Posted in On The Reading Chair

Zombies vs. Unicorns- A Review

I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars. It is considered a young adult book, but parents, beware. Read my parental blurb to get a picture of what you are getting into here.

The premise of this anthology is genius. Some top young adult fiction writers all writing shorts stories about zombies or unicorns (a few had both). The way the book was laid out was clever. Justine and Holly introduce each story with a bit of back and forth about the story. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the book. (Other than the cover, which is awesome. If you’re buying this book, buy the hardback copy!)

Unicorns= love. Zombies= love. What could be wrong, right?! (Keep reading.)

The stories just fell way, way short of my expectations. Not everyone can write a good short story. Short story writing takes a different kind of talent than some of these trilogy writers possess, sorry to say. Very few of the stories were even decent. They were, for the most part, lackluster stories. Which is so sad when the topic is Zombies or Unicorns! How do you write an uninteresting story about a unicorn?! Or a boring zombie story?! Maybe that, in and of itself, is a talent.

Carrie Ryan’s story was one of the better of the set. However, her story was simply an extension of her “Forest of Hands and Teeth” series. She wrote a short story into that framework. So, if you haven’t read “Forest of Hands and Teeth”, you won’t understand the short story completely. Her zombies act and behave in a specific way, which you need to understand to enjoy the short story.

Scott Westfeld’s story was another one of the better stories. (Though it left much to be desired.) If it was a complete book, it would have been much, much better. So many questions left unanswered. So much of the story left unsaid.

Diana Peterfreund’s story (The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn) was probably the best story of the whole book. Even in short story form, it told a complete story. (A story you found yourself wishing there was a whole book of to enjoy!)

I’ll admit, even if someone had told me how bad the book was, I couldn’t have resisted buying it anyway. You’re probably like that, too. So go ahead and lower your expectations way, way down before you buy the book. Lower them to the ground, maybe a little below ground. Now that your expectations are so low, you’ll likely enjoy the book. My expectations were way too high to enjoy it. With a name like “Zombies vs. Unicorns” you kind of expect something amazingly stellar. This book isn’t that, just letting you know. I actually don’t recommend it at all, if you’re looking for a recommendation. Just skip this one. (Sorry Audrey, since I bought you this book as a birthday gift before I read it! Sorry to waste your time like that and let you down.)

Parental blurb (since this is a young adult book, supposedly for 14 and up, which I disagree very strongly with): Gore! Lots of it in different and varying forms. Cursing! Lots of it, often not the most intelligibly used. Sex! More than I’d care to read about in a book about zombies and unicorns. (And how on earth can one fit sex into a zombie story?! Or a unicorn story?! You certainly don’t expect that!) No graphic descriptions or anything. Rape! *shudder* Beastiality! *double shudder* Suicide! (And in favor of it.) It is not, at all, what I’d call a 14 and up. If it was a movie, it’d be rated R, and even then I’d send warning to my adult friends about the horrible nature of the R rating. We’re not talking a zombie action movie R, we’re talking a disturbing, twisted, nightmarish, cursing rated R.

I am warning you now, don’t read this book. I know, you may not believe me. You may think, “No way is it that bad.” But it is! There isn’t enough redeeming storytelling to justify the time or effort. Pass it by. If you choose to read it anyway, don’t blame me. I told you it was awful.

Posted in On The Reading Chair

2012 Reading

You may remember that my reading goal for 2012 was to read 52 books. I also made a list of the 25 books I wanted to make sure I read this year. I’m gonna tell you, I did reach my ultimate goal (well, passed it) but I did not get around to all 25 books. However the list did help me in deciding what to read next throughout the year. I didn’t have to look up my Amazon or Goodreads recommendations every time I went to order new books. I had a list! For 2013 I am making the same goal and making a list, even if I didn’t get around to all on my list this year. Here are the books I read this year. (Reviews on all the unreviewed books will come this week. I’ll try to come back and link them for you.) All photos are links to take you directly to where you can buy the book. Also, I didn’t necessarily like every book I read this year. You’ll have to check the reviews to see my thoughts.

1.Review here. 

2. Review here.

3. 

4. 

5. Review here. 

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7. 

8. 

9. Review here.

10.  Review here. 

11. Review here.

12. Review here. 

13. 

14. 

15. 

16. Review here.

17. 

18. 

19. 

20. 

21. 

22. Review here. 

23. 

24. Review here. 

25. 

26. 

27. Review here. 

28. Review here. 

29. Review here. 

30. Review here.

31. Review here. 

32. 

33. Review here.

34. 

35. 

36. Review here.

37. 

38. 

39. Review here. 

40. 

41. 

42. 

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44. 

45. 

46. 

47. 

48. 

49. 

50. 

51. Review here. 

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55. 

56. Review here. 

57. 

58. 

59. 

60. 

61. 

62. 

63. 

64. 

65. 

66. Review here. 

Posted in On The Reading Chair

The Way We Fall – A Review

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe is a pretty darn good read. Kaelyn, the main character, lives with her family on an island. The book is written as a journal or diary of sorts from Kaelyn to her former best friend who is no longer living on the island. Kaelyn is trying to make some positive life changes and open up a bit more when a virus hits the island. You follow the story as Kaelyn’s world falls apart. You feel her hope and her despair along the way. It is definitely a worthwhile read. It could have been better. There could have been a little more attention to some of the details. Certain aspects of the story could have been a bit more dramatic. It felt a bit like Ms. Crewe was holding back a bit, perhaps for the sake of the intended audience (teens). But that holding back took a bit of the excitement out of the book. I felt the love interest in the book was a little bit forced. Who gets a boyfriend when everyone is dropping dead from a virus? The characters were well developed. The story felt complete. I liked it.

Parental blurb since this is young adult fiction- violence, but not as graphic as it could have been. Some cursing. Mentions of homosexuality. That’s about it. I don’t have a recommended age, because that would really be up to you on this one.

Posted in On The Reading Chair

The Dead And Gone – A Review

“37. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

When you think end of the world, do you think… BORING! No, I’m sure you don’t. Well, this apocolyptic beginning to a series (*eye roll*) is just that. You’ll read bits and pieces that have no climax and fall to the background of the story. You’ll read pages and pages about sitting around wondering when the food will run out. Even the end of the book is boring. The climax is just boring. I’m not rushing to read the rest of the series anytime soon. I’m not sure I could take it.”

That was my review of the first book in this series. I guess I got bored enough to continue on in the series.

I expected The Dead and Gone  to pick up where Life As We Knew It left off. It didn’t. Which was probably a very good thing. The Dead and Gone is a story of another family during the same apocalyptic event as the first book in the series. Different city. Different characters. Same end of the world. While the second in the trilogy was better than the first, it was still extremely boring. The world should end with a bang! Right? Well, not in these books. In these books they (SPOILER ALERT) starve and freeze to death. How exciting! (That last bit was in sarcastic font.)

Honestly, don’t waste your time with these books unless you’ve reached the end of all of apocalyptic fiction out there, then maybe read these. While, yes, this is probably the most realistic of apocalyptic tales, it isn’t the most exciting. The moon moves closer to the earth. Floods. Volcanos. Earthquakes. Colder than normal temperature. No food. Starving. Freezing to death. Everyone gets the flu.

Parental blurb since this is a young adult book- It’s pretty safe. No sex. No drugs. Mentions of legal alcohol use. No cursing. Nothing too graphic. People die, but it is the end of the world, so someone has to die, right?

 

 

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