Friday, January 16, 2009

First Truth by Dawn Cook

"Alissa doesn't believe in magic. Her father's stories about the Hold, a legendary fortress where human Keepers learn magic from the enigmatic Masters, are just that --stories. But her mother insists that Alissa has inherited her father's magical ability, and so she must go to the Hold--the only place her talents can be trained. On her way, she crosses paths with Strell, a wandering musician from the plains. And though Alissa is not sure she can trust a plainsman, Strell has something Alissa needs--one of her father's old maps. Traveling together, they can reach the Hold before the snow sets in. But they don’t know that the Hold is nearly empty. The Keeper Bailic has sent the Masters on a fool's errand and systematically killed the other Keepers in his search for the First Truth, a book of magic that will give him ultimate power. And he believes that Alissa and Strell hold the secret of the book's hiding place."

About 190 pages into this book I gave up and skipped to the last chapter. It started out good, I thought Alissa was a likable enough character, however, along the way the story became a bit boring and uneventful. I stopped and read another book and forced myself to come back to this one. Having skipped most of the book, I still don't feel like I missed too much. Just reading the last chapter caught me up on everything that happened. I was a bit surprised how it ended, I thought by that point more would have happened, but it was clearly written as an introduction to the rest of the series.

Book One: First Truth
Book Two: Hidden Truth
Book Three: Forgotten Truth
Book Four: Lost Truth

Marley & Me by John Grogan

The reason this book is so entertaining and such a fun read is because it’s so easy to relate to. Yes, this is a story about ‘the world’s worst dog’ that its owner falls in love with, but even more than that, it’s a story about life’s journey. In John Grogan it’s easy to see yourself. You see him as a young, recently married professional who is trying to establish himself as a journalist and who has the feeling that he’s missing something. He has a wonderful wife but they don’t have any kids yet and in order to fill the void they get a yellow lab puppy. Immediately the couple falls in love with Marley and the rest is history.

Marley is able to bring the couple closer together and fills an important role in their relationship. As the kids eventually come, Marley has already established his place in the hearts of his owners and he tags along with them on their adventures and is as much a part of their family as any of the children ever would be. Marley is lovable and a little loopy, but he steals the reader’s heart, for every reader can remember that one dog, or pet or friend that was always there for him, no matter what. “A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he will give you his.” That’s why we love our furry friends and that’s why you won’t be able to help falling in love with Marley.
Post by my husband Tyler
Thanks Tyler for writing this awesome review of Marley & Me.
I can't wait to read the book.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I can't tell you how much I have come to love Youth Fiction. They hardly ever disappoint and I can count on them to be fairly clean and fast-paced. Such is the case with Uglies. It is a science fiction book that centers around a civilization that follows ours where everyone is turned pretty by their 16th birthday. They are told that the differences in appearance is what lead to our (the rusties...because we love metal) demise. Each person at age 12 enters uglyville to await their 16th birthday when they will be given a surgery to make them precisely beautiful and then they will spend the next few years in prettyville. The main character is Talley Youngblood whose best friend has just been changed and she must wait a few more months until she can join him. She discovers during this time that becoming pretty has a cost and that not everyone may want to become pretty.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I found Talley to be realistic but a strong female character. There is enough action to keep it interesting but not too much to make it a typical sci/fi...if you know what I mean. It really got me thinking about appearance and how in some ways, as a society, we are becoming like uglies in a way. Cosmetic surgery is so prevalent among those in Hollywood that regular people are beginning to think they need to be 5'10", 100 lbs, blond with fake big boobs, fake big lips, fake tan, and fake flat forehead to be seen as beautiful. Are we starting to loose what makes us individuals? Or are we discounting what lies within a person? Sorry to get all philosophical on you but these were all questions that came to my mind while I read this book. I really liked the futuristic world that the author created and I was really sucked into it. This is part of a trilogy. I'm currently reading Pretties and the third is called Specials. Great author...great books.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coming Soon in 2009

Princess of the Sword by Lynn Kurland

The Signing by Alison Croggon

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Forest Born by Shannon Hale (book 4 in Bayern)
Gateway by Sharon Shinn

Hearts Blood by Juliet Marillier

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

"'Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.'
Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf. She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire. But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble."

I'm torn with this book. I really wanted to like it, and the overall story idea was intersting. The characters fell flat for me, the writing was a bit boring, and full of random information. I found myself having to re-read passages to try and understand what was going on. I didn't feel the love triangle was well developed, and I'm using the term "love" losely. I wanted to like Mercy, and for the most part she was okay. I thought it was funny that she was portrayed as a strong fighter type, but cried most of the time. I wasn't satisfied with the ending, and although I am curious with who Mercy ends up with, I don't think I will read the other books in the series.

Book One: Moon Called
Book Two: Blood Bound
Book Three: Iron Kissed
Book Four: Bone Crossed
Book Five: Silver Borne
Book Six:
Book Seven:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Literate Good Citizen

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Blog Design by Imagination Designs
All images from the Beautiful Words kit by NewLifeDreams Designs and the Story Book Castle kit by Lorie Davison