Thursday, January 20, 2011


Matched, by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.  - From GoodReads

This is probably the best book I've read in a while.  At least since November.  The society was fascinating but also, scarily realistic.  I could easily see how some of the things we're even doing today evolve into the programs talked about in this book.  (Which is of course, I think, how the author gets there herself).

Cassia was really likeable, and I grew with her.  From her blind acceptance of this is how things her, to the point in which she goes, "hey this isn't fair," to her desire to resist.  It all flowed beautifully.  The relationships were just very well written.

And best of those, the love story was believable and I saw it develop organically.  It made SENSE given the scenarios the teenagers were in.  That was so refreshing.  Most YA novels these days, girl sees guy and WHAM - instantly just loves him.

This book was not like that.

Also, I know the summary sort of eludes to a love triangle.  But it was not like that.  Cassia did not start out loving Ky, she knew she was Matched with Xander.  She wanted to start her life with Xander, she was excited about that.  But as her friendship with Ky grows, she starts to realize that Xander was never HER choice, someone had choosen him for her, from the very beginning.  She doesn't really have a "I love him, no I love him" dialogue (which I appreciated).  The only conflict (I thought) is between her desire to maintain the status quo, and find her independence.

My other favorite part ... that learning to write is the turning point.  Throughout history, it seems to me that writing, books, learning are the first things that people start to demand when they want to be free.  It was cool.  I don't even know how to explain what I'm thinking here.

This book makes me think about banning books and burning books.  Governments that control people are always burning books, keeping people ignorant.  You can not be free and keep people from books.  Any books.  I also found it intriguing that the Society picked 100 books, 100 poems, 100 paintings, 100 songs ... and that was all there was.  So sad.

As with all books these days, this is part of a trilogy (why make money on one when you can make money on three - rolls eyes).  The second one comes out in the Fall.  I don't know how I'm going to stand it.

Because I HAVE to find out what happens next.  Seriously.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Matchmakers

The Matchmakers, Jennifer Colgan

This was free via Amazon for the Kindle, which is super fun.  It got good reviews so I said sure, why not.  Something to read while rocking Grady.

Our story is, Calliope is a Faerie who's been punished for ... something.  Anyway, her punishment is that she has to match three people in true love before the Oak Moon or she will lose love forever.  Freya, the Faerie Queen, tells her she has to have Nick (human) help her or he will lose love forever too.  Why, I never quite worked out.  But, there it is.

Parts of the writing were a bit rough and elementary.  And I'm noticing that these freebies or (independent works) are not as well edited as the glossier, main stream tomes.  Which is okay, I can move past most of them.  And this book by far was better edited than some I've skimmed through.

It was a sweet story and, aside from one scene, surprisingly chaste.  Which I appreciated.  You never know what you're going to get.  I'd look for other work by this lady.  At the moment she's not my favorite ... but the price is right and it was entertaining and it didn't hurt to get through it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

the cold. 
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why. 

the heat. 
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now. 

the shiver. 
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future  From Good Reads 

I don't remember how I found this book.  But I saw it and wanted to read it.  Of course, in a post-Twilight world there are lots of comparables.  But Maggie Stiefvater says she wrote this before Twilight was written (who knows) and I didn't see enough similarities to think anything.  Vampire and werewolf stories have been around for a really, really long time.  I think it's funny how Stephenie Meyer gets credit for the current craze of paranormal romances when Dracula was written in 1897 and Anne Rice has been making money off this stuff for decades too.


I listened to this book on audio.  It was read by two actors, which irritated the heck out of me.  The book is told from two perspectives, Grace and Sams, so I guess that's why they did that.  But oh my the reader for Sam ... his inflection was not good.  So that made it difficult for me to like him as a character.  Eventually I had to focus on the words and less on the person saying them.  And I was able to get passed it and enjoy the story.

To that end, I really like the middle and end sections, the beginning was wicked slow.  And it seemed like there were a ton of story lines introduced with very little explained.  I think that will be rectified some in the later books (it's a triology).

By the end of the book I really liked Grace and Sam.  But my favorite character would have to be Isabelle.  She's hillarious.  I'll probably read Linger.  When it's available at the library.

Fans of Twilight will really like this book, I think.  But I'd stay away from the audio version.  The readers' distract from the story.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Phsyick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe

Connie Goodwin is a Graduate student at Harvard.   After a phone call from her mother, she ends up having to move into her Grandmother's old house in Marblehead, to fix it up and sell it so they can pay the back taxes on it.  She finds an old Bible in the house that leads her to the name Deliverance Dane.  When she talks to her advisor about her discovery, he pushes her to research it thoroughly.

Turns out, Deliverance Dane was accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.

The story takes us through Connie's research, with "interludes" (chapters) from Deliverance's (and her ancestors) point of view.

I really liked this.  I listened to the audiobook, and I swear it's a completely different experience sometimes.  But I really liked the interlude chapters and wish there were more of those, and less of Connie?  Connie's chapters were just okay, whereas the colonial Massachusetts parts were really good.

The love interest was okay.  The nose ring threw me.  But whatever.  He was an interesting dude.

The author is obviously very knowledgable.  And in the postscript we learn that Katherine Howe is actually related to two of the accused witches.  Which I sort of figured when she said one of the girls names was Sarah Howe.

At any rate.  This was definitely worth reading.  I had avoided it because of the cover art.  It reminded me of all those Nicholas Flemmel books (who's mentioned in this book) and just eh.  But mom recommended it and it was indeed very good.