Good Books and the Random Movie

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31 October 2007

Twilight (Twilight #1)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is the first in the Twilight series. This is the first vampire book I have ever enjoyed.

Bella is moving to Forks, WA to live with her father. She is seventeen and moving in with him for the first time. She is not excited about moving to the darkest, rainiest place in the States.
She quickly makes new friends and starts to acclimate to everything but the weather. The weather she will never like compared to the bright hot sun of Phoenix.

Bella notices Edward and his siblings do not mix with the other students. They always sit by themselves at lunch and only talk to each other. But Bella sits next to Edward in her science class.

Soon they start to talk. Then her father's friend, a Quileute, tells of a legend of the cold ones who live off of drinking blood. Once Bella hears this, many things fall into place about Edward. But it doesn't scare her off. In fact, she is more intrigued than ever.

Meyer, Stephenie. (2005). Twilight. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

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28 October 2007

Magic or Madness (Magic or Madness #1)

Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier is the first book in a trilogy of the same name. (Justine is married to Scott Westerfeld, writer of the Uglies series.)

Reason Cansino has lived on the run in the Australian outback for fifteen years. She and her mother, Sarafina, were in hiding from her grandmother, Esmeralda. Sarafina is convinced that Esmeralda is a witch. She has warned Reason never to trust her. But when her mother suffers a mental break, Reason is sent to live with Esmeralda in Sydney.

Reason, while planning her escape from her grandmother's house, finds an old key. When she unlocks the back door with it and steps through, she ends up in New York City. Now she must admit that magic is real. She also must find some warmer clothes, as it is January (summer in Australia, winter in New York).

Larbalestier, Justine. (2005). Magic or Madness. New York: Razor Bill.

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26 October 2007

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is an amazing book. Read it. In fact, buy a copy for yourself and read that.

Liesel Meminger, a young girl living outside of Munich in nazi Germany, steals books. The first book she stole, she took from the snow before she could even read. Soon she is stealing books from nazi bonfires and even the home of the mayor.

This is the story on one family during the nazi reign. Liesel's Papa is not a part of the nazi party. In fact, he does not believe that Jews are bad. During WWI a Jew, and one of his best friends, saved his life. Now he wants to do something to help someone else.

Narrated by Death himself, this is the story of a group of quirky Germans and what circumstances put them through. It is a beautiful book that will make you cry and laugh out loud.

Zusak, Markus. (2006). The Book Thief. New York: Knopf.

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25 October 2007

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is the story of time and space travel. Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace Murry, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe meet three strangle women living in the woods behind the Murry house. The three women are not from this planet, but from some far off galaxy where Meg’s father, a scientist, has been experimenting with time travel.

Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which help the kids travel through space and time to rescue Mr. Murry from the planet Camazotz.

L’Engle, Madeleine. (1962). A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Yearling.

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22 October 2007

Truesight (Truesight Trilogy #1)

Truesight by David Stahler Jr. is an interesting look at humanity.

Jacob lives in Harmony Station on the planet of Nova Campi. Harmony is a colony of the Truesight. The Truesight movement began at the end of the 21st century. Genetic alteration was common, but when a blind couple in Canada decided to ensure their offspring would also be born blind, the Seers in the world thought they were crazy. Now, almost a century later, there are Truesight colonies on many worlds.

Jacob is not the average kid. Like everyone who lives in Harmony, Jacob is blind. But just before his thirteenth birthday he starts to have headaches. At first he doesn't know what they might mean. Then he starts noticing a difference between the light and dark.

Jacob is learning to see. His brain is overriding the genetic marker for blindness. How will his community react to a Seer among them?

(Book two of the trilogy: Seer)

Stahler, David. (2004). Truesight. New York: EOS.

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21 October 2007

So Yesterday

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld is about trends. Hunter Braque is a Trendsetter. He does not start new trends, he spots them on Innovators and passes them up the line to the companies who spread them. Mostly he works in shoes. And is paid in shoes.

While spotting a new shoelace trend, he meets Jen. Jen is definitely an Innovator. She does not follow what is cool, but makes her own cool.

Together Hunter and Jen follow the trail of a missing colleague of Hunter's. She disappeared when trying to show them the coolest shoe ever. The trail leads them to a group that is trying to bring the downfall of consumerism as we know it.

So Yesterday is an interesting look at trends and brands that we see everyday and probably don't even think about. The book takes place in New York City and has a unique view of the city that only someone who lives here will fully appreciate.

Westerfeld, Scott. (2004). So Yesterday. New York: Razor Bill.

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20 October 2007

Extras (Uglies series #4)

Extras is the fourth book in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. It begins three years after Tally, Shay and David helped to bring the bubbleheaded time to an end.

The world has changed a great deal since then. One city has installed a system where you fame ranking is what decides your status in the economic ranking as well. The higher your face rank, the bigger your apartment, the more merits you have to spend. This economy leads to "kickers." Kickers spread gossip and stories to gain fame.

Aya Fuse is a fifteen year old ugly who wants to raise her face rank. Right now she is at 451,369. A nobody. An extra.

