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Friday, August 31, 2012

Amped: A Novel (Audiobook)

Author:  Daniel H. Wilson

Title: Amped: A Novel
Publication: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Doubleday
Genre: Adult, Adventure, Science Fiction, Futuristic
Pages: 288
Length: 8 1/2 hours
Audience: 18 and up
Rating: 3.5 out 5
Source: Public Library

 Favorite Quote: "I'd rather be weird and know it than be a stupid ass."- Nick

Synopsis (from the cover):
 Twenty-nine-year-old high school teacher Owen Gray had long ago come to terms with the tiny device in his head, which was implanted to control the seizures he suffered in his youth. Owen's "amp" gave him a normal life, even though he question where his brain ended and the computer began. 
But when the Supreme Court rules that "amplified" humans like Owen are not protected by the same basic laws as pure humans, his world in downtown Pittsburgh instantly fractures. Before he can get his bearings, Owen receives desperate news from his father, the doctor who originally implanted Owen's "amp". He confides a dangerous secret: Owen's "amp" has the potential o do something extraordinary- and there are people who will come for him, and want to kill him for what is in his head. 
Owen begins a harrowing journey to a dusty community in rural Oklahoma where he finds the one man who can explain his true abilities He also meets Lyle Crosby, whose stunning physical abilities and ruthless ideas show Owen how to harness his own startling gifts- but also threaten to drawn him into a dark world from which there may be no moral return.

My thoughts:
This book has been on my mind ever since I read it. I want to know why it bothered me so much to listen to this book. I've read books by Chuck Palahniuk, the author of books like Fight Club, Diary, Rant, Choke, etc. He isn't an easy author to read. His books are very graphic, gritty, dirty, and painful. I've watched graphic movies and TV shows like Dexter, The Expendables, etc. and I've had to look away every now and then because it was hard to watch. I think I didn't like the book for three reasons 1. I was listening to it with my boyfriend who loved it, and felt bad if I turned it off (we were on a looooong road trip). 2. I can look away at graphic scenes or I can imagine them less graphic when I'm reading. However, when something is being read to me in a certain tone...I can't exactly stop or look away...I just listen and imagine. 3. This book scared me because I can see medical implants with chips coming into existence in my lifetime, and having to deal with the issues the people in the book had to deal with. I will go out on a limb and call this book a boy book. A friend of my boyfriend suggested it and he and my boyfriend loved it. If you like really gritty books and science fiction, then I recommend it. It may not be so bad if you read it, but listening to it was so hard for me. There were times I know I had to look goofy because the details were so painful that I was making pained and disgusted faces for most of our trip. As for the idea and the storyline- I loved it. I think the way the book was written with little snippets from news blogs and historical documents was really cool. The characters were well written that I could actually imagine people I know as some of the characters. I love the quotes in the first chapter of the novel because it talks about how reliant we are on technology that it is inside of us, taking over us. I enjoyed the book overall, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it instead of listening to it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thoughts on Leven Thumps Series by Obert Skye

How did you stumble across Leven Thumps?
Cricket: Um, I work in a library...and I'm always browse the childrens' department for something to listen to in car. Don't like having to hear all that radio repetition, it works my nerves after awhile.
Ashna: Cricket told me that I should listen to the audio. She knows that I spend an hour in the car daily and need new audios to listen to. 

Who is your favorite Character?Why?
Cricket: Clover! He is just so mischievous, adorable and funny. Love him!!
Ashna: I agree with Cricket. Clover is the best. You never know what he is going to say or do. (Or what his food will do to you)

What to you think the narrator's ability to portray the characters and Foo?
Cricket: I think E.B. Stevens does an awesome job of breathing life into the characters. Skye has created a wonderful fantasy world.
Ashna: He did an amazing job. All the characters are so real and distinctive.  

Do you think this works well in audio format?
Cricket: Yes, because I listened to all but one of the books, as the library didn't have them all and I found I preferred the audio. I think I was spoiled by that point, needed to hear all the sounds and different voices.

Ashna: Yes, Stevens gives so much life to the story. It's really a performance. 

Would you like to see this made into a movie?
Cricket: I think it would be a cute movie, if the right cast is found to pull it off. I was be thrilled to see Clover on the big screen. I was doing some research and saw that the author optioned away the movie rights,but nothing has happened yet. Excited!!
Ashna: Yes, I would love to see the characters come to life. Especially Clover.  

So, would you recommend this series?
Cricket: Definetly, there is even a spin-off series Beyond Foo, which follows Geth and Clover on new adventure. I think this whole series is great read for boys and girls. They will fall in love with the magic of Foo.
Ashna: Yes. This is a great series suitable for all ages. It has humor, mystery, suspense, and no series is complete with out a love interest. 

