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Monday, August 30, 2010

BBAW - Non-Fiction!









Woohoo, somehow I made the shortlist for BBAW in the Non-Fiction Blog Category - THANK YOU!

I am way behind in reading my Non-Fiction this year (read about 75% NF last year), but I have time yet to catch up! I was aiming for 50-50, but I think I'd end up with more fiction this year, mostly due to YA (they are just much faster to read lol!)
 

Reviews coming up

Reading has been a bit slow, and reviews are behind (the cats ate my blogposts!)

What I HAVE read but haven't reviewed:

  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (part of a challenge!) 
  • A Vintage Affair: A Novel by Isabel Wolff (Crazy Book Tours. Made me want to go shopping and I don't even like shopping!)
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman (WOW! Okay still like the Hunger Games better but this story will stay with me
  • Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom by Marianna Olszewski (Not what I expected...)

Did Not Finish:

  • The Last Picture Show: A Novel by Larry McMurtry (Book club choice... not my choice...)
  • Denial: A Memoir of Terror by Jessica Stern (Crazy Book Tours. Not what I expected...

Up next:
Gotta go see what I need to return next!
  • 9 non-fiction
  • 4 YA
  • 2 thrillers 
  • 8 Vietnam Wall non-fiction (the challenge calls for 5 books, but I couldn't limit it down. Over-borrowed in case I can't finish some of them lol.) 
  • a bunch of books about cats... ummm...
  • 2 books to be picked up from the library...
  • And yay, #5 in the queue for Mockingjay! Probably won't take long as there are 12 copies! And who could put down her books right? Trying very hard not to read reviews so I won't see spoilers... though I may have accidentally see 2 words and I don't like what I saw!!!

Kitties, kitties and more kitties!

No, we haven't adopted another one (but gosh is it ever tempting!) I'd been busy taking pictures of the cats at the local rescue, hoping it'd help to get them adopted faster. If you live in MN or close by and want to adopt any one of them, let me know and I will send you the rescue email!



























Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Review - Ice Cold: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel (#8) by Tess Gerritsen












Title: Ice Cold: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Year: 2010
Page: 322
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

New to me author? No
Read this author again? Maybe
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from goodreads.com): 
New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen’s relentless, inventive novels take readers on pulse-racing thrill rides that are as satisfying as they are heart-stopping. Now, in this edge-of-your-seat suspense novel, a mysteriously isolated town stands abandoned as a silent watcher waits. In Wyoming for a medical conference, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles joins a group of friends on a spur-of-the-moment ski trip. But when their SUV stalls on a snow-choked mountain road, they’re stranded with no help in sight. As night falls, the group seeks refuge from the blizzard in the remote village of Kingdom Come, where twelve eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Something terrible has happened in Kingdom Come: Meals sit untouched on tables, cars are still parked in garages. The town’s previous residents seem to have vanished into thin air, but footprints in the snow betray the presence of someone who still lurks in the cold darkness—someone who is watching Maura and her friends. Days later, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli receives the grim news that Maura’s charred body has been found in a mountain ravine. Shocked and grieving, Jane is determined to learn what happened to her friend. The investigation plunges Jane into the twisted history of Kingdom Come, where a gruesome discovery lies buried beneath the snow. As horrifying revelations come to light, Jane closes in on an enemy both powerful and merciless—and the chilling truth about Maura’s fate.

First Sentence:
She was the chosen one.
  
Why did I pick this book?
I'd read the rest of the Rizzoli and Isles series (now also a TV show, which I hadn't watched) and really enjoyed it. I liked that Gerritsen included medical knowledge in the book (Isles is a pathologist), just like I liked Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhythm's series has a lot of forensic details. So I had to read this book when it came out!


