Apathy & Rhetoric


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Back From the Dead with August’s Book Club Nominations

Escape reality book club

Don’t worry, I have not actually died. I simply went through several back to back phases of laziness and antisocialness with the occasional too busy to get to bloggingness. Seeing as it is finally once again my turn to nominate books for book club I decided to grace you with a post. This means that this month all voters get two chances to vote, here and at Niki’s. (I’m kinda hoping I’m the only one who notices this so that I can sway the votes. Shh.)

If you have no idea what book club I’m talking about click here.

 

Here are my nominations:

This month I decided to add a little variety. They are all books I’ve already read, which means I know they’re awesome. I’m too lazy to post the summaries, and really you can read them anywhere, so instead I’ll tell you why you should vote for them.

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How to Ditch Your Fairy

This is one of those books that I think every person should read. Primarily because I want to have discussions with people about what type of fairy they think they have, but also because it is an awesome book. The style of the world building reminds me of (dare I say it) Harry Potter. The characters are realistic and down to earth. The idea is original and compelling. What’s not to love? The first time I read it I enjoyed it, but then I couldn’t get it out of my head and to read it again and again until it became one of my all time favorite books. Really, you all need to read it and then tell me what type of fairy I have because I can’t figure it out.

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Night of the Howling Dogs

This one is based on a true story, which really makes it that much cooler. (Hopefully, that also clues you in that it is not a fantasy book.) A boy scout troop in Hawaii camps at the base of volcano and ends up being at the epicenter of a giant earthquake. Need I say more? If you want a break from science fiction, but still have lots of action (not to mention great character building) then this is the book for you. It’s also only $6.99 🙂

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Bloodlines

One of my all time favorite series. The fifth book just came out, (Today actually, but don’t worry I’ve already finished it) and I was tempted to nominate each book as my five nominations just to force you all to read this series. I may still do this. This is a sequel series to Vampire Academy, which is also awesome, but I surprisingly like this one more. If you like Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance then you definitely need to read this book.

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Slammed

My coworker insisted I read this book, but also told me to ignore the summary. That is because it is the worst summary ever written for a book. The book itself is awesome though. It was one of those books that was e-published and became so popular a major publisher picked it up. Slammed is technically considered by some to be New Adult rather than Teen, (which I don’t understand because the main character is a teen) but it is so great I nominated it anyway. I cannot even put into words how well written this book is. I read it twice in a row.

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I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Great teen fluff. Kind of a romance, but also comedic and action packed. She goes to a school for spies, which means Niki should love it because she loves books set in schools. I don’t really care about school settings, but I loved the humor and the characters.  I loved the idea that girls can be tough and strong and know how to defuse a nuclear bomb, but not realize that searching a boys trash in order to gain intel is maybe not the best way to have a relationship. 🙂

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Unwind

This is a dystopian novel, but a good dystopian novel. Meaning, I actually found it to be quite original. I thought the idea of unwinding people to be intriguing. I think this book could create some great discussions. I haven’t read beyond the first book though so I can’t promise the series ends well. You have been warned.

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Book Review: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

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Sky Raiders Review

Official Overview:

Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level.

After Cole sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath the haunted house, he dives in after them and ends up in The Outskirts. The Outskirts are made up of five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. It’s an in-between place. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from our world, or from other worlds.

And once you come to the Outskirts, it’s very hard to leave.

With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it’s up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home before his existence is forgotten.

4 stars

My Review:

When I started Sky Raiders I was worried it was going to be a little too fantastical for me, but the more I read the more I enjoyed it.  The world Mull creates is amazing.  The Five Kingdoms is a combination of originality and the dreams and imaginings we all had as children. Was it weird sometimes? Yes, but only when it was meant to be weird.

