Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Twilight Saga

I am horribly horribly behind when it comes to jumping on this particular bandwagon. Back in the fall I read about the biggest YA publishing Phenomenon since Harry Potter, Twilight. I checked out the book and due to time constraints I didn’t give it a chance. I read the first half of the first chapter then returned the book and figured it just wasn’t for me. Well since then I’ve worked with the kids here at the library more and more. Many of them have raved about Twilight and how good a book it was, so I decided to give it another try. I put in a request for the book and now, three months later, I got it.

And devoured it.

What I didn’t get into the first time around utterly grabbed me the second time. I was entranced by Edward and Bella’s story, followed the comparisons author Stephenie Meyer makes with Romeo & Juliet and Wuthering Heights. I was charmed by the supporting characters like Alice & Emmet, fell for Jacob and wanted to soothe his pain.

Yeah I didn’t read just Twilight but its sequels New Moon & Eclipse as well. I’ve done almost nothing this past weekend except read these books. I was hooked. I enjoyed watching Bella and Edward grow as characters. I really enjoyed that as Bella was not a character I could get into originally. She came across in that first chapter as a fairly flat character, not much personality and though responsible and mature in many ways she wasn’t special for me. Bella had to grow on me. Edward’s initial reaction to her is what got me interested. What was there about this bland character that upset him so much? What else was there about her? I had to find out and because of that, I had to read. In reading I learned that while Bella didn’t know herself as well as she thought she did, she was an interesting character. Always taking care of others, never taking time for herself – she never really learned who she was. It took all three books but by the end, she did know herself – not as well as she will by the end of the fourth book, but the character definitely grew somewhat.

Edward is a fantastic character – one that isn’t explored well enough for me because I always wanted to know what was going on in his mind, but the story is told from Bella’s point of view, we can’t know Edward’s mind. Still, seen through Bella’s eyes he is larger than life and utterly amazing. She does recognize some of his flaws, but they don’t detract from what she sees as his perfection. I have to admit, as much as I’m looking forward to the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, I’m anticipating Midnight Sun, Edward’s version of Twilight even more.

So yes, read this series, give Bella & Edward’s story a chance and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Just stay through the first chapter and you could very well be hooked.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Only 1 in May?!

I'm kind of ashamed. I only finished one book in May. I know, for many people this is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about, but I'm a bit prideful about how quickly I can read books. May was a busy month with several different things going on both at work and in my personal life ( gotta love them). I started 2 different books and I'm still reading both of them, but then I got the call that the new Sookie Stackhouse book was on hold at the library for me.

All other books were forgotten until I finished that one.

From Dead to Worse is the eighth book in the Southern Vampire series and it is an enjoyable romp, but a bit light on mystery (was solved by about page 150 if I remember correctly) which is surprising since Charlaine Harris is fantastic at writing thought out enjoyable and not too easy to guess mysteries. At least I'm not too good at solving the mystery before Sookie. Even still, this was a fun book. Ms. Harris gave us some great moments between characters and made me laugh out loud a few times too. I enjoyed seeing Sookie deal with the consequences of various actions, one thing she doesn't shy away from even if she wants to is taking responsibility for what she's done. I also really liked the fact that she made it clear exactly what she wanted out of a relationship.

Sookie had a lot of character development, in fact many of the characters did and I was glad to see it. The banter between Sookie and Eric was fun, but I've always had a soft spot for that character since the first book in the series I read was Dead to the World. The action in the book was almost over the top - at this point Sookie is involved in more fights and conflicts than one woman ought to be. But then when you consider that Sookie is also a telepath involved with both vampire & werewolf/shifter communities I think it's easy to see why she's caught in the middle so often.

From Dead to Worse is a great Summer read. Light enough to breeze through, but engaging enough that you don't want to put it down until you're done.

Now that June is here I'm still switching back and forth between the other two books I started in May - reviews will come once I've finished them. And I'm set to check out two YA books - the very popular Twilight & a new one called Beastly. On top of that I've got Don't Know Much About U.S. History for the Book-A-Month challenge. A challenge I totally failed in May since the theme was Mothers and I didn't read a book devoted to moms. Lots to read and only a little time. I'd best get to it.