aka YA Literature

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

I came across an ad in Facebook for an audio of David Levithan and John Green talking about Will Grayson, Will Grayson on Symphony Space. It may be the most interesting and relevant ad Facebook has ever shown me.

White Cat by Holly Black

I inserted Simon & Schuster's trailer for the book, so you can get a sense of the plot from that. It'll save me from recapping. I liked the book, but I expected to like it a lot more than I did. I loved her other faerie novels, and the premise of this (that a small percentage of the population is able to perform magic "curse work" with their hands, but it's illegal and everyone has to wear gloves on their hands and avoid ungloved hands by others) was really interesting. The first half to 2/3 of the novel kept me kind of confused. I didn't totally get the different types of curse work, the history, what Cassel's brothers did/do, the "families," what happened with Lila, etc. Part of this is because Cassel himself doesn't know what is really going on and part is because Black is not setting out the entire backstory of curse work all at once; like any good writer, she tries to let it unfold in the narrative. But I did like the last 1/3 of the book quite a lot, once I got a better grip on the whole idea of curse work. I really liked the climax; it was very suspenseful. And if there are more books in the series, I'd probably be interested in reading them.

Cover Twins

I noticed that Wendy Toliver's new book Lifted has the same cover photo as Ann Dee Ellis's Everything is Fine, just a slight cropping of the model's head. I like the new version much better (ie. I never liked the coloring on EIF).

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

I must say, I'm quite surprised that one of my blogmates didn't beat me to the punch of reviewing Stephanie Meyer's newest book. Now, I will first admit that I am NOT a fan of authors adding to a completed series (I never even read Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard - though based on the poor circulation stats, I'm not alone in that!) However, since the Twilight Saga is the very standard by which I judge all other YA literature, I felt I'd be a little remiss if I didn't at least give The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner a chance - especially seeing as how it's available free online!

Sadly, I can't say that I enjoyed Bree Tanner's story. I found the first half of the novella extremely grating; it seems like all of Meyer's female characters have this annoying whiny helplessness, which was particular unattractive on Bree. (I guess I could stomach it more from Bella because it was more central to the original storyline.) Fortunately, Bree eventually forms a friendship/relationship with another vampire, and together they begin unravelling some of the vampire "mysteries".

The second half of the novella is definitely much better - but then how could preparing for battle not be. My only major complaint towards this part is that Meyer's almost completely glossed over the battle scene. I understand she could only write what Bree actually witnessed, but I would have enjoyed a stronger parallel to the original story in Eclipse.