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review 2014-10-24 14:51
Friday Featured Spotlight ~ Book 1
Strange People, Scary People - Tally Harbour

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

Fourteen tales of horror in this anthology will have something for everyone.

 

In my long and varied reading experience, it’s only fairly recently I’ve stuck my delicate toe in the horror genre. Not a fan of horror movies, or really horror in general, I have since found that there are certain horror books that I have liked and some I’ve quite enjoyed. I can’t say I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the horror genre, but the stories I have carefully handpicked have so far been a delightful surprise.

 

Glendy with the Iron Teeth ~ Was she? Wasn’t she?

Cooties ~ I felt itchy and gross after reading this.

Professor Patchwhite’s Garden ~ He got his, but it wasn’t what he expected. *shudders*

Cousin Pete’s Armidillo Farm ~ No. Just…no.

Rebecca’s Hand ~ Well, that escalated quickly.

The Tree ~ Karma’s a bitch, baby.

Pumpanddump Versus Pitchinditch ~ Creative! And amusing.

Dorain Necromanced ~ This is why you don’t obsess about celebrities.

Out of the Pleiades ~ Why did this have to involve a book? And remind me of Tom Riddle’s diary?

Anavrin ~ Um, dafuq did I just read?

Pine Trees ~ My favorite!

Procedure Monomania ~ Weird!

The Womb and the Window ~ The ending? Ewwww!

She of the Other Kingdom ~ I didn’t understand this one at all.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2014/10/ffs-untreed-reads.html
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review 2014-05-17 16:46
Book Review: Uglies, Pretties, & Specials By Scott Westerfeld
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Pretties - Scott Westerfeld
Specials - Scott Westerfeld

 

UGLIES

 

When everyone turns sixteen they change from ugly to pretty by means of advanced surgery. These new pretties are shallow and party all the time in New Pretty Town. Tally is almost sixteen and can’t wait until it’s finally her turn to be pretty.

 

Tally’s best friend turned before her and now she’s all alone. Uglies, those who haven’t had the surgery yet, enjoy playing tricks like sneaking into New Pretty Town. During one of her tricks, Tally meets Shay, a fellow Ugly whose friends have also all turned before her.  

 

Over the course of the summer Shay and Tally become good friends and plan all sorts of fun tricks together. Shay teaches Tally how to hover board and takes her into the Rusties, the ruins of our civilization.

 

When it’s finally time for the two to turn pretty, (they have the same birthday) Shay confesses that she doesn't want to be pretty. Shay plans to run away to a place called the Smoke where apparently people live in the wild and don’t turn pretty. Tally decides she wants to be pretty and stays behind. On the day of her surgery Special Circumstances, the advanced police force (who are pretty, but pretty scary) tell Tally that she can’t be pretty unless she goes after her friend and activates a tracker for them to arrest all the Uglies in the Smoke.

 

The characters in Uglies are fine, but it’s mostly the world that I’m reading for. The author’s explanation of how the world wound up like this was unique and so is the society he’s created. I liked the idea of the hover boards and how they worked. They’re magnetic and only over metal or rivers. (Because of the metal fragments in the running water.)

 

The beginning of the book is interesting, but after Tally goes in search of the Smoke, things slow down and it feels like we are only waiting for Tally to get there. (Actually, if you skip Tally’s entire journey to the Smoke you won’t miss anything, because they talk about it all afterwards.)

 

Once she gets to the Smoke the pace picks up a bit, but I still felt like I was waiting for something to happen. It’s only half-way through the book things have to go wrong somehow. Is the Smoke all it seems? Will Tally betray her new friends? Come on, something happen already!

 

When things pick up, they really pick up. The end is as good as the beginning and a quick read.

 

Warning: It ends to be continued. (I couldn't go to bed until I’d started Pretties, which unfortunately starts slow.)

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

PRETTIES

 

It’s hard to say anything about the sequels without spoiling Uglies, so I’m just going to give my impressions.

 

There are fewer slow spots in Pretties, because even the less exciting parts are fun and the plot is much less predictable than Uglies. The slang is so awful it’s funny, but I think it’s supposed to be.

 

Uglies hooked me with the world and concept, but I love the characters in Pretties. This book has everything the first one was lacking.

 

Another to be continued ending. (grumbling)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

SPECIALS

 

I liked the powers in Specials, but I didn't like Tally as much. (I especially didn't like her interactions with David and Zane and I wanted to see more with both of them.)

 

Again there were slow spots towards the middle, but the author didn't go into as much detail so they weren't as long.

 

It felt like everything happened too quickly at the end, but that was largely because of the point of view and the plot was wrapped up nicely. I wanted more at the end to find out what's next for Tally. (Like an epilogue.)

