So I have another couple of YA reads on tap over the next week or two. Here they are:
The sequel to Ashes a really great dystopian/zombie read. I want to read this before I forget the premise of the first book. 🙂
This one is on the current Lone Star list for TLA. I like the cover and anything resurrecting the sinister tale of Jack the Ripper. I hope it lives up to my expectations…
These are the last two books I read. The Scorpio Races I read after I finished with The Raven Boys- I was hoping it would be as good, but was a little disappointed. I enjoyed it, but the story was not as compelling for me. I posted about this on my Shelfair page too, so you may read the review there- http://www.shelfari.com/jenbreading/shelf
The next book I read as the first in my Dewey challenge for 2013. I hope to read one book from each of the 100 divisions in the Dewey Decimal system. I started with this one because it was a graduation gift from a friend, it was about a librarian, and the call number is 020.92. While this was not the best or most compelling memoir I have ever read, it was an easy read and mostly enjoyable. My biggest complaint was that the story seemed a little disjointed and sporadic. The best part of the book was Mr. Hanagarne’s description of his struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome. You may find another review on my Shelfari page at the same link as above.
I finished reading Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick- another entry in the dystopian/disaster/zombie arena. At first I was not sure about the book, one of the main characters, Ellie, an 8-year-old girl who has lost her whole family, speaks with a voice wise beyond her years. I found this distracting enough that I thought I might abandon the book, but then the action kicked in and almost never stopped.
This book is written with urgency and non-stop momentum. From the head piercing burst of something that kills most people under 65 to the very last scene which finds our protagonist Alex running for her life again, Bick slams her foot down on the accelerator and hardly lets up.
Now I have to read the second book in the trilogy, Shadows, and can’t wait for the third due out in the Fall- Monsters. If you have not yet read this book, I recommend you do. By the way, it is also on the current Texas Tayshas recommended list for teens and in this case, I agree.
I’m now onto another 2013 Tayshas: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
I finished Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen a couple of days ago. I really liked it. Great summer read. Hiaasen just has a way with the quirky mystery and I enjoy reading his brand of Florida-set story.
In this one, Andrew Yancey has gotten himself busted down to restaurant inspector from Miami detective after a few unfortunate choices. After coming into possession of a severed arm, Yancey figures he might score a few points with his former boss if he can solve the mystery of who the arm belongs to and why someone might want him dead.
Throw in a suspicious, grieving widow, an attractive ME, and mysterious circumstances that stretch from the Florida Keys to the Bahamas- oh and the bad monkey- and you’ve got the makings of a laugh-out-loud, Hiaasen-brand mystery. Great to take on vacation!
So I finished this yesterday. It was sad, and moving, and funny, and uniquely John Green-ish. You know how some authors just have a certain tone, well he has one. For an author who writes stand alone books, this can in some ways be good for the reader because there is still a rhythm for the reader to find and fall in step with. That may sound crazy, but I swear it’s there in every John Green book I’ve read.
Back to my original point of this post- did I like it? Yup! It’s obvious that Green has upped his game. I think his writing style is becoming smoother and more nuanced, but I mean that in a totally non-snobbish literary criticism way! He’s better at his craft and it shows in the end product.
Do I recommend this book? Yes- especially to those who like thoughtful, funny, more-character-study over action, and yes, sad books. My 17-year-old daughter LOVED the book, although Looking for Alaska is still her fave Green book. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to the next John Green project.
BTW, John is a very funny person and you might want to check our his YouTube channel Mental Floss which contains all sorts of posts busting myths and holding forth on all sorts of wide-ranging and varied topics. Also on YouTube is the channel John started with his brother Hank called the VlogBrothers- also very funny! So come on you Nerdfighters DFTBA!!