Friday, December 31, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Summary (from book):
Alek is a prince without a throne. On the run from his own people, he has only a fighting machine and a small band of men.
Deryn is a girl disguised as a guy in the British Air Service. She must fight for her cause--and protect her secret--at all costs.
Alek and Deryn are thrown together aboard the mighty airship Leviathan. Though fighting side by side, their worlds are far apart. British fabricated versus German steam-powered war machines. They are enemies with everything to lose, yet somehow destined to be together.
I had heard about Scott Westerfeld before picking up Leviathan but most of what I had heard had been about his Uglies series. The premise for the book sounded interesting and I just love stories that take place during the World Wars so I figured why not give this book a chance. I can honestly say that it did not disappoint. It was a great story and it was interesting to see the events of the First World War from this perspective.
In the middle of the night, Alek is woken up and told that he must leave immediately because he is in danger. With his fencing master and mechanics teacher, Alek leaves Vienna in a mechanized walker. Alek is told that they must get as far away from Austria-Hungary as possible but no one is telling him why they are leaving or why he is in danger. Deryn wants nothing more than to be able to fly again. To do so she must pass herself off as a boy to enter the British Air Service. She soon finds herself aboard the Leviathan. Soon enough, Deryn and Alek meet and, though their countries are at war with each other, they find themselves becoming friends. But in a continent-wide war, how will this all end?
All the characters in the book are really interesting and the fact that the book is told from a third person point of view makes them all that much more mysterious. Alek was quite intriguing for me. At first I honestly thought he was a spoiled royal kid but the more the story moved forward the more my opinion of him changed. At first he really did seem like he had lived a sheltered life but I liked seeing him change as the book moved forward. He really became an interesting person that wasn’t afraid to do what he wanted. I also really felt for him what with everything that happened to his parents and everything he was going through. It can hardly be easy to leave everything you’ve ever known behind, especially when you’ve be living like a prince.
Deryn amused me. To start with it takes a lot of guts to pass yourself of as a boy, especially in a time when having women part of the military was almost entirely unheard of. She had me giggling so many times with all her expressions and just the things she did. What made her particularly interesting was that the more she got to know Alek the more she had these feelings developing and couldn’t make sense of them. Of course I knew what they were but her confusion just really amused me. She was always so confident and she knew what she wanted regardless of what people would think.
I’m a bit of a history nut and I have to admit that as far as the World Wars are concerned I know a lot more than I should. Even with all the destruction, they are some of my favorite periods of history to study. So reading a book that takes place at that time was more or less perfect for me. I absolutely loved the story and the alternate perspective in the book just made it that much more interesting. I know the story behind the start of World War One backwards and forwards but seeing it this way was interesting and fun. I just know that part of history so well that it never occurred to me to look at it any other way.
Leviathan was a great read. I enjoyed it from start to finish. It was packed with action and plenty of history for those who like that. I can’t wait to start reading Behemoth, the second book in the trilogy, which is currently waiting in my TBR pile.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie--she already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.
Before I say anything else, I’ll be honest and say that originally the only reason I picked up Twenty Boy Summer was because of the controversy that surrounded it back in September. Regardless of all this, I am happy I decided to read it and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I don’t read as much contemporary fiction as I would like but I am more than glad that I picked up Twenty Boy Summer.
For the past year Anna and Frankie have been dealing with Matt’s death. Matt was Frankie’s older brother but also Anna’s first love and secret boyfriend, not that anyone knew about that part. Now, a year later, Frankie and Anna are preparing for a summer in Zanzibar Bay and Frankie has convinced Anna to just have fun and enjoy a summer of romance. Once in California, Anna makes attempts to please Frankie and soon enough she meets Sam. With Sam Anna is happy and feels things she hasn’t felt since Matt’s death but at the same time she feels guilty and scared that she’s going to forget all about him. And most of all she is afraid Frankie will find out about her past with Matt and what will happen to their friendship once she knows.
At first I had trouble getting along with Anna at first but as the book moved forward I found myself liking her more and more. At the beginning she struck me a little as feeling sorry for herself and always seemed to be living in the past. But as the story moves forward I found myself liking Anna more and more. She truly evolved and she came out a whole new person at the end of the book. I really enjoyed seeing her move forward with her life and coming to terms with everything that had happened in the past and what was happening in the present. By the end of the book I really liked Anna.
