Nov. 28th, 2010 12:00 pm
fiveforsilver: (Cats [on the shelf])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
113. *Wired by Robin Wasserman
Skinned, book 3
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 400p

114. The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 6
Adult, Mystery, 262 pages

115. The Cat Who Went into the Closet by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 15
Adult, Mystery, 288 pages

116. The Cat Who Blew the Whistle by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 17
Adult, Mystery, 311 pages

117. The Cat Who Tailed a Thief by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 19
Adult, Mystery, 247 pages

118. The Cat Who Came to Breakfast by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 16
Adult, Mystery, 272 Pages

118 / 160 books (74%)
57 / 80 *new books (71%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
31524 / 48000 pages. (62%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m
blue_ant: (alias [jack and sloane])
[personal profile] blue_ant
103. The ABC's of Kissing boys by Tina Ferraro
This book was like eating chocolate (or something sugary and yummy). I felt kind of bad reading it, because it's so silly, but I loved everything about it. From the ridiculous plot to the predictable romance to the surprisingly strong main character. This was recommended to me after I realized I'd forgotten to bring another book from home and it took me just about an hour to read it. It's super quick, hilarious (I was laughing out loud) and so cute and sweet that I must have gotten at least 12 cavities while reading it. This is light, fluffy, and truly adorable. A+

104. Post Singular by Rudy Rucker
I needed a break from YA and picked up this book because I'm a fan of some of Rucker's other books. This book fit right in with his others, and I completely loved it -- it's probably favorite. It comes cyberpunk with sort of a nostalgia for being unconnected and messes it seamlessly into the urge to be connected on every level possible. While many SF novels attempt to explore how awesome VR would be, Postsingular takes a completely different tact. Rucker creates a world that was temporarily thrown in VR all at once and then describes how this changed (for better or for worse) that world. It's a great, fun and fast read. I loved it.

105. The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko
This was an extremely well written, upsetting and quite moving science fiction novel. At it's heart, it's about who we (as in people in general) are. But at the same time, it's also about who we aren't. The premise is that people can travel between universes, but it comes with a rather sinister price. Melko's writing is top notch, his characters are strong and the only reason I didn't give it a full five stars is because it was at times realistically painful to read. Highly recommended, especially to be people who like to push the line between straight fiction and science fiction.

106. Crashed by Robin Wasserman
A good, strong follow up to Skinned. It's in many ways a true middle novel. It gets the plot and story going, but what Wasserman does well is remind us of why this series is so good in the first place. Instead of abandoning characters from the first novel, she brings them back with a vengeance. While Skinned focuses on Lia's attempts to get away and either embrace or forget who she is, Crashed does the opposite. Lia is trapped in a war she never wanted to fight and against people she used to love. I cannot wait for the third book in this series.

105 / 100 words. 105% done!


Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:58 am
fiveforsilver: (Xmen [Angel])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
127. Skinned by Robin Wasserman (384)

Reread before reading the new sequel (original review here).

128. *Crashed by Robin Wasserman (448)

Sequel to Skinned; Crashed is a continuation of the story and not a stand-alone book.

Lia has changed. Instead of arguing against the differences between mechs and humans, she is actively trying to convince new mechs that those differences are real and important, as Jude finally convinced her. But her loyalties are being tested constantly, and when she is unwittingly involved in the beginning of a holy war against mechs, she must decide finally if she will follow Jude or betray him.

While Skinned looked at the implications to self, family, and "normal" life and how all these necessarily change when a person's body so dramatically changes, Crashed is more about societal prejudice and trying to stay human when maybe you aren't anymore.

I like Crashed, though not as much as Skinned. I am looking forward to the third book in the trilogy, to see how everything is going to be tied up.

128 / 150 books. 85% done!

71 / 75 *new-books. 95% done!

5 / 10 ^non-fiction. 50% done!

36310 / 45000 pages. 81% done!


Nov. 10th, 2008 11:43 am
blue_ant: (devon [fandom + work])
[personal profile] blue_ant
137. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
Cameron's book is truly a fantastic book. Not only is the story well done, but the writing is brilliant. Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You is the story of James, an 18 year old boy trying to figure out, well, life. He's not sure he wants to go to college, he's not really sure about much of anything, except that he wants to be alone and he hates people his own age. Cameron handles everything perfectly -- the several time married mother, the distant and yet controlling father, the implied crush on the older coworker, and the love that James is seeking without really knowing it. I say perfectly because he manages to capture how our lives (the lives of the family, of teenagers, of college students, of everyone) are not perfect at all. James' view is one that anyone can relate too, not just teens. This isn't just because he's such a universal character in many ways, it's also because Cameron proves to be a sublime writer. James is smarter than many people (perhaps smarter than we are) and while in many books (YA or otherwise) this would be a turn off, it's the opposite. James doesn't lord it over his readers, just the people he encounters. And often, it's not even on purpose. While this book isn't about me, reading it I felt it had been written for me. It's an incredibly emotional (and emotionally driven) story about what it's like to grow up when you're already halfway there.

