midnight Sun. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the first 12 chapters somehow got leaked out to the public online, so Stephenie decided to postpone the project indefinitely and allow her fans to enjoy what little there was of Midnight Sun.

How did I get wind of this awesome thing, you ask? Well, I give full credit to Lauryn, of The Lateiner Gang Book Review Spot, who wrote her review of Twilight and left the link of Midnight Sun for me to follow. So far I've read almost 2 of the 12 chapters, and it's goooood. Trust me. ^,~ It puts a whole new spin on things from Edward's point of view.

Speaking of the L.G.B.R.S. (sorry, but you guys ought to get a much shorter name :P), they're setting up a couple giveaway contests, kind of like what James Dashner did for Maze Runner. One of the prizes offered is a signed copy of Alvor, a book written by my recent friend, Laura Bingham. (Do you remember her? Maybe not, I mentioned her in my regular blog.) Anyway, I know I ought to be content with winning Maze Runner, but how can I possibly pass up the chance to win another free new book? Especially if it has Laura's autograph?! So here, visit these guys' blog for your chance to enter, and be sure to comment that I sent you there. Follow them too if you feel like it. They've written pretty good reviews so far. Granted, they're for books I've already read (or am about to read), but still.

So you guys will probably be pleased to know that my next post (where I'll surely announce my possession of Maze Runner. ^,^ Eeeeee, so excited!) will mark my 60th post on this blog. I think that's pretty darn cool. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that I've reviewed exactly 60 books here. In fact, I think 10 of my posts aren't even reviews at all, just month tally-ups and book-related news and such. But still, at least I think it's an impressive thing.

I appreciate any and all supportful comments. After all, this is a book club, isn't it?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

June and July books

Sorry that I missed my chance to write about my June books, but I seem to have read so little this month that I figured I should put them together. Even so, it doesn't seem to add up to much. So much for summer reading. :P

Okay, here's where I say something about what I remember from each book I read, the impression it still leaves on me weeks after I read them. The titles are also linked to their respective reviews, so you can check them out at your leisure.

Persepolis 2... an okay read. It's a graphic novel with interesting subject matter. Wouldn't really recommend it to everyone, but it's good. I have the same opinion for Sloth. Cool graphic novel, but not necessarily recommended for my friends. I've read Holes before, but it was great rereading it just the same. I think the movie was just slightly better than the book. I remember that Jonathan's Journey to Mount Miapu was a little difficult for me to get into, because it's supposed to be a kind of fantasy/ spiritual "adventure" for young kids, like 10 years old or something. (The titular character is 10 years old.) Still I liked it pretty much. When I was finished I was surprised to find that the author comes from Florida. Flight #5 and Flight #6 were both really awesome. Well, what else can one expect from this cool comic collection? Somehow I think this is the end of the series, because in #6 the "Saga of Rex", that story with no words about the fox on an alien planet that kept saying "to be continued..." finally ended. Oh well. Wings was a really cool story. I mean, really cool. Almost Twilight cool. Honestly. Speaking of which, The Twilight Companion was a really good handbook for lovers of the Saga. Lot of info on vampires and werewolves in other books and films too. And finally, Thin Threads was also a really fun read. It kept me good and occupied in the beginning of my twin's and my trip to Boston. It's a collection of really good inspirational stories.
Sorry. I didn't actually post reviews for these books, but I felt like I should say something about them. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: For Teens, by Robert Kiyosaki, was a non-fiction book about financial stuff. I meant to write a review for it, but I forgot to. I've read it before, so I wasn't learning much new stuff, but this book was very special in it's own little way. This was the book I wrote about when I commented in James Dashner's blog to enter his little contest to win a Maze Runner ARC. (Scroll down a little to see my entry.) I don't know if I won because of this book, but Kiyosaki's book still made history for me! I'm just glad I didn't enter with the book I read afterwards, Friendship According to Humphrey. This was a book my brother was reading. Hey, I was bored!
These books I've read in passing while visiting at a bookstore. The last time I visited Barnes and Noble (last Wednesday to be exact), I was 12 chapters away from finishing The Hunt for Dark Infinity. I wish I could have finished it right there, but we had to leave. Don't worry, I'll give a proper review for it once I'm officially done with it. When I couldn't find any good books when searching in Borders, I'd pick up Fabelhaven #2 to pass the time. I forget which chapter I got to... 5 or something like that. It's an okay series, but it's not really high priority for me. Like, the books aren't something I want to read ASAP.

Of course, in this next month I'm going to be in for an ultra-awesome treat... MAZE RUNNER!!! I cannot wait to get my ARC in the mail! It should arrive any day now! *squeal!* I'll be sure to post here the very moment it does.

Alright, as a last order of business, I'd like to give props to Dave, another book-blogger that is trying to get some more followers, particularly Dashner fans. Here's his site. He most recently wrote about how much he liked Maze Runner (which makes me even more excited for my Advanced Reader's Copy to come in. ^,^). He promised to post about more books tomorrow, so I recommend you swing by the site when you have the time. There might be contests sometime soon!