2010 Random House Vintage
ISBN – 9780099549345
Genre – Apocalyptic, Humor
Age- Adult, High School
R is a zombie who lives at an abandoned airport. He meets a girl named Julie on a hunt for food, and begins to have strange feelings. Having feelings is particularly weird for R since he hasn’t had any in quite some time. When he brings Julie back to the airport to keep her safe, they begin to form a very interesting relationship, and R starts to change even more. He seems to be more and more human every day. Can he and Julie show the living humans that there is hope for the undead before all humanity is lost?
I am sure many of you have seen this movie, as have I. I heard from a friend that parts of the book were very different so I gave it a try. I have to mention that I listened to this book, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The narrator was fantastic. His voice perfectly captured a zombie who was teetering in between living and dead. His inner monologue was perfect in pitch, speed, and tone! There definitely were things in the book not included in the movie that I thought really added to the story. For instance, in the beginning R falls in love and gets married to a fellow zombie and is assigned kids. This is weaved into the plot in such an interesting way, and although it doesn’t majorly impact the outcome of the story, I really think it adds to his character building. Overall, I loved this book, and I wish that I would have read it before seeing the movie. Not that I disliked the movie, I just would have liked to listen to it with a fresh mind instead of with a comparative attitude. My favorite part about this book was the originality of viewpoint. I don’t mean R’s point of view. I liked the way that it was humorous, but not super funny. It had serious parts, as well as a smidgen of social commentary. I liked that I had a hard time categorizing it into a genre!
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
2012 Antheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9781442457027
Genre – Picture Book
Age – All Ages
Mr. Morris Lessmore loved books, stories, and words. Each day he wrote the story of his life in his book. One day a devastating storm blew everything around and mixed everything up, including the words of his story, the words of his life. He didn’t know what to do so he wandered. Then while looking up he saw a lady being pulled through the sky by a flock of books. She saw that he wanted to fly and sent him a good story. This story took him away to a magical library in a magical land of magical books in which he began to rewrite his story. He lived his life day after day writing and sharing books and stories with others.
There are honestly no words to describe this book. I say it is for all ages because anyone who has a love for books, stories, words, and a fulfilled life will love this book. Do not be surprised to feel tears in your eyes as you read and look at the pictures. Speaking of the pictures, they just add to the magical feeling of this book. They are realistic, yet not. There is an immense depth in each illustration. The colors are vibrant without being bright. Mr. Lessmore feels real to me. Its not that he looks real, but considering his expressions and body positions and mannerisms, he just feels real. I don’t want to say too much especially about the ending, because I don’t want to skew anyone’s ideas or opinions. I will say that once you read the book, which you must, go on YouTube and check out the 15 minute short film that is based on the book. It won an Academy Award for a short film.
Orson Scott Card
ISBN – 9780765317384
Genre – Science Fiction
Age – Middle School, High School, Adult
In a world where each family can only have two children, Ender is a “Third.” Each child is tested to see if they qualify to attend battle school. Here they train to join the army that must kill an alien army that attacked humans many years before. At six years old, Ender is the most promising candidate that the military leaders have identified to lead the human army to a victory. He trains by playing war games and simulated battles. As his training goes on, Ender is thrown into more harsh and desperate situations in battle as well as his personal life. Is Ender really the savior that humans have been waiting for? Can he help protect humans from an alien invasion and impending war?
This is definitely a classic for a reason. I really appreciate that it has such wide appeal. I have seen an eleven year old enjoy it as much as a fifty year old. Honestly, I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. This book has it all, adventure, conflict, heartbreak, friendship, action, and surprise. The entire time I was reading it, I had to remind myself of how old Ender and his friends are. They live in a world and are thrust into a situation in which they are forced to mature unbelievably early, yet they take it in stride. Card has created scenarios in such detail that I became so immersed that I forgot I was reading a work of fiction. I laughed, I teared up, and my jaw dropped all within a few pages. If you haven’t read it yet, you should probably add it to the list.
Code Name Verity
2012 Hyperion Books
ISBN – 9781423152194
Genre – Historical Fiction
Age – High School, Adult
During WWII a British plane crashes in France, and its passenger, Verity, is captured by the Gestapo. She faces a tough decision, reveal the secrets of her mission or face execution. Throughout the book she reveals the circumstances that led her to her current situation. She talks about learning to fly, about her best friend, who was also the pilot of the crashed plane, and much more. Has her best friend survived? Will she be able to live long enough to be rescued? How does the story end?
So all of this sounds really suspenseful, however, I found the book completely tedious. It has gotten amazing reviews, and very few people have had anything negative to say about the book. I apologize ahead of time. While the words were written eloquently, the only thing that kept me reading were the reviews. I kept waiting, and saying to myself, it just starts slowly, yet it never picked up. There were a lot of technical references to flying and airplanes, which was not what deterred me. It just felt like the beginning of a fairly boring story for most of the book. So after all that, I will add this…The end was good. It read in a way that I would have loved the first 300 pages to read. I guess it just wasn’t my style.
2009 Tor Books
ISBN – 9780765318411
Genre – Steampunk
Age – Young Adult, Adult
During the Civil War in Seattle, talk of a Klondike gold rush had inventors rushing to create a device to make mining easier. Leviticus Blue has invented that machine. However, during the test of the Boneshaker, he breaks through an underground line of Blight gas. The gas turns people into zombie like creatures when it is inhaled. In the aftermath of these events a wall is built to keep the gases in the old city.
Sixteen years later Briar, who is Leviticus’s widow lives with her son, who is coming of age and becoming very curious about his father. He has heard all of the stories but does not want to believe them. One day he decides to sneak into the old city to find out the truth about his father. Briar must go in after him to ensure his safe return.
I have such mixed feelings about this book. It has all of the aspects of a great read, zombies, pirates, airships, action, and adventure. Cherie Priest does a fine job of setting up the scene of old Seattle. Her descriptions and character development is very detailed, almost too detailed. There were times when I couldn’t put the book down, unfortunately these times weren’t very common. For the most part, I couldn’t have cared less to read any more. The story was solid, yet it suffered from a bit of tediousness. I think this would be a great movie adaptation!