Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Weekly Read: 19

I've been staying at my sister-in-law's for the last few weeks as my brother is out of town, so I haven't had an overwhelming amount of time to read. Luckily, there is always listening in the car and at work, plus the ones I actually read were pretty short. ;)

READ: Whip It | Shauna Cross
I enjoyed this quick, fun book just as much as I enjoyed the movie it spawned. It's not so surprising that the book feels a lot like the movie, as apparently the author adapted the screenplay herself. The story flows well and the characters are entertaining and engaging. If anything, they are a little shallow, especially the other roller girls - we don't really get to know any of them as well as we do Bliss. The movie does a better job of introducing us to the girls and making us feel invested in their lives. Pash is much more likable in the movie as well, mostly because we get to know her more. Overall, though, I really enjoyed reading it, and I'm sure other fans of the movie will, too.

READ: The Vampire Diaries: The Fury | L.J. Smith
This is the third book in the Vampire Diaries trilogy, and much like the first two, it is difficult to review on it's own. I can only say that it is just as fun as the first two, with a side of angst and sadness. I think this was originally going to be the end of the series, as it doesn't particularly have a cliff-hanger ending like the others, but if I remember right, the fourth one in the series was written pretty quickly after. The main thing I am not fond of from this particular volume is the sudden flopping Elena makes between Damon and Stephen once she "remembers" who she is. If you're going to like the bad boy, just like the bad boy! I love that Katherine is reintroduced, and I'd love to see something similar in the show. I also like how in the show, they weave Alaric into the story in a somewhat similar role, but tweaked to fit their storyline better. Overall, it doesn't necessarily have a happy ending, but the ending is fitting.

READ: The Vampire Diaries: Dark Reunion | L.J. Smith
I decided to review this fourth book in the series separate from the third because I truly feel she should have ended the series at the third. The book has an entirely different tone with Bonnie as the narrator, and I really missed Elena. It was a little slow in parts, and there was definitely too much Tyler and not enough Damon. Overall, though, it's pretty similar to the first three in the series and it is a fun little adventure, even if its not quite as fun as where the tv show has gone. :) Apparently there is a recently written fifth book in the series. I'm sure I'll read it eventually, but I am not inspired, as I heard it was pretty bad. We'll see.

READ: Tender Morsels | Margo Lanagan
This one is probably the deepest book I read this week, and definitely didn't turn out the way I expected. Tender Morsels is a rich and complex reimagining of the classic story of Snow White and Rose Red. Throughout this book, I was in turns sadden and disheartened by the unimaginable cruelty and enchanted and surprised by the twisting of fate as it first separated Liga and her family from the real world and then suddenly brought her back. And then, finally, I was begrudgingly happy-ish but actually heartbroken by the ending. This book is full of rich imagery and a world that is so utterly unlike my own that it felt magical. The characters, especially Liga and her daughters, were deep and full of strong emotions. Liga's struggle throughout the book was with both her haunting and terrifying past and her disbelief that she could possibly deserve some sort of happiness. The fact that she actually begins to feel she might build a happy, true life for herself makes it even more devastating when her hopes are dashed, and she is suddenly back to only existing to support her daughters. And for some reason, I can't bring myself to forgive Margo Lanagan for doing this to Liga, for building her dreams and expectations up along with my own, and then crushing them again, perhaps beyond repair. And we never know if she opens up again, because suddenly, shockingly, anti-climatically, the book is finished. There are many things to love in this book: it's creative, well-written, full of thought-provoking ideas on a wide range of topics such as gender equality, ethics, and the importance of Truth. The characters are special and enjoyable. I would recommend it to many to read. But I don't think it's one I could read again, as enjoyable as it was. I am strangely and irrationally drive by emotions. Oh well. :)

Up next week: More Sarah Dessen on audio, plus finishing up some books for the Spring Reading Challenge.

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