Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Bookathon: Alphas

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Book Six
Starting Time: 9:45 pm
Ending Time: 12:15 am

Title: Alphas
Author: Lisi Harrison
Genre: Teen drama llama
Pages: 271
Summary: Backstabbing and boy-craziness at an ultra-high tech school for talented teenage girls, run by a Machiavellian bitch-goddess.
Thoughts: I want to stick a spoon into my ear canal and scoop this book out of my brain. Uggggh. I hate the “catty rich girls” subgenre of girls’ media out there, and this is a prime example (the author has also created The Clique series). Everyone in this book is vile and the prose is so aggressively trendy it will be dated next week, not to mention nonsensical. “Skye launched into a perfect pique turn, arms wide, hands clasped, as if hugging Kevin Fat-erline. ‘You want to be solid and liquid at the same time, like an unopened juice box on a whirling merry-go-round.'” NONSENSE. There’s rampant fat-hate, a mostly-white and definitely pro-blonde cast, and the whole thing is just a training manual for a future generation of materialistic sociopaths who view all other girls as competition and all boys as fresh meat. Also, “LIP-KISSING” IS NOT A THING. STOP SAYING IT. NOW LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE, MY EYES ARE BLEEDING.

Zero cupcakes

Bookathon: Sunny, Diary 1

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Book Five
Starting Time: 8:35 pm
Ending Time: 9:32 pm

Title: California Diaries: Sunny, Diary 1
Author: Ann M. Martin
Genre: Teen drama llama
Pages: 180
Summary: Unable to deal with her mom dying of cancer, Sunny starts cutting school and hanging out at the beach, where she meets an older boy with the no-strings life she longs for.
Thoughts: I liked this one a lot better than the first one. Sunny says and does awful things, but unlike Dawn, she actually has good reason to be lashing out this woundedly. (I don’t think that’s a word.) Carson was kind of a skeevester and a tool (On the Road and Catcher in the Rye are your life, dude? Tooooooool.) until the end, when he actually turned out to be a fairly upstanding guy. In general Sunny’s voice just felt a lot more natural and relatable to me than Dawn’s wishy-washy self-righteousness. (She’s still a pain in the ass in this one. Sigh.)

Four cupcakes

Bookathon: Lust

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Book Four

Starting time: 5:30
Ending time: 8:36

Title: Lust
Author: Robin Wasserman
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 229

Summary: Let’s see if I got this: Adam and Beth are the golden couple; mean girl Harper wants Adam; rich new girl Kaia also wants Adam, sleezy Kane wants Beth; Harper’s BFF Miranda wants Kane. And there’s a “don’t stand so close to me” teacher. People scheme.

Thoughts: This isn’t the sort of book I usually pick up, but I like the author. But I think I’ll stick with Wasserman’s sf from her on out. The only mildly tolerable character in the novel was Beth, everyone else? Bleh. This is decidedly not my genre, so I think I’ll skip the other six books in the series.

One cupcake.

Bookathon: Ophelia

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Book Four
Starting Time: 5:35 pm
Ending Time: 8:32 pm

Title: Ophelia
Author: Lisa Klein
Genre: Shakespeare fanfiction. Well, it is.
Pages: 328
Summary: Hamlet and beyond, from Ophelia’s point of view.
Thoughts: Hamlet is one of my favorite Shakespeare’s, and I’ve always loved Ophelia and wished she was given more respect, so I was very happy to see this in the store (even though Becky pointed out that the very pretty model on the cover looks like a girl version of Michael Cera, and now I can’t unsee it; I call her Sara Michael). It’s a decent story and a decent pastiche, and though I think this tomboyish, authority-flouting Ophelia is very much a modern construction and not terribly well-rooted in the play, I like her. I especially liked that not only did Ophelia get her story told, but that Gertrude’s character was explored in far greater detail and redeemed somewhat, plus the book was crammed with various female characters, all distinct individuals and well outnumbering the men. My two quibbles were a) that the final third was really Jesus-y, which is fine but not really my style as a reader, and b) scenes from the actual play were glossed over, assuming a familiarity with the material that I doubt the target audience has. I certainly could have done with a refresher. Oh well, it was still good.

Three and a half cupcakes

Bookathon: Dawn, Diary 1

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Book Two
Time Started: 11:30 pm
Time Finished: 12:40 am

Title: California Diaries: Dawn, Diary 1
Author: Ann M. Martin
Genre: Teen drama llama.
Pages: 180
Summary: As Dawn moves from the middle school to the high school, she finds her world changing as her circle of friends shift to include some and exclude others.
Thoughts: The CA Diaries series was a Baby-sitters Club spinoff that featured Dawn and her California friends in a somewhat more adult setting, with eating disorders and drinking and words like “breast” and “gynecologist.” Shocking! I’ve been reading through all the BSC books, including spinoffs, here, but I’d never read a CA Diaries book before. It didn’t charm me. Dawn is pretty much horrible (and seems to have lost all of her interests and convictions from the BSC proper), all the girls treat each other like crap, and the scene where a 17-year-old ogles a 13-year-old’s bra-less breast through her wet t-shirt is way gross. The brightest spot was Dawn’s brother Jeff being a hilariously sullen little brat. I love that kid.

Two cupcakes.

ETA: I am heading to bed now, because I have to be up for MoCCA Fest tomorrow, but when I return tomorrow afternoon, the reading and blogging shall recommence!

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Ironic Gentleman By Adrienne Kress [LibrarythingAmazon]

Life is good for Alexandra Morningside – she loves living with her uncle in the flat above his doorknob shop, and she loves her sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Underwood, a stickler for grammar and an expert on fencing. But Mr. Underwood is the descendent of one of history’s most feared pirates and the inheritor of the Wigpowder treasure, and the dreaded pirate Captain Steele will stop at nothing to claim the treasure before Mr. Underwood can. It’s up to Alex to rescue her kidnapped teacher and find the treasure – if she can survive the increasingly more bizarre hurdles along the way.

(more…)

Old Review Roundup

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Before we get started, here, some older reviews I’ve done, relevant to this site:

The City of Ember and The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau. Five cupcakes, and a friggin’ cherry on top. (Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian Science Fiction)

Uglies, Pretties and Specials by Scott Westerfeld. Four and a half cupcakes for Uglies, three and a half for the other two. (Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian Science Fiction)

Bruce Coville novels, including the My Teacher series, The A.I. Gang, The Dragonslayers, The Nina Tanleven Ghost Series, and The Magic Shop series. I’d say the average rating is about four cupcakes. (Genres: Aliens Among Us, Other, High Fantasy, Contemporary/Urban Fantasy, and Fairy Tale/Mythic)

Pendragon, books one and two, by D.J. MacHale. Two cupcakes. (Genre: Portal Fantasy.)

Meta talk about writing and books:

Fantasy Females (Of the Literary Variety), about the roles female characters play in fantasy.

Seriously, What is Wrong With Cinderella?, about Disney princesses, ideas about how to keep female characters dynamic, and a little bit of repeated review of Pendragon.