Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review of The Monstrumologist, By: Rick Yancey

Title: The Monstrumologist
By: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Simon&Schuster BFYR
Summary: "Will Henry, Snap to!" This is the call that wakes Will Henry in the dead of night and calls him down to his grisly duties. Will Henry, orphan and apprentice to the Monstrumologist, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, engage in the study of things that go creep in the night and are the beings of nightmares. One night, Will Henry wakes to the Doctor's call and encounters a most gruesome sight. A monster by the name of Anthropophagi clasped in death's embrace atop the fresh corpse of a young girl. This discovery begins Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop's journey into the hunting of the fierce Anthropophagi and how these predators came to be on New England soil.
My Thoughts: This story was terrifying! At first, the Anthropophagi monster seemed kind of lame in its description, a headless monster who's eyes reside in its shoulders, with big barbed claws, and a mouth filled with razor sharp teeth in the region of its stomach. I wasn't expecting to be creeped out by this book, but as the novel picked up steam, the creepy atmosphere and chilling survivor stories of Anthropophagi attacks made me genuinely fearful and distressed. This book was full of gore from the first chapter to the last. It contained nauseating images and visuals that caused one's stomach to turn. It was a good thing this novel had no scratch and sniff sticker because it would have only smelled like death. This novel would be a great Halloween read or just a scary read in general. The characters are strong and complicated. For example, at the beginning of the book, Dr. Warthrop is a very gruff, unlikable character, but as the novel goes on the reader comes to understand why Dr. Warthrop is the way he is and sympathizes with him a little. I wouldn't recommend this novel  to middle grade readers, more so to older YA readers. The vocabulary used in the novel is complicated in some aspects which would make it hard for younger readers. As the story went on, my enjoyment for it grew. It's a macabre adventure story that will keep readers biting their nails and glued to their seats. I liked it. I also loved the little illustrations interspersed throughout the book, it added that little extra bit of specialness.
and it won an award! (Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature) 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review of Never Trust A Dead Man, BY: Vivian Vande Velde

Title: Never Trust A Dead Man
Author: Vivian Vande Velde
Publisher: Magic Carpet Books, imprint of Harcourt Inc.
Released: 1999
Summary: Murder mystery medieval style. Selwyn and Farold compete for the affections of dear Anora. Anora picks Farold, much to Selwyn's dismay. Selwyn goads Farold into a fight, which Selwyn loses. A couple of days later Farold is killed in his own bed and the main suspect is Selwyn, only problem, Selwyn is innocent. The townspeople do a bit of rough justice and Selwyn is convicted of the crime. His punishment is to be taken to the burial caves and sealed in with dead Farold. Facing certain death and horrible smells, Selwyn is understandably depressed. After a day passes, a witch enters the cave looking for ingredients for one of her spells. Selwyn seizes the chance to live and prove his innocence, so he asks the witch to bring back dead Farold to solve the crime. A mistake occurs during the spell (Selwyn's fault) and Farold is brought back into the body of a bat and doesn't know who killed him because he was asleep at the time of the murder. Selwyn and Farold, two former enemies, team up to solve the murder and prove Selwyn's innocence.
My Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. The book is full of humor, even while dealing with such a macabre subject matter. The characters are likable and Selwyn and Farold's journey from enemies to friends is a feel good moment in the book. This book is also an extremely quick read at just under 200 pages. The buildup to the mystery and situations Selwyn and Farold get themselves into are enjoyable, but the actual reveal of the murder seemed to come too quickly and almost out of nowhere. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a laugh or just wants something quick to read.
A welcome surprise indeed

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review of iDRAKULA, By: Bekka Black

Title: iDrakula
Author: Bekka Black
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire, imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.
Released: 2010
Quick Summary: If you know the gist of Bram Stoker's Dracula then the story will be easy as pie to understand. The characters Lucy, Jonathon, Mina, and Van Helsing jump into the modern world of cell phones and email, but they still have to deal with a centuries old count leaving his homeland of Romania for New York City. The story is the same, puncture wounds on the neck, Reinfield going crazy, and having to banish Count Dracula once and for all to save themselves. It's Bram Stoker's Dracula with a modern twist.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed iDrakula. It was an extremely quick read. The format is made up of e-mails, text messages, and photo attachments and I'm drawn to those book that provide a different textual twist. In order to better understand the book, the reader should have a sort of general knowledge of Bram Stoker's Dracula, of the characters and plot. It was an enjoyable read and is recommended to all lovers of the Dracula story.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Review of Strange Angels, by: Lili St. Crow

Title: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Razorbill an imprint of Penguin Group
Released: 2009
Summary: Dru Anderson and her father live in the Real World. They travel the country ridding the world of creatures that should only reside in fairytales and nightmares. Aided by her physic gift, they hunt down werewolves, vampires, and giant mutant cockroaches. Then, when her father comes back from one of his hunts, he doesn't come back human. Dru is forced to kill her zombiefied father, leaving her alone and scared. With the help of a half-vampire and a werewulf bitten classmate, Dru goes on a journey of survival and a journey to figure out who and what she really is.
My Thoughts: This book was AWESOME! I loved the characters of Dru and Graves. Dru is tough as nails and can definitely kick some supernatural butt, while Graves is loyal to a fault. The book kind of reminded me of the television show Supernatural, which I love, in that it contained more old school legends and monster myths. The vampires definitely weren't sparkly and the werewolves weren't so social. The book was action packed and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was a fully enjoyable roller coaster ride of action, monsters, and teenagers. This book is the beginning of a series which I fully intend to finish. This book was awesome, and I fully recommend it to readers everywhere.
Just for the curious or interested the Strange Angels/Dru Anderson series goes as follows:
1. Strange Angels
2. Betrayals
3. Jealousy
4. Defiance
5. Reckoning
Sometimes I like knowing the order of a series and figure others might too.
it was that good!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Review of: The Book of Tomorrow By: Cecelia Ahern

Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: 2011
Quick Summary: Tamara Goodwin has the life. She is the daughter of a successful businessman, lives in a mansion, and has everything she could ever ask for. Then, her father commits suicide and everything is taken away. Tamara and her mother go to live with her aunt Rosaleen and uncle Arthur miles away from where she used to call home and any real discernible town. Her mother is severely depressed over the death of her father and spends her days in a near catatonic state, her aunt is obsessive and watchful, and her uncle is a man who keeps to himself. Tamara's life goes from dull to intriguing when she finds a blank diary that magically fills with words detailing the future events of the upcoming day. With this diary and a dilapidated castle as the backdrop, Tamara goes on a journey to discover who she really is.
My Thoughts: I was intrigued by the premise of the story of having a magical diary that will unveil the day to day future. I also thought the cover of the book was really pretty and it drew me in. Upon reading the novel, it became clear that the book was one of self discovery. The magical diary, while important, didn't play as big of a role as I would have liked.
I also didn't like the main character of Tamara. At times I sympathized with her because she had lost her father to suicide, been yanked from everything she knew, and was coping with a severely depressed mother, but I never liked her. My reasons for this dislike were:
1. She was mean/selfish. She said really mean things to people when it wasn't called for or deserved.
2. She made stupid decisions throughout the whole novel. I felt like yelling at her sometimes because of the stupid decisions that she continued to make over and over again.
For me, she just wasn't a likable character and by the end of the novel I didn't feel like she really changed from the mean person she started out as.
The idea for the novel was good and the unveiling of the secrets surrounding her life was enjoyable to read. It was just Tamara that was the problem.
just ehh