My thoughts:
  • Don't ask me why, but this is yet another book that disappointed me lately! Maybe I am in a reading slump? Or maybe because I'd been so busy lately (with the cats and all), I treasured the time I had to read, so I had to be picky about which books I read first...
  • There wasn't a whole lot happening in the book... Dr Isles applied just a little bit of medical knowledge almost at the end... so this was my major disappointment because there wasn't a gritty case to solve
  • There was a little twist to the story but it wasn't that important of a twist
  • Since this was part of the series, some relationships between the characters just dragged on with no new development. And there was a character I'd totally forgotten. There was a new character, Rat, that I liked, but I was not sure if he'd be a recurring character? The ending implied something, but wasn't clear if it was what I think it was. Basically the book was fairly uneventful... I finished it in one day hoping it'd get better but nope...
  • I will probably read one more in the series, and hope it gets better. I'd hate for this series to turn out like the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell - the last few books just weren't nearly as good as the early ones.


     
    Rating: 2 Stars



     
    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


    Challenges:
    100+ Reading

    Book Review - In Firm Pursuit by Pamela Samuels-Young












    Title: In Firm Pursuit
    Author: Pamela Samuels-Young
    Year: 2007
    Page: 432
    Genre: Fiction - Legal Thriller

    New to me author? Yes
    Read this author again? Maybe...
    Tearjerker? No
    Where did it take place? US
    FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

    Summary (from goodreads.com): 
    After winning a multimillion-dollar verdict in a race-discrimination case, Vernetta Henderson's legal career is definitely on the upswing. Just weeks away from a coveted partnership at her prominent law firm, the African-American attorney takes on the defense of a major corporation in what appears to be an open-and-shut case of sexual harassment. But Vernetta soon discovers that the case is not what it seems. After passing up a chance to settle the lawsuit for a minimal amount of money, a string of unforeseen events places the entire case -- and her own promising future -- in jeopardy. It's bad enough having to work with a pretentious second-year associate who has her own agenda. Now Vernetta finds herself going up against the smooth-talking litigator she once beat at trial. And just when she needs her husband, Jefferson, most, he finds himself in a compromising position that could destroy their marriage. As more troubling revelations about the case emerge, Vernetta uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy of corporate greed, deceit and violence that will touch many lives, including that of her closest friend. With both her private and professional lives spiraling dangerously out of control, Vernetta is about to discover what really matters -- and how far she'll go to protect the people she loves . . .

    First Sentence:
    Karen Carruthers had never thought much of women who filed sexual harassment claims.  

    Why did I pick this book?
    I like reading legal thrillers (think Primal Fear by William Diehl or books by Scott Turow). I haven't heard of this author, so when Random Ramblings reviewed another book (Turning Time) by the same author, and gave it a great review, I thought I'd try this author. My library doesn't have Turning Time, so I borrowed the only book they have on loan, which is In Firm Pursuit.

    My thoughts:
    • I was disappointed - I was hoping for some great legal court scenes with great or witty dialog - which was what I was primarily interested in such as the arguments from the opposition, the way the lawyers framed the case or "trapped" the witnesses, all the clever tactics they delivered their case etc. It just didn't happen in this book...
    • I felt indifferent about the main protagonist, Vernetta. She was smart and all that, and wanted to prove herself - these were qualities I admired, but for some reasons she just didn't really appeal to me. I just didn't feel for her when she went through all the different events that happened to her
    • The character I liked the best was Special, Vernetta's best friend (yes that was really her name). I think the author just crafted her better, that she seemed more like a real person, that you felt like you wish you have a friend like that
    • The writing was easy enough to read, but the story could have been shorter, and the plot dragged on a bit. There wasn't a whole lot happening and there were some side stories that I thought distracted from the real story. The whole twist to the mystery wasn't that mind-blowing
    • Some characters also seemed so stereotypical - the rich, white young girl who wanted to prove herself but nobody liked, the good looking, smart guy end up being gay etc...
    • And I felt that the author didn't really approve of biracial relationships and that people should stick their own race - "I wondered sometimes if he regretted crossing the tracks".  Maybe I am just a bit more sensitive when it comes to biracial relationship since I am in one. 
    • There were quite a bit of references to "chocolate bodies" or "brown bodies"...I just wasn't sure if it was necessary. It was one thing to be proud of your ethnic background, but over-doing it distracted from the story
    • Two stars only because I was hoping for a good legal thriller, or at least a good mystery/murder/thriller without the court room drama. The book was more about a lawyer who was trying to prove herself and all the stuff that happened while she was at it, rather than about a criminal case. There were many good reviews on amazon and goodreads though. I guess it was just not what I was expecting.

