Friday, June 26, 2015

The Woods, Vol. 1: The Arrow

The Woods, Vol. 1: The Arrow The Woods, Vol. 1: The Arrow by James Tynion IV
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really intriguing start. This book had the perfect amount of mystery - just enough intrigue to keep you engaged, without crossing over the line into frustrated confusion. In that respect, it kind of reminds me of the tv show Lost, although this adventure is developing at a faster pace.

At this point in the story, we have a ton of questions, and very few answers. What planet were they transported to? How and for what reason? Is it the planet that is making them extra-violent, or was Coach Clay always like that? He did seem surprised by his actions in the end? Maybe there's something that applies the tendencies you already have?

As for the crew in the woods, what is up with Adrian? Did he get some sort of vision from the first standing stone? He was already arrogant and condescending, but he's especially driven and emotionless on his current quest. And what (who?) exactly lives in those woods? What are those creatures and who are those people? Also, does no one know the first rule of scary stories is you don't split up?

As for the pyramid, did that get here in the same way the school did? And what's up with the cave drawings and Cyrillic? More people brought here by the magical force? As for character development, so far, we don't know too much about these characters because we've been focused on their quest, but hopefully we'll get to know then more in the next volume.

I have to also mention, I love Michael Dialynas' artwork. It's strong and graphic without being simple, and I especially love the colors. It's worth it for you to pick this up even if it's for the artwork alone (but the story's fun, too).

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Saint Anything

Saint Anything Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Sarah Dessen's books. They are more than just romance, though romantic connection can play a part. Sydney is lost, and feels invisible. I get where her parents are coming from, that how can she be such good friends when just met, but what they don't see is how lost she was before, how they quickly became her whole world.

You can get locked into the person people see you as, and sometimes it takes a new person, new environment, new experiences, and people who have never met the "old" you, to break out. A lot of kids, this happens when they go off to college. It's important for Sydney that she have people that didn't see her as Peyton's sister, but saw her for herself.

How perfect was Mac? He is just so sweet and gentle and really just a nice, dependable guy. I'm not sure how I feel about his used-to-be-fat storyline, because it has whiffs of fat-shame to it. The only thing that makes it better is that his losing weight was a choice he made himself, because he didn't like how he'd become and was afraid he would get worse. His story was an echo of Sydney's in many ways - he didn't really see himself clearly, and needed someone new, who didn't know who he used to be, in order to fully see who he had become.

Ames, of course, was a frustrating character to watch. It was really hard to see how oblivious Sydney's parents were to his true nature, which seems shocking when it was so clear to everyone else what a creepster he was. Also, how could Peyton have been friends with him? Just another in a string of bad decisions? I will say, it was a relief when her mom finally saw that she needed to draw some boundaries, even before he assaulted Sydney.

It was great to see her parents come to her defense, but I'm still frustrated by her dad and his lack of interest in most everything going on in her life. I get that he had a lot going on as well, but letting his wife make all the decisions, even when he can see how wrong and misguided they are, is just as bad as willfully making those wrong decisions.

I wish this book would have gone on a little longer, if only we could see how Sydney and David Ibarra's conversations went, and how their relationship developed, but I guess that's a situation where nothing was going to be solved by one conversation. It's a lot like life, where there is no definite conclusion, but everything is an ongoing process, and you just have to be open and willing to take the next step.

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