Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Review: The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

Library: Central Branch (BPL)
Genre: Christmas Inspirational Fiction

Richard Evans and his wife Kerri live in very small quarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. The space is so small that their daughter, Jenna, still has to sleep in her crib at age 4. One day Kerri finds an ad requesting a live-in couple to help her around her mansion. The end of this short tale leaves the young couple's lives forever changed.

One of the many things that I liked about this novella was the beautiful, descriptive language:
"And then, there's the smell of perfumed candles, and hot wassail or creamy cocoa...the smells of Christmas are the smells of childhood"
I also loved the pace and unraveling the small mysteries. If you love Christmas and heartwarming books, I suggest this one! I'm definitely a fan of Evans now, but I will read a third, longer novel to make sure that I completely sold on him!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: Worst Case by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Library: Central Branch (BPL)
Genre: Suspense

In New York City, another crazy killer is targeting teenagers from wealthy families. Detective Michael Bennett and Emily Parker, an FBI abduction specialist search for the killer before time runs out.

The third in the Michael Bennett series, Worst Case was probably the best written. By this I mean that it was a more cohesive way of story telling and it seemed to move fluidly over the few days that it took place. I found that in the previous books, there was too much unnecessary information within the short chapters.

There was a lot less talk about his very unrealistic home situation (all those adopted children and young Nanny). Although I've had three books to let his home life to sink in, it doesn't make it any more believable. The chapters from the killers point of view were maybe a little less gripping than in the second and the ending was very disappointing. I did however enjoy the accurate depiction of New Yorkers as always in this series!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cool THE SMURFS Contest from: A Cozy Reader's Corner

Photobucket Hey friends!

I had some extra time tonight and decided to cruise the blogs to see if there were any contests. I don't know if I the one I found could be more PERFECT!
It's a giveaway from the "A Cozy Reader's Corner" blog. You have the choice of 2 graphic novels: Purple Smurfs and The Smurfs and the Magic Flute.

Check out the blog entry outlining the full details here.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Review: The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

Library: Central Branch
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Christian

James Kier is a tyrannt. He's a wealthy real estate tycoon who is divorcing his terminally ill wife and destroying people's lives in his path. It wasn't until his obituary was printed in the paper prematurely that he realized that his aggressive business agenda was giving him a terrible reputation.

I liked that Evans stemmed this entire novel from an elementary school project [albeit morbid] his teacher gave to his class. Write your own obituary, how would you want to be remembered? Combine that with his love for the Charles Dickens classical"A Christmas Carol" and the Christmas List is born. It is extremely satisfying to see Kier attempt to make changes to his life and the different, extremely realistic outcomes. I loved the story telling. Although it was in 3rd person, there were a lot of strategically placed monologues that moved the story along and explained major rehearsals for other character's character flaws and things. Sorry to be so vague but I would really love it if you guys read it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steampunk: The more you know!

I am unnaturally excited that I saw a new sub-genre written today: Steampunk.

Like my Cyberpunk article, I'd like to briefly discuss this new (to me) genre. Firstly, it's related to Cyberpunk. (get it? Cyber as in computers and Steam as in old timey steam propelled gadgets?!) It is a sub-genre of Sci-fi It also became popular in the 80s and early 90s.Some major differences are that they aren't normally as dystopian and that the stories are set during times where steam power was used (like, the 19th century or in Victorian era Britain). In short, the stories feature futuristic inventions as only people from this particular time period would see them.

Back in the 80s, author K W Jeter was looking for a way to describe various novels that had shared a common these: fantasies took place in the 19th century. He came up with Steampunk and his novel Morlock Night is considered the first example of Steampunk. There were of course plenty of novels that fit the description.

I quickly googled this term so I didn't come up with too many examples. There's a lot of talk about objects from Steampunk being made in real life. The Syfy show Warehouse 13 has many items that would be considered Steampunk. A movie title that stuck out which you might be familiar with is The Wild Wild West. I don't know how that's steampunk but I read it on the internet so it must be true!! ;)

**I stumbled across Gaslight romance, Gaslight Fantasy, Weird West while researching this and will write an entry on that soon!**

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review: Elsewhere by Gabreille Zevin

Library: Grand Army Plaza
Genre: Young Adult

Elsewhere is what the name of the actual place we go when we die in this novel. It's so similar to Earth, there are trees and plants, water and sky, people with homes and jobs. The only difference is that everyone is aging backwards until they are born again.

Liz Hall dies and wakes up on a large cruise ship wondering if she's dreaming. She's only fifteen and she vaguely remembers riding her bike to the mall that morning. Reality hits hard when Liz realizes that she is in fact dead and won't ever turn 16. She'll never get a driver's license, get married, go to prom [not in that order]. What's worse is that she has to live with her grandmother who died before she was born.

I enjoyed the pace of this book. I loved getting to know the entire world of Elsewhere and wish that there were more to read about it. It's not a sequel kind of book, but the world is interesting enough to have quite a few parts written. The way Zevin addresses death and the afterlife is as fresh as it is a real possibility of what it could be like. Definite recommend.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Book Review: Step on a Crack by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

Library: Clinton Hill
Genre: Fiction/Suspense

The former First Lady dies accidently one day and the turnout for her funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral is star studded. Reality tv stars, musicians and comedians alike come out to mourn her death. Suddenly, the church is seized by robed, gun toteing men on a mission.

We first meet Detective Michael Bennett in this book. Compared to Run for your Life, this one isn't as interesting. There are a lot of inconsistancies to the narration. I feel like the authors were trying to figure out Mike's voice in this novel. I read through it pretty quickly so if you're looking for something to kill some time while you're traveling, check this one out!

The last leg of Summer!

Hello Fellow Readers!

Well it's finally September and there are already Fall reading lists out. I'm going to read breezy summer reads until My library crawl has been going on strong as I have a finished a few books in the last couple of weeks. I also signed myself up with a publishers list that notifies me about upcoming books and the authors who want their books reviewed. I recently received a book called "He Blew Her a Kiss" in the mail and have already fallen in love with it. Will get you the review soon. Until then, happy reading!! :)