Sunday, March 28, 2010

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

This is the book I kept at school to read during my lunch breaks. I got it at the enemy store because they had it in their bargain books for $3.99. It was an interesting story. Kind of my first "zombie" story, other than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

So, the premise is that teenagers are coming back from the dead. They don't know why, and not all teenagers, and no adults, are coming back. The town our story is set in seems to be somewhat more accepting than other towns, so they have begun to flock to this town. The sad thing is they don't come back just normal, they come back like you'd kind of think of zombies. Slow, trouble moving and speaking. Some come back to families that don't want them, and they have to find out where to live. Some come back though in better condition than others. The main character is Phoebe, who is a goth. Her best friend Adam, is on the football team. One of her best friends from when she was younger, Colette, is a zombie who has come back. Zombie is considered a derogatory term, and so it is like a brand new "race" if you will that is trying to fit in and find out what rights they have.

Now I remember commenting on another teen book a while back about how it is kind of annoying that all books these days must be series. Why aren't there just stand alone books? I can see that this one could be, although it ends with some questions. There is a sequel to this I guess, not sure whether I need to read it or not, we'll see. Anyway, a pretty interesting read. I'll put it on my shelves at school in my classroom for my students to read.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Well, I struggled through this book at first. We start out from the viewpoint of a bird, and it kind of stays like that for what I feel is too long a time. I always wonder how does more than one person write a book. In this case, I almost wonder if the parts that I enjoyed and got into were actually the parts written by Stephen King, and the parts that dragged and bored me written by Peter Straub. No offense to Straub, but I am a big King fan, and have rarely if ever had one of his books I couldn't get into. I went ahead and read this, even though it is kind of a sequal to a book I hadn't read, called The Talisman, by these same authors. A friend from the bookstore, Chad, told me I would be okay and not lost. I don't remember him telling me though that it related to King's Gunslinger series. I do have to say that I am not a huge fan of the Gunslinger series. I did have trouble reading those. I have the last 3? that he wrote sitting on my "to-read" shelf, and I haven't yet felt the impulse or interest to pick them up.

So was this a good book? Yeah, the story was good once you got into it. But it doesn't really make me want to go back and read the book before it, or continue in the Gunslinger series. So who knows.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Real Women Don't Wear Size 2 by Kelley St. John

So this was basically just a trashy romance novel, not quite what I consider chick lit, it was strip cover, not something I bought at least. It wasn't bad, just by the end I was a little tired of it. I definitely love the title, as I've never worn a size 2 in my life, not even at my very skinniest time after taking phen-fen. The smallest I've ever worn, was a size 4 pair of shorts from that time period that I still have, just to prove I once wore that size. Although, I'm pretty sure they must have been marked wrong, as I never fit any other size 4's. As the main character in this book, I've just always been endowed with curves, hips and boobs. I inherited from my mom as well as the women on my dad's side also have them. So I was "doomed" from the start. And unfortunately, I've yet to meet the guy who actually feels the way the guy in this book does.

About the only other thing I have to say is that the main character's name was Clarise, which every time I read her name made me think of Silence of the Lambs, which kind of ruined the romance mood a bit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 Warrensburg Children's Literature Festival

This is a break from my usual book review blogs, yet in a way, I will review an author and her book. First I want to put the link to the webpage that tells about this event:

I have heard about this for the past few years, but not at my school. This is actually more for kids at the elementary grade level, up to about 6th grade. I actually learned about this from the bookstore I work at. It actually seems as if the Park Hill School district goes to this more often than I would guess the NKC school district does, although I could just be unaware since I don't contact our elementary schools much. It takes place during University of Central Missouri's (UCM)spring break, which coincided with NKC's spring break this year. So when an email came on the Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL) Listserv asking for volunteers, I thought about how I'd like to experience this. As soon as the schedule for this week was up at the bookstore, I emailed to volunteer for the last day of the festival. My confirmation email told me that I would be hosting author Marie Smith for the day.

At first I wasn't sure who my author was. Then one night at the bookstore last week, I was putting away a Roland Smith book, and I realized that Marie was his wife. I met Roland Smith at my school about 8 or 9 years ago when he came to speak at several schools in my district. From that time on I was hooked on his books: Jaguar, Thunder Cave, Zach's Lie, Jack's Run, Cryptid Hunters, etc. Roland and his wife Marie have written several ABC books together: B is for Beaver an Oregon alphabet, Z is for Zookeeper a zoo alphabet, W is for Waves an ocean alphabet, S is for Smithsonian America's Museum Alphabet, E is for Evergreen a Washington State Alphabet, and N is for our Nations's Capital a Washington D.C. Alphabet, the book I purchased and had autographed.

Meeting Marie I was instantly impressed. She was very collected, and knew exactly what she wanted to do. And when I listened to her speak and saw her slides at the first session today, I was even more interested in her. Marie Smith's grandmother was an eskimo. And she comes from a big family, and even has family from Missouri! She loves to bake pies, and fell into writing when her husband asked her to help him write the first alphabet book, B is for Beaver. She was very nice, and interacted with the kids wonderfully.

The last thing I want to say is that I am now inspired to write my own alphabet book. I won't give away what my topic is, but I got tips on how to write it, and already have a lot of my letters figured out. She talked about her publisher, Sleeping Bear Press, and I will try to send them my finished manuscript. I'm hoping I can work and get it done this summer. So I'll be researching and working as I can starting now. She did say the hardest letter was X, and that publishers will completely reject a book if they don't like what you have for that, so I'll be working on finding the perfect word for that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

See Jane Date by Melissa Senate

This is another strip cover book I picked up a long time ago. I grabbed it because of a made for tv movie on either lifetime or some other women's tv channel by the same title, that starred Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Never actually watched the whole movie. And never could quite get into the book.

But, with my goal to get through all these books I have before I buy any new ones, I went ahead and chose this as my latest chick lit book. And once I gave it a chance, it was a REALLY good read. I should have done more page marking for ALL the good stuff in it, but didn't. So I won't leave you with any quotes. One main thing I didn't like is that the main character smoked, and lost guys because of it. So right there I had a non-connection, probably part of what kept me from getting into it right away. But I do highly recommend the book. Doubt I'll read it again, so since it is a strip cover, I'll go ahead and toss it for now. But I may add Melissa Senate to my list of authors to check for other books by when I have time at the store.

The 4400: The Vesuvius Prophecy by Greg Cox

A tv series that I enjoyed at the start, but at the end it was going downhill, too much conspiracy stuff. The 4400 was a USA network show about 4400 people who disappeared throughout history, and were all returned one day near Seattle Washington. It was assumed at first they were kidnapped by aliens, but we soon learned it was the future who took them. The future took them, and gave them each some kind of ability that was supposed to help save the world. Abilities of all sorts, telekinesis, future telling, and in this case, the ability to cause the ground to shake, volcanoes to erupt. Maia can see the future, she's one of the main characters, an 11 year old girl. She hasn't aged since she was taking many years ago. She sees her new adoptive mother, Diana, on top of Mount Ranier with a man and the volcano starting to erupt. So now Diana and her partner Tom Baldwin, both of NTAC, must find and stop this man. I won't go into all the backstory of the show. Just want to say that if you enjoyed the show, you'll enjoy this visit back with the characters.