Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CBR III Review #48: Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Yes this book came out this morning. Yes I'm all ready done. I'm a huge dork I haven't been so excited about a book coming out in forever. In elementary school I was obsessed with The Babysitters Club, then in middle school I moved on to Fear Street and Sweet Valley High.  In high school I read Christoper Pike, Caroline Cooney, VC Andrews and I'll admit I read the Sweet Valley University series.  Embarrassingly I'll even admit I watched the Sweet Valley High TV series and seeing Brittany Daniel's aka Jessica Wakefield as a transvestite on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia still screws with my head.  I would like to mention that SVH and Regina Morrow is the main reason to this day I've never dreamed of touching cocaine.  I mean she died  after trying it only one time!

This book is impossible to review.  The writing is still horrific and there are several continuity errors, but it's a wonderful dose of nostalgia.  The twins, who are now 27, drop the f bomb, they have sex, they have real world jobs and not everything is as rosy as it was when they were 16 years old.

The characters in the novel may have grown up but it's still a SVH book complete with happy ending.  Would I recommend this book to someone who didn't grow upon SVH, of course not! But if you read the novel growing up and want to revisit some old characters it's a great way to spend a few hours.

I'm going to go ahead and warn you that the rest of this review is insanely spolierfic.  Because honestly everyone who grew up on SVH knows this is not the next great American novel. You are only reading this review because you want to know what happens!  If you don't want to know who is gay, who is married, who broke whose heart then turn away now!

Elizabeth is now in New York City.  She works for an off Broadway publication and lives in a cheap New York city apartment.  She ran away to New York when her engagement with Todd Wilkins was broken off.  Why was it broken off?  Because Todd slept with Jessica!  He slept with her for a full month during their senior year of SVH and then again 5 years later after Jessica's second marriage falls apart.

It's been 8 months since Elizabeth found out about the betrayal and now Todd and Jessica are planning on getting married (Jessica's third if you ever read the series and probably her millionth engagement). Jessica lives in Sweet Valley with Todd Wilkins and is the constant source of gossip due to her huge betrayal.  Jessica works in public relations and marketing for a large cosmetics company - apparently she is a genius at her job, of course these twins would never be ordinary at anything!

Winston Egbert made millions in a internet venture with Bruce Patman.  Winston apparently has turned into a huge arrogant ass and right before Elizabeth learns about the affair he dies from falling off his balcony. Apparently he was super intoxicated.  That is the second SVH death due to alcohol in the series for those who are keep track.  Remember the Jungle Prom and the spiked punch? I wonder why the dangers of alcohol never stuck but the thought of cocaine still terrifies me to this day.

I blame the fact that Winston turned into a huge prick on the fact that when Jessica and Todd first start sleeping together Winston found out and Todd dumped him as a friends because he felt so guilty being around someone who knew his terrible secret. Maybe if Todd had been able to keep it in his pants his friendship with Winston would have never ended and Winston would have never had gotten drunk and fallen off his balcony.  Cheating kills!

Lila Fowler is now married to Ken Matthews, who is a huge NFL star.  Apparently she never did learn how to be faithful to someone and routinely cheats on her husband. Carolina Pearce is still a major gossip but is now a cancer survivor and successful real estate agent.  Enid Rollins has turned into an insufferable uptight right wing republican who also has a thriving medical practice.

Bruce Patman is now Elizabeth's best friend.  After his parents died in a car wreck his senior year of college he became a changed person and was no longer the shallow selfish guy that he was in high school and now he harbors a unrequited love for Miss Elizabeth Wakefield.  Does anyone else remember that he tried to date rape Elizabeth back in high school?  Apparently that was easily forgotten.

Steven Wakefield married Cara Walker but it was rumored for months that he was cheating on her with Lila Fowler.  Jessica accidentally found out that wasn't the case and he was in fact having an affair with Aaron Dallas. If I was going to pick a character to be gay in SVH I would have picked Bruce Patman, that man had some major underlying sexual insecurities in high school.

Okay that's the run down of some of the characters you grew up with such a long time ago! If anyone else picks it up let me know what you think!  I'm also sorry if I ruined the novel for anyone but I told you to stop reading, buttheads.

