Saturday, March 31, 2007

More than worth the hype

Though in truth, I haven't seen Markus Zusak's The Book Thief promoted anywhere -- I came aross the title in a few blogs and messages boards. This book caught me from the very first page. It's beautifully written and the story is compelling, heartbreaking, and uplifting. I hope they never try to make it a movie.

Finished The Birth House -- good, not great, but worth reading. Now working on Between, Georgia. Seems to be chick-lit, which works well as a palate-cleanser after something so memorable and thought-provoking as The Book Thief.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

In-between book

Ophelia, by Lisa Klein, reimagines Ophelia's story in a YA novel. I liked the way it felt like I was reading Shakespeare without actualy reading Shakespeare -- the dialogue felt authentic and true to Hamlet without being forced. Interesting take on the character, and well-supported by the play itself.

Still working on The Birth House. Enjoyable, but has weird quirks (diary entries thrown in at the end of each chapter, for example) that feel gimmicky.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Abandoned books roundup

Four books started and rejected in such a short time. After giving up on The Night Journal, I also gave up on Labyrinth, And Then We Came to the End, and The Constant Princess.

Labyrinth seems like a good option for summer. It's very very long with very small print, and the story looked like it was much too complicated for my current system of barely reading a chapter before falling asleep. And Then We Came to the End was funny and insightful, but without a real main character, I felt like it needed to be a short story and not a full-length novel. It didn't seem to be going anywhere.

The Constant Princess was the biggest disappointment. I've really enjoyed Gregory's other books, but this one didn't have what I liked about the others: interesting, realistic characters. I was willing to overlook the ridiculous dialogue that she attribted to the five-year-old princess, but the overly dignified teenager was so unbelievable. Yes, the character is meant to have been bred to be a princess and a queen, but she's still human! Reviews also indicated that the book ended when the interesting stuff began (Anne Boleyn, for one). Those were enough strikes against it.

Now reading: The Birth House. Will report when I'm farther along.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Night Journal

The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook. Considering giving this up after 50 pages. It seems to be rather predictable, and I don't enjoy the characters so far. Will probably take a break and return to it later, if I don't have to return it first.