Monday, December 29, 2014

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I'll admit, I had almost no expectations when I picked out this book. I'd heard good things from BookTubers, but they were fans of YA love stories. I've never enjoyed them. I've also never found a version of Cinderella that I cared for. But, hey, where there are cyborgs, there is hope. That being said, HOLY WAH! This book had me feeling for characters! I was shaking for an HOUR after reading this!

Okay, let me take a step back. This book is not primarily a love story. Yes, it's another telling of Cinderella with all the same elements, but there is so much more to this book than just Cinder and Prince Kai. There is prejudice against cyborgs. There is a disease spreading that has neither cure nor any publicly known cause.  There is the constant threat of war with the Lunars (people living on the moon). There are international and interplanetary politics at play. This is not just a love story! This is a fully developed world with a LOT going on!

But what is really amazing is that I felt invested in these characters. I was strongly interested in whether or not Cinder and Prince Kai end up together or if he caves to political pressure and marries the Lunar Queen. I actually said to my husband "I can't get dinner right now! I have to find out if the prince is going to marry the evil empress!" I never say stuff like that! I haven't been interested in love stories for years! To be fair, it isn't just the characters in love that tug at my heart strings. I almost cried when I found out what happened to Iko. I wanted to punch the Lunar Queen in the face. I wanted to slap the evil stepmother. This book got to me in all the best ways.

Aside from the "twist" at the end being predictable, the ending of this book is a well paced cliffhanger. Cinder is still in danger when the book ends.

It should come as no surprise that this book gets 5 hoots! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go reserve the NEXT book in the series.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Resurrecting Home by A. American


So, I accidentally picked up this book without knowing it was actually part of a series.* That being said, I still found this to be an easy read. All references to previous books were written in a context where I did not need to have read them in order to understand their significance. After the first chapter I felt almost no confusion regarding what was going on. I don't know HOW the US devolved to where it is in the setting of this book, but I know that it is.**

That being said, this is a pretty typical survival book. Guys with guns, just trying to defend what's theirs, trying to provide for their community, having to adjust to the new rules of survival, etc. The characters were plenty likable. The action and the problem solving was believable. But it was still just an okay book. I'm pretty sure the main reason I never thought about putting this book down was because it read so quickly.

If you're into the survivalist genre, this is a good book for you. If you're just looking for something different, I can recommend this. I give Resurrecting Home 3 hoots.


*The digital edition of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
**That makes sense, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel


My first encounter with this book was back when I visited the Kerrytown Book Festival. I wanted to buy it, but had limited funds. I went Christmas shopping downtown yesterday and found this book again. I bought it for my cousin, who's in junior high, and today decided to read it to make sure it was a good fit for him.* My conclusion: This book is awesome for him! It may be awesome for you, too.

The story starts out pretty typically. A down-on-his-luck dad, Mike, can't find a job and has no money to buy his kid, Cam, a birthday gift. Things take a turn, however, when Mike is convinced to spend his last 79 cents on a giant cardboard box. They turn it into a father-son project and make a boxer out of the cardboard. That night, the boxer, Bill, comes to life! As you can imagine, things go downhill from there.

There are some typical story elements in this book, a bully-rich-kid villain, a love interest for the dad, etc. But TenNapel does a really good job of keeping the overall story interesting and enjoyable. At no point in reading this did I ever get bored or even think of putting down the book. The art style is so interesting. It's amazing what cardboard can be and do!

This adventure is definitely meant for the middle-grade level reader, but it is a non-stop read. The artwork is incredible. The characters are interesting and relatable. The scenes between Mike and the love interest are a bit awkward, but then again, that may be the point.The ending is a little sappy, but ultimately heart-warming. I give this book 4 hoots and a recommendation as a great Christmas gift.


*It's called product testing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.