Then Aya meets a group of girls who pull great stunts. The strange thing about them is that they want to be anonymous. But if Aya can become one and then kick the story she might be famous enough to break out of the extras.

Though this book features other characters, Scott Westerfeld stayed true to the vision he began with Uglies. Extras is just as exciting as the first three books. I can't wait for the next one!

Westerfeld, Scott. (2007). Extras. New York: Simon Pulse.

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15 October 2007

First Among Sequels (Thursday Next #5)

First Among Sequels is the latest Thursday Next book by Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next is a literary detective with Spec-Ops, the special law enforcement branch for weird stuff. She is also a Jurisfiction agent - the group that polices fiction, from within.
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First Among Sequels takes place 12 years after the previous book - Something Rotten. Thursday and her friends from Spec-Ops now run Acme Carpets, ever since Spec-Ops was disbanded.
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I loved the first four book, but this one did not capture my imagination to the same degree. That being said, I did laugh out loud numerous times. Jasper Fforde is completely mad!
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Fforde, Jasper. (2007). First Among Sequels. New York: Viking.

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13 October 2007

Specials (Uglies Trilogy #3)

Specials is the third book in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Trilogy.

Tally has been an ugly, a pretty, and now she will become a special. How will she react to being on the other side of the battle for freedom? Will she, like other specials, capture the pretties who are trying to escape the city?

Specials are super fighting machines. They are created to keep the uglies and pretties in line with the dogma of the city. They have strength, speed, clarity and focus. And Tally feels better than she ever thought possible. Being icy makes everything clear at last.

She has the chance to stop the New Smokies once and for all. As soon as she can make Zane into a special she will do whatever is asked of her...

This is an awesome trilogy! Go read it! Now!

Westerfeld, Scott. (2006). Specials. New York: Simon Pulse.

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11 October 2007

Pretties (Uglies Trilogy #2)

Pretties is the second book in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Trilogy. The trilogy takes place in a world where everyone has an operation when s/he turns 16. An operation to become pretty.

There are those who try to fight against becoming pretty. Those who escape the city to live in the wild. Because there are those who believe that along with changing bodies, the operations alter personalities - a way to control the population.

But for those who have already had the operation, is there any escape? Or are they to "pretty-minded" to care about anything other than the next party?

Westerfeld, Scott. (2005). Pretties. New York: Simon Pulse.

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10 October 2007

Uglies (Uglies Trilogy #1)

Uglies is the first book in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies trilogy. It is partly a social commentary on the superficialness of society.

Tally is about to turn 16. On her birthday she will have an operation that will change her from an "ugly" to a "pretty." Her time living in the dorms in Uglyville will come to an end. New Pretty Town, here she comes... or not.

A few months before her birthday she meets Shay - another 15 year old who shares her birthday. Shay tries to convince her not to become a pretty - a concept that goes against everything they have been programed to believe.

Shay is convinced that outside of the city there is a place where people go who do not want to have their faces and bodies altered to look like everyone else. Tally is sure it does not exist.

Just before their birthday, Shay runs away. She leaves Tally a cryptic note she can follow if she want to join her.

On her birthday, the authorities - Special Circumstances - informs Tally that she will not be able to become a pretty unless she helps them find Shay and the others who have run away.

This is a great book! I cannot wait to read the next one - Pretties.

Westerfeld, Scott. (2005). Uglies. New York: Simon Pulse.

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09 October 2007

Always (Aud Torvingen #3)

Always by Nicola Griffith is the third book featuring Aud Torvingen. The first two are The Blue Place and Stay.

Aud (rhymes with loud) is a kick ass chick. With a past in law enforcement she now teaches self-defense, is a private security consultant, and has more money than she could ever need. She is starting to make some changes in her life after the stories in the first two books. (I will not spoil anything!) She is beginning to learn that everything is not black and white and that there may be more than one way to do things.

In Always Aud and her friend Dornan fly to Seattle - partly to see Aud's mother and her new husband and partly so Dornan can visit the coffee capital, as he owns a chain of coffee houses in Atlanta. While in town Aud must check on some property she has inherited from her father. And that is where the story get interesting.

One of the warehouses she owns is being rented by a movie company. The set has been plagued by one mishap after another. Aud suspects the sabotage has more to do with someone wanting her to sell the property than with the movie production.

Griffith, Nicola. (2007). Always. New York: Riverhead Books.

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04 October 2007

The Masterharper of Pern

The Masterharper of Pern is another of Anne McCaffrey's dragon riders books. Chronologically in the history of Pern (as opposed to publish date) it precedes Dragonflight.

A boy is born in the Harper Hall. His parents are the MasterComposer and the MasterSinger. Perhaps not surprisingly, Robinton begins to show his musical abilities at the age of three. He begins to compose songs before he is ten.

The Masterharper of Pern is the life story of Robinton, from birth to the time the Dragonflight book takes over.

McCaffrey, Anne. (1998). The Masterharper of Pern. New York: DelRey Books.

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