Curiosity Killed the Cate

Not yet, of course, but I’m sure someday it will…

The Zombies are coming! June 5, 2009

Filed under: Books — catherineeliza @ 12:04 pm
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zombiesIn case you haven’t noticed, zombies are the new vampires in YA lit. So if you want to stay ahead of the curve, check out these brand new zombie books:

 

 

Generation Dead

Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren’t staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn’t want them.

 

 

 

 

book-theforestofhandsandteethMary lives in a small village in the middle of the forest governed by the religious Sisterhood and bordered with a fence to keep out the Unconsecrated—a horde of the undead unleashed many generations ago by a mysterious and cataclysmic event. Life is simple but preordained; Mary fears her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love almost as much as the hungry jaws slavering at the fence links. Soon Mary and a small band of desperate survivors are thrown together to outwit the undead and work through their own weaknesses, suspicions, and jealousies. Grades 9-12. –Daniel Kraus (Booklist)

 

 

 

Soulless

Times Square, New York City: The first ever mass séance is broadcasting live on the Sunrise morning show. If it works, the spirits of the departed on the other side will have a brief window — just a few minutes — to send a final message to their grieving loved ones.

The mediums slump over, slackjawed — catatonic. And in cemeteries surrounding Manhattan, fragments of old corpses dig themselves out of the ground….

But a disparate group of unlikely heroes — two headstrong college rivals, a troubled gang member, a teenage pop star and her bodyguard — is making its way to the center of the nightmare, fighting to protect their loved ones, fighting for their lives, and fighting to end the madness.

 

 

 

You Are So Undead to Me

Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she’s part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you’re trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it’s kinda hard to score a date. Let’s just say Megan’s love life could use some major resuscitation.

Megan’s convinced her life can’t get any worse – until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it’s up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life – and more importantly, the homecoming dance – depends on it.

 

Teens on the lam May 7, 2009

Filed under: Books — catherineeliza @ 12:37 pm
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Unwind Unwind by Neal Shusterman



rating: 4 of 5 stars
Quite frankly, I found a little sick pleasure in reading about a world where it’s illegal to get an abortion, but perfectly fine to have your unruly teen demolished for spare parts. That’s what working with the high school set on a daily basis will do for you, I guess. But I don’t think this book’s appeal is limited to the high school teachers and teen librarians of the world, quite the contrary. This sci-fi thriller set in in a future dystopia has a few twists and turns up its sleeve, which is a good thing – there are a lot of formulaic sci-fi novels out there that I’d just as soon not waste my reading time on. This book tells the story of three teens, scheduled to be “unwound” for three very different reasons, but are thrown together by circumstance, and must work together to try to make it to their 18th birthday (when it will once again be illegal to kill them). With an ending I didn’t see coming, I would definitely recommend this book to teens and adults alike.

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My review

 

Boarding School for Vampires May 5, 2009

Filed under: Books — catherineeliza @ 6:27 pm
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Marked (House of Night, Book 1) Marked by P.C. Cast


My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Here’s the thing – fantasy writers writing anything within 10 years of Harry Potter really need to go out of their way to make different choices. I can totally believe that this book is not particularly Potter inspired (Rowling, after all, borrowed heavily from her predecessors too), but here are a great many similarities: 1)heroine leaves her ordinary life to attend a boarding school for the “special” (in this case vampires), 2)heroine is marked by an extraordinary mark on her forehead that means she has no chance of blending in, 3)on the first day our heroine meets both her instant enemy & roomate/best friend, 4)heroine has a teacher/mentor that she trusts and admires, yet does not confide in. You see what I mean?

That gripe aside, I did enjoy this story and will continue to read the series. A good series to recommend to Twilight admirers; it may even prove to be better written (but don’t tell the Twilight-heads I said that).

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Girls with swords January 30, 2009

Filed under: Books — catherineeliza @ 10:17 am
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Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore



rating: 5 of 5 stars
Everyone said this book was really good, and I don’t know why I resisted, but I did. I’ve read a lot of fantasy – I found it hard to believe that this book could really be top shelf; it was too…new. So Here I am to add my voice to the masses: This book is REALLY good. It has everything I like – a strong heroine, a little bit of magic, and of course, some romance. And maybe the best part – a real ending (a thing worth its weight in gold). There is a “sequel” coming out in October, but I don’t think it’s really about the same people. In any case, this book is a complete story – I sure wouldn’t say no to reading more about these characters, but I was thrilled not to be left standing on a cliff with a year’s wait to find out how we get down.

Anyway, Kristin Cashore completely won me over, big time. I’m talking two-hours-of-reading-her-blog-last-night, thinking-about-writing-her-a-letter-about-how-we-should-be-friends adoration. I’ll be putting this book in as many hands as I am able starting with anyone who’s a fan of the Attolia books by Megan Whalen Turner (oh Megan – we’re waiting for the next book, by the way) which you all should be!! Katsa & Gen could definitely be related.

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My review

 

Anemic vampires January 23, 2009

Filed under: Books — catherineeliza @ 9:45 am
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Life Sucks Life Sucks by Jessica Abel



rating: 2 of 5 stars
I read this book because it was getting some buzz for YA graphic novels, and I like to keep that section going since it snags readers that won’t look in any other section. This is a vampire story, so there is a built in audience for it right now, and that’s a good thing because I don’t think it could make it on its own. I just didn’t find anything new or innovative in this story – it features a vampire that doesn’t want to be one in love with a human girl who does want to be one. Sound familiar?

I did order it for my library because, as I said, it’s got a built-in audience right now, and the graphics are eye-catching. I assume from the abrupt ending another one will be coming along; I guess I hope I gets a little better.

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My review

 

The Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds December 15, 2008

Filed under: Books — catherineeliza @ 1:27 pm
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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart



rating: 4 of 5 stars
This may well be my favorite new YA book of 2008! I’m sure part of my excitement is that I went into it knowing nothing an with no real expectations except that I heard it was good. I found it original, fun-to-read, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since I finished (which was the same day I picked it up since I literally could not put it down). I found Frankie Landau-Banks to be a refeshingly honest and original character. My favorite ear-catching, addictive vocabulary  since Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  I think I will be recommending this book for a long time to come.

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My review

 

All Things Meyer December 4, 2008

Filed under: Books — catherineeliza @ 12:37 pm
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hostKeeping with today’s theme, I also finished The Host last night, Meyer’s first non-Twilight publication.  My first issue (notice I said first) with the book is that it’s categorized as adult fiction.  I have no idea why they’d try to move beyond her already built-up, incredibly strong Twilight fan base which is primarily teenage girls.  For one thing, they are the ones who are going to read it and like it, not adult readers of the sci-fi persuasion who I guess is who they were hoping to rope in by putting this in the adult section.  For another, it is basically a coming-of-age story of a one-year-old alien in a teenage girls body!  This screams YA to me.  And thirdly, Meyer is an immature writer, and excuse me for being slightly offensive, but only an immature audience will forgive her her feeble writing skills and obsession with her own characters. 

Actually, now that I think about it, that really is my main issue with Stephenie Meyer.  I think she loves her characters so much, she gets obsessed with them, which hurts her storytelling ability.  This was what made me so disgusted with the Twilight series, and it bothered me in The Host as well.  If you’re going to write a story that involves intense, dramatic even life-threatening situations, there need to be some consequences.  But it seems like Meyer just can’t bear to do any real, lasting damage to her precious characters, and will sacrifice the story to make sure they get everything their little hearts desire. 

Also, the book is too long.

And lastly, here’s an amusing Meyer moment for the day.