       
      Rating: 2 Stars



       
      Have you read this book? 
      If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


      Challenges:
      100+ Reading

      Book Review - Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda











      Title: Crossing
      Author: Andrew Xia Fukuda
      Year: 2010
      Page: 217
      Genre: Fiction

      New to me author? Yes
      Read this author again? Maybe
      Tearjerker? No
      Where did it take place? US
      FTC Disclosure: Part of Crazy Book Tours

      Summary (from goodreads.com):
      A loner in his all-white high school, Chinese-born Xing (pronounced “Shing”) is a wallflower longing for acceptance. His isolation is intensified by his increasingly awkward and undeniable crush on his only friend, the beautiful and brilliant Naomi Lee. Xing’s quiet adolescent existence is rattled when a series of disappearances rock his high school and fear ripples through the blue collar community in which he lives. Amidst the chaos surrounding him, only Xing, alone on the sidelines of life, takes notice of some peculiar sightings around town. He begins to investigate with the hope that if he can help put an end to the disappearances, he will finally win the acceptance for which he has longed. However, as Xing draws closer to unveiling the identity of the abductor, he senses a noose of suspicion tightening around his own neck. While Xing races to solve the mystery and clear his name, Crossing hurtles readers towards a chilling climax.


      First Sentence:
      In the heady days of that winter, my name and face were plastered on the front page of every major newspaper and weekly newsmagazine.
        
      Why did I pick this book?
      I'd read about this book from several blogs (sorry I forgot to write down where!) and the premise intrigued me. So when it became part of the Crazy Book Tours, I didn't hesitate to sign up!













      My thoughts:
      • I was disappointed... it wasn't quite what I thought it'd be. Probably because I thought it'd be more like a mystery/thriller, but it definitely was a more character-driven novel
      • I didn't like the protagonist, Kris/Xing. Some people said they felt bad or strongly sympathetic towards him. I didn't. Maybe because I identified more with Naomi, the girl Xing secretly liked. It's not to say Xing wasn't realistic, but I think he had options that he chose not to take. I guess I just never liked "woe-is-me" characters. He just frustrated me, especially when he kept comparing himself to this real-life person (I won't say who it was... want to avoid spoiler). But did the other people really thought he was like that person, or was it just in Xing's head?
      • Supposedly Xing was an English-as-a-Second-Language student (from knowing no English to having lived in America for 7 years). However the prose was too sophisticated for someone whose English was not a first language. Yes I know, because I was an ESL student. Especially if Xing described himself as, “Her English was Julie Chen perfect; mine was Jackie Chan cumbersome.” Jackie Chan definitely doesn't speak like Xing's 1st person point of view in the book. (And I have no idea who Julie Chen is?)
      • I didn't quite understand the use of the race card... if it was such a racist town, why the students weren't racist towards Naomi - just because she was smart and pretty? 
      • I didn't find the ending chilling. In fact, it was rather confusing to me, and I had to re-read, and re-read. Maybe I was just dumb... and had to google to confirm what I thought happened... I guess I just didn't like ambiguous ending
      • I don't know, I expected I could identify with the protagonist, but I just didn't. If what happened to the protagonist was supposed to make me feel sad for him, it turned me off instead.
      •  I am not sure about the cover represented the story well either. It reminded me of the cover of Shadow Tag. What did the red star represent (China?)
       
      Rating: 2 Stars



       
      Have you read this book? 
      If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


      Challenges:
      100+ Reading

      Saturday, August 14, 2010

      Book Review - Algernon, Charlie, and I: A Writer's Journey by Daniel Keyes


















      Title: Algernon, Charlie, and I: A Writer's Journey
      Author: Daniel Keyes
      Year: 2004
      Page: 228
      Genre: Non-Fiction - Memoir

      New to me author? No
      Read this author again? Yes
      Tearjerker? No
      Where did it take place? US
      FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library (inter-library loan)

      Summary (from amazon.com):
      In Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes created an unlikely duo-a laboratory mouse and a man-who captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world. Now, in Algernon, Charlie, and I, Keyes reveals his methods of creating fiction as well as the heartbreaks and joys of being published. With admirable insight he shares with readers, writers, teachers, and students the creative life behind his classic novel, included here in its original short-story form. All those who love stories, storytelling, and the remarkable characters of Charlie and Algernon will delight in accompanying their creator on this inspirational voyage of discovery.