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CBR III Review #47: Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking: Book Three by Patrick Ness

CBR III Review #47: Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking: Book Three by Patrick Ness

War.  This word sums up the last novel in this trilogy.  Mayor Prentiss and Mistress Coyle are engrossed in the war they have created, the only thing they both care about is winning and destroying the other side.  They refuse to consider that peace may be an option, but war becomes even more complicated when the Spackle begin their own war with all the humans no matter what side they are on.  Can the Mayor and Mistress Coyle put aside their differences to figure out how to overcome the war with the Spackle or will they just make matters worse?

Todd, Viola, and this time Spackle 1017 narrate the novel as you jump between the three different sides of the war and the three shifting perspectives makes it tough to pick a side. 1017's story drug a bit but I think that was because I was so involved in Todd and Viola's story it was hard to get wrapped up in yet another voice.

Spoiler Alert.....

I felt this was an amazing conclusion to the trilogy. However, I did feel like the author wussed out what could have been a heart breaking and tragic ending


I will warn you if animal deaths make you a sobbing mess skip all three of the books in the trilogy.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2216 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0763647519
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 25, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0044UHVRC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  
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CBR III Review #46: The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two by Patrick Ness

CBR III Review #46: The Ask and the Answer: Chaos Walking: Book Two by Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer picks up immediately after The Knife of Never Letting Go left off.  Viola has been shot and the two of them have been separated by Mayor Printiss and Todd has no idea if Viola has even survived.  Not to be too spoilerly but off course she does and the novel switches between Todd and Viola throughout the whole book.

With the Mayor taking over the newly called new Printisstown the women in the town start to revolt because they do no wish to have the same fate as the women from the original Printisstown and you follow both Todd and Viola as war starts to break out.

The Knife of Never Letting Go was a thrilling non stop chase while Todd ran from the mayor and slowly figured out the truth about his hometown.  The Ask and the Answer is more psychologically driven and you see why people make the decision they do if the only outcome is more bloodshed.  I enjoyed the Ask and the Answer much more than I did the Knife of Never Letting Go and the writing is not nearly as infuriating - Todd is still a narrator for half the novel but his spelling and language skills have greatly improved since the first novel.



Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 Reprint edition (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076364837X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763648374
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
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Monday, March 28, 2011

CBR III Review #45: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick Ness

CBR III Review #45: The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting go is the first in a trilogy.  The novel starts off following Todd Hewitt the last child in the town of Prentisstown because many years back a germ was released by an enemy that killed all the women. This germ also made all the men able to hear each others thoughts, known as noise.  They are even able to hear the thoughts of all the animals.  One day Todd stumbles upon an area where the noise goes silent and he is startled.  Todd confides in one of the men that raised him about the strange occurrence and they tell him to run and never come back to Prentisstown.

As Todd runs the town's mayor and many of the inhabitants of Prentisstown try and follow Todd and bring him back.  As Todd runs you learn about the strange world that Todd lives on, which is definitely not earth and you discover along with Todd that many of the stories he was told as he grew up were lies and there is something very sinister and strange about Prenstisstown.

The writing is sometimes had to read because Todd has never been educated so Ness writes how he imagines Todd would write it down, but the book is thrilling especially by the time you get to the end.  Some of the chapters slow down but I promise the end of the novel is worth the pay off.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763639311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763639310
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CBR III Review #44: Faithful Place by Tana French

CBR III Review #44: Faithful Place by Tana French

Tana French returns with her third novel Faithful Place.   French's third novel follows main character Francis Mackey,  people familiar with her work may remember him from The Likeness. Frank was Cassie's boss in  the Undercover division.  However, that is where the relationship between her two novel ends.  You never hear anything more about Cassie, but I think her story ended beautifully in The Likeness so I think it would have been a discredit to the characters to bring back anyone else.

French once again creates a very unique character with a unique perspective who is very flawed.  I read all three of her novels in a row and the characters have such a distinct personality it's sometimes hard to believe the same woman wrote all three novels.

The core mystery of this novel revolves around Frank Mackey's past and his first love.  In 1985 Frank and Rosie Daly made plans to run off to England, but the night they planned to run off together all Frank finds is a note telling him she has all ready left. Frank in turns leaves his neighborhood and makes it a point never to return. Twenty-two years later Rosie's suitcase is found in one the empty flats down the street and Frank must return to the place he ran away from to figure out what happened to the woman he loved all while dealing with the family he had grown to hate.

