Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fox Forever

By Mary E. Pearson

Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network.
Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance—and into Raine’s life.


So I was very anticipatory of this series after reading the first book “The Adoration of Jenna Fox” which was, in a word, amazing. The second book I didn’t like as much, it took on a darker tone and was told from Locke’s point of view instead of Jenna’s. But I still was invested enough to read this last installment, and was quite pleased. It still didn’t have the same punch as the first book, but it was great in its own right. It’s got the almost obligatory love story, but it tackles some interesting issues—mainly the question “what is it to be human?” Locke is a great character and very well written and believable as a teenager turned bio-miracle. Raine is interesting and their connection was well done, not over done and not treated lightly. The plot was a little see-through to me, as I knew what was going on from almost the first few pages. IT was still enjoyable and I’d recommend fans of the series to read this last book.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5- it was above average and fun to read.

The War of the Worlds

By H.G. Wells

Something has just landed in the country fields, and unidentifiable object that causes quite a stir. When it begins to move, the people, curious as ever wait with baited breath to see who could be inside. What ensues is a terrifying account of a Martian invasion told in the perspective of a man who saw it all from beginning to end.

Oh H.G. Wells, I’m sure this book was the height of science fiction in its day, but I was so bored. It was so over-worded and long winded that I felt it could’ve been made into a sufficient short story vs. a full bred novel. More than half of the book was spent running around the English countryside staring at the giant metal Martians burning things with its laser vision and spent in exposition about trivial things. Honestly, I can tell you precisely what happens in 3 sentences without feeling like I’ve left anything of importance out. I really do feel like this is a period-piece rather than a long-standing piece. It was hard to muddle through, but I was determined to do it. The end had more punch to it and was more exciting, but about 75-100 pages in the middle were just painful to get through because of the sheer wordage.

I give this a 2.5 out of 5

The Madness Underneath

By Maureen Johnson

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Roy Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggest she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidenced that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.


Oh where do I start? I enjoyed the first book in The Shades of London series, as the Jack the Ripper stuff really balanced out well with the silly and humorous doings of a White Chapel boarding school. Rory was always a bit over-the-top for me, but the undertones of ghosts and murders really toned her down. This second book however, felt like a romp on the un-believable and hormonal express. Rory is inexplicably jerking from one emotion to the next (even more so than is normal for a girl) and without suitable explaination does some truly idiotic decision-making. I was so out of patience with both the characters and the story by the end that I can tell you I won’t be reading any more of this series. Things happened in the plot that seemed to happen just because the author wanted them to, the characters felt a lot like marionettes that suddenly were jerked from stage left to stage right for no apparent reason. I’m disappointed, but no recommendation for this one. Skip it and be happy with the first.

I give it a 1.5 out of 5

No One Can Take Your Place

By Sheri Dew

Have you ever wondered if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing with your life? Maybe you have a testimony of Jesus Christ but aren’t quite sure that he will really help you with your problems. Or, like most of us, maybe you have those days when you just don’t see how you’ll ever measure up.
No One Can Take Your Place is a book that will help you. It will help you catch a glimpse of the power our Father in Heaven wants you to have. It will help you learn how to lay hold upon that power, how to overcome the temptations that stand in the way of your happiness, and how to shine as a leader in the world. It will help you understand who you really are.
True happiness comes from doing what we were meant to do. This book will motivate you to find out what that means for you; it will also inspire you to carry out your unique work on the earth, for truly, no one can take your place.


I’ve read a few of Sheri Dew’s books, and all of them are well done and have precious truths in them, but I think this is my favorite so far. The entire book is filled with great things to keep you going, but the last section of the book is where I found the things that were the most precious. It was in this section that she talks about being kind to yourself and seeing yourself as someone who matters to the world, to your friends and family, and especially to God. This is a book especially for women and a great one at that. If you need a gift for a friend that’s struggling with feeling important, this is a great buy. Love it.


I give it a 4 out of 5


By Edith Pattou

Rose has always felt out of place in her family, a wanderer in a bunch of homebodies. So when an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and asks her to come away with him—in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family—she readily agrees. The bear takes Rose to a distant castle, where each night she is confronted with a mystery. In solving that mystery, she loses her heart, discovers her purpose, and realizes her travels have only just begun.

Ever since I read Jessica Day George’s book “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” I have loved this particular fairy tale, most likely because it resembles Beauty and the Beast so much. This telling is creative and interesting, what with the “birth-direction” superstition and the way she describes the trolls, which was unlike anything I’d ever read or heard before. The characters aren’t all that memorable, and a little flat, which often happens in re-tellings of famous fairy tales. She does do Rose credibly, but most of the other characters are rather stereotypical, but that doesn’t make them less likeable in many cases. The story is told in a many-perspective view, mostly in Rose, but sometimes the bear, the troll, her brother, and her father. That was a little distracting, and I typically don’t like different perspectives while reading, it’s too jolting. It works, but I still would have preferred at least less perspectives to jump to and from. When all is said and done, this was an interesting and quick jaunt, but I did get tired of reading it, which is never good. I can’t really recommend it if you enjoy re-tellings, though many people really love this book. My best guess is that if you like young adult fiction and you like fairy tales, this is a fun read. If, like me, you want to find the best re-tellings of fairy tales, this one isn’t the best in my opinion for the fairy tale “east of the sun and west of the moon”.

I give it a 3 out of 5- average

The Hundred Dresses

By Eleanor Estes

“I’ve got a hundred dresses.” Nobody can believe it—Wanda wears the same old blue dress every day. “A hundred dresses—all lined up!” If Wanda really does have a hundred dresses, she’s certainly keeping them hidden…buy why?

This is that rare book that was read to us in first grade that I actually listened to and really loved. It’s a book about being kind and about being different. It’s classic and I know that adult book clubs read it all the time. It’s sweet and sad and a great subtle lesson for kids to learn about bullying and being nice.

 I give it a 4 out of 5

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears

By Kersten Hamilton

Locked doors are opening, and magical creatures are tumbling through mysterious portals from Mag Mell, the world-between-worlds, into the streets of Chicago. Meanwhile, the romance between seventeen-year-old Teagan, who is part goblin, and the alluring bad boy Finn Mac Cumhaill is heating up….which is awkward, to say the least, considering he is bound by a family curse to fight goblins his entire life. Celtic mythology, adventure, and paranormal romance fuse in the electrifying finale of the Goblin Wars trilogy.


Sad day. I’ve been waiting for the end to this trilogy for a year now and after reading it, I was let down. I wanted to like it just as much as the first two, and I tried I really really tried, but I just don’t. It felt flat for me. It just seemed to randomly put new characters in and old characters acting out of character and people dying and just confusingness. There was enough to tie all the books together, but I got a little lost as to how certain aspects (which I will not spoil the book by relating) fit into the grand scheme of things. That and one of my favorite characters died and I really didn’t want that to happen…I swear the author could’ve saved them. It seemed a waste and I don’t know how it furthered the plot, but perhaps by that time I was already irritated enough to find it flawed. Oh well. Sad day.

I give it 3 out of 5-average. Sadly.