      First Sentence:
      I never thought it would happen to me.
       
      Why did I pick this book?
      I read Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes earlier and found out the author wrote a book about how he came up with the story, and where he got the name Algernon from. I like reading "Behind the Scene" books (in fact, when watching DVD, sometimes I am more interested in the behind the scene clips than the actual movie/TV show itself). While I don't think I have what it takes to become a write, I enjoy reading about their thought processes.


      My thoughts:
      • I really enjoyed reading this! I think if you like Flowers for Algernon, you will too. It definitely make me appreciate Flowers for Algernon more, after reading what the author went through to get the original novelette, and later, the novel, published. He explained why he decided to make it into a novel, after the success of the novelette (the novelette was included in the book). It was interesting how it evolved, it definitely didn't happen overnight
      • I think I like the novel better, as it went into more depth and had better character development. So now when I read the novelette, it was a good "cliff note" version, but I was able to fill in the gaps from what I remembered from the book. I think that's the reason I don't usually like short stories because you don't really get to know the characters. I know I'd said many times I like plot-focus books more than character-driven ones. But a plot-focus books with great characters are the best! I want something to happen, but I also want to feel something for the characters
      • He also talked about how he "cast" Charlie. The original (and subsequent) protagonists were nothing like Charlie, and he didn't feel right until Charlie came along
      • I really liked the ending of Flowers for Algernon. Interestingly, many editors told him to change it, but he stuck to his gun. I am glad he did! 
      • Another interesting fact - the book was made into a play. "Tomorrow", the popular song from the movie/play, "Annie", was originally written for Flowers for Algernon the play! Charlie was supposed to say it! But due to a couple of things, the song ended up being used by Annie instead. It is a song I love, but had no idea about the history! And the actor who played Charlie in the play - later went on to play Phantom in Phantom of the Opera! Don't you just love reading little tidbits like these!
      • The book also shed lights on the role of the critics - how powerful they could be - be it book, movie, or play critics. Made me be more mindful about writing my thoughts on books on my blog. But, I want to be honest. I hope the authors understand that book reviews are subjective... it's not personal.

        Quote:

        Although he (dad) and my mother had little formal schooling, it became clear to me early in childhood that they respected education, and demanded that I excel in school. Yet, in my adolescence, I discovered the more I read and learned, the less I could communicate with them (parents). I was losing them -- drifting away into my world of books and stories. (p15)

        "My education is driving a wedge between me and the people I love." And then I wondered: "What would happen if it were possible to increase a person's intelligence?" (p16)

        I had an idea I cared about. And a story line, and a few passages. But I still didn't have the character I felt was right. I was searching for a protagonist who would be memorable and with whom the reading and I could identify; someone with a strong motivation and goal who evoked a response from other characters; someone whose inner life gave him a human dimension. (p93)


        I write in the hope that, long after I'm gone, my stories and books, like pebbles dropped into water, will continue to spread in widening circles and touch other minds. Possibly, other minds in conflict with themselves. (p177)
         
        Rating: 4 Stars



         
        Have you read this book? 
        If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


        Challenges:
        100+ Reading
        Memorable Memoir
        Non-Fiction Five

        Book Review - Shadow Tag: A Novel by Louise Erdrich










        Title: Shadow Tag: A Novel
        Author: Louise Erdrich
        Year: 2010
        Page: 256
        Genre: Fiction

        New to me author? Yes
        Read this author again? Maybe
        Tearjerker? No
        Where did it take place? US
        FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

