Saturday, April 24, 2010

My 1st Blogoversary! This calls for a CONTEST!!!

That's right, I've been blogging for a whole year! Now I could go on and on about how it feels like I just started, and how I can't believe it's been a year already, but we've all read that a million times already so I'll just cut to chase. I'm having a contest! What will you win? I'm glad you asked! One lucky winner will be the proud recipient of an original work of zombie art painted by yours truly. I don't currently have the technical ability to post a pic of said artwork, so I'll describe it to you. Picture this: a shambling zombie silhouette on a gilded backdrop with a smattering of blood and gorey goodness. I call it "Shamblin' Man," as in Lord, I was born a shamblin' man! Try to eat the living, I'm doin' the best I can! Anyone know that song? No? Doesn't matter!
Anyway, here's how to enter:
You must be a follower, old or new, I don't care.
You must be a resident of the New World as I'm unsure of how many stamps it takes to ship to Europe.
You must fill out the form below.
And you must love zombies. I won't be budged on this one. ;)


Contest ends May 15, 2010. The winner will be drawn via random.org.
Have fun, my lovely horde!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My take On The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event—an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.
With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

The Dead and the Gone was another slow starter, just like Life as We Knew It, but it was a much more thrilling book overall.
As the story progressed, the tension, and consequently my inability to put the book down, increased. Pfeffer poured more and more dangers and difficulties on Alex, a devout Puerto Rican-American with high hopes. Seeing him struggle to survive the seemingly insurmountable tribulations was like watching him get painted into an ever shrinking corner; you just couldn’t see a way out!
While all the hazards in The Dead and the Gone were the same as its companion (Moon struck by asteroid and knocked out of orbit resulting in riots, tidal waves, famine, plagues, and climate change.), this book was worlds apart from Life as We Knew It. The urban environment of NYC really ramped up the excitement. Alex had to deal with food shortages, missing family members, angry mobs, an atmosphere of death, and the degeneration of his beloved city while trying to keep both his sisters and his faith alive.
I give The Dead and the Gone
…Three and a half zombies.
This series really puts you into the story. While the dialogue didn’t always ring true, I was still pulled into Alex’s struggle. It made me realize how fragile life is; not just life, but the way we live. It also showed me that if this sort of thing happened I’d be totally screwed.

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My take On Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Libba Bray has created an instant cult classic with this kaleidoscopic coming of age story. In Going Bovine we follow Cameron, a Grade-A underachiever, on an epic save-the-world mission fraught with peril, snow globes, happiness cults, dead jazz musicians, rogue prions, positrons, perhapsatrons, and black holes. He is joined on his quest by an unlikely host of companions, among them a hypochondriac dwarf he met in the fourth floor “smoking lounge,” a punk rock angel with pink hair and spray painted wings, and a Viking lawn gnome that might or might not be a Norse god.
This was a truly amazing book. I was just as entranced by the funhouse vision of pop culture as I was by picking apart the mysterious clues of Cameron’s deteriorating mind for hints of reality. Libba’s vision of “cool” was one of the highlights of the warped reality. It shone a stark light on the ludicrous idolatry paid to the great god Celebrity and the lengths people will go for their fifteen minutes of fame. Her account of the name brand world read like a Ray Bradbury-esque vision of the future; like the reality we know, just knocked ever so slightly off kilter.
This was also a book of questions, the most obvious of which being, “Is the trip real?” The second question posed, “Does it matter whether the trip’s real or not?” And finally, “What’s ‘real’ anyway?” I feel that the reader’s answers depend largely on what type of person they are. A realist-literal-type A person will say that the trip was totally bogus, a figment of a diseased mind. Me, I’m on the flip side of that argument. Reality is what you make of it. Who cares if Don Quixote’s giants were just windmills, he thought they were real and that’s all that mattered. If a boy falls in love with a hallucination, does that make the love any less real? I think not.
My only complaint is that the last chapter was a little supplipherous. It was cool and gave a hopeful, if not slightly ambiguous, spin to the ending, but I went back and reread the second-to-last chapter over. I felt that it was a better ending. But that's just me.
I wish I could've put the cover in this post, because it is my new favorite! I love the sad look in the cow's eyes, very "heading for the slaughter house," which is perfect.
I give Going Bovine
…Five zombies.
It’s pretty rare that I come across a book that feels like it’ll stand the test of time; a book that gives the distinct impression of having that special something that imbues it with staying power. I think Going Bovine has that quality. It’s in touch enough with reality to be relatable, yet removed enough to speak a necessary truth far down the road. A hilarious, heart breaking, hopeful, tragic, and truly triptastic read.

Happy reading,

IMM Back!

Get it? I'm backk? Like an IMM? *ahem*
Hellooo, bloggers! Boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here. But I really enjoyed my hiatus; I feel so rejuvenated! That may be due to the fact that I can have chocolate again, but who cares!

I hope y’all had a great Easter/Passover/spring break/whatever. Mine was awesome. I got about five pounds of chocolate for Easter, and I still have about half of it! Hurray for chocolate!
So anywhoo! Back to business! I figured an overdue IMM1 would be a good way to jump back in, so here’s the skinny on what I got, and from whence from it came, for the last forty days and nights.

From Ye Olde Library2:
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Manchev
The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott
Hold Still by Nina Lecour
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
The Dead and the Gone by Suzanne B. Pfeffer

In My Mailbox:
Roadkill by Rob Thurman, book 5 in the Cal Leandros series. I got this as an extra special goody from Perla of Imperial Beach Teens. Perla, you are made of awesome!

Okay, I know there’s more that I got over Lent, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is. I’m sure it’ll come to me eventually. Or, you know, maybe it won’t. That’s cool, too.

Happy reading, y’all!




Footnotes_________________________________________
1  Kudos to The Story Siren for starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2  These are just the books I finished or am still currently reading from the library. I was so busy with Lent/Easter stuff that I just didn’t have time to read everything I wanted to and ended up sending back a lot of things unread. Shame on you! I know, I know.

Blank Spaces Have Great Potential...