Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Thank you thank you thank you Hachette for sending me this book!!!!

Once I started this, I found it completely addictive. I wasn?t sure what to expect when I opened it up, but then I found myself pulled into the world that the two authors created. I thought that both main characters, Ethan and Lena, were well-written, and well-rounded (no cardboard characters here, thank you very much!). It was nice to have a story like this narrated by a guy ? it seems like most of the time, things are all from a girl?s point of view, and that alone made this book refreshing. I also felt like Ethan was very realistic ? dialogue (and dialect) were on point, as was the relationship between Ethan and Lena. I didn?t have a pause at any point in the story where I felt it didn?t make sense to the characters (does that make sense?).

I also felt that the authors did a wonderful, masterful job of creating the Caster world ? what a fantastic idea! I had moments with Lena?s family that made me think of Ray Bradbury?s From the Dust Returned, with the unusual family members. However, I also felt that the authors did something that I especially like in Bradbury?s stories: crafting beautiful sentences. Beautiful Creatures had several points where I paused to read a sentence again, just to admire it.

I cannot wait to order this for our library?s collection, and have already started talking about it to a few people (and if they?re nice, I might just lend them my copy......). Put this one down on the list of another good book to push. I think it?s going to be quite popular!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

I was lucky enough to pick up a galley of this book, and finished it a few weekends ago. I keep coming back to it, though, so I figured it would be a good start to this blog....
I don't feel like I need to summarize the book -- anyone can read that anywhere else. What has kept turning around in my mind is the STORY. I was completely caught up in this story, and how Micah, the main character would tell me something, only to recant it later. This back and forth between one truth, which then became a lie, which then turned to another truth, kept catching me off guard - and I loved it. Truth and deception became woven together into something altogether unexpected and artistic and when the truth started to reveal itself, it caught me off-guard. I didn't mind that I didn't always like Micah - I found her complex and fascinating.
And I found that more than anything else, what my mind kept tripping over after I had put the book down was the idea of lying, of making the truth into what we want it to be. And the idea that if we believe something strongly enough, we might be able to make it into a truth. Haven't we all told some lies about ourselves, whether we're telling someone else, or just lying to ourselves? I think when I was really little (like maybe 4), I told some neighbor kids that I was adopted from France -- no doubt trying to make myself seem cool. I'm not sure why I came up with this, or why I thought this would make me cool.... and I think they saw right through me. This isn't the only lie I've told in my life. I've come up with some sly little half-truths to hide things, to weave a little glamour around myself. I've even lied to myself to hide things I don't want to remember -- and sometimes, I forget these are lies (but then, it's still easier than remembering a truth). Either way, Micah and her lies, her complexities, and her truths, made this a really special read. I'm already looking forward to seeing what this author brings all of us in the future....

And here's another thought on the 2 covers, which are shown. Controversy on this has already been covered elsewhere. I think it's interesting -- if nothing else, it will draw people to finding the book. And if you find
one book, there are always more waiting.... which is a wonderful thing.
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