        Summary (from goodreads.com):
        Here is the most telling fact: you wish to possess me. Here is another fact: I loved you and let you think you could. When Irene America discovers that her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, as much the truth about her life and her marriage as the Red Diary - hidden where he can find it - is a manipulative farce. Alternating between these two records, complemented by unflinching third-person narration, "Shadow Tag" is an eerily gripping read. When the novel opens, Irene is resuming work on her doctoral thesis about George Catlin, the nineteenth century painter whose Native American subjects often regarded his portraits with suspicious wonder. Gil, who gained notoriety as an artist through his emotionally revealing portraits of his wife - work that is adoring, sensual, and humiliating, even shocking - realizes that his fear of losing Irene may force him to create the defining work of his career. Meanwhile, Irene and Gil fight to keep up appearances for their three children: fourteen-year-old genius Florian, who escapes his family's unraveling with joints and a stolen bottle of wine; Riel, their only daughter, an eleven-year-old feverishly planning to preserve her family, no matter what disaster strikes; and, sweet kindergartner Stoney, who was born, his parents come to realize, at the beginning of the end. As her home increasingly becomes a place of violence and secrets, and she drifts into alcoholism, Irene moves to end her marriage. But her attachment to Gil is filled with shadowy need and delicious ironies. In brilliantly controlled prose, "Shadow Tag" fearlessly explores the complex nature of love, the fluid boundaries of identity, and one family's struggle for survival and redemption.


        First Sentence:
        I have two diaries now.
         
        Why did I pick this book?
        Both Eyes Book Blog's review described this book as dark. I like reading "dark" stories more than happily-ever-after ones. How could I resist?


        My thoughts:


        • The cover of this book reminded me of another book I'd just read - Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda. I don't know if the cover design really conveyed what the book was about.
        • I thought the book will have more entries from the two diaries, but there were very limited entries, so I was disappointed about that, as I felt like a book reading in a diary format
        • I did like that I learned something more about Native Amrican, artists and art history - I had to google a few things to appreciate the story, e.g. Lucretin painting by Rembrandt, George Catin, Hendrickje bathing etc.
        • I also liked the name and the concept of the "Heart's Desire Project" mentioned in the book
        • I didn't like the main protagonist, Irene, or her husband, Gil, much. They had a strange and disturbing relationship. But I felt for their three children (and love their names!) - Floridan, Riel and Stoney. There was a very touching scene about the siblings (p80-81) when the parents fought. It was very real, and sad. I particularly like Riel, and could vividly see her in my mind
        • The story was set in Minnesota, so that was kinda neat (the state I lived in)
        • The ending was a bit abrupt. Maybe a tad surprising, but not an ending I would've chosen... but perhaps I didn't quite understand the extent of Irene and Gil's relationship to be able to get it
        • I guess the writing could be classified as "lyrical". Usually not my cup of tea. But I did like the fact that I learned something new from this book, and Riel, even though a minor character, was memorable. 



        Quote:

        The way Irene read often exasperated him, but he envied it in a way, too, and it was further evidence to him of her confidence with books. She treated them like servants; he was their servant. (p44)

        To have meaning history must consist of both occurrence and narrative. If she never told, if never told, if the two of them never talked about it, there was no narrative. So the act, though it had occurred, was meaningless. It did not count... (p106)

         
        Rating: 3.5 Stars



         
        Have you read this book? 
        If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


        Challenges:
        100+ Reading

        Book Review - Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles










        Title: Lessons from a Dead Girl
        Author: Jo Knowles
        Year: 2007
        Page: 215
        Genre: Young Adult

        New to me author? Yes
        Read this author again? Maybe
        Tearjerker? No
        Where did it take place? US
        FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

        Summary (from goodreads.com):
        Leah Greene is dead. For Laine, knowing what really happened and the awful feeling that she is, in some way, responsible set her on a journey of painful self-discovery. Yes, she wished for this. She hated Leah that much. Hated her for all the times in the closet, when Leah made her do those things. They were just practicing, Leah said. But why did Leah choose her? Was she special, or just easy to control? And why didn’t Laine make it stop sooner? In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laine is left to explore the devastating lessons Leah taught her, find some meaning in them, and decide whether she can forgive Leah and, ultimately, herself.

        First Sentence:
        Leah Green is dead.
         
