Thursday, June 04, 2009

book update

As I mentioned, I have read five books recently. All of them have been excellent.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Thirteen-year-old Kyra lives with her family – her three Mothers, her father and her 19 siblings (with two more on the way) in the closed desert community ran by the religious leader of their faith. While she internally questions their ways, she doesn’t fight against them until it is announced by the Prophet that she is to marry…her uncle who is nearly 50 years older than she is.

Kyra struggles with leaving her family, a family full of love for one another, behind forever and following the will of the Prophet.

This was a quick read. I started it at dinner tonight – around 8:40 or so – and finished it within two hours. And that wasn’t even reading for two hours straight.

It was a good read. I thought the story was fairly well written. You do wonder what Kyra is going to do, and understand the factors that are pulling her in her decisions.

I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle
While giving the Valedictorian speech, the dweebish brainiac Denis Cooverman announces his love for the head cheerleader. Much to his – and his best friend’s – surprise, Beth and her two BFFs (i.e. the Trinity) show up at Denis’ impromptu graduation party. What ensues is a graduation night that will never be forgotten.

This book – which has been made into a movie that will be in theaters this summer – reminds me of a novelized version of American Pie, Superbad, and other such films. It. Was. Hilarious. I honestly laughed out loud (and nearly choked on my lunch) while reading this book. Full of action and “OMG I can’t believe what happened next” type of humor, it is sure to be enjoyed by crude teenager in all of us.

This was a book group pick for June.

Shield of Stars by Hilari Bell
Sword of Waters by Hilari Bell
These two books are part of a trilogy. The third in the series will be out this fall. The shield and sword refer to two of three items of legend in the kingdom, all of which have disappeared centuries before the stories take place. Each book has a different item as part of the theme.

Weasel was once a pickpocket. When he is caught trying to pick the pocket of one of the Justices, the Justice takes him home instead of to jail, and trains Weasel to become his clerk. Which is how Weasel finds himself deeply entrenched in a plot to overthrow the current Regent of the kingdom. When Justice Hollis’ plot is uncovered and he is hauled away to prison, Weasel vows to himself to free the man who has treated him so well.

Along the way, Weasel joins up with Arisa – daughter of a smuggler (or so she says to Weasel). The two make their way throughout the countryside in search of the Falcon – a bandit or revolutionary (depending on who you ask).
In a twist of fate, it ends up that Arisa’s mother is actually the Falcon. With her help, Weasel saves Justice Hollis…who becomes the new Regent.

In the second book, a few months have gone by since the uprising. The Falcon is the leader of the military, and possesses the famed Shield of Stars, and she and Arisa now live in the royal castle, as does Justice Hollis and Weasel. Weasel has become friends with the prince…something that the Falcon wants Arisa to do as well. Arisa is having a hard time fitting in with the Court, preferring pants to tight fitting dresses, and fighting with fists to fighting with words. When the Falcon asks her daughter to help search for the Sword of Waters, Arisa enlists her friend Weasel – and the price – to aid in the quest…which all of them think is unlikely to be achieved. Along the way Arisa uncovers a plot…that might involve the person she loves and admires more.

I cannot wait for September…and the release of the next book. This is a great light fantasy series that can be enjoyed by tweens, teens and adults. The characters are well developed, strong in their own ways, but still human.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Mary lives in a frightful future. Many years before, an epidemic went rampant throughout the world. Those infected quickly died…and came back as the undead, craving only the flesh of the living.

Now, Mary lives in a village surrounded by fences. They are perhaps the only people left in the world. Her father disappeared into the forest that surrounds the village…the forest where the Infected dwell. Her mother goes to the fence nearly every day, searching for her husband. Mary and her brother go with her – keeping their mother far enough from the fence so she will not be infected as well.

But, when Mary takes her time with the laundry, her mother goes to the fence alone…and allows herself to be bitten by the rabid undead who strive to get beyond the barriers. Quickly, she is overtaken by the sickness, dying…and coming back Infected…within days.

Mary’s brother casts her from his home – blaming her for their mother’s death. Mary is sent to live with the Sisters – the holy women who rule their village.

A time comes when Mary is forced to leave the village – along with a few other survivors - and she must choose between the man she loves, the man who loves her and her deep desire to find the ocean of her dreams.

This was an excellent book. It was great to read a well written horror book that was not about vampires. It goes on the list of "books to make others read".

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Sounds like you've had some great reading!