Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Two good books

I read these two books this past summer and I'm still thinking about them, so I thought I'd share a little about each:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Set in the future (yes, another dystopian story) about a girl with the power to kill by touch.  Yeah, reminds me of Rogue from X-Men but totally different.  The government captures her and tries to use her as a weapon.

The writing style was unique and effective and the plot was spot on.

There was a kind of an ending even though it is the first in a trilogy.

I'd give it four stars.

The other book I read this summer I really liked is

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.  Another dystopian tale.  This time, one about a future in which the citizens live under glass domed cities.  Aria is one of those citizens until some horsing around leads to a terrible tragedy and she's forced outside of the safety of the dome into the outer wastelands.

I really liked the world the author created and the surprising reveals.  I had a little bit of a quibble with how the main character and the love interest Perry, flipped overnight from squabbling to being in love but other than that, really good read.

Four stars here too.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Been a sloth

I've been a slug/sloth these past few weeks.  It has been too hot to do anything, and the cat has been sick.  I finally got out the other day and did my walk. 
I looked for some remnants of summer color.

These morning glories made me feel cooler.   
red roses

awash in color

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review - "Crossed" by Ally Condie

This is the second book in the "Matched" Trilogy. 

Here is the description from Ally Condie's website (

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky—taken by the Society to his sure death—only to find that he has escaped into the majestic but treacherous canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

This book suffers in that it is the middle book of a trilogy.  At the beginning, Cassia and Ky are separated and Cassia goes to look for Ky.  This goes on for 200 pages.  Yeah, the descriptive passages lives from both Cassia and Ky's POV emerse the reader into the bleak lives and dystopic worlds.  But it gets a little long.  You just want the two to get together already.
The writing is gorgeous, just like the first book.  I especially liked how the poetry is so precious to the two of them.  Each word, each line as precious as gemstones.  Made me want to go read some poetry afterwards.


I admit, I skipped over until I found the re-union (pg 200) then went back.

But in the end, we were almost back to where we started.  I thought the book was kind of pointless.  Would have been better if parts of this book beefed up the first and last book.      So, I'm giving this book 3 stars - If you like gorgeous words, this book is for you.  But the lack of any sort of significant movement of the plot makes it a kind of waste of time.  You could sum it up in a paragraph or two and move onto the last book. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Earthquake Weather

We in So. Cal. are blessed with weather year-round that makes the rest of the U.S. (except for Hawaii) envious.  You can go skiing in the mountains and swimming at the beach in the same day.

But we have earthquakes!  There is something in the air or the temperature that other Angelenos will attest to - we know when it is earthquake weather. Usually when it goes from being cool to super hot overnight, that is earthquake weather.  And today was definitely earthquake weather.

So guess what?  We just had one.  4.4 magnitude.  Enough to get me out of bed and running for the doorway. (Although, they say now doorways aren't the safest place during an earthquake)

They also say pets are able to sense earthquakes and the smart ones give warning to their owners.  No such luck here.  Both Charlie and Chester cat didn't even wake up until they saw me running for the doorway.  And they just yawned and went back to sleep.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review - Happily Ever After by Jean Haus

See previous post for description and cover:

What I liked:
  • The one thing the author does really really well is the male and female voice.  I was captivated by it in the first book "Sleeping Handsome."  And I love the voices again in this book.
  • The first chapters have the two main characters Paige and Zach together and their relationship feels real and it was everything I wanted in a sequel. 
  • Effortless writing style makes it easy to read in one sitting. 
But of course, too much happily ever after and it gets boring and not enough to sustain a book.  So,

What I didn't care for:
  • The plot keeps the two on separate continents for three-fourths of the book.  This I didn't like, as the relationship is via texts, skype, and phone calls.  And we get to see all the insecurities each has in their relationship.
  • Here is where I didn't like Paige so much.  She comes off as petty and weak.  And she seems untrusting and petty at times.  Meanwhile, Zach comes off as perfect Prince Charming so it makes empathizing with Paige even harder.
These are minor:
  • That Paige gets cast in a major role in a major motion picture and her time working on the "set" didn't feel real to me.
  • Quibble - the title of the movie she's working on is called Valkyrie.  Isn't this the name of a Tom Cruise movie?   
Overall, it was an entertaining read and I enjoyed it. 

I'm giving it four stars.  I liked it alot, but there were things that you may not care for.