Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson

This novel tells the story of Cameryn who decides she wants to be a forensic pathologist and becomes the coroner's assistant just in time to work the latest murder of a serial killer known as the Christopher Killer. Even though she's just seventeen, Cameryn is able to get the job because her father is the coroner in a small town. Then, as if to complicate matters, the latest victim is a friend of Cameryn, Rachel. On top of that, there's Dr. Jewel, a man who talks to the dead and is able to communicate with the spirit of Rachel and therefore help the police in their investigation.
The story itself isn't bad. It's a good mystery and the supernatural link is an interesting twist. The description is also wonderful, even a bit morbid at describing a dead body. But the novel could be better in many ways. First, I'm partial to first person novels and since this story focused on Cameryn, it could have worked better at putting the reader in the character's shoes. She's going through so much conflict it might have been nice to get inside her head, rather than to see it second hand. At the same time, it was hard to feel sorrow over the loss of Rachel. Her character wasn't developed enough for us to feel anything over her loss. Not that we're supposed to shed a tear for her, but it was too obvious that it was her considering only two girls had been introduced besides Cameryn and she was with the other, so it had to be Rachel. It might have been nice to be a little bit more invested in the characters. At the same time, Rachel is one of four victims of this serial killer. Granted, the other victims happened in different states, but it would have been better to have known more about them. We don't even find out their names until close to the end of the book. While they have no relevance to Cameryn, it would have been nice to know more about them. It just seems too convenient that a newbie cracks such a big case, first time out. That's another thing that makes this novel too fictitious. While this is a small town and Cameryn is dedicated study of forensic pathologist and her dad is the coroner, a seventeen year old would most likely not be permitted to become a coroner assistant and assist in such a high profile case. And she seems to find all of the clues, as if the other people involved in the case are useless. It worked out too much for her. She's not Sherlock Holmes reincarnated, but she seems to be the only one capable of putting the pieces together. It just seems too easy that after three women have already been killed and investigated by professionals, it takes a young newbie to crack the case.
While this was a good book, it had the potential to be so much more. Maybe I'm a bit jaded due to this being my first YOUNG adult murder mystery, but just because it's for a younger audience doesn't mean it has to be less in depth.


The Cannibals: Starring Tiffany Spratt as told to Cynthia Grant

So I think that I am reading a chic lit book. I want to keep up to speed on this "new" genre. But, this is funny, this is over the top. This is a spoof on chic lit, a parody. Tiffany Spratt was an honor student and cheerleeader, seriously dating Wally apparently also a level headed type. Then, Tiffany falls for Campbell new hottie student. Wally gets into trouble, is sent to a boot camp which he runs from only to get lost in a jungle among savage freeing Tiffany to go for Campbell. Tiffany gets a great idea for a tee-shirt for her best girl friends, it has the word cannibals across the front and though it was supposed to be only for her specially selected people, its copied by all kinds of kids at school much to her annoyance. Tiffany becomes determined to get Campbell to escort both to the graduation festivities and down the runway at a fashion show she is modelling in - and pleased to be doing so. And, a movie SCREAM BLOODY MURDER is being filmed at the school, Tiffany has the biggest non-starring role. The star is not a nice person. The swimming pool is dyed blood red so the swim team cannot practice, Campbell is on the team and not happy. Tiffany is on the Larry Singer show with the starr (think Jerry Springer) with unfortunate results. She looses her best friend, too busy to pay attention to her. Campbell is disgusted with her, all she can talk about is the movie, the fashion show, the graduation party, herself. Her grades fall, she forgets to apply to colleges by the deadlines, the movie is cancelled due to overwhelming problems and Wally shows up bare chested, tattoo's carved in his cheeks expecting her to still be in love with him! In short her life is a total mess. Its fun to read how Tiffany pays the consequences for the disaster she has created and gets herself back on the right track. JDW

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You Can't ReadThis By: Val Ross

This novel is a Non-Fiction book, which is very informative. To me, it informs us about the history of reading. It also tells us about lots of people who are denied the opportunity of reading. Writting has always been powerfull over the ages, but reading unlocks the power. I know as a young teen, lights were out at 8:30pm., but my flashlight was used under the covers, so to finish my mystery.

This novel is about the decoding of ancient language, and censorship from ancient Rome to modern America.

