Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Shorts

When We Wake by Karen Healey
304 pages
published 3/5/13

Synopsis from publisher -

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

My thoughts -

I have to admit I'm enjoying this dystopian future YA trend SO much more than the vampire/mermaid/werewolf YA trend. There seems to be a lot of good offerings lately, and it's been fun to read them. When We Wake is definitely darker in tone, with very definite religious and political opinions. There were times when the story took just a bit of a turn to the soapbox, but in general I found it to be entertaining, and I would love to read another in a series.

Finished - 4/5/13
Source - South side library
MPAA Rating - PG-13 for violence and adult situations
My rating - 8/10

The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
published 1/31/2013
268 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

Photographer Clare Porterfield's once-happy marriage is coming apart, unraveling under the strain of a family tragedy. When she receives an invitation to direct an exhibition in her hometown of Galveston, Texas, she jumps at the chance to escape her grief and reconnect with the island she hasn't seen for ten years. There Clare will have the time and space to search for answers about her troubled past and her family's complicated relationship with the wealthy and influential Carraday family.

Soon she finds herself drawn into a century-old mystery involving Stella Carraday. Local legend has it that Stella drowned in her family's house during the Hurricane of 1900, hung by her long hair from the drawing room chandelier. Could Stella have been saved? What is the true nature of Clare's family's involvement? The questions grow like the wildflower vines that climb up the walls and fences of the island. And the closer Clare gets to the answers, the darker and more disturbing the truth becomes.

My thoughts -

I don't think it's a great sign that I finished this novel less than 12 hours ago and I already can't think up much to say about it. I think the author has a lot of potential - the writing here is quite good - but her story meandered and I just didn't find myself motivated to read. I would certainly read more by this author, even though this particular book couldn't really catch my attention.

Finished - 4/13/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - R for adult situations
My rating - 5/10

The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau
published January, 2013
409 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.

While Joanna is in the Tower, the ruthless Bishop of Winchester forces her to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic; a crown so powerful, it may possess the ability to end the Reformation.

With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must decide who she can trust so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.

My thoughts -

Oh, this is just the best kind of historical fiction. A fascinating mystery, a plucky and intriguing heroine, the Tudors with being THE TUDORS - I just loved every minute of this. I can't wait to start the next novel about the delightful Sister Joanna. Highly recommended.

Finished - 4/19/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - PG-13 for adult situations and violence
My rating - 9/10

The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
first published 1904
287 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

First issued in 1904, L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Ozis the story of the wonderful adventures of the young boy named Tip as he travels throughout the many lands of Oz. Here he meets with our old friends the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, as well as some new friends like Jack Pumpkinhead, the Wooden Sawhorse, the Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug, and the amazing Gump. How they thwart the wicked plans of the evil witch Mombi and overcome the rebellion of General Jinjur and her army of young women is a tale as exciting and endearing today as it was when first published over eighty years ago

My thoughts -

Ugh. I'm really particular about reading a series in order, and because I want to get to Ozma of Oz for the 100 best chapter books readalong, I had to read this one first. I did NOT care for this novel - as much as I enjoyed The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I did not enjoy this one. I understand that the entire novel was basically just a set up to discover the origins of Ozma, but it was too slap-sticky and ridiculous, and frankly more than a little misogynistic. It just seemed like an excuse for Baum to throw out every odd character he could think of, without much of a plot to tie them together. Here's hoping Ozma will be a more entertaining read.

Finished - 4/20/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - PG? I don't know, this is pretty tame, but the scarecrow does get un-stuffed a bunch of times.
My rating - 4/10

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Is this Oz book the second in the series?