Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

This is Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh's blog. Now, as great as that blog is, imagine a version that you can take with you anywhere. You can take it camping, back to the Prehistoric Age in your time machine, or into a hellish dystopian future (Though by then, books may have been banned and you will be slaughtered by the fascist government).

Hyperbole and a Half: the book version features comics from the blog, as well as new ones. It's all the same awesome stories from Ms. Brosh's childhood, as well as details of her battle with depression. These comics are very brave, and still done with the same sense of humor as the other chapters.

It's definitely worth being persecuted in that dystopian future. You would need all the laughs you can get.

I received my copy of Hyperbole and a Half from Edelweiss, courtesy of Touchstone. It will be available for purchase October 29, 2013.

This is some Tweets from Allie Brosh to promote the book. They were originally posted on other sites, and also Twitter.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

"Things happen in life. Things don't go the way you plan. And even when they do, it doesn't feel the way you thought it would."

Teenage girls are simultaneously the most powerful and powerless forces in the world. So much is designed to appeal to them, to get them to buy something, wear something, do something, or like something. That part is the power. Their weakness is that it's hard being a teenage girl. In order to appeal to them, a product claims to need to fix or complete the girl. They are never enough on their own.

It makes it easy to understand the book. Teenage girls are offered their greatest desire. It's always a boy. Make him love me, make him need me. What they lack the foresight to understand is the price. There is always a price, and it is always much too high.

A year after her disappearance, Annaliese Rose Gordon emerged from the woods. She had no hair, was covered in a garbage bag, and had no memory of where she had been. She was returned to her loving parents and safe comfortable life. As more and more memories come back to the girl, one thing becomes clear: she isn't really Annaliese Rose Gordon.

What does Annaliese Rose Gordon have to do with the first two paragraphs? Why, absolutely everything! Annaliese is just the latest in a string of covetous young ladies who gave up everything to get what she thought she wanted most. The real Annaliese is gone, and the girl occupying her body has to piece everything together, soon. Otherwise, she will end up trapping another teenage girl, and the same thing happens over and over again.

This sounds like another psychological thriller, but it ended up being more paranormal. This was actually a nice surprise. It weaved an original mythology with elements of Faust, and a satisfying amount of horror. It surprised me, both with the story and with how much I ended up enjoying it.

I received my copy of Another Little Piece from Edelweiss, courtesy of HarperTeen. It's available for purchase now.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Originals by Cat Patrick

Elizabeth is a normal, busy high school student. She juggles advanced courses, dance, cheerleading, a college course, and a part-time waitressing job. What nobody else knows is that Elizabeth is actually three identical girls. Ella, Betsy, and Lizzie are clones. Their mother smuggled them out of a lab after the clients were going to take only one baby and kill the other two. At least that was what the girls had always been told, and what they always believed.

In the beginning, Lizzie attends morning classes, Ella attends afternoon classes, and Betsy does after school activities, waitressing, and their college course. The girls are all tutored at home, so they still receive a complete education. When Lizzie fails a test, their mother switches her to afternoons. This is actually better suited to Lizzie, as she enjoys the creative writing and dance classes. This is also how she meets Sean Kelly.

Sean is in the creative writing class, and he notices the change in Elizabeth right away. Unfortunately, Betsy develops an interest in another young man in one of the morning classes. The girls have never been permitted to date before, but their mother gives them permission this time. The catch is that Elizabeth can only be seen dating one boy. Unfortunately for Lizzie, it's not going to be Sean.

This is when the girls take matters into their own hands. They start to break the rules that they have been living with for way too long. It's not just about the right to date whomever they want, there are much bigger issues. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsy want to be more than just one third of a person.

This was a fairly entertaining book. It was nice to see a subject matter that hasn't been done to death, so definite points for that. There is a nice, though slightly cliche, message about being yourself. It's made up for by the intriguing mysteries being hidden from the girls. Best of all, this isn't actually going to expand into a series. If you read this, there's no anticipation, waiting, or major commitment. I consider that a major win.