Friday, November 26, 2010

Ape House by Sara Gruen

Ape House is a nice quick read about six bonobo apes at a facility where scientists are studying their language and communication abilities. These apes are the best characters in the book- their personalities seem to be better developed than those of the human characters; though the book is mainly narrated by their loving caretaker, Isabel Duncan and a news reporter, John Thigpen. It focuses less on animal and more on the personal lives of the humans.

I'm not sure if this book was really written to its full potential- it seems like because Water for Elephants was so popular they assumed they didn't have to try as hard on this is a little shallow. While it's not life changing or epic, the book is probably worth your time since it probably won't take too much of it. (**If you are squeamish about sexual references beware- reference,though not explicit, is often made to the bonobos' frequent natural behaviors.)

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

The Story Sisters is about three sisters who live in their own world and speak a secret language created by the oldest, Elv, after she endures a traumatic event. Over time Elv begins to change her story and the sisters eventually grow apart through a series of twists and turns. The author's storyline is riveting and unpredictable. There was a little bit in the middle where it seemed to slow down, but immediately something happens that changes the course of their lives entirely.

I'm not sure if I'm ok with the ending or not, it's a little hard to explain. Most of Hoffman's endings are different than you'd expect with something a little off about them; you have to learn to accept what happened. This ending was different because is a little bit more tied-up and complete.

Alice is one of my favorite authors, she is always good for some modern fairy-tale goodness. She reminds me of Brothers Grimm in a way since her stuff always has a darker (but not too-dark) whimsical vibe. There is always romance too...but not too much of that either.

All in all this book was one of the best I've read in a long time- refreshing and exciting compared to the "blah" I've been mucking through lately.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

I'm diggin' this author. Another book without a language issue.  I mean yeah - it was kinda weird, but I like weird.  The cover was a bit of a turn off for me, but it actually embraces the book in a nutshell.  I already have the next book ready for me to dig into so happy reading to me!

First Line: The halls of Bixby high school were always hideously bright on the first day of school.

Nobody is safe in the secret hour.
Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma.
Time freezes.
Nobody moves.
For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour -- only they are free to move about the midnight time.
These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another. All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School.
Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they're determined to stop her before she can use it.

Midnighters Series
Book #1 The Secret Hour 2004
Book #2 Touching Darkness 2005
Book #3 Blue Moon 2005

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

It's a tiny little book that packs a big punch! From halfway through I finished it in one sitting.  I love books with a twist like this one!  It had a lot of folk lore and mythology, several stories within a story that reminded me a tiny bit of Arabian nights.
 First Line:  I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison.
"I can steal anything."
After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task — to steal a hidden treasure from another land.
To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.

The Queen's Thief Series
Book #1 The Thief 1996
Book #2 The Queen of Attolia 2000
Book #3 The King of Attolia 2006
Book #4 A Conspiracy of Kings 2010
Book #5 Untitled 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Great Book!  I don't know why I am just now finding out about it, seriously sometimes I really live under a rock.  It has futuristic technology of Hunger Games but without the violence.  And NO language issues!!!!  It's a book I could comfortably recommend for my 13-yr-old niece without reservation. I have a schedule that means I can only read small bits at a time and then have to put the book down at the most random times - so I was constantly looking forward to picking it back up again.  When the book ended I had the same feeling of 'wanting to get back to it' days after it was over.  I cannot wait to get the next book and satisfy my craving!
First Line: The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license –– for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world –– and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Uglies Series
Book #1 Uglies 2005
Book #2 Pretties 2005
Book #3 Specials 2006
Book #4  Extras 2007

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer

I am a big Twilight fan (well the books anyway) so when these little extras drift in that offer another perspective from lesser characters I eat drink it up! 
First Line: The newspaper headline glared at me from a little metal vending machine: SEATTLE UNDER SIEGE - DEATH TOLL RISES AGAIN.

Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood... life before she became a vampire.
All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn't know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.
Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they know only as "her". As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

Twilight Series
Book #1 Twilight 2005
Book #2 New Moon 2006
Book #2.1 New Moon Extra- Edward and Rosalie 2006
Book #3 Eclipse 2007
Book #3.5 The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner 2010
Book #4 Breaking Dawn 2008
Book #5 Midnight Sun

Monday, November 8, 2010

Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans

Starts out kinda heartbreaking - not gonna lie, and then a tiny bit creepy in the middle but it has an awesome ending and is overall a feel-good Christmas book.  
Made me want to go on a moonlight sleigh ride at Hardware Ranch too!
First Line: When I was a little girl, my mother told me that everyone has a secret.

“As you read my story, there is something I want you to understand. That in spite of all the pain — past, present and that still to come — I wouldn't have done anything differently. Nor would I trade the time I had with him for anything — except for what, in the end, I traded it for.”
Beth Cardall has a secret. For eighteen years, she has had no choice but to keep it to herself, but on Christmas Eve 2008, all that is about to change.
For Beth, 1989 was a year marked by tragedy. Her life was falling apart: her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was suffering from an unidentifiable illness; her marriage transformed from a seemingly happy and loving relationship to one full of betrayal and pain; her job at the dry cleaners was increasingly at risk; and she had lost any ability to trust, to hope, or to believe in herself. Then, on Christmas Day, as she rushed through a blizzard to the nearest 7-Eleven, Beth encountered Matthew, a strikingly handsome, mysterious stranger, who would single-handedly change the course of her life.
Who is this man, and how does he seem to know so much about her? He pursues her relentlessly, and only after she's fallen deeply in love with him does she learn his incredible secret, changing the world as she knows it, as well as her own destiny.
From the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved classics The Christmas Box and The Christmas List comes a breathtaking story of the transcendent power of love.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I was curious.
I wanted to see what all the fuss was about even though I got a couple of warnings that I wouldn't like some of it's content. Truth is I didn't like MOST of the content, but it was like a train wreck that you can't take your eyes off of.  Torture, blackmail, rape, incest, murder weaved throughout a story line and mystery that is infuriatingly intriguing. I was on the hold list for months at the library and even though I have the other two books sitting on my nightstand they are going back unread.  I may not be able to learn from others, but I can learn from my own mistakes, usually.
First Line: It happened every year, was almost a ritual.

"Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back...
Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo." --Dave Callanan

The Millennium Trilogy
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

I often put my name on a hold list on the library just because it has a really long wait on it so I figure it's got to be good.  Ummmm not so much.  The book was just silly I guess.  Not that there is anything wrong with silly, it was entertaining and a super fast read but there wasn't really any substance there either.  The bakery where Lizzy works did remind me of my ex-step-mother-in-law's donut shop in Casper though - that's something I guess.  And I do have a fascination with Salem Mass, and Lizzy also reminds me of my college roommate Heather just a tinsy but - but probably just because she bakes unmentionable cupcakes...
This is the first Janet Evanovich book I've read and maybe she just counts on her previous fans to carry her through fast reads like this - clearly she is widely popular - and I liked her style enough to try another one of her books, but maybe not one in this series.

First Line: My name is Elizabeth Tucker

Seven Stones of Power. No one knows when they were created or by whom, each said to represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long -- Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues' gallery of power seekers. He's an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She's freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston's North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle's bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it's suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She's not sure about Diesel. He's offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that's fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about

Related Posts with Thumbnails