What would your sycophant be like?
Cricket: A male like Clover, with humor and cuteness. His name would be Bandit.
Ashna: I would want a female sycophant. A pale pink color. She needs to be fiesty yet sweet. She must to get along with Cricket's sycophant since they will be spending time together. We can't have them fighting. 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gotham City Sirens Volume 2: Songs of the Sirens

Author: Paul Dini
Illustrator: Tony Bedard
Title:Gotham City Sirens Volume 2: Song of the Sirens
Publication: November 29, 2011
Publisher: DC Comics
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Villains
Pages: 168
Audience: 16 and up
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Purchased

Synopsis (from the cover): 
Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn--they're beautiful, they're deadly, and for the first time in their lives, all three are trying to fly the straight and narrow. Can they trade their lives as supervillains for a life as (relatively) normal roommates?

Easier said than done. Especially when maniacs are killing innocents and making it look like the Sirens are the culprits, when Ivy's new civilian identity proves murderously difficult to maintain, and when Catwoman's sister comes to town to rider her of the demon she believes possesses her...and rid her of her life in the process

My thoughts:
The sexy lady villains of Gotham are back! I know there are only 4 books of the Gotham City Sirens, but I'm hoping to goodness that someone will want to continue their storyline. I know this will probably never happen, but I can have my hopes and dreams. There isn't much to say except I love these graphic novels. I've been reading them as soon as I have time to read anything. The ladies are trying so hard to be good, but the shenanigans they get into are over the top. I find the problems that keep finding them to be funny. It is so hard to be good, when all you have ever been is bad. The girls do their best though. This graphic novel was a  bit weird just because Catwoman's sister appears and become a warrior nun, which was over the top. The storyline for that was not fully resolved, and I hope it is in the next one or even in the final graphic novel. Poison Ivy is trying to be a regular person and finds a day job. And, Harley Quinn is the same old Harley Quinn. I urge you to step of your book boundaries and TRY a graphic novel. The Gotham City Sirens takes about an hour to an hour and a half to read, and it is funny, has a good storyline, and the ladies are kicking butt throughout the entire graphic novel. I promise, you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wanted Reads

Wanted Reads is our list of "bookies" that we will be reading/reviewing in the coming weeks. 

What are you reading? Do you have any suggestions for us?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: Perfect Peace: A Novel by Daniel Black

Title: Perfect Peace: A Novel
Author: Daniel Black
Publication: March 16, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin‘s Press
Source: Library
Genre: Adult
Audience: 17 and up

The heartbreaking portrait of a large, rural southern family’s attempt to grapple with their mother’s desperate decision to make her newborn son into the daughter she will never have

When the seventh child of the Peace family, named Perfect, turns eight, her mother Emma Jean tells her bewildered daughter, “You was born a boy. I made you a girl. But that ain’t what you was supposed to be. So, from now on, you gon’ be a boy. It’ll be a little strange at first, but you’ll get used to it, and this’ll be over after while.” From this point forward, his life becomes a bizarre kaleidoscope of events. Meanwhile, the Peace family is forced to question everything they thought they knew about gender, sexuality, unconditional love, and fulfillment.

My Thoughts:  This is a story of unconditional love, survival, and finding oneself. Daniel Black has done an excellent job of creating realistic characters and a storyline to keep readers turning the pages. All Emma Jean has ever wanted is a little girl. Emma Jean wants to give her daughter everything she never had. After giving birth to her seventh son Emma Jean is desperate for a daughter and does the unthinkable to achieve her goal.

The entire time I was reading this story I had mixed feelings toward Emma Jean. Even though her motives were selfish Emma Jean did her best for her family. Her methods are extreme yet logical; in a crazy kind of way. Of course, Emma Jean spoils Perfect (I think she is Emma Jean’s favorite) and is over protective, but with a secret as big as this one, she has to keep all her bases covered.

It was interesting to see how the family dynamics changed once Emma Jean tells that Perfect is as boy.  It was almost like watching a monster truck rally. You know the cars are going to get smashed but you just can’t help but to keep watching (well, reading.) I was surprised at how some of the family treats Perfect afterwards. Emma Jean has forever changed her family. You will have to read this to see how it all turns out.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cinder (Audiobook)

Author:  Marissa Meyer
Title: Cinder
Publication:January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Cyberpunk, Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure
Pages: 400
Audience: 15 and up
Rating: 4 out 5
Source: Public Library

Synopsis (from the cover): 
Sixteen year old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interface has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. The reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived. But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

My thoughts:
This isn't a book I would have normally picked for myself. Cricket suggested it to me. I thought she had read it until I decided to try to discuss a part with her and she covered her ears. I found out quickly it is on her "to read" list. I really don't know what to say about the book. There was a whole lot going on during the novel because it really is a cyberpunk, dystopian, fantasy, adventure novel for young adults. I was unsure how the Cinderella theme fit in, but by the end of the book it all makes sense. I listened to the audiobook, and I'm not going to suggest that. I finally found someone who had actually read the book, and I asked them if Cinder sounded like a whiny teenager. She said said Cinder did not sounded like a I'm-not-going-to-take-crap, strong, female lead. The lady who narrated the book made Cinder sound like a brat, and I just wanted to slap her in a few scenes. Now the narrator did an excellent robot voice. The robot, Iko, ended up being my favorite character because her voice was perfect. I also found myself leaning towards the evil villain side. I almost always go with the protagonist, but evil Queen Levana's glimmer is working on me. She is just a perfect evil, wicked witch of a queen who stops at nothing to get what she wants. The book as a whole was entertaining. I once again suggest reading it. The audio was okay, but I think reading it you can maybe see more of a stronger version of Cinder. Overall, the book was a good read and something outside of what I usually read. Marissa Meyer plans to make the novel into a series titled, The Lunar Chronicles. The next novel is titled, Scarlet, which comes out in February 2013. I can't wait to see what that series has in store.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Audio Review: The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group

