Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DAC I ~ January: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
My Review:
I absolutely loved this book! This is one of those books you’re going to either love or hate, there really is no in between. At first, I thought this would just been one of those new debut young adult novels that everyone drools over for no good reason. Surprisingly for me, it was well written and the story line, enticing. This is saying alot, for this fairy tale retelling/steam-punk/dystopian premiss may seem a bit predictable and unoriginal. But Meyer’s does not disapoint!
Cinder, our main protagonist and Cinderella remake, is a cyborg, and in her Society, an outcast. Stuck at the bottom of the social class, she’s forced to work tirelessly as a mechanic to support her stepmother and two stepsisters. As fate would have it, she’s thrust into a forbidden relationship with the Prince Kai, soon to be Emperor. She also becomes involved in the research for a cure to the disease that plagues their kingdom. There’s also the threat looming over all their heads, that of the Lunars, the alien race inhabiting the moon. Their Queen wishes to form an alliance... by marrying Prince Kai.
While the characters themselves may be based off of the original Cinderella story, Meyer’s did an excellent job portraying them with a new spin. They are no longer dull, retold characters but ones who have new names, characteristics, and personalities that draw you into the story.
Again, though the plot is based off this well known fairy tale, the basics may be a bit predictable, but the added imagination thrust into the story builds up a great, suspenseful read.
There really isn’t much to disclaim about for once. Profanity wasn’t really prevalent. The romance was nice and clean. I guess for the more squeamish readers, there’s alot involved concerning a life threatening, deforming disease. And with cyborgs come missing limps. So I wouldn’t recommend it for young readers. The description never is too nasty, though.
Favorite Character: Kai
Favorite Quote: N/A
Recommended: Teens & up.
Over-all Rating: ★★★★★
~ Darkitty

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why We Broke Up

Author: Daniel Handler
I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened. Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.
My Review:
First picking this book up, I had hoped it would be good. Being very familiar with Daniel Handler's (Lemony Snicket) writing style, I had hoped he might write a rather enjoyable young adult novel. I will say that I did love the writing style. I did love the fun setup of this book, with short chapters and fun pictures. I would recommend it, but only if you are comfortable with whatever goes in your novel reading. I did like that when it came to the more sensual matters, the scenes were not as explicit as they could have been. So great writing style, interesting plot, but not enough to make me say that I enjoyed it (kinda wished I hadn't bought it, either).
The characters were very interesting, with specific personalities and traits. They weren't flat so to speak. I must say while I don't ever like the main character (and have to say sometimes they do act rather stupid and are very gullible) I found Min's knowledge of all things film entertaining. I did like her original cast of friends, who are so much more down to earth and real, rather than when she gets caught up in Ed's world. I felt Ed's sister was a fun, rather unusual character that brought more humor and life to the story, while Min's friend, Al, was such a great friend... no matter what or how many stupid things Min got herself into.
The story is written with you following along as Min writes this rather long, farewell letter to her ex, Ed. They broke up, but she's making sure he knows why, and the entire book flashes back through their relationship. So it was a very fun, imaginative way to tell a story.

There was quite a bit of profanity throughout. There was alot of drinking, teen partying, and hints at people goofing off. There are a few bit more intense scenes, but when Min and Ed actually do have sex, we don't get a descriptive blow by blow. There is alot of derogative name calling  and uncomfortable topics brought up throughout.
Favorite Character: Al
Favorite Quote: 

"And anyway, Coach says coffee's bad for you."
"Unlike drinking every weekend."
"It stunts your growth."
"You're on the basketball team."
"And you can get addicted to caffeine."
"Yeah," I said with another sip, "you see them living under the overpass, caffeine addicts."
"Come on! And it tastes gross."
"How do you know. You pour it out."

~ Ed & Min
Recommended: Older teens & up
Over-all Rating: ★★☆☆
~ Darkitty
***Later this week: Timeless***
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