Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman captured my attention on Twitter with his wildly exotic and informative tweets. Even in 140 characters Gaiman steals the show and is the most entertaining author I follow. I received The Graveyard Book as a Mother’s Day present and set down immediately and began reading. It was immediately apparent that I was destined to fall in love with Gaiman’s writing style. I have read several more of his works since, and am always impressed by his use of colorful language and interesting plot scenarios. The Graveyard Book also features brilliant and dark illustrations at key points in the book. The author is able to capture audiences from a wide range of genre’s and ages, and has become one of the most innovative writers of his time.

Gaiman’s Graveyard Book follows a boy through his life being raised inside a cemetery. While this sounds a bit dark for younger readers, I assure you the author makes this seem the most normal occurance that could possibly be available for young Bod. He runs to the graveyard as a small child in the middle of the night and is immediately, after some small debate accepted as a resident with full supernatural graveyard powers. As Bod grows up he is challenged with school, friends, and coming of age. Realizations that maybe he wants more than what is to offer inside his small protective home.

It is not safe for Bod to leave the graveyard but as he becomes older he is learning there is more to life than spirits and the small tract of land, and graveyard law. There is a whole world of people just like him living normal lives outside the gates and Bod makes a decision to try to become part of both worlds. When the extent of what happened to Bod’s family surfaces he is forced to finish what was started years before when he was a small child.

I recommend this book for people who have enjoyed Gaiman’s previous works, age 11 to adult, people who like the Septimus Heap or The Nicholas Flamel Series. Fantasy buffs in general will enjoy the vivid storyline.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman tugs at your heart strings in this latest YA novel. Mia is a self adjusted, happy teen who loves her parents her younger sibling, and her life in general. Which in it’s own is a pretty novel concept for recent YA literature. A talented cellist with a very bright future, everything in Mia’s life is absolutely perfect. You get an immediate sense of the character and she is an easy character to love and maybe even adore.

Mia gets an unexpected snow day from school, her parents decided to take an impromtu car drive as a family. A car crash later Mia has major life decisions to make. She is a spriting outside of her barely breathing body. Does she choose to stay earth bound and return to her beaten and bruised body and the people left who love her, or does she move on to a different plane and leave her weary body behind.

As I stated before I really love the characters in this book, the building and relationships fit and mesh well and it was refreshing to have a teen who actually isn’t embarrased of, or who just dislikes her parents. Her relationship with her boyfriend is healthy and she has a good sense of self esteem. The writing style of the book read straight through. No huge plot jumps. You really will not want to put this novel down.

Now I just want to touch on the “I am going to compare this book to Twilight” reviews. This book at no time or in no way reminded me of Twilight. There was an actual story line, a real plot,and even awesomely structured sentences. There was no character in any way resembling Edward or Bella, Mia is self adjusted and confident, Adam the boyfriend is a wreck worrying about his girlfriend to the point of doing illegal things to see her. Just so we are clear, this book is not a replacement for or related to Twilight in any manner.

If you enjoyed books such as The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray, Evermore by Alyson Noel, or Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher then you will really dig into this YA thriller.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Jessica Day George has once again taken a beloved and not so over told fairy tale and fleshed out the details to give us a full feature story with all the great elements needed to make one wish to read the tale. Lass (or Pika) is unloved by her mother and is refused a name. Everyone in the village knows an unnamed child is bound to be claimed at some point by the trolls, so Pika’s father tries to appease the beasts by laying out the families precious food and sweets for the troll’s as a way to keep his Pika.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow takes through Pika’s young life and tells us the secret story of the Ice Castle and the Polar Bear Prince who inhabits it.

Lass is given the chance to go live in a castle with the bear for a set amount of time, her family will be well taken care of and things will be much easier on the. The Mother who never cared for her sends her off with the bear as her father is left to worry about his Lass.

Now the twists and turns of the book start, this tale is fairy tale standard, dark turns and sunny happy outcomes are marred by the morals of the story. If you love a good fairy tale and one longer and more fleshed out than most you will enjoy this book immensely as I have.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Nightworld Series L.J. Smith Volume 1, 2, & 3

The Night World..Love has never been so dangerous.