Once again the novel's writing takes a hold of you and you become fully immersed in the main character's life.  However, out all three of her novels I found it the most difficult to find Frank's character sympathetic and likable which made it hard to truly embrace the novel.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 617 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: VIKING ADULT (July 13, 2010)
  • Sold by: Penguin Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NX764O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  
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Friday, March 18, 2011

CBR III Review #43: The Likeness by Tana French

CBR III Review #43: The Likeness by Tana French

Cassie Maddox from French's debut In the Woods is back in The Likeness.  No longer working with her old partner Cassie has gone back to the Domestic Violence unit but a unique crime gets her called back to the murder squad and  undercover work. The body of a young woman is found outside Dublin and she bears an uncanny and virtually identical resemblance to Cassie.  The police cover up the murder and report it as an attack and Cassie steps back into the life of the murdered woman to try and catch the killer. However, Cassie starts to fall in love with this woman's life and she starts to have a hard time separating her feelings from the case.

Once again French writes a novel where the words are beautiful and the story is haunting and once again you fall in love with her characters.  French writes relationships between people so well that you wish to be immersed in them yourself.  The mystery behind her novel is not that hard to solve and the probability of two people looking so much alike and their paths crossing is practically nil but her writing is wonderfully well done that you let some things slide.  The novel makes you wish you were in college again and all you hard to worry about was class and friendships.  This novel had more closure than her first novel In the Woods which I appreciated but the mystery was more farfetched.  I highly recommend reading a novel by Tana French and hopefully you'll end up as immersed in her world as I was.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 892 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0670018864
  • Publisher: Penguin (July 17, 2008)
  • Sold by: Penguin Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DYIOU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews 
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

CBR III Review #42: In the Woods by Tana French

CBR III Review #42:  In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods is a novel with two mysteries.  One is the recent murder of 12 year old Kary Devlin and the other is the 20 year old mystery of two young kids gone missing.  In the center of both is Rob Ryan, a murder squad detective. Ryan along with his partner Cassie Maddox is assigned the Devlin case which ends up overlapping with the 20 year old mystery.  Ryan when he was a boy went into the woods with his two best friends and he was the only one ever seen again. He was found with his socks covered in blood, blood that was not his own and he also had no memory of what happened in the woods.

The novel takes places in Ireland and at times I found the terminology a bit confusing but French does an amazing job of constructing a story.  I've never read writing that seemed to engulf me so entirely and easily. Her writing is haunting and beautiful and the characters she wrote felt real.  They all had their flaws and imperfections and little nuances.

The book does tend to feel a little long. I'm sure there are parts that could have been cut but I feel like some of the magic of the writing would have been lost.  The novel does not end with a perfect little bow tied around the mystery and it did bother me, but I don't see how the novel could have ended any differently.



Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 448 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (May 17, 2007)
  • Sold by: Penguin Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000U913EI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CBR III Review #41: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

CBR III Review #41: Across the Universe  by Beth Revis

A few people on this blog have already reviewed this novel so I'll keep it short.  The cover of the novel really suggest it's just another YA romance but it's a lot more than that.  It's a science fiction fantasy novel and it's a murder mystery novel with dashes of YA romance.

Across the Universe starts with Amy and her family being cryogenically frozen before they are placed on the  spaceship Godspeed.  Amy is the main narrator of half of the novel. Amy's family will be cryogenically frozen for 300 years. After 300 years the spaceship Godspeed should reach a new livable planet.  Earth has been running out of a lot of resources and hopefully Amy's family and the other people selected will be able to make this new planet, that is 300 years away, a home.  The reason Amy's family has been selected is because Amy's mother is a geneticist and her father is a military expert, even though Amy is nonessential the Government allowed her parents to bring her along. Unfortunately, Amy's machine is unplugged and she is thawed out and awakened 50 years too early. To make things worse for Amy she can not be refrozen and by the time the ship lands she will be older than her parents.

Elder, the future leader of the ship, voices the other half of the chapters. Even though he is the future leader of the ship he is currently a teenager. Elder is downstairs when he realizes that Amy is waking up and Elder saves her from drowning in her cryogenics container. Once Amy awakens she officially meets Elder and they form a close relationship. Elder helps Amy try and figure out why someone would want to either unfreeze her or kill her. As the novel progresses other cryogenics containers are unplugged and those who are meant to help the future new planet are not dying.  Amy and Elder start to investigate and discover many deep dark secrets of the ship. Amy and Elder must decide if some secrets are better kept hidden.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 519 KB
  • Publisher: Razorbill (January 11, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00475ARSO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews 
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CBR III Review #40: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

CBR III Review #40: Hollowland by  Amanda Hocking

I think my love for everything zombies indicates their may be something wrong with me, but zombies terrify me so I love them.  They have pussified the vampire genre and novels with real life serial killers never frighten me, but zombies always freak me out.  I think it's because it's the thought of being eaten alive.  I guess if the wrote more shark novels I would be terrified of them as well.


