Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

I must say, Blood Red Road exceeded my expectations. It sounds like a simple story about a girl in a dystopian wasteland searching for her twin brother. Then you get the complicated family dynamics, and the cage fighting, and the bantering with the love interest. It turns into something great, and I personally can't wait for a second book.

Saba is distraught when the men come and take away her twin brother Lugh. Seriously, she is creepy-close with him and I was a little worried about a twin-cest situation. Fortunately, that doesn't go down. Saba sets off to rescue her brother, vowing to stop at nothing.

Unfortunately, she gets saddled with her younger sister Emmi. Their mother died giving birth to Emmi. Saba has always resented her sister for killing their mother. Their complicated relationship was one of the highlights of the book.

Then there was Jack, my favorite part of the book. Saba was given a heartstone, a necklace that would give off heat when the object of her heart's desire was around. She thought that would be Lugh, but then she encountered a cocky guy named Jack, a guy who was able to hold his own with her. Almost every line out of Jack's mouth had me laughing and grinning like an idiot. It was enough to make me jealous of Saba, despite the dystopian landscape, stolen brother, and myriad troubles.

When I first started reading Blood Red Road, I was put off by the style of the language. It's very primitive, there are misspellings and poor grammar. Once I really got into the plot, though, I found myself flying over all the words, barely noticing mistakes. If you find yourself wanting to give up, just keep in mind that the book gets really good and the language will becom less of an issue when everything goes down.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Can you remember being a child and all the blind faith that came with it? You would believe in monsters and fairy tales, anything that could be dreamt up could be real.

When Jacob was younger, his grandfather would tell him stories of his childhood. Grandfather Lawrence grew up on an island with a group of other children, safe from any monsters that would harm them. All of the children had special abilities; One girl could levitate, one could produce fireballs, there was an invisible boy and one with bees living inside of him. There was even a collection of photographs as evidence that such marvelous things could exist.

Now that Jacob has grown up, it's obvious that his grandfather is delusional. The photographs are faked. The old man keeps ranting and raving about monsters and his gun cabinet. Obviously, the only monsters were the Nazis and the island was the safe haven for a Jewish child whose family was killed. It was all part of his grandfather's fantasy world. Except...his grandfather was right all along.

The stars of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children are definitely the photographs. They are all real, found pictures, and the story was written around them. I found myself looking forward to anytime a picture was described, because then the author would have a picture ready for the reader. It really adds to the experience of the book. As for the story, there are paranormal elements and time travel, scary monsters and lessons in growing up. What more could you ask for, really?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

I have been a devoted Go Fug Yourself follower for years. It's fun to criticize or drool over celebrities and their wardrobes. When the Fug Girls, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, announced that they were writing a young adult book, I was excited. After I saw the cover (All the shiny, pretty makeup!), I absolutely had to have the book. With such a cool cover, it barely matters what the book is about. Still, the plot wasn't bad on its own.

Molly Dix's mother recently passed away. Before dying, her mom revealed the identity of Molly's father: Brick Berlin, famous movie star. Now Molly is leaving everything behind to move to Los Angeles and live with Brick and his daughter Brooke.

Brooke Berlin is the most powerful girl at her school. She was abandoned by her mother and resentful that her father doesn't have much time for her. When she finds out that she has a half-sister, and that that half-sister will be stealing her spotlight and her father's love, she kind of loses it. Brooke vows to destroy her nemesis.

It's basically a tale of sisters fighting, making up, fighting, and making up. So...just a tale about sisters. There are plenty of fashion- and celebrity-related details that make it connect to the Go Fug Yourself site. The open ending (And GFY) let me know that there will be a second book. I'm up for another adventure with Molly and Brooke.