My biggest issue with the book was I felt the plot kept getting in the way. (I am aware this is a weird issue, and I may be the only person who suffers from it). This isn’t to say I thought the plot was bad, it was just I got introduced to this great culture of the Sky Raiders and wanted to spend the entire book exploring the world and lifestyle, but wasn’t able to because the plot took me forward to a different part of the Five Kingdoms.  It was like reading Harry Potter, but not being able to explore Hogwarts. My favorite parts of books are the characters and the world building, and while I was able to learn more about the characters, I felt I never got enough of the world, which in all honesty, is probably a sign that the world was amazing. A book that makes me want more is usually a good thing.

I’m definitely looking forward to continuing the series.

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Two Side Notes:

1. This book isn’t due to come out until Tuesday, but I’ve seen some stores putting it out early, so you may be able to get a hold of it today if you so choose.

2. Brandon Mull will be visiting the bookstore I work at on March 18! 😀 This will actually be the second time I get to meet him. He is an incredibly nice guy and takes the time to talk to each person who comes to get a book signed. I’m not sure how much time he’ll have to answer questions, but if there is anything you are dying to know about him or his writing process put it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

Brandon Mull


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Book Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

This is a special book review because it is the review of January’s reading selection for the Escape Reality Book Club. (My apologies for being so late.) If you haven’t already voted for February’s selection, hurry up! Voting ends tonight (Feb 14).

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Abandon review

Official Overview:

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

1 star

My Review:

This book was extremely disappointing. I am a huge Meg Cabot fan, but if this book is any indicator Meg Cabot seems to have forgotten how to write. Everything is told in back story. Even when you think you’ve finally caught up, the book jumps ahead two days and then recaps. It’s annoying to say the least, not to mention boring. Cabot breaks the number one rule of writing: show, don’t tell. Everything is told.

 I also found the characters to be annoying sometimes and maybe unrealistic. Don’t even get me started on the romance scenes. Completely unbelievable (and remember, I normally like cheesy romance novels). The main character goes from terrified to in love in record time (with no real explanation why), while the boy she loves really needs to learn to communicate better.

There were moments that I loved, and thought showed great potential, but they were few and far between. I almost gave this book two stars just because of those small glimmers of hope, and because Cabot is one of my top ten favorite authors, but the reality is I can’t see myself recommending this book to anyone.

In conclusion, if you want a great, fun read I suggest any Meg Cabot book but this one.


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Book Review: The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

trioUndead Pool Summary

Official Overview:

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.

Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

4 stars

My Review:

I love this series, but at the same time always feel a little bored when I read it. Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint why. The books have excellent plots, wonderful characters, and great writing. They just never seem to move as fast as I want them to. Perhaps I’m too impatient.

In any case, The Undead Pool is of the same caliber of quality as all of the eleven previous books, which means all you super fans out there should be very excited. While maybe not my favorite of the series, I definitely think Undead Pool is one of the better ones. The sad news is there is reportedly only going to be one more Hollows book after this one, which surprised me because I felt this one ended with enough new intrigue to keep the series going for awhile. 😦

One of my favorite things about this book was the character interaction. A key part to this series has been the trio (Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks) working together and helping each other. Each character had a unique skill and role to play. I’ve felt as though that element had disappeared in recent books, but am happy to say it makes a comeback. This of course means we see more of Ivy again, who seemed to have disappeared in the last couple of books. I missed her. The way she interacts with (and intimidates) people is always fun to read. Now, if only we can get back Glenn…

I also liked the development of Trent’s storyline, but I won’t give any details on that because of spoilers. I’m just happy that certain actions finally take place.

The second thing I really loved was the elven magic and the direction Harrison took with it. It opened up whole new realms of possibilities. I’ve always liked that in this series the magic has a clear method about it and seems almost scientific. Elven magic, on the other hand, breaks that mold. It follows completely different rules (which is probably why it gets called wild magic), and that excites me. I don’t know how to say more without giving away spoilers. Let’s just say the next book should be interesting.

There were a lot of key things that happened in this book (some subtle, some major) to progress the overall arc of the series. I was happy to see some of the loose ends that I felt were dragging the series down finally get resolved in this book. There was also a lot of new avenues opened, which left me (and will probably leave you, too) eagerly anticipating the next and final book. Let’s hope it comes quickly.