Catching up on the books I’ve read

While I intend to return to book blogging I’m not sure how I feel about reviewing the books I read. My “reviews” have always been short no matter how I feel about the book I’ve read. Then again perhaps the only way to improve is to keep trying.

For now here are some short comments about the books I read while on hiatus. All links go to the goodreads pages for the books.

“Runaways” vol. 1 “Pride and Joy” &“Runnaways” vol. 2: “Teenage Wasteland” by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona.

Meet Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly and Nico – six young friends whose lives are about to take an unexpected dramatic turn. Discovering their parents are all secretly super-villains, together the teens run away from home and vow to turn the tables on their evil legacy!

I don’t know if it was the comic format or what but the story was taking forever and I wasn’t enjoying it. Plus each volume costs about $7 – not really worth the expense to finally get the whole story. So I ended up going to the Wikipedia article for the comic and reading what happens in the end. There’s also some ableist language (‘lame’ mostly and occasionally the r-word which I will not type out) throughout the book that annoyed me. I get that the characters are teens and that’s how a lot of teens talk but I still didn’t like it.

“The House You Pass on the Way” by Jacqueline Woodson

Written by two-time Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, this book explores questions about emerging sexuality with sensitivity and respect. Staggerlee has always been different, and this summer she has a new reason for feeling set apart–her confused longing for her friend Hazel.

I knew it was a short book but I still felt like I didn’t get the whole story. I also wasn’t thrilled with the ending. However, I have to wonder if the reader is meant to feel disappointed with the ending? Because the actions of the characters were disappointing? I really don’t know.

“The Pelican Brief” by John Grisham

In a suburban Georgetown a killer’s Reeboks whisper on the front floor of a posh home… In a seedy D.C. porno house a patron is swiftly garroted to death… The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief… To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it was political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder — a murder intended for her.

I actually read this a few years ago and decided to read it again recently. I really enjoy the entire story of it. The characters are great and the mystery is a good one. I definitely like the book version better than the movie version. I’m planning on reading more of John Grisham’s books in the future.

“Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror” by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Thirteen-year-old Falcon Quinn and his neighbors, Max and Megan, board bus number 13 for school on an ordinary day in Cold River, Maine. Only the bus doesn’t take its ordinary route, and Falcon and his friends soon find themselves in an extraordinary place—on Shadow Island, at the Academy for Monsters. With a student body stranger than the cast of any monster movie Falcon has ever seen, the Academy is home to creatures and oddities of all kinds.

On the one hand I did have fun with this book. The characters are interesting and I enjoyed getting to know them. I liked the way they banded together trying to figure out how to survive. I did feel little cheated by the ending. I don’t want to spoil it but while I can understand what the author was going for I’m not sure I agree with the method by which the lesson was taught. I’m still going to buy the second book when it comes out since I do like the characters.

“Flashforward” by Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer’s award-winning science fiction has garnered both popular and critical acclaim. The New York Times called Frameshift “filled to bursting with ideas, characters, and incidents.” His novels are fixtures on the Hugo and Nebula ballots. Now, his award-winning novel Flash Forward is becoming a network TV series, expected to air in the fall of 2009.

I ended up buying this book after I started watching the TV show version. The first time I started the book I got a few pages in and didn’t think I was going to enjoy it so I set it aside. Then after watching a few more episodes of the show I realized I really didn’t like the show at all and went back to the book. I’m very glad I did as I think the book is much better with a more solid story to tell. It does take some effort to get into the story but I liked the way everything unfolded with the main character figuring out what had had happened an why. It really was more interesting to see the story told from the scientist’s point of view in the book than it was from an FBI agent who had no clue what had happened on the TV show. It also helped that the book characters were a lot more likable than the TV show characters.

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