Monday, 27 August 2012

The Kill Order by James Dashner *SPOILER ALERT*

When I finished reading The Death Cure, I was a bit confused. Things had not been wrapped up the way I thought they would be and I did not feel I understood the “why” of this trilogy. When I found out that Dashner was going to be releasing a prequel, I was beside myself with excitement. Finally! All of my questions would be answered and I would not be in the dark anymore! Unfortunately for me, I made a deal with myself that I would not buy any books for June, July and August. In order to follow through, I would have to wait to read The Kill Order. Much to my surprise, it showed up at my house one day, sent to me by a BAD Michelle (lol), and I was urged to read it so she would have someone to discuss the book with. I was able to start it the next night and anxiously worked my way through it.
I knew what to expect at the very beginning because Michelle had told me, so I was able to prepare myself a bit. I felt like I got lost when I read this book and the story took over all time and space. It was extremely well written, the story was gripping and full of nail biting moments. It was easy to feel for the characters and their situation and to be their cheerleader when they found themselves in a hairy situation. I absolutely loved the story. I think you could put anything that Dashner has written in front of me and I would soak it up like it was the last book on earth. As for a prequel to this trilogy? Well, that’s where we have a bit of a problem.
When I was reading The Kill Order, I almost completely forgot it was supposed to be a prequel to the Maze Runner Trilogy. Where were Teresa and Thomas, except for being present in about 6-8 pages of the book? Where was the explanation as to why they allowed themselves to be put into the Maze and “forget” each other? I now understand HOW they became part of the process, and where the virus came from and why, but before the Maze Runner they both AGREED to put themselves in the situation in the first book. What happened between the time they were given over to take part in finding the cure and when Thomas went into the maze? Did they become so close because they were both put into this situation and it was pressed upon them that they had the answers? What happened to them between the ages of 5 and 18? 13 years is a long time in which to know nothing of. I want some ANSWERS.
After talking with Michelle, I thought I would include something she said because it sums it up perfectly: I’m not disappointed in the book, I’m just disappointed that I still have so many questions. James Dashner, are you writing another book?????

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

For me, re-reading a book is like visiting an old friend. There’s comfort in it, familiarity, warmth. I know a lot of people who think that it is a waste of time to re-read a book. I think it’s a joy. A story is never the same when you read it more than once. You pick up on things you missed the first time, find new meaning the third time, and find an understanding you missed the first dozen times. Summer Sisters is a re-read for me. Recommended to me by my adorable friend, Sonia, I had never heard of it before. I was looking for a summer read, something I would want to re-visit year after year. This is definitely one of those books. I just finished my second read of this story and I think it was even better this time around. And, as I said above, a re-read helps you find new meaning. I sure found it.
The friendship between Vix and Caitlin is...I want to say far from normal, but I’m not so sure it is. In every friendship, heck, every relationship, there is always one person who gives more and another who takes. Somehow, someway, these friendships survive, and thrive in their own way. Conflict and misery bring us closer together, and the good times make it hard to imagine ever being apart. Vix is definitely the giver in this friendship. She knows she’s doing it, though, and accepts her role. She knows that, no matter what, Caitlin will always be her person. Blume proves this in the tough situations she throws these characters into.
I love watching the evolution of Vix. She begins as a quiet, shy 12-year old that is dying for the attention of the popular girl. When she gets it, she buries parts of herself in fear of losing the friendship. As she gets older, she pulls away some, possibly in an attempt to find herself, or maybe she doesn’t feel as willing to play her role anymore. When Caitlin commits the ultimate betrayal, Vix doesn’t see it that way. She sees it as Caitlin doing something she needs to do and I’m not sure she can even explain herself how she feels about it. Eventually, toward the end, Vix has blossomed into a soft woman, one who loves and lives and laughs. And finally lets out all of her feelings, telling the world what she thinks of Caitlin, and finally takes control.
I’ve been laughed at for the things I read. I’ve been criticized, mocked, and teased; but when you love books, love the characters and their stories, see the way they weave and grow and even diminish, you realize that the only thing that matters is...your love of books. Stories that take you away from the everyday life. Lessons you may have learned, conclusions you may have reached. I love the books I love for a reason. And they are all a part of who I am.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Heralds of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

I have never considered myself to be the type to read fantasy. And by THIS kind of fantasy, I mean the ones with knights, magic, kingdoms,etc. A couple of years ago I was introduced to Tamora Pierce. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tamora Pierce and, as a result, I now love...THIS kind of fantasy book. I spoke with a former co-worker one day and she told me if I like Pierce (who writes teen books) that I would enjoy Mercedes Lackey. I checked out her books and felt a bit overwhelmed because she has a ton of trilogies and I had no idea where to start. This is the trilogy Courtney recommended I start with. The Heralds of Valdemar.

I absolutely LOVED this trilogy. I love to see the rise of the fallen, and I love main characters who are strong, yet are riddled with self-doubt.Talia is a phenomenal character who is easy to get to know, easy to relate to, and fun to watch grow. She had never even heard of the Heralds before and now she finds herself among them. And when she becomes one of them, she finds herself to be facing some unexpected challenges. I found I loved all of the characters who Lackey placed beside Talia, and kept having conflicting ideas of where I hoped the books would go.

This trilogy, once I picked it up, was very hard to put down. Over the years I have become horrible for not reading trilogies one book after the other. This trilogy converted me back to reading a series in order, one after the other. It was not even a conscious decision, I just could not get enough and HAD to know what was going to happen! I was actually quite sad when it ended and almost wish she had written more for these specific characters. I do not know if, like with Pierce, I will be reintroduced to some of the characters from this trilogy in future trilogies, but I sure hope so!

I am looking forward to my next Lackey reads, Exile's Honor and Exile's Valor, which are set in the same kingdom, so fingers crossed for some repeat appearances! I hope you will give Mercedes Lackey a try or recommend it to someone you know.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and HAPPY READING!