I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

princess-xI started reading this book because I saw an audiobook version of it at my local library. Upon reading the description of the book I decided reading the physical book would be better than listening to the audio version for one main, and very important reason. This book is part graphic novel, and the graphic novel is VERY important.

This book is about two girls, Libby and May, who become best friends in elementary school. They are both a little on the awkward side and like nerdy things like comic books, drawing, writing, ninjas, etc. Together they create a comic book character whom they name Princess X. Fast forward a couple years and Libby and her mother have passed away in a car accident, taking Princess X with her to the grave. Fast forward three more years and May, whose parents got divorced shortly after Libby died, is visiting her father back in her home city. As she wanders the city she starts seeing Princess X everywhere. There are stickers, and patches on backpacks, finally she discovers the Princess X webcomic and knows that somehow Libby survived the car accident (which May discovers was MORE than a simple accident) and needs help from her best friend. The webcomic is littered with easter eggs that only May would understand.With the help of her new hacker friend, Trick, May begins a quest to find the creator of the Princess X comic, however, there is a very dangerous person also looking.

This book was so good I could barely put it down. It’s fast paced and the mystery element is very intriguing. The story is so compelling that i didn’t pause while reading to make notes, so now I have to try and remember things after the fact. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the lack of romance. Trick and May are friends, but not romantic. Sure, there is potential for it to develop but that isn’t what the story was about. The story is about solving the riddles in the Princess X comic, and saving Libby. I also really enjoyed the relationship between may and her father. May’s father truly wanted to help May find Libby, even though he wasn’t sure it would come to fruition. I like that there was a positive male father figure in this story.

The comic book element to the story was awesome. It was really neat to read bits of the comic and try and figure out the easter eggs before May did. I can’t imagine that the story would be as compelling without the comic book sections to go along with it.

That basically about it for this review. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads because the story is just so interesting. Cherie Priest has a true gift for storytelling and describing the setting of the story. I felt almost like i was with May and Trick during their whole adventure. I highly recommend reading this

Feed by M. T. Anderson

Feed by M. T. Anderson

Feed by M. T. Anderson

This book… Hmm… well… How to start… I don’t think I would have read this book on my own, but it’s part of my reading list for the fall so I had to. I’m not a huge fan of dystopian fiction to begin with, and I know had I any choice I would have dropped this book after the first page because of the slang. Because I didn’t much care for this book, and I read it a long time ago I am not going to write a lengthy review for it.

This book describes everything I hope the future is not, but horrifyingly enough I feel this is the direction our future is headed in. Everyone is so ignorant of the events of the world, consumerism is the only thing that matters, nature has all but been destroyed (they can’t even go near the ocean without wearing masks), animal body parts are grown rather than farming livestock, children are taught how to be a good shopper rather than critical thinking, or you know, math or proper English.

The slang, as I mentioned already, was one of the deterring factors for me. I just couldn’t understand what they were saying. Even the adults spoke like the teenagers. It was hard to decode what the characters were saying and I found it did not get easier as the book went on. I recognize that the way the characters spoke was intentional, symbolizing the decline of our language, but it still really bothered me.

Another thing I didn’t like about the book was how screwed over Violet was because of her shopping habits. Basically it was “oh, you don’t conform so we’re not to going help you.” What kind of message is that sending to teenagers? I get that this book is supposed to be tragic and dystopian but impressionable teens reading this book are going to read that as “I have to be like everyone else in order to survive.” Violet was the only character willing to be unique and she died because of it. Not the kind of message I would want my kids or students to read.

One thing I really liked about Feed, though was Titus’s reaction to Violet’s terminal illness. It was the only thing that seemed real in this book. He found out she was sick and withdrew from her and tried to detach himself from her. I know that is cold and people want to believe they are good enough to stick with the person they love once they get sick, but though I’m not proud to admit it, I can tell you from personal experience that being a teenager and seeing someone slowly die in front of you is not the kind of thing you want to go through. It’s scary and uncomfortable and the only thing you want to do is get away from it.

Regardless of all the things I didn’t like about the book, I think Anderson did a great job of getting his message (warning would be more accurate) across. This book made me feel disturbed and i think that is what the author wanted to do. Scare people into realizing where we could end up if we continue on the path we are on. So, kudos, M. T. Anderson for scaring me poopless.

And I’m Back!