Amanda Hocking once again creates a female lead that doesn't need to be saved.  Her name is Remy and she is currently a 19 year old who so far has survived the zombie apocalypse.  The quarantine zone that she has been living in is overrun by zombies and she is separated from her brother, who had been staying the medical wing. One of the soldiers inform her that her brother had most likely been taken to another quarantine zone northeast of where they currently are.  She immediately heads in the direction that she believes her brother has been taken.


Along for the ride is a 13-year-old named Harlow whose entire family has been killed.  Harlow has unwaveringly put her trust in Remy (trust me I know the names are so hip it's annoying) and she is determined to follow Remy anywhere.  Along the way Remy and Harlow met up with a tiger who loves humans but eats zombies, a medical student name Blue, and a Lazlo. Lazlo was a rock star on the rise when the virus hit so his life skills and survival skills are severely lacking.

The four of them make their way northeast and pick up new traveling companions along the way and lose them to various violent ends.  The novel doesn't break any new ground when it comes to zombie fiction, but it's a quick and fun read.  Remy is a great character because she is a woman on a mission and no one is going to stop her from that mission.


Apparently yet again I have picked up a novel which has plans to be a trilogy.  The novel had a satisfying ending so I don't feel cheated that there are other books planned so if I run across the novel's counterparts I'll probably pick them up, but there is no pressing need to have questions answered.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 344 KB
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1453860959
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Createspace (October 5, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00466H8JK
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews 
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Friday, March 4, 2011

CBR III Review #37-#39: Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking

CBR III Review #37 Switched by Amanda Hocking
  
Switched is the first book in the Trylle Trilogy. What is a Trylle you ask well keep on reading, but I should warn this books is impossible to review without some minor spoilers, one of which "What is Trylle?"

I first picked up the novel because it was .99 cents and I read this series had been optioned for a movie.  The novel follows heroine Wendy Everly a 17 year old who lives with her aunt and brother because her mother tried to kill her when she was 6 years old. Her mother claimed that Wendy was not her child and was a monster before stabbing her in the stomach. As the novel progresses, Wendy starts to discover that her mom wasn't that far off from the truth.

A boy named Finn befriends Wendy at her new school, he is handsome and appears to have the same qualities as Wendy.  He then informs her that is not (*****spoiler alert for the rest of this post*****) human.  She is in fact a Tyrlle, or troll, and not just any troll but a princess troll with very strong supernatural abilities.

Is everyone done laughing now?  Honestly I think the author just had no idea what to make her so she went with Troll.  She wanted something mystical but you couldn't really go with vampire or werewolf or Wendy would have had an inkling before she was 17, plus the vampire thing has been done to death.  There is nothing sexy about zombies...I guess she could have gone with fairy but the way the trolls are described they come off as more fairish then anything.

I'll be honest I enjoyed reading a supernatural romance novel where the female wasn't a big super whiny pain in the ass.  I'm looking at you Bella.  The novel isn't going to break any new ground but it was a  fun read and for .99 cents I can't have too many complaints.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 354 KB
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1453688935
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003VD1GBA
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
CBR III Review #38 Torn by Amanda Hocking

I didn't love or hate the first novel in the series but the sequel was cheap and this series had all three all ready out so I decided to go for it.

Torn picks up right after Switched ends.  Torn fills you in on more of the Tyrlle back story and history as well as more of Wendy's history.  This novel was a but more interesting because Wendy finally stops trying to run away all the time and she accepts the fact that she has major responsibilities and if she keeps taking off the Tyrlle bloodline will be destroyed.

I did want to mention that this novels were self published for the Kindle so their are many many grammatical errors and it is in desperate need of some professional editing. 

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CBR III Review #39 Ascend by Amanda Hocking

The Trylle race  is now at war with her father's neighboring kingdom.  Wendy realizes she must murder her immortal father if her kingdom has a chance of surviving.  Honestly, either you are now invested in the series or not.  This books reads essentially the same as the first two and it all ends fairly predictably.  I was hoping for some awesome deaths and a little bit of sadness but it ended a bit too happily ever after for me, but I'm a bit morbid.  

