monster mash March 15, 2010
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is physically gorgeous, and lots of fun to read. The pictures had lots of mixed media, which is so hot these days for a reason – it’s lots of eye candy! I was pleasantly surprised by how fun and diverse the poems were. This would be lots of fun to share with kids in April for some really fun and funny poetry.
cassette tapes still exist? January 8, 2010
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I listened to this as an audiobook which I highly recommend for this novel. I wonder if I would like it quite as much if I had read it – the story is extremely well-suited for listening (the majority of the story is a boy listening to a series of tapes), but I’m sure I still would have liked it nonetheless. A YA novel about suicide is hardly a new concept, and I was wary at the beginning of a book wherein a dead girl is telling everyone why it’s their fault she died (don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away!). However, I quickly became emotionally invested in not only her story, but also our narrator, a boy who was barely more than an acquaintance of the deceased. I needn’t have worried, Asher does a great job of surpassing the “problem novel” formula, making this book unique and truly memorable.
Hungry for more August 30, 2009
I can only add my accolades like everyone else. I didn’t want to like this book for the perverse reason that everyone else did, but hey, there’s a reason it’s a crowd pleaser! The story is grim, and there’s no mercy for the squeamish, which is why it one my heart. Collins set about to tell a rough story of a world where kids are forced to battle with other kids to the death for their own survival, and she had me on the edge my of seat the whole way through. As a book with an inevitable sequel, I approve of Collins ending. I HATE books that leave you on the edge of a cliff, sometimes waiting a year for the continuation! It makes me feel manipulated, which I hate more than anything. I believe a responsible and talented storyteller should be able to write a real ending well enough that I will choose to come back for more when the sequel is published, not be forced to just to see if my character makes it out alive or some nonsense like that. This story is definitely not over, but I can wait in pleasant anticipation of the sequel (September 2009), not in torment. It’s so much nicer that way, isn’t it?
This is just the beginning July 21, 2009
Rossamund Bookchild (unfortunate name for a boy), a foundling raised in a Marine orphanage, has always dreamed of the dangerous life of a vinegaroon (sailor), hopefully fighting lots of monsters and saving civilization, thereby earning his very own monster blood tattoos. Instead, he’s saved from being the oldest foundling in the building by being recruited by the lamplighters, which sounds quite safe and dull to Rossamund. We join him as he enters the wide world at last, and we all learn a thing or two about where to find real monsters and what’s safe and what isn’t.
I think the cover of this book is a little misleading; while monsters are a big part of this world, they’re not such a big part of this story. This book is mostly laying the foundation for the very rich fantasy world we are entering, which is not to say there’s no excitement, but I worry that readers looking for immediate action and possible gore will be disappointed, while readers who will be enchanted by the richness of this imagined world won’t pick it up! Also, the size of the book is a bit daunting, but almost a quarter of the book is a hefty addendum for the detail oriented.
I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to moving on to the sequel for more action and to see if my hypothesis of a great secret (I KNOW I know something Rossamund hasn’t yet figured out) is correct. I highly recommend supplementing your reading of this book with a visit to the author’s website as well – a feast for the eyes.
Betrayal July 20, 2009
Shannon, I don’t blame you; I know where my anger is to be directed, and it’s Bloomsbury USA, oh yes it is. How can I make you see what a betrayal this cover for the next Bayern book is? How, when I shouldn’t even have to tell you!
I totally get it. Someone’s decided this new cover is more eye-catching, more likely to sell, and maybe you’re right (I don’t think so, but you could be); for people that are starting the series now, maybe this series of covers is just what they want. But what about us? What about all the people who have been collecting these beautiful hardcover books as they come out, and now our fourth book is a radically different (and in my opinion, inferior) design than the rest?
I think this abrupt cover change totally unfair and disrespectful to loyal Bayern book fans; just in case you were wondering.