Author: Catherine Jinks
Narrated by: Grant Cartwright
Title: The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group
Publisher: Listening Library
Format:Unabridged Audio CD
Length: 12 hrs: 10 mins
Publication: 2011
Source: Library
Rating: 3 out 5

When Tobias Richard Vandevelde wakes up in hospital with no memory of the night before, his horrified mother tells him that he was found unconscious. At Featherdale wildlife Park. In a dingo pen.

He assumes that his two rambunctious best friends are somehow responsible, until he discovers that they're just as freaked out as he is. Then the mysterious Reuben turns up, claiming that Toby has a rare and dangerous 'condition'. Next thing he knows, Toby finds himself involved with a strange bunch of sickly insomniacs who seem convinced that he needs their help.

It's not until he's kidnapped and imprisoned that he starts to believe them - and to uinderstand what being a paranormal monster really means.

Thoughts: My favorite part of this audio is the narrative voice. Cartwright gives the characters a rich Aussie accent, which is appealing to the ears. The story line however becomes frustrating as Tobias's mother and he himself are so daft that they wont listen to the truth until Toby ends up in a precarious situation. Well the whole story isn't bad just that part grated on my nerves but the humor manages to shine through nonetheless. The production is well done. I like for my audios to grab my attention and if the vocal part isn't crafty enough to do that on it's own then pffft! I'm not going to be able to delve into it at all. I can say that this is not an issue. I liked that the lead character is male, which should appeal to young boys as there are so few books lately that have a good male protagonist. I think it's cute that the vampires and werewolves are working together, even though traditionally that's usually not the case. Overall, it is a ridiculous book in a funny way. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guest Post for Aurora Undefined Tour

Hi. I’m author Kate Hinderer and I’m pleased to be guest posting for the day as part of the book blog tour for The Emerald Isle. With the popularity of books becoming movies and TV shows, it’s pretty common for authors to envision who would play the role of their main characters if the book were ever to hit the silver screen. Yet, at the same time, I have to say that no one entirely measures up to the character you’ve created in your mind and jotted down in the book. Still, here’s my best shot at who I’d love to see act in The Emerald Isle if it ever.

Audyn – Nina Dobrev – I admit to a slight obsession with theVampire Diaries! And while I do think at times Nina is awkward on the show, I also think that is the role she is supposed to play. I like that she is strong and independent.

Tristan – Chris Pine – Actually, I had vision of the Greek model Theo Theodoridis while writing this. I think he looks perfectly like Tristan, only with slightly lighter hair. But he’s a model and not an actor. Chris Pine has those dreamy blue eyes that would be perfect for the role.

Falcon – Adam Gregory or Brant Daugherty – I really can’t pick between the two. Perhaps after I finish writing the second book in the series, which will focus more on Falcon, I’ll be able to pick between the two. For now it would be a coin toss.

Linley – Selena Gomez – While her hair is brown the wardrobe and makeup departments can do wonders for things like that! I think she has the young and sweet demeanor that is so crucial to Linley’s character.

Levi – Jake Abel or Colton Haynes – Again, I can’t pick. They both have the looks of Levi, generally speaking. Maybe I need to see more of their acting prowess to figure out which would be better.

Molly – Amanda Bynes – Seriously, why did she stop acting? Sydney White, She’s the Man, all hilarious. She’s be great for Molly – the flighty, incessant talker.

Rive – Chris Hemsworth – Blame it on the fact that I just saw Thor for the first time, thank you Netflix! But I think he would be perfect for this dark character.

Tim – Jesse McCartney – I have a thing for Jesse McCartney and always want to see him put in a book turned movie of mine, I think I listed him in the cast list for Aurora Undefined as well. Despite the focus on his pop career the guy really can act! Check out his movie Keith or his appearance on SVU!

Jim Riche – Johnny Depp – How can you have a movie without Johnny Depp? No but seriously. He could play the role of the rich resort owner perfectly.

About the Book
To escape a bad break-up and fighting parents Audyn takes a job as a lifeguard at Fascination Island. The posh five-star resort lives up to its name in every way, including the strange rules the owner has about entering the water at night. Despite declaring it a boy-free summer, it isn’t long before the shy, endearing Levi and the mysterious, tattooed Tristan begin vying for her attention. When Levi tries to push his advantage and Tristan comes to the rescue, Audyn realizes there is more to both these boys and the island they inhabit. Suddenly, she’s forced to acknowledge a reality she’d never considered and to pick a side in the conflict that has been waging for decades.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wanted Reads

Wanted Reads is our list of "bookies" that we will be reading/reviewing in the coming weeks. 

What are you reading? Do you have any suggestions for us?