Amanda Hocking also has a Zombie Novel and Vampire series out.  I'll probably pick up the Zombie series but I'll skip the vampires for now.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 242 KB
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1456541285
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ISLS24
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews 
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CBR III Review #35-#36: The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

CBR III Review #35: The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1) by James Dashner

The story begins when Thomas wakes up in an elevator.  His memory is gone.  He remembers nothing about himself or his past, but his name.  After Thomas wakes up he finds himself surrounded by 60 or so young teenage boys who  like him found themselves waking up on an elevator with no idea of who they are other than their name.  A new boy arrives every 30 days and the first boy arrived over 2 years ago.  They live in an environment they call "the glade" it is a self contained environment that is surrounded by a maze.  Every day the boys attempt to solve the maze in hopes of find a way of of the glade, but so far they have be unable too.  To make matters worse the maze is filled with strange murderous creatures called Grievers.  The day after Thomas arrives a comatose girl arrives, the first female ever to arrive at the glade.  She is also the first person to arrive where there was not a 30 day break in arrivals. After her arrival things began to change and Thomas works to solve the mystery of the maze and who has put them in this strange and horrifying situation.

The Maze Runner has a great premise, but because it's also a trilogy nothing is ever truly resolved. You get a rushed explanation of why these boys were put in the maze, that doesn't make any damn sense.  I loved the fact the novel was truly unique and I found myself invested in certain characters but the lack of resolution drove me insane also the Grievers came across as more humorous than terrifying, but maybe I lack imagination.  However, because the second novel was all ready out I decided to give it a try.....I wanted answers damn it.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385737955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385737951
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  

 CBR III Review #36: The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 2) by James Dashner

Damn it I knew this was going to be a trilogy  but I thought I may get more answers if I read the second novel.  That was the flaw in my logic.  They have another whole book to write why make the second one answer anything.

I think it goes without saying I'm about to spoil things that happened in The Maze Runner, so either stop reading or keep on reading and you can skip both novels. 

 

The boys escape the Maze in the first novel to find out that earth has been essentially destroyed by a solar flare.  Apparently, the solar flare killed the majority of the population  and those that were not killed are being slowed turned into zombie like creatures.  Actually it's more like rabies and intense hysteria, but I'm calling it zombie disease.  There is a cure but it's very very very expensive.  The boys find out they were put in the maze to be tested.  Apparently these test are important and  can help save humanity.  Is there anymore explanation? Not a lot. In the novel, you are never sure who Thomas should trust and you really do become attached to certain characters..but why is all this happening???

The Scorch Trials picks up right after The Maze Runner ends.  The boys are placed in phase two of testing.  They must make it across the scorched earth to a place called Safe Haven where they have been promised the cure to the zombie disease that apparently all the boys were immediately affected with once they escaped the maze.  How's that for a congratulations on surviving. If the second book has offered up some answers to questions brought up in the first book I would have enjoyed the series. I hate the fact I have to wait for yet another book to come out before I get even the simplest of answers.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385738757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385738750
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  


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Thursday, March 3, 2011

CBR III Review #34: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

CBR III Review #34: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling is best described as a fantasy novel.  Kantsa (so close to Katniss I know) is a woman in her young teens.  She is known in her society as a Graceling.  Graceling are humans with special gifts.  Her talent happens to be fighting.  She could fight an entire room of men and survive.  Gracelings are marked by the fact that they have two different colored eyes.  Some Gracelings have the gift of persuasion, telepathy, navigation, etc.

The world in Graceling is separated in seven kingdoms all ruled by separate monarchies. The kingdom that Kantsa currently resides in is ruled by her Uncle and he uses Kantsa's special gifts to torture those in the kingdom that wrong him.  She decides to revolt against her Uncle by creating a special council that tries to right injustices across the kingdoms.  You first meet Kantsa as she is rescuing a kidnapped father of Lienid's King (one of the Kingdom's).  During the adventure she meets Po, the grandson of the captured man.  Together the two of them search the seven kingdoms on clues on why he was captured, and of course in typical Young Adult Fiction they start making the beast with two backs during their journeys.

The story is at first tough to get into as you get use to all the terminology and the new world but once you start to discover why this man was kidnapped the story picks up pace and actually becomes a lot of fun to read.  The novel is a part of a series but it ends in a satisfying way so you aren't compelled to track down the other novels immediately to find out what happens.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 471 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; First Edition edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015206396X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152063962
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews
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