torsdag 30 augusti 2012

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is one of those books that I´ve been meaning to read for ages and now that I finally have my first thought is to wonder why the hell I didn´t read it sooner! My second thought is that I need to read it again, immediately, to catch all the details I missed the first time around. And to swoon over Taylor and Jonah some more.

A fair warning, the beginning is a bit confusing. But part of what I love about it is that when you realize what´s going on, when you see the magic that is Jellicoe Road, you know that the pages of confusion in the beginning were very much worth it.

The story is about Taylor Markham who was abandoned by her mother at a young age and now lives in a boarding school with other kids that are neglected, abandoned or otherwise troubled. She is not very close to anyone except Hannah, a woman who lives on the edge of the school grounds.

Each year territory war games are played by the children in the school against the Townies and the Cadets, and this year, Taylor is elected the leader. She tries to balance that responsibility with the sudden disappearance of Hannah and the reemergence of Jonah Griggs, the leader of the Cadets, and a boy from her past.

And then there is the other story of the five young girls and boys. It is a manuscript, written by Hannah of events that start with a terrible car crash. The five survivors all become integral parts of each others lives. As you can probably guess their story is also connected to Taylors. I won´t say any more on that subject, or anything else really.

Oh, one last thing; to top it all off this book is chock full of memorable quotes. Quotes that I want to have embroider and hang on the wall or write down and keep with me in my wallet. Here are some examples.

"You´re are my priority. Your happiness, in som fucked up way is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don´t think that will be happening in my lifetime."

"It´s funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. Maybe that´s why humans find it so hard getting over love affairs. It´s not the pain they´re getting over, it´s the love."

"´What do you want from me?´ he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More".

"What´s the difference between a trip and a journey?... When we get there, you´ll understand."

Not bad huh? But don´t take my word for it. Read Jellicoe Road. Now.

onsdag 29 augusti 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

The story takes place in The Republic, fomerly the western part of the United States. It´s a nation constantly at war with the colonies outside the borders.

15-year old June is born into one of the wealthiest most powerful families. She is a young prodigy, quickly rising in the ranks of the army. Day lives in the same city but his life could not be more different. Born in the slums he is the cities most wanted anti-government criminal.

The two would never have met had Junes older brother not been killed and Day immediately become the prime suspect. Hell bent on capturing her brothers killer June goes on an undercover mission to capture him.

The book alternates between the point of view of June and Day, letting us get into the heads of the two main characters which I liked.

It´s a fairly routine ya-dystopian tale with starcrossed lovers, conspiracies and a bit of mystery thrown in. Not bad really just not all that great either. Part of what brings the story down is that it was too predictable. I could anticipate what would happen and that took down the excitement the author no doubt wanted us to feel.

The book is continued by "Prodigy" which will be released in January 2013.

tisdag 28 augusti 2012

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

Thus begins one of the best books this year. 

A seemingly normal day in a normal home in a Los Angeles suburb 11-year old Julia and her parents wake to the news splashed across every newspaper in the country - the rotation of the Earth has begun to slow down. Meaning the length of the day is increasing little by little as is the night. From our well known, ingrained, 24 hour rhythm a day turns into 25 hours, 26, 27 and on and on with no apparent stop in sight. 

It´s a disaster that sneaks up on people. A day of 27 hours can be dealt with but when the sun is up for 50 hours straight followed by 50 hours of night it messes with things. People start to loose it. Animals get confused and die. Crops whither everything and everyone is affected. 

In the midst of all this Julia deals with more normal issues; being lonely at school, liking a boy who doesn´t seem to know she exists, parents who fight. Existence in that stage where you´re not a child anymore but not really a teenager either. 

I could go on and on about the miracle of this book. It´s been a while since I read it and I still think of it sometimes, how for all our technological advances and wisdom, we really have no control at all. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

"One upon a time, an angel and devil fell in love. It did not end well." Very good beginning.

Meet Karou, a blue haired art student in Prague who spends her time with her best friend at their favorite café and filling her sketchbook with drawings of creatures and demons. She also spends her time running strange errands for Brimstone, a stern monster with golden eyes and horns.

As these errands get increasingly frantic sending Karou between magical portals, black market auctions and bazaars in Marrakesh, beautiful winged beings start burning black handprints on doorways all over the world. The reason for the mysterious errands and the black handprints soon become painfully clear.

Enter Akiva, one of the winged creatures and, according to Karou, "the most beautiful thing she had ever seen". She is immediately drawn to him, and him to her. The reason for this instant connection has to do with their past and a transformation of Karou and we get thrust into another story involving a girl named Madrigal

True love, Supernatural creatures, Magic, Destiny. Sounds good but I´m having mixed feelings and will probably not be reading the continuation, Days of Blood and Starlight, which will be released in november this year.