Reviews, rants, and tidbits from an overpassionate novelist

Posts tagged ‘summer reading’

YOUNG ADULT FICTION – LITERARY WITHOUT THE SLUSH

Laurie Halse Anderson recently posted this link in a Facebook note, and I absolutely love this article. Favorite, favorite, favorite. In essence, the article is about the growing literary nature of the young adult genre and how it’s becoming more enjoyable to adults. It describes it as a Literary Minor League–or literary without the boring stuff. That’s my kinda reading, and it will always be. Thank you, Wall Street Journal!

The Article Here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204261704574275941028138178.html

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* VACATIONS FROM HELL – STORIES 4-5 *

Story #4:  The Mirror House by Cassandra Clare

Again, I have to say I was more relaxed in the skin of this main character. Violet is good but not too good. She’s flawed in the ways that make us question ourselves. I like that. It makes for a story with impact.

This story’s impact dosage is mediocre–a nice try but somehow insufficient. I expected better from Cassandra Clare, author of City of Bones. It would have had a much stronger effect with better buildup of drive. If I had come to deeply fear for the boy’s life and for the happiness of Violet’s family, the story would have been much stronger. As it was, it was a pretty picture–just lacking in color.

Overall:  Three & 1/2 Stars.

Story #5:  Nowhere is Safe by Libba Bray

I only love this story a little. Okay, I love it a lot.

I absolutely adore the voices of this smartass Asian protagonist and his cheeky friends. Their reactions to the creepy world around them is thick-skinned, brave, and a little too skeptical. For a moment, I had started to think of them as typical horror-movie airheads, which was disheartening. They were funny and I liked them. I didn’t despair for long, however. When the paranormal becomes real to them, they get smart. Well… most of them do.

I also love how this writer can take cliches and turn them on their heads and make you love them again. That’s a talent. The plot of this one is pretty gripping, but toward the end it started to lose me in the “This happened, then that happened, I’m running out of words” tone. The Youtube thing was cool, but obviously unbelievable.

I did believe, however, that the story could end with all of them as mincemeat. That’s good. It ups the horror and drive by tons. Good job, Ms. Bray! =D

Out of the five, this was my favorite. My favorite characters and the most laughs.

Overall, I give it: Four & 1/2 Stars.

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