Mini Review - Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Once upon a time, I went down to my local Indie bookstore to find a birthday gift for my mom. After roaming around the place for a good hour ( I can never spend less than an hour in a bookstore), I took a pile of books up to the desk and asked the clerk's opinion on them, telling her a bit about my mom's taste in literature. Inkheart was among the books in that pile, and it was the first one that she grabbed. She looked at it in disdain. "I definitely wouldn't pick this one," she told me. "I didn't like it at all."
"Really?" I was surprised. "I've heard such good things about it."
She shrugged. "I thought that it was awful. Really awful. Of course, the book was originally written in another language. German, I think. Perhaps there was something lost in the translation."
So I put down Inkheart that day, got my mom a book by Fablehaven author Brandon Mull, instead, and Inkheart got bumped a few spaces down on my TBR list.

I should never have listened to the clerk that day, even if she HAD been a reliable source in the past, and has continued to be a reliable source even now.

It makes me wonder. What else have I missed out on based on a bad review from a trusted source?

Because I have since read all three books, and fallen in love with them. I now consider this one of my very favorite fantasy series. The child in me identifies with Meggie, the girl who lives more fully inside of her books than she does in the physical world. Mo and Dustfinger have joined the ranks of my most beloved fictional characters. This is a series that I absolutely MUST own, so that I can share it with my children in years to come.

The Good

Wonderfully imaginative. A fair mix of happiness and sorrow. Fabulous characters.

The Bad
the last book in the series requires the most suspension of belief. It feels as though rules are broken too often, as though absolutely anything goes and what's to stop the story from careening off of the page completely?

But overall I love the story, and I think it ends wonderfully.

My Rating

Read it. Read it read it read it.
I give it a 9/10

Frigging Awesome

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jamie of i suwannee has a frigging awesome blog. My very favorite part of it is the part where she spotlights beautiful bookcases.
Like these ones:

I don't know about you, but I ADORE bookcases. There is just something wonderful about seeing all of those books lined up on the shelves. It's like you're staring at a pile of endless possibilities.
AND here's another cool thing that I learned through Jamie's blog: You can buy books by the foot. That's right. Do you have some beautiful, empty bookcases that need to be filled? Well, then go here, and order yourself some books by the linear foot. You can also order them in bulk! It's only $150 for 1000 random tomes to fill your shelves. Isn't the Internet fantastic?

The Dead and the Gone - Review

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
is the second installment in Pfeffer's Last Survivors series, a companion book to Life as We Knew it

About the book

Some of the things that I didn't like about the first book in the series were addressed in the second one. It's darker. It's grittier. And when you're talking about post-apoc fiction, the grittier the better, in my opinion. I don't want to say too much about the novel, because I don't know about you guys, but I prefer going in to a story knowing next to nothing about the plot. It's more fun that way. But I'll tell you this much:
The Dead and the Gone is set in New York. When the comet hits the moon, 17 year old Alex Morales is at work. His mom is working a late shift at the hospital, his father is in Puerto Rico for a funeral, and his two younger sisters are home alone. They are a devout Catholic family, and the disaster serves as a test of their faith. Will their parents make it home? Will Alex be able to provide for his sisters?

The Good

Like I said, this book is darker than the first. There is a bit more violence, and we see death that is much closer to the main characters. In many ways this book is the complete opposite of its companion. This installment has less of the everyday teenage angst that was present in Miranda's journal. Alex and his sisters are religious whereas Miranda's family was not. Alex lives in the urban sprawl whereas Miranda was in rural Pennsylvania. It was nice to see the disaster from a completely different perspective. I've heard some people complain that the piety of the teenage children, particularly Bri, was unrealistic, but (being Cuban) I have met my share of Hispanic Catholics and I don't think it's too much of a stretch.

The Bad
The book still wasn't as dark as I would have expected, though I don't suppose I can demand something on the same level as The Road from a YA novel.
There still wasn't as much chaos as I expected. Especially as this one was set in the inner city. The kids were able to get lunch every weekday from their schools, and there were food lines that gave out a bag of supplies every week. I WOULD like to have that much faith in the government and our society, but (call me a cynic) I just don't. There was only one instance when the line ran out of food while Alex and his sister where still waiting, and a mob formed. Just one.

I didn't quite understand Kevin's motivation for doing all that he did for Alex. He was a bit of an enigma, and not always in a good way. How can you relate to a character if you don't understand their motives? He seemed cynical and hard, and yet he was obviously well enough off. He had no reason to stand in line with Alex, and yet he did. Every week.

I was also confused as to why Alex wasn't able to get into any of the other apartments in the building. It seems that since his father was the Manager, there would be keys to EVERY apartment in the office somewhere. Am I wrong about this?

My Rating
The book was good. I like the series, so far. I will read the third one as soon as it's available to me. I would recommend it to people who like Disaster/Post-apocalyptic fiction and Young Adult novels. But the series doesn't quite do it for a serious Post-apoc Junkie.

I give it a 7/10