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text 2018-12-02 18:23
November Reading Round Up
Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux
Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland
V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore
The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jason Isaacs
After: First Light - Scott Nicholson
The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame
The Rose Master - Valentina Cano

 

 

I've missed a lot of round ups this year so thought I should post at least a couple before the end of the year.

 

Just the 10 reads for me this month, but only 1 comic was included so that's a plus.

 

Yearly Reading Challenge update - 122/140

 

Read in November - 10

 

Audio - 0

Novels/novella/short stories - 9

Comics/Graphic novels - 1

 

5*

 

Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia  A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jason Isaacs  

 

4.5*

 

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland  The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman  

 

4*

 

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins  V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore  After: First Light - Scott Nicholson  

 

 

3.5*

 

The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame  

 

3*

 

Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux  The Rose Master - Valentina Cano  

 

 

Just gearing up for the end of the year now, I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping and only have to post a couple of presents off to Oz for friends. 

 

I'm working this Christmas which is shit and I've noted in my recent pay that it has STILL not been sorted which now makes it 6 months of management pissing around. 

In all honesty I don't think I can stay there full time anymore, I've really hit my limit and the frustration of several elements is driving me insane. 

Next year will bring a few changes work wise but I'm not quite sure what that will be at the moment. 

 

I'm off on leave at the moment and tomorrow I'm taking Boo to the vet to have her neutered so I'm feeling a little anxious about her having an anaesthetic. I'm sure Suzy will love this as it will give her several hours of peace and quiet.

 

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review 2018-10-24 03:09
Review: And the Ocean Was Our Sky
And The Ocean Was Our Sky - Patrick Ness,Rovina Cai

Apparently this Patrick Ness guy is pretty big amongst readers of Young Adult books. This is the first time I've read any of his work. Ness, in an obvious attempt to hook me as a reader, decided to put a finely illustrated whale on the cover. Seriously, every well drawn whale cover ends up on my to-read pile. I'm a sucker for blubber. Here I must apologize to the other whale books on my to-read list that have been there far longer than And the Ocean Was Our Sky. (I'll get around to you all soon.)

If you haven't already heard, And the Ocean Was Our Sky is Moby Dick turned upside down. (Literally, as kids today might say.) Told by the whales, we quickly learn that the whales perceive their ocean as being above the sky, and they descend to reach the surface where the human ships are. Cool idea. I like it. Then it gets a tad hokey...

The whales, believers of prophecy, sail in ships of their own construction. They hunt humans, using “their bones for tallow and soaps, their skin for sails, their meat … as bait for the vast shoals of prey...” They speak to one another and can, if taught, speak to humans in proper English. So basically the whales are human, the humans are human, up is down and down is up. Make sense? But you can breath a sigh of relief, because there isn't a whale in this book named Moby Dick. So who do the whales hunt? The illusive human with “a rump like he know nil,*” Toby Wick. Yes, Toby Wick, ladies and gentlemen. See what I'm saying, it's kind of hokey.

What saves And the Ocean Was Our Sky is a good overall concept, brevity, and the wonderful illustrations of Rovina Cai. They're simple drawings, but they work well to convey the mood of the piece. If only Ness had made more subtle allusions to Moby Dick and kept the whales whales, I probably would've loved this novel. After all, there's so much great writing in this morality about our eagerness to build devils. (Also, the author refrained from placing the whales in little sailor uniforms, so kudos for that.)


*Not an actual quote from this novel, but I couldn't refrain from including it.

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review 2018-09-06 21:29
The Ask and the Answer / Patrick Ness
The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness

We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

 

 

I read this book for the Doomsday square on my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I have become quite partial to Patrick Ness’s writing, having loved A Monster Calls and thoroughly enjoying The Knife of Never Letting Go. The Ask and the Answer is a solid follow-up to TKONLG, showing us more of this non-Earth world where humanity and the aliens that they call The Spackle must find terms of co-existence and human men must learn to deal with the Noise germ, which makes their thoughts visible/audible to everyone around them. As we learn more about the aliens, we realize that they are dependent upon on the Noise to communicate with one another, but it causes major privacy concerns for human men; for some reason, the germ doesn’t affect women.