        Why did I pick this book?
        I read about this book from Reading Through The Night's review. It sounded intense. I like reading YA that deals with issues (rather than the more chicklit ones) so this sounds like my type of books.

        My thoughts:
        • I am a bit disappointed - the plot was a bit predictable for me, especially given that you know one of the characters died right from the first sentence. 
        • I think I'd have enjoyed this book more had I read it as a teenager. 
        • It was a difficult topic, and an important one, just that I felt indifferent about the characters. I didn't feel very emotional about them despite all the bad things that happened to them. The writing was easy enough to read, but I guess the characters just didn't grow on me. I hope I don't sound off as cold - I DO cry at sad books but this book just didn't have that affect on me.
        • The plot was okay - each chapter was a "lesson" the main protagonist learned about friendship, so it provided an interesting structure of the book. I guess I just didn't really learn anything new. Again, I may be too old for the book...
        • The cover is okay, you get the meaning behind it once you have read the book. 

          Quote:

          "We only hate what we don't understand." p74

           
          Rating: 3 Stars



           
          Have you read this book? 
          If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


          Challenges:
          100+ Reading
          Young Adult
          Take Another Chance

          Book Review - With One Eye Open by Polly Frost













          Title: With One Eye Open
          Author: Polly Frost
          Year: 2010
          Page: 164
          Genre: Non-Fiction - Humor

          New to me author? Yes
          Read this author again? Maybe
          Tearjerker? No
          Where did it take place? US
          FTC Disclosure: Part of Crazy Book Tours











          Summary (from goodreads.com):
          Polly Frost's humor book, With One Eye Open, brings together twenty-five of her funniest stories, essays and pieces. Her targets for delicious satire include blogaholism, fitness trends, gamers, sex writers, carbohydrate addicts, and friendship in the age of the internet and cellphones. Polly's humor has been published in numerous magazines including The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Grin & Tonic and Narrative. Four of her humor pieces were selected for The New Yorker "best of" anthologies Disquiet, Please! and Fierce Pajamas. 


          First Sentence:
          Do any of these symptoms fit you?
           
          Why did I pick this book?
          This book was offered at the Crazy Book Tours. A funny book? I could use one!


          My thoughts:
          • It was a fast read. However, I don't think I am really the target audience for the book. I have more of a dark sense of humor so I didn't really have any LOL moments when I read this book. There were a couple of pieces I could relate to but the rest I kinda skimped through...
          • The two stories I liked the best were Goodbye, ! (see quote below) and My Diagnosis 
          • It doesn't mean this book isn't funny for others, as other's testimonies (back of book, online etc) enjoyed the author's sense of humor. But humor is a funny thing (no pun intended :) it's rather subjective - e.g. I never thought Jim Carrey's movies were funny. Others thought Janet Evonovich's Stephanie Plum books were funny, I read the first one, and failed to see the humor, I thought she was kinda dumb (I guess I was used to very smart protagonist in murder/mystery books, like Lincoln Rhythm)
          • I have to say the cover won't make me pick up the book... the photo was underexposed, and didn't really convey the book content
          • I am giving it it 2 stars because according to my rating scale, it means Not really for me... but others may like it

            Quote:
            Now when I get emails from friends who don't use a lot of exclamation points, I wonder if they're mad at me. Why didn't they write "Hi Polly!!!!"? And are they being sarcastic if they simply write "Congratulations." rather than "Congratulations!!!!!!!!" (p7)

            Rating: 2 Stars 



             
            Have you read this book? 
            If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


            Challenges:
            100+ Reading
            Non-Fiction Five

            Book Review - Veracity by Laura Bynum











            Title: Veracity
            Author: Laura Bynum
            Year: 2010
            Page: 384
            Genre: Fiction - Dystopian

            New to me author? Yes
            Read this author again? Maybe
            Tearjerker? No
            Where did it take place? US
            FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