The Night World isn’t a place. It’s all around us. The creatures of Night World are beautiful and deadly and irresistible to humans. Your Best Friend could be one-so could your crush.

The laws of Night World are very clear: humans must never learn that Night World exists. And members of Night World must never fall in love with a human. Violate the laws and the consequences are terrifying.

These are the stories about what happens when the rules get broken.

It’s probably a well known fact to people who read my blog that I am a huge L.J. Smith fan. I didn’t find her works until recently when I saw the Vampire Diaries in reprint from Harper Collins, but L.J. has fans and books spanning back across the past twenty years. The Vampire Diaries is even slated to be a television show starting this fall on the CW, so look out for that one. Also if you are a going to start reading L.J.’s work The Secret Circle books are also in reprint so it is easy to grab copies of those and The Vampire Diaries and the books we are going to be talking about today. The Night World saga.

After picking up a copy of one of the other series, I immediately became hooked to the author’s style of writing. Everything had detail and the situations and places were supernatural but seemed so real as if these events were a fantastic history not a fiction. The Night World is my favorite series from Smith. In the three volumes so far available there are three books each. So in essence nine books are out in three volumes from Simon and Simon Teen. The first volume introduces us to the Night World, what the different inhabitants are and also gears us up to learning what the soul mate principle is. As you read from the book excerpt before, Night People are supposed to stay away from humans, but yet an old power is awakening and humans are becoming the soul-mates of the most influential Night Persons. I recently interviewed L.J. and asked her some questions about the Night World series. Where the idea came from, and who her favorite Night World citizen is.

The second volume in the series, continues with the soul-mate principle. We learn a bit more about why this is happening and we learn of a group of witches called Circle Daybreak that allows humans and Nightworlders into their flock. They want to get along as one society and believe the soul-mate magic is waking up for a reason, something big is on the horizon and the whole world will be rocked.

In the most recent volume we learn that there are four wild powers that will decide the end of the earth. Will they join circle Daybreak and fight for good, or Hunter Redfern and bring about the end of the world? Well the end of humans that is. The stories in this volume are so fantastic and action packed I was shocked when each was done, thinking “that can’t be right, the book is over”. I cannot wait for the final installment so I can tear through and see what happens to the world in this apocalypse. Of course I hope Circle Daybreak finds all the wild powers before the darkness takes over.

I read a lot of teen supernatural books, more than I should probably. I realize a lot of them are fun, and give you a day off from having to think too hard. Relaxation at it’s best. It is however rare to find quality of writing, and quality of story, in these paranormal teen books (ahem Twilight for example), I would like to see the teens who are reading this genre to pick these books up and see what good quality storytelling can mean for how you feel when you lay the book back down. If you liked the Immortal Instrument Series, Twilight Saga, or even the Vampire Diaries, you will love Nightworld.

I think my favorite story of the nine so far is Ash Redfern finding his soul-mate. What is yours?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 5)

Rick Riordan does not disappoint with the latest and last book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The Last Olympian starts immediately in action, with the war on the Titans being the main focus. Percy is still having conflicting ideas about whether he should be dating Rachel or Annabelle, and Luke is still alive inside his own body. Kronos has not been able to force him out. The writing style is great as always, and the book is action packed and you do not want to put it down. I have been a huge fan of this series for a few years, it’s great YA fiction and I love reading about all the mythical Greek beasts and gods.

Now from a fan of the series of course I have a few misgivings about the ending of the series. I thought for one everything was a bit too easy after all the books of hard work. Percy choosing the path of Achilles was disappointing and the way he used his new found abilities kinda made the fight scenes boring. Also the love triangle was solved for Percy, he never had to make a decision himself, the girls in their own way decided for him. I just thought the ending was a bit too happy and positive for a book that has been all about drama and prophecy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Warning: fsockopen(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home/euroband/ on line 137

Warning: fsockopen(): unable to connect to udp:// (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known) in /home/euroband/ on line 137

Warning: stream_set_timeout() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/euroband/ on line 138