Monday, March 30, 2009

If Only!

Just finished up with the lovely YA book, Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke, a book which made me wish. But first, an overview.

One of the main characters is a strong, brave little girl named Meggie, who discovers through a series of unfortunate events, that her father can read characters OUT of books. Not only that, but he somehow managed to read several very bad men out of a book long ago, replacing those men accidentally by reading her mother and their three cats INTO the book. These men create a little circle of Hell for themselves in the Italian countryside, but years later they finally find "Silvertongue," as they've taken to calling Meggie's father. And their leader, Capricorn, wants him to read others out of the book, including his very special, very evil friend.

Her father escapes, but Meggie is captured, at first as bait, but then she discovers, in the dark of one night while trying to comfort herself with a little bedtime reading, that she has inherited her father's gift. Now they want Meggie to read above mentioned bad friend into existence, in order to execute some of Meggie's own friends. So it's up to her to save the day.

It was a lovely read, with many twists and turns. It also made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it managed to convey exactly how I, myself, feel about books, the written word. Now as for my wish, instead of reading characters OUT of books, wouldn't it be great if I could read myself into stories? Who hasn't wanted to play main character in their favorite novel?!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I know that it has taken me a little longer to post this newest review, but consider for a moment the fact that it is Stephen King I am talking about here, and that the book I have finished is none other than the completed, unedited version of The Stand, which is over 1,000 pages long. And those letters weren't exactly typed in your average-sized print, either.

Imagine a world where humans have determined their own fate, where one man and his family can spread a highly communicable disease that takes over the world, destroying millions of people in a painful and quick fashion. Only a few are immune, and those few start to gather. But there are two sides to this story: Some gather in the East, and some gather in the West. Those who gather with the Dark Man are themselves loaded with evil, and those who gather with Mother Abigail have to consider that there is, in fact, a God, and that he has decided to help the human race to stand against evil, before that evil can obliterate all that is good.

In this world not far off from our own, you meet some pretty good characters, and some pretty twisted characters. No one is safe from the scythe of death either, to my annoyance, but such is the way of King, I suppose. This is one of those books that will get you thinking, wondering about the significance of this, and marveling at how neatly that ties together. A good read, if you can handle Stephen King's dark and ruthless writing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Young Adult Foray

I'm not a big fan on YA books, but my sister sent me Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, with many good things to say, and so i decided to give it a try. It was just the kind of weird-quirky I used to love as a kid.

Coraline, the heroine, finds a door in her drawing room that seems to lead to nothing, but one day, it leads to something. Another world with another mother and another father that do not mean what they say, and want her to stay forever and always. To make it so, they have taken her real parents. So, brave quick-witted Coraline must find her parents, along with a few other things, in order to escape. But can she really escape?

This novel brought to mind all the out-there bizarre novels that take me to worlds that cannot be, and yet are within the pages of one book. I've read an excerpt from an upcoming novel of his that promises more of the same. I completely applaud the truly imaginative and creative skills of story-tellers like Gaiman.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mystery, Anyone?

Another book done and done. Deja Dead, by Kathy Reichs, is the first in a series of detective novels in which the main character, Temperance Brennan, solves mystery in her field of forensic anthropology. If any of this sounds familiar, it's because the hit TV series Bones is based on these books.

In the first of this gritty, tough series, Brennan must work to find a killer with a lot of rage toward women. Although there is no outward sign that they are connected, except for the brutal way in which they are killed, Brennan feels that these deaths are all caused by the same killer. And so begins her quest to connect the dots and get those above her in the chain of command to see that these are serial cases. Unfortunately, as she works to find the killer, the killer has already found her. . .

This novel was a lot grittier and more explicit than the TV series, which happens to be one of my favorite shows. As is usual with written works, there was a lot more leeway for language and descriptions than there is for TV. The main character, however, was smart as a whip, tough, and brave. I liked her as much as her on screen portrayal, even though they were not portrayed in the same manner.