Nevermore [Book Review]

NevermoreTitle: Nevermore
Author: Kelly Creagh
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9781442402003
Pages: 560
Year: 2010
Publisher: Atheneum
Source: Library
Rating: 4/5

Summary:

When Isobel, star cheerleader and star football player’s girlfriend, is paired with all-black wearing, lip-pierced Varen for a school assignment, she groans. But after spending some time with Varen working on their Edgar Allen Poe project she starts to fall for him. She ignores her old friends, breaks up with her boyfriend, and finds herself wrapped up in Varen’s mysterious life where she must enter his dream world (and encounter all of the haunting creatures in it) to save him.

My Thoughts:

My interest in Nevermore began when I was eavesdropping on a twitter conversation between Jen and April (click through for their gushing reviews) where they RAVED about it and lamented its lack of readers. They convinced me to give it a shot and within a few days I was reading it, ready to embrace the awesomeness.

Now, I did not react to Nevermore as strongly as they did. And I really wanted to. I think it was good. Better than good. But not so-amazing-I-am-now-dying-for-the-sequel.

Varen and Isobel have some crazy chemistry. I suspect Varen and anyone might have some amazing chemistry though (me perhaps?) because he is that good of a character. Unfortunately, they don’t act on it for a LONG time so that by the time something happens, it was less the product of great anticipation and more like something I had almost given up on.

Which brings me to the other reason I didn’t love Nevermore. The book itself is LONG. It’s 560 pages. I am not one to shy away from a good, long book, but this one felt unnecessarily long. I found myself getting a little bored during the last 200 pages and that’s where ALL THE ACTION is. Part of me might have enjoyed this book even if it didn’t have the paranormal part – I was just fascinated with the relationship. And I am not just saying that because the paranormal part gave me nightmares. Which it did (probably shouldn’t have read it while Ben was out of town).

That said, I don’t want you all to think I didn’t like it. Because I did. A lot. The creatures Creagh created were fascinating. While the dreamworld was a bit confusing, I think it worked really well – just like a real dream. And the subject matter – both Edgar Allen Poe and lucid dreaming are two topics that I have been interested in for quite some time.* After the I closed the book, I ended up doing some “research” on Poe. Creagh did a wonderful job of working his mysterious death into the novel. Oh, and I loved Gwen – she reminded me a somewhat calmer, definitely more sober Rayanne Graff.

Nevermore is worth the read if it sounds like your kind of book. I am looking forward to the second book, Enshadowed, due out in January. For now, I may just stare at the gorgeous cover of Nevermore and dream about Varen. Don’t tell my husband.

Others’ Thoughts: Anna Reads; The Elliot Review; Angieville; Presenting Lenore

Buy It Now: Book Depository; IndieBound; Powell’s; Amazon

*I took a Psychology of the Consciousness class in college (you know, the kind of class taught by someone who did way too many drugs at Harvard in the 60s) and lucid dreaming was one of the topics we covered. A few students claimed they could do it by the end of the semester. The trick to knowing you are dreaming is that you can’t control lights (turn them on/off) in dreams or read digital clocks. Once you realize you are dreaming, you are supposed to be able to do anything you want. Pretty cool, huh?

Room [Book Review]

Title: Room
Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 0316098337
Pages: 336
Year: 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4.5/5

So this review is really late. Which is because Jennifer from Literate Housewife and I read it together and planned on doing a joint review. But then we kind of became slackers and never did it. She posted her review last week (go read it) so I am now posting mine.

Summary:

It’s Jack’s fifth birthday. He is perfectly happy to celebrate it with Ma in their Room. But Ma has other plans. Jack is finally old enough to help her leave Room. But Jack doesn’t want to leave the only place he’s ever known.

My Thoughts:

Room received A LOT of buzz. So I had pretty high expectations when I finally began reading it. And it lived up to it.

Room is told from the point-of-view of five-year-old Jack and the language is his. Donoghue actually manages to pull this off without dumbing down the book or creating an annoying narrator. Through Jack we are able to discover how Jack and Ma ended up where they are and what Ma’s plan is. We can see how depressed Ma is even if Jack doesn’t understand it.

Room filled me with many emotions: sadness at their life, anger at the person who did this to them, terror when they take action, and hope for their future. It’s a difficult subject, but Room was hard to put down.

Other Reviews: Book Chatter; eclectic/eccentric; The Avid Reader’s Musings; She is Too Fond of Books; Helen’s Book Blog; Jenn’s Bookshelves

Buy It Now: Powell’s; Indiebound; Amazon; Book Depository

More Finny

********

Sorry for going dark for so long. I’ll be back with some reviews later this week.

********

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now that it’s time to start your holiday shopping, I wanted to drop in to share with you a wonderful deal on one of my favorite books of 2010. You can get a signed, personalized copy of Justin Kramon’s book, Finny, for $17 (US only). You can read my (gushing) review of Finny here.

Now, how many people can I buy this for this Christmas?

