Blog Archives

Cinder (Marissa Meyer, The Lunar Chronicles #1)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
As the title suggests, this is a modern retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella. Luckily, the story is retold in an exciting, feminist-friendly update to the sexist base of the traditional Cinderella. Cinder takes place in a dystopian future where cyborgs, androids, and hovercraft are part of everyday life and a war is on the horizon with the seemingly magical beings who live on the moon (the Lunars). The character Cinder is a fiesty adopted cyborg who is trying to make enough money as a mechanic to leave her oppressive homelife in Little Beijing. All the characters (including a prince, of course) are written so well you feel as if you have actually met them in real life. Cinder is a strong female character who turns the fairy tale on its head and refuses to be rescued. This is a great book for people of all ages – my sixty-one year old dad adores this series and can’t wait for the next book in the series. It’s definitely a good read for just about anyone!

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Posted in Children's/Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Softly Say Goodbye (KC Sprayberry)

3 out of 5 stars

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This novel has a very moving story but occasionally gets a little too didactic for comfort. The story follows a female protagonist, Erin, who is navigating her way through senior year of high school while facing the issue of teenage drinking among her peers, which often results in tragedy. Teenage drinking is the main theme of the book, and Sprayberry makes sure the reader does not forget how damaging it can be to the lives of young people. I haven’t been in high school of over a decade, but the amount of focus and energy given to alcohol at the school of the protagonist seems a bit overblown. However, Sprayberry’s points are well made, and if a little exaggeration is present, it does not undermine the story enough to destroy the enjoyment of the book.

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Posted in Children's/Young Adult

The Only Heir (Mary H Collins)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is a quick read with a convoluted story. The protagonist, Kimberly, has just graduated from college and is off to New York City to work in the fashion industry. In many ways, this is a coming of age story, as Kimberly navigates the big city and adult issues such as sex (and the results thereof), living alone, major career choices, and dealing with people who may be considered insane. However, the twists and turns of the plot keep the reader busy trying to navigate the implausible sequence of events. You may be interested in this book if you want something quick to read that explores a version of life that does not seem to be quite possible. Perhaps it is meant to be a book that helps us escape from reality, but if so, I’d rather stay in reality.

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The Old Spook (Charles Ameringer)

1 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Ameringer is primarily a non-fiction writer, and he should probably stick to non-fiction. This book reads like a spy dossier, technically detailing events, introducing names with no exposition or character development, and simply documenting a series of missions. The protagonist, Tom Miller, is a CIA agent specializing in Central America during the Cold War era. I was excited to learn more about Latin American modern history through a spy thriller, but instead I was overwhelmed with names and places with no background or context. If you know a lot about Latin American history already, this book may be interesting, spanning several decades and many historical events (including the Bay of Pigs, the Iran-Contra affair and Soviet spies in America during the Cold War). There is no compelling overarching story, merely a review of a spy’s career, interspersed with hints of a personal life that leave the reader wanting to take a nap.

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