Frankie on the other hand, I had a much harder time liking her but I could understand where she was coming from. She never felt real and it always seemed like she wasn’t being completely honest. Like Anna, Frankie had some learning to do and she did do that learning and I enjoyed seeing her evolution. Even though she changed, for the better for the most part, a lot of her actions made me angry but like I said, I could see where she was coming from.
The story itself was quite enjoyable. It was more than just a story about two friends spending a summer at the beach and hooking up with random boys. The story was all about seeing Frankie and Anna come to terms with the past and the present. Relationships, fights and secrets coming out were all involved in the process and were necessary to that process. While reading the book I enjoyed the story and didn’t think much of it. It was only when I was finished that I truly understood what the story really meant and how important it was.
Overall, Twenty Boy Summer was a story I am glad I took the time to read because it is one that needs to be read. I can’t wait to read what comes next from Sarah Ockler.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
When Nora and Patch are forced together as lab partners, Nora would rather fall to her death than put up with his elusive answers to her questions, his teasing, and his infuriatingly handsome face and hypnotizing eyes. It seems patch was put on earth just to drive her crazy.
But before long, Nora’s defenses start to break down as her curiosity about Patch heats up. Why does he always seem to be wherever she is and know exactly what she’s thinking? How does he know what to say to both attract and repulse her? And what is up with those V-shaped scars on his chiseled back?
As their connection grows stronger, Nora’s own life becomes increasingly fragile. Nora needs to decide: Is Patch the one who wants to do her harm or the one who will keep her safe? Has she fallen for one of the fallen?
I had been meaning to read Hush, Hush for quite sometime now but I was always putting it off. I would see the book at the bookstore and pick it up only to put it back on the shelf. Last month I finally decided to pick up a copy and now that I have read it I find myself slightly stupid. Stupid for having put the book back on the shelf so many times. I had a lot of fun reading it and found myself neglecting food in order to read more and eventually finish the book with my stomach growling in the background. It was that good.
Still dealing with her father’s death, Nora is looking to finish the school year and get a good grade in biology. She has always been partners with her best friend Vee but one day their teacher decides to switch things up and Nora finds herself with Patch as a new lab partner. Until that day, Nora had never really paid any attention to Patch but now she finds herself almost constantly thinking about him. There is something mysterious and dangerous about Patch which only draws Nora that much closer to him. And then there’s Elliott, the new boy at school, who just doesn’t seem right. As much as Vee wants her to be more friendly with him, there is just a bad feeling about Elliott that Nora can’t seem to shake. And then Nora finds out the truth about Patch’s past and everything unravels.
I found Nora to be particularly relatable because I was essentially Nora in high school. The only differences between me and her are that my father is very much alive and, as far as I know, there were no fallen angels in my life. The fact that I found so many similarities between myself and Nora only served to make the book that much more engaging, I could honestly feel like I was part of the story, more so than I usually do. Other than relating to her, I really liked Nora. I particularly liked that she wasn’t completely accepting of her feelings for Patch because she didn’t understand exactly who (or what) he was. The fact that she struggled with her feelings only made them seem that much more real in the end.
Patch is an infuriating character. Don’t get me wrong, I love him but he just drove me crazy. One minute he’ll be acting perfectly normal and the next he says something that just makes you want to roll your eyes, or most often in my case, punch him. Most of the time, you are never actually sure if he means what he is saying which is was really makes him an infuriating character. It would have actually been really interesting to have part of the story being told from his perspective, it would have really helped me understand what was going on in his mind. What made him really interesting, other than the whole mysterious and dangerous part, was how conflicted he was his feelings for Nora. Until the end I honestly didn’t know how it would turn out for them.
I also loved the story. I don’t read that many books about fallen angels but now I may just start to do so more often. The story was fast paced and completely drew me in. Like I said, I sat there reading with my stomach growling for three hours, that’s just how good the book was. You never really know what to expect or what was coming next, with plot twist jumping out at you when you least expect them. Having Nora as a narrator was great, but seeing some parts of the story from Patch’s perspective would have made the book that much more interesting. But don’t get me wrong, the story was pretty amazing as it was.
Hush, Hush completely drew me in and made me feel like I was really a part of the story. It was a fast paced, intriguing and completely amazing read. I cannot wait until I make it to the bookstore to get a copy of the sequel, Crescendo.