But privacy of thought is only one concern in this world—the Mayor of Prentisstown, where Todd grew up, is out to become president of the whole world and he doesn’t care what happens to people who get in his way. He recognizes Todd as a person of principles, who may do something wrong but gets back up and tries to set it right or do better. This second installment sees Prentiss try to recruit Todd to his cause, mostly manipulating him through his loyalty to Viola. I think it is also admirable that Todd is able to identify his emotions and admit that he loves Viola and to stand by her. So often, I feel like men and boys are encouraged to refuse to acknowledge their feelings, leaving the women in their lives wondering if they care at all. I guess this is one benefit of the Noise—Viola knows that Todd loves her.

The differences in the way that Noise affects women and men naturally divides them. Prentiss can’t trust women, because he can’t know what’s going on in their heads. As a result, women find themselves separated and confined quite quickly, which naturally makes the women fearful, resentful, and unwilling to go along with his program. But women aren’t going to take the change in government without a struggle—many women go into hiding and provide violent opposition. Then we get to explore the whole who is a freedom fighter and who is a terrorist question. Both sides twist logic to convince their followers.

I think this would be a great book for high school students, showing conflicts in all their grayness, very little black and white. For although I as a reader identified with Todd & Viola, they do regrettable things along the way and those who think they are on the right side are willing to do violence to make their opinions known. There are so many ethical and moral questions explored, it would make for lively discussions.

If you dislike cliff-hanger endings, you should have the next book teed up and ready to go. I’m willing to let things rest for a while at this point and will probably pick up the last book in early 2019. My reading queue is full until then.

 

 

 

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text 2018-09-05 15:17
Reading progress update: I've read 451 out of 553 pages.
The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness

 

 

So many themes that are prominent today, featured in a fictional universe where young people could discuss them without all the political baggage of our reality.

 

I think this would be an excellent series for schools.

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review 2018-09-01 23:27
When Grief Comes Calling
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Wow. I never watched the movie, so had no idea what "A Monster Calls" was about. All in all this was a very moving book that hits you in all the right places. I do wish the ending had tied things up a bit. However, I get that the author, Patrick Ness, realized he didn't need to spell things out for the readers. We know what comes next for Conor. 

 

"A Monster Calls" has 13 year old Conor waking up at 12:07 AM and talking to a monster. A monster that has emerged from a yew tree that sits in a church yard. The monster wants something from Conor. The monster promises to tell Conor three tales, and the fourth tale must be told from Conor to the monster.

 

You are going to feel for Conor. He is dealing with something that many children don't want to think about. His mother is sick and undergoing cancer treatments. It's been him and his mother since his father up and left them both to go to America and marry and have another family. Though Conor is being in the words of his mother and grandmother too perfect, he wants to do what he can in order to make things easier for his mother. However, it feels as if everyone around him knows something that he doesn't. When the monster comes to Conor to tell him his tales, you can picture the people in them. The prince and the farm maiden, the parson and the apothecary, and the man who was invisible. All of these tales will pale in consideration when Conor tells the fourth tale.


Conor's father is a weak man. I was hoping something terrible would happen to him while I was reading. His grandmother is so strong. I admired her and was glad that Conor finally saw what was going on with her. Conor's ex friend Lily gutted me a bit too. I can see why Conor was angry, but I wish that the two characters had more time with each other. 

 

The writing and illustrations that make up this book were very well done. The darkness that Conor feels and the anger end up feeling like very alive things. Him wanting to be normal and not have everyone treat him differently because of his mother made sense to me. Even though he takes things a bit far by allowing himself to be bullied. 

 

The flow was really good and I have to say the world building was top notch. 

 

The ending goes where you hope it doesn't. Have plenty of tissues nearby.

 

I read this for Halloween Bingo 2018, the cryptozoologist square.  

 

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