Hello Internetland!! It has been quite a long time since I’ve updated, but I have a good excuse! I’ve been away at grad school for the last eight months earning a Master’s of Library and Information Studies degree. Now you’re probably thinking, pssshh, she could have TOTALLY updated her blog during school. Nuh Uh! Grad school is time consuming. For realz, yo. I was spending 15+ hours a day at school some days. It was intense. I did have some time to read leisurely, but I didn’t have time to review the books I read.

So, I thought I will do a bunch of mini reviews of the books I read since starting school!

In reading order (sort of):

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

  • I can’t believe the ending. Seriously, what?! Other than the ending of the series I enjoyed the stories! It was interesting picking out all the little Christian allegories. One thing that I thought about after reading was about Susan. A lot of people think she wasn’t allowed to go to Narnia in the end because she grew into a woman and was more interested in lipstick and boys. I feel differently. I think the reason she wasn’t able to go to Narnia in the end was because she stopped believing in Aslan and Narnia. If she had believed in Narnia she would have been on the train, and therefore would have been able to go to Narnia with the others.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • I actually listened to this as an audiobook! It was interesting to listen rather than read a book. As for the story itself, I enjoyed it and found it to be better than the movie by far. There are so many little things they leave out in the movie that are important, such as the little gifts they get while in the arena, and Katniss’ and Haymitch’s relationship. I also thought it is a lot more sinister than the book. The end scene with the dogs was freaking scary in the book! I have decided to wait to read the next two books until after their movies come out. I always dislike the movie if I read the book first, but always like the book and the movie if I read the book after.

The Story of Libraries by Poopface– I mean Fred Lerner

  • I wrote a whole report about this book as an assignment during the school year. This book is a non-fiction history of libraries starting from Sumerians to modern time. I thought it was very informative, however, I feel Lerner is a bigot. He doesn’t talk about libraries anywhere but America and Europe, and he basically said that women are the reason libraries aren’t respected or funded in modern times. I may or may not post the report I wrote at a later time. I’ll have to edit it and shorten it, though.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

  • What can I say about this book? I was so excited to read it, and had to wait months for a copy to become available at the library, but when I read it I was underwhelmed. It was just not as interesting or exciting as the first book. The author does a good job of psyching you up for the next book though, so maybe the third book will be better.

A Wizard from Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin

  • A dear friend of mine gave me the whole Earthsea series for my birthday last year so I decided to read it while away at school. I only got through two of them, and honestly, I can’t remember what really happens. In this one there is a wizard… he’s being followed by a dark shadow, literally, some creature made of darkness is following him. The story follows the main character from childhood to adulthood and it’s all about his quest to defeat the darkness that follows him.

Tombs of Atuan by Ursula LeGuin

  • this is the second book in the Earthsea series, and I think I enjoyed it more than the first. The main character is a priestess and it is interesting following her story. Eventually she meets up with the wizard from the first book and they become friends.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

  • During the school year I went to a library conference at the Edmonton Public Library and Cory Doctorow was the keynote speaker. It was fascinating to listen to! His book, Little Brother, relates directly to what his talk was about — security on the internet. Little Brother is about a boy and his friends who are seriously in the wrong place at the wrong time and they are mistaken for terrorists. All but one of the kids are released, and the main character makes it his personal mission to get his friend back by totally messing with The Man’s mind.

Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

  • I got a Kobo Glo for Christmas last year and Lady of Devices was one of the free ebooks you could download from the Kobo website. I am a fledgling steampunk enthusiast and found the idea of a steampunk novel thrilling! This book is all about a young lady who’s family comes across some hard times, and she if forced on to the streets where she adopts/is adopted by a small gang of street children. She becomes there leader and helps them survive by creating interesting devices that help them win against other street gangs. I have downloaded the next two books, but I’m waiting to read them until the semester starts. For one of my classes I have to do a project where I have to read a certain amount of YA novels under the same theme. My theme is going to be steampunk.

Out of Time by Monique Martin

  • This book was another free ebook from Kobo. It’s about time-travel. I actually really enjoyed it! The main characters are a middle aged professor and his young female assistant. I know this sounds like a bad pr0n, but I assure you it’s better than that! There’s mystery, excitement, and it’s set in the 1920s! How awesome is that?! Very awesome, in case you weren’t sure.

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

  • During the school year I got a part-time job at the University Library as a PAC Request Retriever. Basically, people who are too lazy to go up to the stacks to get their own books put in a request, and then I go and get the books for them. I found Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series while up in the stacks and started reading like crazy (even though I had assignments to do >_>). Bitten is the first in the series and follows a female werewolf (the ONLY female werewolf) named Elena, as she tries to live a normal life, away from the Pack. Despite her best efforts she gets caught up in a war between the Mutts and the Pack and has to fight to save herself and the man she truly loves.

