Wow, December already? I didn’t get that many books read in November, 4 fiction and 1 non fiction.
I read this for a swap in KateKintail’s District 13 group. It’s a Printz award winner, and so I chose to read it, partly because I’d heard of it. The other part was that I’d seen a video on blip.tv by Film Brain about the movie that was made from the book. So I checked it out.
It’s an odd book, kind of stream of consciousness writing. Here’s an example of the prose: “Anyway, I’m looking and looking and everyone’s leaving and there’s no signal on my phone and I’m thinking Oh Great, I’m going to be abandoned at the airport so that’s two countries they don’t want me in, when I notice everyone’s gone except this kid who comes up to me and says You must be Daisy. And when I look relieved he does too and says I’m Edmond.”
The entire book is written like that. No quotations, or he said, she said references, just paragraphs like that. It was really tough to get used to, but eventually I did, and I kind of liked it. I wouldn’t want to read a bunch of books like that, but in this case, it works. We find out later in the book that Daisy’s essentially recounting the entire thing, like an oral memoir. She capitalizes things that matter, which I think would be lost in something like the audiobook, like this part of a sentence “talking in solemn voices asking anyone they could drag off the street Whether This Means War…” You really get a feel for some things the way she capitalizes things.
The plot of the book is sort of odd, but I liked it. The blurb sounds like it’s going to be about Daisy and her cousins living in the English countryside while a war rages on, but it’s not. It starts with her getting used to her new family, falling in love with her cousin, and finding her place. Then war happens, and they get along in this new world pretty much like the old world. Then the war comes to them in the form of soldiers and moving, and everything changes. Then comes Daisy and Piper’s trek back to their cousins. Then comes After The War, which is only a couple chapters, but it’s also where the title of the book came from.
If you like young adult novels that aren’t the norm, you might like this one.
This was a free book on my nook, and I’d had it forever. I ended up reading it while I was on vacation., because nothing else on my nook looked interesting. I did enjoy this book, and the world Estep created.
The magic system is different, it’s not casting spells, it’s more that people have inborn talents and skills. Some are super fast or strong, Spartans can turn anything into a deadly weapon, there are bards with music magic, and Gwen has psychometry, and can tell what people were thinking just by touch. It’s a different system than I’d seen before, and I really liked it.
I also liked the characters, many of them are spoiled rich kids, but they have other flaws and character traits that make them interesting. Gwens’s a loner who loves hoodies and reading comics, and I could relate. I don’t love comics, but I do read a lot and enjoy video games, so I figure it’s similar. The plot wasn’t intermediately guessable, which was also good.
I think I liked this book more, and less than the first. More, because I didn’t have to have the entire world set up for me. I knew the charactrers and the setting. Less, because I didn’t care about the plot quite as much. This time they go on a winter vacation and someone’s trying to kill Gwen.
The novel is a fun, easy read, and I will probably check out the rest of the books in the series when I get time.
Alanna: The First Adventure – Tamora Pierce
I read this book for another Capre Librum swap, one where we spelled out SWAP with with the author or book titles. This was P.
I love this book. I absolutely love this book. I found it as a child, and devoured it and the three books that came after it. Alanna is a plucky young girl who wants what she’s not supposed to have: a knight’s shield. She also has what she doesn’t want: The Gift, an inborn ability to use magic. She convinces her brother Thom to change clothes, and pretends she’s a boy to become a knight. By the end of the book she’s nearly 14, about to become a squire, and only two people know that she’s really a girl.
Pierce writes strong characters, and Alanna is no exception. She has flaws, she’s stubborn and prideful and won’t allow others to help her, and it causes problems. She’s also loyal and resourceful, and it helps her.
Pierce doesn’t shy away from things either. Alanna goes through puberty, so she has to deal with getting her period and her breasts growing, and there’s a discussion of having sex and getting pregnant. Not a detailed discussion, but it’s addressed. And I like that. Pierce isn’t afraid to discuss real life matters, like so many books before and after hers were.
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) – Angela England
I like to read homesteading books, and so I picked this one up. It also dovetails with some other things I’m researching and looking into. I like this book, it shows up people who live in more urban environments can still have a small farm to be self sufficient with. It also really makes me want to have sheep and spin wool into yarn, which I know is a bad idea. We’ve had sheep before.
Anyway, this book covers many things: farming, fruit/nut trees, chickens, sheep, goats, and what to do with all the stuff you raise. It also covers layout, and how to build things, and all that interesting stuff. If I had more time, I’d implement some of it next spring.