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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-04-14 20:44
Things to Do: Love This Book, Buy Enviormenally Friendly Shampoo
Love in the Time of Global Warming - Francesca Lia Block

I am a huge fan of dystopia. I have read practically everything from The Hunger Games  to The Giver. I also spent a good chunk of my childhood obsessing over Percy Jackson and all things Greek Mythology.

Add in some LGBT issues and you have the literary equivalent of a triple layer chocolate cake. (fun fact-there will be a shortage of chocolate once the year 2020 hits)

Easily one of my favorite books, Love in the Time of Global Warming is a fascinating mixture of Myth and Sci-fi. I will admit that the world building is a little sketchy but I’m not too picky about that stuff.

What really captured my attention was the gorgeous prose and unique premise. There have been dystopia’s influenced by the myths (The Hunger Games) but this was the first straight-up retelling I’ve come across.

Here are the parallels I found:

  • Pen=Odysseus

  • Pink House=Ithaca

  • The Lotus Hotel needs no explanation

  • Bull=Polyphemus

  • Venice=Penelope (weird. ’Cause Pen’s full name is Penelope but she’s playing the role of Odysseus. Who’s trying to get back to his family, mainly Penelope…)

  • Mom=Grandfather (The Grandfather dies before Odysseus gets home)

  • Beatrix= Circe (Both try to keep Odysseus/Pen and his/her  crew/friends)

  • Tara=Calypso (Gives Odysseus/Pen a place to rest)

  •  The Return was like the one in the Odyssey-reclaims home and reconciles with family

It was really fun trying to find all the parallels. I’ve read and watched retellings of the Odyssey for fun and in school. Recently, my class watched O’ Brother Where Art Thou-a depression era retelling.

Usually when there’s and LGBT character, it becomes a huge part of their storyline but Block didn’t do that. Some may find that infuriating but it shows that they are still people and there is more to them than their sexual orientations.

Definitely worth checking out!

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text 2014-04-13 04:26
Reading progress update: I've read 94 out of 230 pages.
Love in the Time of Global Warming - Francesca Lia Block

So far so good. The world building could use a little work but its plausible enough for me.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-04-09 22:13
Beautiful, just beautiful (you see what I did there?)
Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Short Version:

I don’t care what the cover says to you or what you think about Libba Bray or what you’ve heard about her or even this book.

This is the one book you cannot read a review of and form a good opinion on. You have to read it for yourself.

This book is not a teenage girl version of Lord of the Flies

Beauty Queens is hilarious and downright ridiculous at times but is balanced out by the realistic portrayal of young women and society’s expectations.

Review:

This is the second book I have read by Libba Bray. The first one was A Great and Terrible Beauty. And while not the worst thing I’ve ever read, not exactly the best experience I’ve had.

So I am quite pleased to say that even if you wanted to smack the Gemma books (or worse) you will love Beauty Queens.

Beauty Queens has several strengths and improvements.  Bray had improved as a writer drastically, and the diverse cast provides insight and comedic relief that the Gemma Doyle series lacked.

The addition of unlikely and downright ridiculous helps to keep things from getting depressing.  One of my favorite scenes was the one where Petra has to pee on the pirate and Sinjin is all “ohhhh”.

While on the subject of the pirates, I liked that not everyone got a happy ending in the romance department. The twist with Duff surprised me, but it was different from what you’d expect. The betrayal and the aftermath (Duff trying to win Adina back) just made me want to kill the guy. Regarding their relationship, I’m glad that Adina made Duff use a condom. There are so many scenes in YA where the characters do it and there is no mention of condoms so the acknowledgement of condom’s existence pleased me (don’t ask why).

I liked that no matter what; Adina refused to take him back. Another common occurrence in YA-or any novel featuring romance really-is a jerk love interest who is portrayed as a good guy. So that was another win for Beauty Queens.

The climax was a little jumbled but not so much that I had to reread things. It was mostly the switching of POVs each chapter.

When the girls confronted Ladybird Hope on Barry Rex Live I noticed that they said sorry once or twice which irked me because they had agreed to stop saying sorry unnecessarily.

I loved the epilogue. It was so uplifting. Only quibble was that Shanti’s parents found her husband but it said that he was awesome so if she’s ok with it it’s all good.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-04-08 21:39
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman

Plot:

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I  guess more time in this world but I didn’t mind Cittagazze. It actually reminded me of Charn from The Magician’s Nephew. (Both worlds are barren and seem to by dying).

I think part of the problem was the large cast. I loved seeing Serafina and Lee but that doesn’t change that fact that a lot was going on in such a short amount of time. It was rather like reading Volume 9 of Fullmetal Alchemist-hectic but still good.

The parts where we learned more about Dust were absolutely thrilling. I just love that moment a character realizes that the square peg doesn’t go in the round hole and everything clicks into place. Just brilliant.

Once it was revealed that Lyra was Eve, it seemed like it should have been obvious. (Maybe it is but I was surprised because I’m not familiar with the Bible?). I liked how all the pieces fit together in retrospect.

The ending was unbelievably  anti-climatic. It didn’t really feel like an ending. If felt like a dead end to a road going nowhere.

Another thing that bothered me was the repetitive explanations. I understand that each character has a different amount of knowledge and needs to be filled in but we the readers don’t need to read it every single time.  

Characters:

Dang it Pullman, I wanted more of Lyra! Lyra is entertaining and carried the entirety of The Golden Compass much better than Will carried his portion of The Subtle Knife.

Will was just so boring. I didn’t see anything important about him other than the letters. If he had been a secondary character, I probably would have liked him better. His POV just dragged the story down.

Dr. Malone was particularly well drawn for a secondary character only introduced in this book, and a good chunk into the story too.

Lee and Serafina didn’t get too much in the way of character development but their POVs did flesh them out a little, didn’t drag like Will’s and helped to advance the story.

In Conclusion: A pretty weak sequel. Started out strong but dwindled faster that a kids stash of Halloween candy.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-04-05 03:50
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare

this book/play will forever haunt my nightmares, will live on as a black mark on a otherwise  great English class experience

and can some one PELASE explain  why the heck THIS IS WHAT MOST PEOPLE REMEMBER SHAKESPEARE FOR?

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