138. Awakening by Robin Wasserman
139. Betrayal by Robin Wasserman
140. Truth by Robin Wasserman
I'm reviewing all three of these together because they're part of the Chasing Yesterday trilogy. This is the story of a girl "named" JD. She wakes up in pain and has no idea who she is or what's going on. Eventually she ends up in a hospital, but her memories are still gone. Known as Jane Doe at first (before asking to be called JD), she is stubborn and strong, stronger than she really understands. Upon leaving the hospital, JD ends up in a home for, well, kids with nowhere else to go. She befriends Daniel, the one person she believes she can trust. The story follows JD and Daniel as they try to figure out who JD really is. As the books progress, the danger increases, for both JD and Daniel and from JD herself. There's a twist of fantasy within the novels that was slightly surprising, but well done. The books lead quite well into each other and Wasserman does an excellent job of tying the trilogy up, without really copping out on an ending. There are several surprises that caught me off guard, which was nice, considering some books similar to this would be seen as too formulaic. The storyline, in many ways, reminded me loosely of the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. The writing, of course, was much better that Patterson's books, but there were a few elements (an institution, issues with parents and lies about the past) that brought the other series to mind. But, over all, if you a few days, I suggest checking all three books out and reading them one after the other. And, if you liked those, read Wasserman's other book with a similar theme, Skinned. Which, in my opinion, is even better.

140 / 150 new reads. 93% read!


Oct. 31st, 2008 08:13 am
fiveforsilver: (Doctor Who [the Doctor])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
121. *Skinned by Robin Wasserman (368)

It's one of those one-chance-in-a-million accidents and Lia Kahn is dead.

Except she isn't.

Her body died, but her brain was sliced, scanned, copied, and uploaded into a new body, a mechanical, numb, distant body that doesn't look like her, doesn't sound like her, doesn't feel like her. What happens when your body isn't your body anymore? When nothing you loved to do before feels the same and even you don't recognize yourself?

This book looks at an aspect of this kind of physical change that is seldom explored in stories like this. When your body changes, it will change your mind as well. The very fact that it did not have the picture-perfect ending that it might have had - the ending was heartbreaking, in fact - made it all the more powerful, all the more real.

121 / 150 books. 81% done!

60 / 75 *new books. 80% done!

4 / 10 ^non-fiction. 40% done!

32881 / 40000 pages. 82% done!


Sep. 30th, 2008 07:12 pm
blue_ant: (devon [fandom + work])
[personal profile] blue_ant
118. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
This was a great little book recommended to me by a friend. I'd somehow never read it before and she insisted that I read it. It's quite adorable and fun to read (as well as play along with the game mentioned in the title). I think that probably the best part of the book is how Ellen Raskin wraps up the story at the end of the book. It's something authors try to do and many aren't very successful. Raskin, on the other hand, does it extremely well. It's a fun, entertaining little book.

119. Skinned by Robin Wasserman
I just finished reading this book and, to be perfectly frank, it broke me. As in the same way that Life As We Knew It, Thirsty and especially Feed broke me. In my opinion, it's an exceptional story that deals with what it means to be human, which is cliché but true. The story is, at it's very basic level, quite simple. Lia's in an accident and she wakes up to find that she's not herself. She's sort of a cyborg (though the term is never used in the novel) with her own conscious. Her ability to learn, grow and survive in her new surroundings make up the bulk of the story, but in the typical 'coming of age' way that we're used to. What makes this book so good is not just the fact that Wasserman is an excellent author, but the fact that we're going through all of the difficulties Lia's going through as she goes through them -- we suffer as she suffers.

Wasserman draws us into the story through Lia's emotions (or lack of them) and she keeps us interested and invested by showing us just how much Lia changed from the person she was before the accident -- a Lia that we don't know, because we come into the story after the accident. Another thing Wasserman uses to her advantage is the flashback. We learn about Lia through this, through the way her family, friends and boyfriend behave around the 'new' her. I think this is an extremely effective plot device, though it was used more than to just further the plot.

Others have said that this book is like Westerfeld's Uglies series and another book with a similar plot to Skinned that I haven't read yet. I have to say that this book is much, much more adult that the Uglies series and it's much darker in many ways. Skinned is, as Scott Westerfeld says on the cover, really about finding out who we are inside. There are several moments in the book where Lia must figure out what she is -- and like all of us, she doesn't really know for sure. The book that Skinned did remind me of was MT Anderson's Feed. It's a book that focuses on what is and isn't real, about love and loss and what it means to be human -- just in a different context. Wasserman's book is an excellent addition to the YA science fiction genre.

120. The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer
I think this probably was the best book of the series so far. I found myself not so much caught up in the story as the characters themselves. I think Colfer does a good job with his character study (of a sort) of Artemis and how he's changed over the books. Probably the most interesting parts involved Artemis looking back on the person he used to be as well as when he thinks about how much he's changed. His relationship with Holly changed as well and I thought that Colfer did a fine job exploring that relationship without going too far into some sort of happy romantic ending.

120 / 120 new reads. 100% read!


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