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

  • Stolen is the second book in the Women of the Otherworld series and, again, follows Elena. The difference in this book is there are other supernatural creatures as well: witches, half-demons, shamans, sorcerers, necromancers, basically anything you can think of. In this book Elena is kidnapped by a supernatural creature collector and the Pack needs to team up with a menagerie of other supernatural beings to save their friends and family.

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

  • The third book in the Women of the Otherworld series is about a witch named Paige, who we first meet in Stolen. In this book Paige is taking care of a young witch named Savanah who we also meet in Stolen, but someone is fighting for custody of Savanah. Paige finds herself teaming up with a sorcerer (witches and sorcerers are like oil and water. Absolute hate for each other) in order to protect Savanah.

Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

  • I can’t really talk about this book without ruining something from the third book, so all I will say is this book is awesome.

The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

  • I read this book upon coming home for summer. Tamora Pierce has always been one of my favourite authors and the Song of the Lioness was one of her series that I started when I was in high school and never got the chance to finish. Finally, I finished. The story is all about Alana, a girl who wants to become a knight. Her and her twin brother switch places and she gets to go to the castle (disguised as a boy) to learn to become a knight. The series follows Alana’s journey to knighthood and beyond. I don’t want to give too much away, so you should go read it! Very exciting! Excellent, strong female protagonist. Love stories. Mystery. This series has it all. Oh, and Magic. Yeah. MAGIC.

Inferno by Dan Brown

  • I just finished this book yesterday, so I will do a proper review within the next few days! Be sure to watch for it!

Over the course of this summer I will be doing a lot of reading for my Young Adult Literature class, and I am going to start a page for my LIS 515 book reviews and for article reviews. I am excited to get back into reading and look forward to reviewing some books!

Textbooks Textbooks Textbooks

Hi Internetland!

I’ve been busy these last couple days with not reading. Bad me! Most of my course work is reading so I need to keep on top of it. I’m already falling behind a little.

So I’ve read my chapters for my ELIB class and most of my chapters for my Religious Studies class.

The textbook for my ELIB class is painful to read because it’s so boring. I hate boring textbooks. The chapters were all about introductions for Young Adult Literature, the difference between Children’s literature, Adolescent Literature and Young Adult Literature and the ever so exciting History of Young Adult Literature.

I did find some information which I thought is really  interesting. Back in the day there were two types of  books for young people. There were Domestic Novels and Dime Novels.

Guess who the Domestic Novels were for? Well, let’s see, who are generally the domestics of today’s society? Women! Domestic novels were for women. Back in ye ole days of gender discrimination these books would teach girls, through stories of the orphan girl sent to live with horrible family members who meets a tall dark handsome stranger and must choose between her morals or her passion, how to be good little obedient house wives. The story usually ends with the girl choosing to be obedient to her family and learning to be in a submissive role.

Dime novels were for the other gender. Not men so much as young(ish) boys. They were stories about adventure and exciting happenings usually set in the wild, wild west. They were sold at the general store for 10 cents but then they figured out that they were too expensive and dropped the price down to 5 cents. I think these books were meant to keep young boys from getting in to trouble.

My Religious Studies textbook is weird. It’s actually on a CD Rom with a bunch of PDF documents and they were all written by professors at my university. It’s not as expensive as a paper copy and I’m saving the enviroment by getting this CD (and I borrowed it from a friend so I’m saving my wallet as well) but it’s so hard to read off my computer. I have a tiny, tiny screen. Well, it’s not that small but it’s still too small to comfortably read.

Anyway, I read about Hinduism. Hinduism is fascinating! Did you know that there is no set definition for Hinduism and the term Hinduism is actually an umbrella term that the early Muslim explorers gave the religions of India? The more you know! Islam is a monotheistic religion and Hinduism is … multitheistic? Not sure if that’s the right term but anyway, the Muslims were all like, “Whoa! There’s so much for us to process here and we can’t remember all of it so we’ll just call you Hinduism.” They kinda thought it was weird that there were more than one god being worshipped. Islam was a relatively young religion at that time as well so they were not used to different concepts.

One of my favourite things about Hinduism so far is that they don’t discriminate against other religions. They believe that all religions will accomplish the same goal. It doesn’t matter if we worship one Almighty God, or several gods, goddesses, and demigods. They are accepting of all.

Well, Internetland, I’m going to sign off for now. I’ll talk more about Hinduism later. My next post will be about all the crazy $#!7 that went down in Harold Pinter’s The Room. Like I said: Layers.