One example of a fantastic library was in Alexandria, Greece that was destroyed many times. Another person was the Chinese Enperor Dhi Huang-di was a great book burner in the second century B.C. In the 1500's in Mexico, Bishop Landa burned hundreds of books of the Maya people. The Bishop's excuse was that the books were filled with superstitious, and devil's falsehoods.

Baghdad was a cultural capital like New York, or Paris, and it was completely destroyed in 1258. Bagdad was the seat of learning, and art, but nothing was saved.

It is hard to believe that writters had to hide, and books were concealed. Many people were not given the opportunity to read. It was usually, the well to do, and educated people who were the readers.

This book is well written, and to the point about lost writting. This is a good read.

LRD 1/18/07

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Throwaway Piece By: JoAnn Yolanda Hernandez

The main character throughout this novel is Jewel, who is a teen who goes through many traumas. We get to know, and understand her personality by reading this book. Sometimes things happen very unexpectantly that one has to finish the book in order to understand the reason for it to occur.

Jewel is entered into foster care system, because her Mother cannot take care of her. Jewel gets a family by the name of Elkins that has three other foster childrren.

Jewel has so many problems, and a major one is she was raped. I believe she was not loved by her Mother enough. Jewel becase of her problems, became an intovert, and did not make friends easily. Jewel never understood what the word friends really meant till the end of the book.

This book is really detailed, but worthwhile reading. Many lessons of life to learn.

LRD 1/15/07

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Harrowing by Sokoloff

According to Kabbalah, before the beginning of the world, there were failed attempts. The beings from the failed attempts, Qlippoth, were discarded, thrown into a dark abyss. These beings were not human, did not have bodies yet longed to experience the life. And so it was that five college students, discards themselves who were all that remained in a college dormitory over Thanksgiving break, inadvertantly call one such being forth and allow this malevalence power, it had experienced only once before with tragic results. They had not know they were calling it forth, or did they? Was it an emergence of their own thoughts, feelings or something else. They did not know if they could stop it though they perhaps had the means.

Friday, January 12, 2007

St. Iggy by K.L. Going

Iggy Corso, he skipps class alot, he's late to school every day, and he's been suspended many times from school. His father is a drunk and a drug addict, his mom is also a drug addict and is gone most of the time. A few days before Christmas he gets suspended from school and there will be a hearing in a few days to see if Iggy is to be kicked out permanently. Iggy decides to do something with his life and he goes to see his friend Mo. They then go and visit Mo's mother who is overjoyed that Mo has come back to visit and brought a friend. After Iggy talks to Mo's mother he realizes that he can do something with his life, he can change it. He doesn't have to be into drugs like his parents and not care about anything. It doesn't matter what his parents have done or how they are its what he does that matters, and that is the most important lesson of living.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Wild Orchid by Brenna

This takes place in Canada. It explores the life a a girl with Asperger Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Taylor has a growing sense of independence that shows during her summer away from home in her blue room, she hates the color yellow. She has anger control issues that in her words make her iq drop to about 40 if she can's get it under control. She doesn't understand slangy speech, only direct statements make sense. She wants a boyfriend, a job and more independence this summer. She does things in sevens to keep herself centered, like walking the beach 7 times and saying things using 7 words. Taylor discovers an interest in biology, orchids, animals and frequently visits a nearby nature center where she finds herself well accepted. When a staff member quits she finds herself with her first job, a job she is well suited for, unlike the cooking her over controlling mother wants her to do. Although she fails to find a real long term boyfriend, the friendships she does make show her there is hope...And she has plans for herself when she returns home, realistic plans, plans she refuses to let her mother interfere with. Asperger is fairly common. We all have probably met someone who deals with this, who just doesn't fit in, just doesn't get how to. This is a chance to see into the life of someone with asperger and grow to understand a little better perhaps.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Secret Scribbled Notebooks by Joanne Horniman

This is an Australian novel than won a literary award. There are Aussie terms in this book but not so many as to make it difficult to understand.

First Kate and Sophie's mother abandonded the girls and their father, then one day their father was also gone. They were raised by Lil who was no relation but loved them all the same.
Kate has three spiral notebooks, red, yellow, blue, each used differently. In them she writes about her last year of school before college. She writes about her wonderful first love, about the stranger in the book store, about all the books she reads and about Sophie and Sophie's new baby daughter Nettie. She writes about beloved Lil and fear of losing her too, about friends, about leaving soon for college and all she will leave behind. Its a quiet book, yearning maybe, a little sad but very wonderful, I thought.