Friday, October 14, 2011

CBR III Review #108: Breathless by Lurlene McDaniel

CBR III Review #108:  Breathless by Lurlene McDaniel

I grew up reading Lurlene McDaniel Books when I was in middle school.  I have no idea why I liked them someone always died and they were depressing as hell, but I think I read every single one there ever was.  I went to get a pedicure and someone had left this novel behind. I eagerly picked it up and was finished with it before my toe nail polish dried, but I'm sure the women at the spa were a little curious why I was trying to hold back tears.  Damn Lurlene McDaniel.  McDaniel's writing style hasn't changed much from when I use to read her in middle school so I wouldn't suggest she is an author a grown adult should revisit (like Christopher Pike).

Breathless follows Travis Morrison a champion diver who is diagnosed with bone cancer.  The novel switched between him, his sister, his best friend and his girlfriend as they all try and come to terms with his diagnosis.  There isn't really much else to say. It's a depressing read. If you have ever read one of her books before you know well beforehand there is not going to be a happy ending.  The only real difference between this and the other novels I remember reading as a child is McDaniel approaches the controversial questions of when one should stop trying to prolong their life because the quality of life is no longer there.  It took me less than an hour to read so if you happen to run across it and want to remember a bit of childhood go for it, but unless you are in the mood to depress yourself you can skip it.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038573459X
  • ASIN: B005HKP1YS
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

CBR III Review #107: Dust by Jacqueline Druga

CBR III Review #107:  Dust by Jacqueline Druga

Joanna Collins is prepared. Prepared for the end times.  She has also made sure that her family and friends know how to survive a nuclear attack if one is to occur.  On one bright and sunny day the United States is attacked with nuclear weapons and World War III begins.  Joanne keeps a diary of as she tries to find out what happened to her family and friends.

Dust is fairly short so I don't want to spoil the details of the novel, but it was a quick fun (by fun I mean grim but awesome) apocalypse story.  I personally feel like the death toll is a little skewed and the chances of her running into anyone she knew after the nuclear attack is incredibly unlikely, but it's a novel and not a fact based account so I'll let it slide.  If you are sick and twisted like me and like to read apocalypse fiction then it's worth it to pick it up, especially for the price tag of $3.99. But if it's not your genre then I wouldn't suggest picking it up.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (December 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595259359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595259359
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CBR III Review #106: The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

CBR III Review #106:  The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

Chris Linton is an airline pilot who was unable to save all his passengers one day when he had to try an emergency water landing.  Chris suffering from a deep depression and survivors guilt can't but help compare himself to the other pilot (Sully) who was able to save his entire plane trying the same maneuver.   Chip's wife, Emily, decides that maybe it is best for Chip, herself and their two twin daughters to move to small town and start over.

The Linton family moves to the White Mountain area to start over but the house they have moved into seems to have several secrets.  One of the most odd features of the house, a cellar door sealed shut with 39 carriage bolts.  Thirty-Nine passengers died in plane crash that destroyed the Linton family.  Chip becomes obsessed with the door and the contents behind it.  As Chip becomes more and more obsessed he starts to lose his handle on reality - or has he?

The Night Strangers is part tragedy part ghost story.  The novel details a frighteningly detailed account of the plane crash, one that has me wanting to avoid planes until the description fades from my memory.  The other parts of the novel follows the ghost story/mystery.  I really enjoyed the novel I just felt it could have benefited from some tighter editing, but if you want to check out a modern ghost story I say go for it.

Product Details

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CBR III Review #105: Variant by Robison Wells

CBR III Review #105:  Variant by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher's arrives at Maxfield Academy as a scholarship student looking for a new start.  Bensen has grown up in foster homes all his life and this is his chance to get a real education and earn a scholarship to college. Bensen starts to realize that things are not as they seem when he initially arrives at the academy and find out that no adults are on the premise of the boarding school.  The students are monitored by the cameras and microphones strategically placed around the campus.  The students are set up to watch and discipline one another, which has created gangs within the students.  Punishments, if handed out, are often severe.  Bensen soon discovers that all the children have something in common, not a one of them has a family that would ever miss them or look for them.

Benson decides to find a way out of Maxfield Academy and puts his life and the lives of his friends on the line.  Then the entire story changes.  It's no longer a mystery but a science fiction novel.  I wasn't a huge fan when Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson changed genre's half way through but this switch worked a little better.  I had fun trying to guess what was going to happen next but I wouldn't say this novel is a must read or one I wasn't able to put down.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 674 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XVN1E4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews 
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