Quick and Dirty Reviews for May 2012: Books Rating 4/5 Stars

Abandon by Meg Cabot
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Ages: 14 and up
Published: April 26, 2011 by Point

This book was previously reviewed. Please click here to read the post.

Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now by Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran
Genre: Non-Fiction
Ages: All
Published: August 29, 2006 (4th Ed.) by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Before anyone starts asking me if I am expecting, let me clarify. I was looking for a baby name book that would help in the choosing of some character names. I wanted to get some fresh ideas and also get some insight regarding name meanings. This book was more than that; it had groupings to help if you wanted a certain style of name, one that wasn’t overused, etc. I would heartily suggest getting a copy for your library.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Genre: Non-Fiction Memoir Humor
Ages: Adult
Published: April 5, 2011 by Reagan Arthur Books

Tina Fey is awesome. I love her sense of humor; how she can make herself act or look horrible just for a great laugh. She is talented and clever and if I were her best friend, I would never ask about her…no, I won’t go there. This memoir blends a lot of silliness with the nuts and bolts of her life, a behind-the-scenes look at her youth, time at Second City and SNL. My only negative? Not enough Don Fey.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Paranormal Romance
Ages: 14 and up
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books

***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS AS THIS IS THE FIFTH BOOK IN THE SERIES***

I have made no secret of my love of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. COLS is the fifth installment in the series. Last we knew, Jace became controlled by the evil Lillith and Sebastian/Jonathan had been resurrected with Jace’s “help.” Book 5 starts as the Shadowhunters, et al, try to locate Jace. Imagine their surprise when he appears right beneath their noses…and appears to be going along with everything Sebastian is doing. Meanwhile, what is Magnus hiding? Will he and Alec resolve their problems and get back on track?

I continue to enjoy this series, and I must say, this volume was better than the previous book. Seeing more of the secondary characters and having them have more of a story made the book that much better.

(Also read my previous post on Ms. Clare’s series here.)

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Fiction Paranormal
Ages: Adult; there are graphic sexual situations
Published: October 31, 2006 by Delacorte Press

MacKayla “Mac” Lane is a immature and self-centered girl in her early twenties. She loves to tan, work at a bar and live at home with her loving parents. Her world comes crashing down in one fell swoop when she receives a phone message from her beloved older sister that is both frightening and confusing. Her sister is murdered in Dublin where she has gone to study. Intent on finding out who killed her sister, Mac travels to Dublin where she is shocked to discover that there’s a whole realm of otherworldly creatures that she can see. After a chance meeting with a brooding, handsome and somewhat scary man named Jerricho Barrons, she slowly learns, in fits and starts, what happened and worse – what is going to happen.

OK, after I read the first volume, I immediately got the next four. I loved this series. The paranormal aspects from what I assume is celtic folklore, the tension between Mac and Jerricho, and Mac and V’lane, the Fae consort; Mac learning about her up-to-now unknown history; it all was spellbinding, fresh, suspenseful and real. Yes, Mac complains and fights and doesn’t always listen; but she’s an immature girl who is growing into someone learning to take care of herself.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Ages: 14 and up
Published: May 3, 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books

This book was previously reviewed. Please click here to read the post.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Paranormal Romance
Ages: 13 and up
Published: August 1, 2009 by Scholastic Press

This book was previously reviewed. Please click here to read the post.

Underworld by Meg Cabot
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Ages: 14 and up
Published: May 8, 2012

A continuation of Abandon, Underworld finds Pierce back in John’s home in purgatory. This time, though, she is being held there for her own good. After all, her grandmother, possessed by the Furies, tried to kill her. While John is off “working,” Pierce explores her new habitat and meets some of John’s “crew.” Why are they so fiercely loyal to him? And how is it that her mobile phone, which has no reception in this half-way place, shows her a video of her cousin, Alex, trapped? Is it a premonition, or is it really happening? Either way, Pierce needs to escape and return to Isla Huesos so she can save her cousin from his fate while keeping herself away from the Furies.

As with the first volume, the Greek myth aspect of the story is wonderfully entertaining. Ms. Cabot’s writing is engaging, with depth. Having read and enjoyed many fantasy-type books, I have to say that there’s just enough drama and excitement to the story that it is neither tedious nor over the top. It’s just right.

Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein
Genre: Non-Fiction
Ages: All
Published: October 15, 1999 by Writers Digest Books

What an interesting concept to making your characters more real; Ms. Edelstein, a psychologist, has prepared a book of what she terms “profiles of human behaviors and personality types” that can be used by writers. From adults to children and in all manner of styles and types: criminal, sexual, psychological, you will be able to put together believable individuals that will make your writing work.

 

 

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