Friday, March 25, 2011

The City of Ember Series - Jeanne DuPrau

Which includes four books, The City of Ember, The people of Sparks, The Prophet of Yonwood and The Diamond on Darkhold.

I really enjoyed the first two books. It took on a new idea of a city of people living underground while around them the world ended. 200 years later, their city that was built to only last a few centuries, is collapsing. Its up to two kids to find a way out. In the second book, the people of Ember are outside for the first time. They must get use to odd things, like weather and sunlight. The people of Sparks are a small, poor but proud community. They have come a long way since they settled and a leery about the 'cave people'.

I enjoyed them because it was a new concept. Instead of the world ending and people fighting to survive, or hundreds of years later people who adapted to the new world. Here was a group of people that didn't know what was wrong! It was fascinating.

The third and fourth book, for me, dragged a little. It was actually disappointing, since I enjoyed the first two. The third one is actually a prequel to the first two. The fourth wraps up from where the second one left off. I agree with the order of the books if you were to read them. I think the third one was interesting for it history, I think the fourth did wrap things up. But they just weren't as good as the first two.

I hear these are now made into a movie. I think the movie would have potential. Especially since it has the talents of Bill Murry, Tim Robbins and Toby Jones (yes Dobby from Harry Potter!). So I will hopefully enjoy the on screen adaptation of The City of Ember.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

City of Ember - Jeanne Duprau

Imagine a world with only artificial light. Everything you need/want comes from a vast storage room. What happens when the generator that has been powering your world stops working? What happens when the supplies run out? 200+ years in Ember and that is exactly what happens. They must find a way out before the lights go out forever. 

Lina and Doon find a mysterious set of instructions that they are sure leads them out of the City. The must decipher it and they must make the people believe that its the only way to survive. 

This book was wonderfully written about a world that is scary to imagine, but not that far fetched. 

I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys post apocalyptic fiction.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Playing with Matches - Brain Katcher

Being the true cover whore that I am, I never would have picked this book up, if I hadn't already read, Almost Perfect by him. Thankfully I was proven wrong yet again, that you can't judge a book by its cover.

This story follows Leon, who I had a love/hate relationship the entire time, as he tries to get the most popular and beautiful girl to at least notice him. Meanwhile this amazing girl who has burn scars on her face is everything he wants in a girl. If only he could get over the scars.

This book, like Almost Perfect  deals with a topic that has a lot of moral/ethical undertones. We have all seen the person who is disfigured at the store. The one with the burn scar, or strange birth mark, missing limbs. But how many of us stop and think, how do they feel? Honestly? Especially in high school, where is its so hard to be accepted anyway, but then to have a deformity of some sort. It would be a hundred times more hard!  I admire the courage of Melody in this book. She has amazing strength and heart.

I laughed during this book, and I got really sad. I really hope to read more of Katcher, he has a very witty sarcastic writing style that I enjoy. And he writes about things that are usually not something you would write/read about.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ruined - Paula Morris

Okay so this is your typical story of girl moves to a strange city, to live with her "crazy" aunt, and go to a horrid school, that has these awful group cliques, and meets the most handsome boy in the town, who of course likes her, even though she is broody. Oh yeah and her best friend is a ghost. 
So, of course I enjoyed it. Because hey, we have all been there right? 

Our main character is Rebeca. Her dad has to go away on business so he ships her of to New Orleans. And this, is her version of hell. She is from New York. A place with so many things to do, people to see. Her school was had all different kinds of people in it. Now she if being forced into a privet school where its not who you know, but who's family you are born into, that makes you popular. The most popular girl in school takes an instant dislike to Rebeca and Rebeca to her. She thinks it will be the longest six months of her life, until she finally meets someone who doesn't turn their nose up at her. Unfortunately that person has been dead, for 150 or so years. 

The story is told between the past and present of New Orleans during the height of Mardi Gras. Between two different worlds, living streets apart from each other. I thought the book was very nicely told, rich in detail, funny and sad...

I would recommend this book to others! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Handmaid's Tale - Margret Atwood

I am going to start by being fair: I don't think I was in the mood for this book. I may have enjoyed it another time/place, but I just wasn't feeling it. I found it wordy, jumpy, poorly descripted (and I mean the petals on the roses were soft as a babies head after a lukewarm bath), (This is also coming from a avid Stephen King fan). Anyway, it was a good idea, it had a good plot line. It has spawned a movie, an opera and a live production. 

This is told, first person by Ofred, set in a very dystopian future where 99% of all woman have gone sterile and woman who aren't are captured and made to bear the children of wealthy men.

In this book, Ofred knows of what the world use to be, but because of her capture and the fact that they took her daughter (and she suspects killed her husband), she is broken and beaten down. (As are most of the woman). She does as she is told. Until she gets to her third family.

It reminded me a little of some other woman's fiction, Reliable Wife, Red Tent come to mind, (although I really enjoyed and recommend those). I think it was good, woman should probably read it, (or watch the movie), but you really have to been in the mood for it. Its very wordy and its a lot to take in.