Anansi Boys [Audiobook Review]

Title: Anansi Boys
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 0060823844
Length: 7 hours 36 minutes
Year: 2003
Publisher: HarperAudio
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Plot Summary/My Thoughts:

This review is going to be short and sweet mostly because I finished Anansi Boys ages ago and I’ve forgotten everything I had to say about it. Between that and not posting for a week, I’m feeling like a bad book blogger. But thanks for reading this anyway.

How do I describe the plot of Anansi Boys? Well, we have Fat Charlie, our main character, a Floridian turned Brit of West Indian descent. Fat Charlie is not really a fan of his dad because he always embarrassed Fat Charlie as a kid. But when his father dies, Fat Charlie gets dragged back into his world. Because the thing is Fat Charlie’s dad is Anansi – the mischievous spider god of West African folklore.

As you may guess, mischief ensues. First, Fat Charlie meets his long lost brother, Spider. And Spider certainly knows how to cause mischief himself (it’s explained that he got the divine powers side of the family). Then Spider steals Fat Charlie’s fiancé and ends up getting Fat Charlie framed by his boss for embezzlement.  After Spider’s visit, Fat Charlie must find a way to get his normal life back.

The book continues both in the present world and the “beginning of the world” where Fat Charlie encounters all of the ancient gods, represented by other animals.  Anansi Boys is a cleverly woven story of the plausible and the impossible.  It has magic but only just enough magic.  I think I can honestly recommend it even if fantasy isn’t necessarily your thing.

I just (as in two seconds ago) learned that Anansi Boys is a spinoff of American Gods (which I have not read). I’m not sure how that should affect my understanding of the novel. I felt it stood on its own pretty well.

Once again, Neil Gaiman has created a fantastic world the you won’t want to leave. His power over the language, his vision of rich and unique characters, and his ability to weave a complicated web (pun totally intended) of a story never ceases to amaze me.

Hmm…That wasn’t exactly short and sweet now, was it?

Thoughts on Audio Production:

I loved Lenny Henry’s narration. His interpretation of the wide array of characters in Anansi Boys was fantastic. He easily switched between the British and Caribbean accents. He captured the smooth-talking Spider, the ancient Callyanne Higgler, and the pompous Grahame Coats. I highly recommend listening to this one – you’ll be in for a treat.

Buy It Now: IndieBound; Powell’s; Amazon; Book Depository

Other Reviews:

The Rest of My Birthday Books (and then some)

Instead of saving this for a Mailbox Monday/In My Mailbox post (and because I may be giving memes up for a little while depending on the results of my poll which I’ll share tomorrow), I thought my new books would get their own post today. I had a good chunk of gift card money so on Tuesday, Ben and I had a date night (date night for us = dinner + book shopping).


Here is what I got:

Here are the books Ben picked up with his share of the gift card money:

And here are the other books that found their way into our home this week:

Mailbox Monday/In My Mailbox 3-15-10

I had a lot of books join my home this past week so I thought it was as good a time as ever to do my first Mailbox Monday (hosted by Marcia of  The Printed Page)/In My Mailbox Post (hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren).

Won

Swaptree

  • The Dud Avacado by Elaine Dundy

Birthday Gift

  • The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
  • No One Belongs Here More than You by Miranda July
  • Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
  • Marriage and Acts of Other Charity by Kate Braestrup

Purchased with Birthday Gift Card

  • A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Purchased

  • Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Books: October 2009

Books Read:

Books Read October 2009(sorry the picture is a little fuzzy – I need a new camera)

  • Peony in Love by Lisa See (review)
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (not pictured) (review)
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace (review)
  • Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace (review)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (review)
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart (review)

Books Acquired:

Books Acquired October 2009(again sorry the picture is a little fuzzy – I need a new camera)

  • Jeff in Venice, Death in Varnasi by Geoff Dyer
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Heaven to Betsy/Betsy in Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
  • The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl (not picture)

Six books in one month for me is pretty amazing, so thanks to the quick reads and the read-a-thon for that.  I really liked everything I read this month.  I may have bought a few more books than usual in October, but I got a bonus and part of it made its way to Barnes and Noble, so really it’s all justified (although a twitter conversation forced me to do the math and realize that I could read for about 10 years without buying any more books or using the library).

Big events in my reading life this month were (1) moving my blog from vox to wordpress and (2) the read-a-thon.  The move went very smoothly and I’m still transitioning old posts over.  I’m very happy with wordpress and I an enjoying the comments from non-vox users (my main complaint of vox).  I’m also glad that my vox friends are schlepping over here to continue reading.  As for the read-a-thon, I already expressed how much I enjoyed that event here.

I also completed my first reading challenge, the Maud Hart Lovelace challenge which you can read about here.

October seemed to be a pretty good reading month for everyone and I am hoping to keep it going in November.  Although the end of the month is looking a little busy for me and I’m going to Boston to see my dad for Thanksgiving so that’s some time I probably won’t read much.