[Small Chirp] Those books you just can’t make yourself read

I suspect everyone has a few of these books. They’re the guilty secret – the great books you want to read, but over the course of weeks, months, and years, just can’t seem to get around to opening. Ugh.

The mental block.

The agony.

The what-is-wrong-with-me?

Here is my short-list of books I want to read, but just can’t seem to.

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)

There really is no excuse for me not to have read this book – or this entire series, really. For about three years now, I’ve put it off.

Thing is, I have it on good authority that the Hunger Games series is awesome. That Collins is awesome. That I will read this book and feel that happy zen zing of a great book devoured. I know I can munch my way through all three books over a weekend, then finish off with the movies.

And that brings me to the other reason I really ought to read The Hunger Games. I can’t watch the movies until I read the books. It’s a rule. But it just doesn’t seem enough yet.

2. Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Last Light of the Sun

This book sits on my shelf. It’s been sitting on my shelf since my birthday two years ago. And it judges me. Oh man, it judges me.

I even read the first page (and liked it!) but then the book went back to my shelf.

Where it sits to this day.

Judging me. Continue reading

[Book Review] Beautiful Creatures – again

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

With the movie just out and TV spots flashing across the screen every five commercials, I couldn’t resist getting the book. Meg posted a Beautiful Creatures review a couple months back, so, since I agree with her on almost all the points, I’m gonna do my best to add some new couple of cents in this post.

So, Ethan is a small-town guy, desperately bored with his small town life in backwater Georgia. Then, one day, in an inversion of the usual paranormal romance trope, a new girl comes to town. Lena’s different – maybe even dangerous – with dark rumors swirling around her. And Ethan can’t help but be drawn to her.

She tells him that they can’t be together because they’re from two different worlds, and it’s not until he’s way in over his head that he discovers that she means that in the most literal sense of the word. Continue reading

[Book Review] The Host, or the trials and tribulations of the victorious alien invader

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host! A book I had absolutely no interest in reading but kinda liked anyway.

How did that happen? Well, see,  a few days ago, Meg and me, we were looking through upcoming movie releases. And our conversation went something like this:

Me: We should read The Host
Meg: I have been working on the unicorn demon story
  ug
  I know
  When does it come out?
Me: March, I think.
Meg: I call not dibs
\o/

While the real takeaway message of this conversation is “What unicorn demon story?”, I did fold to the inevitable and grabbed the 1,152 page paperback in preparation of the movie version of The Host coming out March 29. Whatzit about? Well, in the near, near future… Continue reading

[Small Chirp] Shoving our YA heroes out of the nest

A few mid-novel thoughts on Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

“You are a Leopard Person only by the will of the Supreme Creator, and as we all know, She isn’t very concerned with Her own creations.” (Akata Witch, 96)

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)This post will contain only a few, mild (and out-of-context) spoilers for the book.

I am halfway through Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, a YA novel I am co-reading with the lovely lady McLicious over at comp lit and mediaphilia. When I started reading it, I wasn’t sure what to expect – I know precious little about Nigerian folklore, and only a little bit more about the culture and political situation in the country.  So far, the things that have really caught my eye (and imagination) are the small details woven into the narrative that are different from what I’ve come to expect from the YA adventure. Continue reading

[Book Review] Beautiful Creatures and Awkward Audiobooks

Meg’s Review of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Audiobook read by Kevin T. Collins (with special appearance by Eve Bianco)

I haven’t read any teen paranormal romance since I attempted Twilight, which all but killed my faith in the genre and scarred my brain for life. But I’m a sucker for any book being made into a movie, so I picked up Beautiful Creatures during a nifty sale at Audible. I figured that if it sucked, at least it would only be $5 of suck.

Much to my surprise, I really liked this first installment of the four-book series. Partially, I think my enjoyment was at the deft move by writers Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl to make the narrator a teenaged boy rather than a girl. It inherently dropped the angst factor by about 75%. They also split the love story, with the majority of it revolving around the star-crossed lovers of Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes, but there was also the added love story of a boy mourning the loss of his mother that gave the book considerable, and quite unexpected, depth. Continue reading

[Small Chirp] Akata Witch and reading about magic in Nigeria

Over the next couple weeks, I will be reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor with the McLicious lady over at comp lit and mediaphilia. Earlier this month, Hannah challenged me to take a step out of my sci-fi and fantasy comfort zone and nibble on something different. Some discussion and haggling later, we settled on Okorafor’s 2011 J/YA fantasy-meets-magic-realism novel about American-born Sunny, a twelve-year-old whose family has moved back to Nigeria. Already facing the triple outsider jeopardy for being the new kid, an American, and albino, Sunny discovers that she might also be part of a secret society of people with latent magic powers. Oh, and there’s a killer on the loose, and Sunny has just seen the end of the world in a candle flame.

Akata Witch Prologuesmall

Word map from the Prologue of Akata Witch.

Continue reading

[Advance Book Review] A healer on the run, an army on the march.

Scent of Magic by Maria V Snyder (Healer #2)

Publication date: December 18th 2012

(This review may contain spoilers of book one, Touch of Magic by Maria V. Snyder.)

After reading Touch of Magic (has it really been a year?) and stamping it with a Five-Canary approval rating, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. And here it is!

Avry of Kazan, the last Healer in all of the Fifteen Realms, is dead of the plague, sacrificing her life to heal the man who destroyed her people…or so everyone thinks. Finally free and able to make her own decisions, Avry’s loyalty is torn between the need to help a sister in the clutches of a vicious mage, her own calling as a Healer, and the need to do her part against the tyrannical King Tohon and his ravaging army. And if she is to do all this, she must part ways with Kerrick, so soon after finding him again. Continue reading