 

There’s an extra novel (ironically called Extras) that takes place after the trilogy, but it has different characters. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Uglies- 7 Stars

 

Pretties- 8 stars

 

Specials- 7 stars

 

Source: mollymortensen.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/book-review-uglies
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-12-10 23:55
Review | Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Specials - Scott Westerfeld

Book | Series | Author

 

*****

 

Tally Youngblood opened her eyes as someone else once again in Specials and this time, she's not just different, she's cruelly beautiful and dangerous. Tally has become a part of Dr. Cable's special batch of sixteen year old Specials, the Cutters. Tally has become so icy, she's nearly the perfect dangerous walking-breathing weapon but Tally has always been the strong minded one, meaning she will be able to take over her mind again, right?

 

What's standing on her road to perfection is that strong mind of hers, the strong mind that's just waiting to be cured again. And this time round (being a Special), Tally finds herself facing more difficult (special) circumstances. Some of the biggest problems being the unknown location of The New Smoke and a weak Zane.

 

*****

 

In this series, Specials had to be my favourite book out of all the three, excluding the novella, Extras. While this book escalated to its climax, i can feel the adrenaline pumping inside of me too. The first third was heart achingly slow, the second third being the one that started my interest all over again and the last third was just, it was so good that i just cannot find words to describe how good it was.

 

The introduction might have been a little slow and draggy but it showed me how being a Special had changed Tally almost completely. Tally just became an absolutely judgmental being that looks down on almost everybody because nobody other than the Cutters is better than her. But that also fortunately became one of her weakness. Tally had become complacent way too easily thus making many mistakes inadvertently. Personally, i dislike a special Tally too much. She's just like an obedient dog to Dr. Cable and Shay. Being a Special did not make her special at all, on the contrary, she just became straight out mean and very dangerous. I completely lost Tally at the first third of the book.

 

Going on, it became even more interesting. Since i had already gotten used to Tally being a Special, i enjoyed reading about Tally's agony, about how she struggled to not change because she doesn't want to be someone that isn't special anymore. She was finally beginning to see a clearer picture of what is happening when she arrived at Diego, a city with a new system. The new system that other cities and Dr. Cable hated so very much, freedom to make their own choice type of system, where The New Smoke is located at.

 

Tally arrived at Diego with two purposes, one to protect Zane and the other to bring down The New Smoke but the fact that Tally left Diego to protect Diego from her own city and Dr. Cable is way too good to read. As i finally see Tally changing on her own or she would like call it, rewiring. Scott Westerfeld knows how to make me long to have Tally's self control so much.

 

*****

 

Tally Youngblood: Throughout the book, Tally was not the only character that changed but Tally's change was the most drastic one and i love it. I can also see why would Tally's change be the most drastic one considering the fact that she could not protect Zane and he had died in the book. Tally's change showed me that nothing in the world can really control your personality (your true self) as long as you have people around you that genuinely care and have faith in you. Therefore teaching a very good and worthy lesson, stay true to yourself. Even though Tally was only able to rewire herself because of Zane's death, Shay's faith and David's support, she still did cure herself without consuming Maddy's pills. Her self control is one thing to look up to. At the end of the story, she finally did become a true Special, a Special Tally will never regret becoming.

 

*****

 

Favourite: There are just too many favourite parts in the story that i cannot choose which one is my ultimate favourite. However, this one part definitely left an impression in me. Dr. Cable rescued Tally from being despecialised and Scott Westerfeld finally revealed a weak and old Dr. Cable, the actual Dr. Cable behind all those surgeries she had done to keep her old age away.

 

Least favourite: Probably anything to do with Zane? Tally hurting Zane after they kissed by the river because she could not accept him being weak and she being a Special. Zane's death, seriously, was that necessary? I am definitely a supporter of Tally and David but Zane is a good guy and i adored him.

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quote 2013-12-09 12:22
Let me be the center of the universe for five more minutes, Shay. Then I'll go away and let him die, I promise.

Tally Youngblood (Specials)

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review 2013-05-16 00:00
A Tally of Types
A Tally of Types: With Additions by Several Hands ; And With a New Introduction by Mike Parker - Stanley Morison,Brooke Crutchley,Mike Parker This book provides a great insight into the history and design of type, and quite a bit of the commentary is useful even today. Morison is well known, of course, for the Times New Roman face - and there is a section in the book on that face. But his commentary on the designing of faces like Plantin and Bembo is much more interesting, if you ask me. Also, if you are at all a fan of Eric Gill, you will like the section on Perpetua and Felicity. Anyone interested in the history of type should have this book, that much is certain.
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