Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

March 28

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Currently Reading: Madapple by Christina Meldrum (Part 3)

by Ann-Katrina

RECAP: Part 1, Part 2

Several days ago I completed Madapple and my mind is still reeling a little bit.

First, the subject matter. I knew it was coming. There was this ominous feeling deep in my belly,  churning and bubbling as I read. But when the moment arrived I still reeled. It’s one thing to know it’s coming and quite another when it actually arrives.

Second, I’m not sure how I feel about the end. It felt too…easy, for lack of a better word. It was like reading a very twisted episode of Jerry Springer that wraps up with an “and they all lived happily ever after” when you know damn well that isn’t true.

Would I still recommend reading the book? Was is still very well written? Was it still a page turner? Yes on all counts (the first with the caveat that if you can’t handle child abuse/incest stories, skip it). And I do love how the story itself unfolded, switching between the two time periods and points-of-view.

Please allow me to scoop my mind up off the floor before I write a proper review. All I really know at this point is that the next book I read needs to be light and fluffy because this one was (almost) as heavy as it gets…at least where young adult fare is concerned.

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March 20

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Currently Reading: Madapple by Christina Meldrum (Part 2)

by Ann-Katrina

RECAP: Part 1

OK. So I’m at roughly page 250, and I think my mind’s about to explode.

I keep reading and I’m still enthralled by how the story is unfolding (i.e. from Auslag’s point of view and from the court transcripts) and how it all seems like a game of cat and mouse with just so much information given.

And now things are getting stranger and slightly more ominous. After Auslag’s mother dies she stumbles onto some family she never knew she had (and aunt and two cousins) who take her in. (That situation just stretch the belief muscles a little bit, but it worked out, and it’s getting explained as the book goes along.)

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March 19

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Currently Reading: Madapple by Christina Meldrum (Part 1)

by Ann-Katrina

Madapple by Christina Meldrum - Book Cover I’ve had this book on my shelf for going on well over two years now. I’m not entirely sure why I decided now would be the right time to read it–especially since I have several other books waiting to be read. But one evening as I was drifting off to sleep, I remembered the cover. The image just flashed through my mind and I tried desperately to remember the title of the book. It was bugging me no end so I finally decided to get up and look for it. Once I found it, I slipped it from it’s dusty slot and tossed it onto the bed before climbing in. I pried open the pages and before I realized it, the clock said "an hour past your bed time" and I was rounding page one hundred. And get this: I wasn’t ready to stop reading.

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March 22

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Recent Arrivals: Underworld (Abandon Book 2) by Meg Cabot

by Ann-Katrina

Recent Arrivals chronicles the books that have made their way onto the Today, I Read… bookshelf. Here’s the latest arrival: Underworld by Meg Cabot

Underworld by Meg Cabot cover

First paragraph: "Pierce keeps having the most terrible nightmares." My mom used to say this to all the doctors we saw right after the accident. "She talks in her sleep–sorry, sweetheart, but you do–about a boy following her. Sometimes she even wakes up crying. It doesn’t seem normal. I’ve never had dreams that vivid."

Initial thoughts: I literally squealed like a little fangirl when this arrived on my doorstep. And I love that cover—it’s much shinier in person. Thank goodness I keep a book summary journal* because I only remember a few bits and bobs of Abandon, but I remember enough to know I enjoyed it**, so I’m looking forward to reading the continuation of Pierce and John’s story.

Book description:

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead. Not this time.

But she’s been taken by John Hayden, lord of the Underworld, to the dim, twilit place between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

John claims it’s for her own safety, to protect her from the Furies who yearn for vengeance against him. But John may have reasons of his own for wanting to keep Pierce close…

And soon she learns that while she might be safe from the wrath of the Furies in the Underworld, the people she loves back on earth are not. Can Pierce convince John to release her in order to save the life of someone in her family–or will the price he asks her to pay for her freedom turn out to be too high?

Book Details: 336 pages; Point; Pub. May 8, 2012

* Book summary journal: After I finish reading a book (usually immediately afterward unless I’m feeling lazy), I’ll write a 5-10 page summary of all the major plot points, character list, and other relevant notes so I can reference it later. This system has been working out well—except for the books I didn’t get around to summarizing.

** I’m such a dork. I wrote the review for Abandon, but never edited or published it. I thought I did, but didn’t. Expect that soon-ish.

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January 16

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Recent Arrivals: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

by Ann-Katrina

Recent Arrivals chronicles the books that have made their way onto the Today, I Read… bookshelf. Here’s the latest arrival: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever cover

First paragraph: I feel as though I’ve been waiting for the masquerade ball for my entire life. At fourteen, I am eligible for marriage and finally old enough to attend. The torchlight flickers on the sandstone facade of Lord Suffit’s palace on the Thames, and the roses woven into my hair are heady and sweet. I remember to push my mast up over my face before I walk through the great arched doorway.

Initial thoughts: Let me say up front that I’d not heard word one about this novel. Never read anything by Avery Williams before and, in general, have been out of the loop. But when I checked my mail and saw a package from Simon & Schuster and with tucked inside a book with a very pretty cover, I couldn’t resist checking out the back cover and blurb. (By the way, the picture does not do the actual cover justice.)

My first thought was, Hmm, this reminds me of that episode of The Outer Limits where the cops were chasing those spirit orb glow-y things that kept leaping from body to body. Before you think that’s a bad thing, it’s actually not. The Outer Limits happens to be one of my all time favourite shows. So while the gist of the story sounded quite similar to that episode, it was different enough to grab my attention—different in a way that made me want to read this book—like—yesterday.

As luck would have it, the book doesn’t appear over-long, so it should only take a few hours, however, it’s the beginning of a series, so I’m a little worried that this won’t be a fully contained story. I saw a lot of that going around last year—an almost story with a cliffhanger ending in an attempt to shove you into the next book—but the good news is that I haven’t seen it too much with stuff put out by S&S.

Book description:

Her first love made her immortal…

Her second might get her killed.

After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans by jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting–and falling for the human boy who lives next door. Buy Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?

Book Details: 246 pages; Simon & Schuster; Pub. January 3, 2012

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