            Summary (from goodreads.com): 
            Harper Adams was six years old in 2012 when an act of viral terrorism wiped out one-half of the country's population. Out of the ashes rose a new government, the Confederation of the Willing, dedicated to maintaining order at any cost. The populace is controlled via government-sanctioned sex and drugs, a brutal police force known as the Blue Coats, and a device called the slate, a mandatory implant that monitors every word a person speaks. To utter a Red-Listed, forbidden word is to risk physical punishment or even death.But there are those who resist. Guided by the fabled "Book of Noah," they are determined to shake the people from their apathy and ignorance, and are prepared to start a war in the name of freedom. The newest member of this resistance is Harper -- a woman driven by memories of a daughter lost, a daughter whose very name was erased by the Red List. And she possesses a power that could make her the underground warriors' ultimate weapon -- or the instrument of their destruction.
            In the tradition of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Laura Bynum has written an astonishing debut novel about a chilling, all-too-plausible future in which speech is a weapon and security comes at the highest price of all.
             

            First Sentence:
            The deeper I get into the prairie, the more I realize that what I'd been told about the wastelands is false.
              
            Why did I pick this book?
            I've been enjoying Dystopian books. When I read Brizmus Blogs Books' review, I thought I'd give it a try since the premise sounds interesting! What does veracity mean? And chilling? I love reading chilling books!


            My thoughts:
            • Sadly, I didn't finish this book. I don't know if I just wasn't in the right mood or what, but I just couldn't get into it. I stopped around p73.
            • The book alternates between "past" and "present" (even though "present" is really the future for us in real time). I enjoyed reading the parts about the past, when the main protagonist, Harper (like that name!), was still a girl in High School. Maybe if more pages were devoted to the past in the first 73 pages, I'd have kept reading
            • The "present" time was all mixed up in June and August of the same year (at least in the 73 pages I read) and NOT in order!! so in between going back and forth between Harper's childhood and adulthood, it jumped around during her adulthood as well, which added to the confusion - e.g. childhood, August present, childhood, June present, August present, childhood, June present (just making this up, but it was like that...)
            • I am disappointed I couldn't get into it. If you have read it and really think I should give it a try again, let me know!

               
              Rating: 0 Star - Did Not Finish

              Wednesday, August 11, 2010

              Catpic
















              Get away from the books! Play with me instead! ~ Kunik

              This boy is full of energy! He'll probably knock me off the stairs one day from the way he zzzzoooooommm up and down the stairs.


              Note - TBR pile from the library a couple of weeks back... had to return a bunch of them as I couldn't renew them, and didn't have time to read due to the cats (too busy researching online about cat products, how to live with cats etc)



















              But I'm the good girl! Pat meeeeeeee! ~ Tallulah

              Tallulah is recovering from her cold she caught from the shelter... and boy was I a worry-wart... googling every cat diseases she could've had from all the sneezing (like 10 times in a row!). But I think she's getting better. She LOVES LOVES LOVES food. Fit right into the family!

              Sunday, August 8, 2010

              Delayed!

              Reviews, postings, blog visiting are delayed because the new kitty loves sitting by my keyboard / mouse, and I can't type very comfortably with the keyboard to the side... or having to use the mouse on the left side of the keyboard (I'm right handed)...

              What a pet owner would do for their pet... just so they can get comfortable even if we aren't!

              Coming up (when I learned to type side way...):
              • 5 reviews (including 1 did-not-finish)
              • 1 giveaway (my very first!!)
              • ummm maybe a new blog dedicated to just the cats...? So I can do product review and document my experience as a new cat mummy? Would I have the time and energy???

              Sunday, August 1, 2010

              Pictures of the 2nd cat

              No name yet... have a few in mind, but have to see what fits her! She's about 2-3 years old. Maine Coon. Brown tabby with green eyes. About 9lb.

              She is in a "safe room" now. Didn't try to hide at all when we brought her into the room. Went straight for the food! She and Kunik (our first cat adopted 2 weeks ago) had a supervised visit today and it went well. Kunik kept following her and sniffing her, she was okay about it at first but got annoyed a little later and hissed at him. However no aggression shown from neither cats. I think he wanted to play and she just wanted to explore.

              She's very affectionate and loves to give kisses and rub her face on our hands! Doesn't she look like a little wolf?