Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Sci Fi Dystopian Young Adult mega hit.
After a hiatus I picked this book back up. (Mad spoilers for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire) (more…)
Immortal Ever After by Lynsay Sands. I read this so you don’t have to.
Valerie Moyer is kidnapped and held captive in a basement with several other women. She frees herself and manages to call 911 before jumping out of a window. Anders (his first name will be addressed a little later) is an Immortal who works to contain other immortals who rick exposing themselves and all their kind by preying on humans for blood. Anders and his team respond to Valerie’s 911 call and our romance is off to the races.
I have once again taken on the Cannonball Read Challenge. Read and review 52 books in one year. I have never actually completed it. Reading books is easy and fun. Writing reviews is really, really hard. I do this to make myself write because I want to be a better writer. The more reviews I write, the better they get. I have written a couple of reviews that I am extremely proud of. I know I can write passionately and well when I am enthused about the subject matter. I can hate it or love it, as long as I have energy I can write a great review.
I’m flexing this muscle on books I don’t have a lot of energy around. I run slow to run faster later. I bike slowly up big hills to do it faster later. This is just another way to get better by working at it.
P.S. The Cannonball Read is a fundraiser to fight cancer in honor of Alabama Pink, someone I never met but whom I miss dearly. Check it out.
The Grey King & Silver on the Tree from The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper. Young Adult Fantasy, heavy on the folklore.
The Dark is Rising sequence is the story of four children, the three Drew children – Barney, Jane, & Simon, and Will Stanton. Will is important because he is an Old One, a member of a race of beings who have magical powers and can move through time. The Drew children are important precisely because they are not magical beings. They are ordinary human children.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Non-Fiction, history, kind of a biography I guess.
In 1951 Henrietta Lacks died from aggressive cervical cancer. She left behind a husband and four young children. She also left behind a sample of cancerous tissue that did what very little other human tissue had ever done before, it lived. Her tissue survived and reproduced, providing a unlimited source of human cells for experimentation. You can imagine the breadth of research possibilities that became possible when this cell line – called HeLa – originated at Johns Hopkins.
But the Lacks family couldn’t. (more…)
Possession (Fallen Angels #5) by J.R. Ward – Paranormal Romance – Spoilers ahead!
The conceit of the Fallen Angels series is that seven souls are at crossroads, heaven and hell are vying for each soul and whoever gets best of seven gets to take over the world.
Jim Heron, the hero of the series, has just traded a win in the aforementioned divine contest to get Sissy Barton out of hell. Cait Douglass, the heroine of the book, is trying to get out there and live life, energized by the death of her art student, Sissy Barton. So now Jim has Sissy and is desperately trying to tell himself and his boner that he’s all altruism. Cait rather suddenly has her choice of two hot but slightly off putting men.
Jim’s story is now far more compelling than the intra-book plot. Cait’s story is interesting and relatable. I think most of us have had to choose between two unknown but seemingly desirable options. The identity of her partner in Happily Ever After is obscured for quite a while. Obscured for even longer is who the soul in play in this round is. Which is a reflection of the fact that Jim has completely lost the plot and is so focused on “caring” for Sissy (e.g. convincing his boner to chill the fuck out) that he completely forgets to be the savior of the universe. Jerk. There is quite a shocking event at the end of the book that I didn’t think made much sense, but I’ll trust Ward to know where she is going with it.
Ward is a reliable writer. Her men are forceful and her women are too. But she is getting a little too reliable these days. I’m a little pissed off that out of the five books and four souls so far, not one has been a woman. She has been giving us conflicted, glorious damaged male protagonists for a while and now I want a woman who could tip in the wrong direction, rather than women being what brings men back to the light side. That being said, the main antagonist of the series is a woman and she’s awfully evil.
I am hoping that the effort of keeping two series going at once (Black Dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angels) does not cause either to be diluted.
Dragons and Warrior Daughters – Ed. Jessica Yates , a collection of short stories all featuring prominent female characters or protagonists, some of which have dragons.
I picked this book up for two reasons. It has a story from Robin McKinley, one of my most beloved authors, and I am trying to populate my daughter’s bookshelf with positive stories about women and girls.
I got exactly what I was hoping to find. The stories were varied in tone and the role that each woman played. What did not vary was that each protagonist was faced with difficult choices that had no pat answers. Even more than their being women, I enjoyed that each heroine had to choose from imperfect solutions to their problems. Some of the stories had slightly improbable, happily ever after conclusions, others were ambiguous, and others downright depressing.
Some stories had more of a moral than others. The last story, a very dark revenge tale, is a caution to be careful, let we get what we wish for. A story set just after the fall of the Roman Empire illustrates that glory follows those who seek it and true heroes act out of righteous purpose, not a desire for fame. McKinley’s story, which led me to the book in the first place, is about the power of love but also shows how our greatest proponent and and also our greatest critic lies within and that your life will follow on which you choose to listen to.
I’m happy I picked this up and I will be setting it on the shelf for my daughter to investigate in another 10-12 years. Heck, I might even read it again!
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. The book that gave a name to the problem with no name.
If you are a feminist or you agree with some of the principles of feminism (that women and men deserve equal opportunities and treatment) and you haven’t read this book you should. You should get ready to get mad. If you think we don’t need feminism anymore, or that we didn’t need it in the first place, you should read this book. (more…)