Friday, November 20, 2009


Specials is the third book in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies trilogy.  In this book, Tally and her best friend, Shay, have been transformed into Specials and made a new division of Special Circumstances called Cutters. This is a task force intended to hunt down and eradicate the New Smoke - their former friends.  But try as she might, Tally can't completely get rid of her fondness and love for the people in New Smoke or their cause.  So she is left to decide: embrace her new life as a Special and kill the New Smoke people or find away to take down the regime in charge of her City and start a new way of life for everybody.

I keep expecting the novelty of these books to wear off but it never does.  These books are well written, fast paced and intriguing.  Tally is a girl that is easy to identify with and to want to be.  I  had seen these books around the bookstores for a long time and thought they looked good but I never made that leap to picking them up and reading them.  Thanks to the Books on the Nighstand reading challenge and the Bart's Bookshelf reading challenge for giving me the incentive to finally pick them up and read them.  I'm glad I did.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Dead and The Gone

The Dead and the Gone is the follow up to Susan Beth Pfeffer's follow up to Life As We Knew It.  This book takes place in the same post-apocalyptic world as Life As We Knew It except that it's in New York City.  Seventeen year old Alex Morales and his two younger sisters, Briana and Julie, are left to survive on their own as both of their parents go missing on the day that the asteroid hits the moon.  Alex feels the pressure of having to fight to keep both of his sister's alive and safe.  New York City becomes a wasteland - people are fighting for food, getting sick, and dying in the streets (from hunger, riots, suicide and the elements).  As Alex and his sister go to school, they fight to get around rats that are eating the bodies on the streets. 

This book was just as enthralling as Life As We Knew It.  I couldn't bring myself to stop reading it once I started.  Pfeffer makes it impossible not to identify and feel for the characters.  The world she writes is believable.  Also, it doesn't seem like some distant future.  It could be tomorrow or tonight and we could be in the same situation as her characters.  I highly recommend both of these books.  And, although they both take place after the same event, they involve different characters so you can read them in any order. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So, I just finished reading Pretties by Scott Westerfeld.  I think it just might have been better than Uglies, book one in the series.  In this book, Tally has become a pretty.  She has everything she ever wanted - beauty, fun clothes, a boyfriend, and the world at her fingertips.  Tally is very popular because of her previous life of crime with the Rusties.  But, underneath it all, Tally feels like something is missing. She gets even more confused when her memories of her time in the Smoke start coming back to her and she begins to feel a longing for that life.  This book was very engrossing.  Every time I was forced to put it down because my lunch hour was over or it was time to go to bed, I felt a slight sense of loss.  Why, oh why, didn't I go ahead and put the next book on hold with the library?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Soul to Lose

My Soul to Lose was a complete surprise for me.  Audible offered it as a free audiobook to their members and I downloaded it and listened to it.  It was short - only two hours; however, it was captivating.  Kaylee Cavanaugh is a teenager who lives with her aunt and uncle.  Kaylee suffers from what she calls panic attacks.  In reality, she has the ability to tell when someone is about to die.  This ability causes her great pain and lands her in a mental institution when she has a breakdown at the mall. 

I enjoyed listening to this book a lot and found myself wanting more at the end.  I felt like the story was just getting started good when it ended.  Luckily, there is a sequel! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Syren, Septimus Heap, Book 5

Syren is the fifth book of the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage.  Before I get into Syren, I'd like to say just a bit about the series in general.  For those of you that have never read these books - get them and read them.  You won't regret it.  The Septimus Heap books are about a young orphaned boy who finds out when he's about ten that (1) he's not really an orphan and (2) he's a wizard.  Septimus is actually the seventh son of a seventh son so, according to legend, he's supposed to be a powerful wizard.  Septimus becomes the extraordinary wizard's apprentice and from that point on the books focus on Septimus' "training" and the scrapes that he gets into as he grows. 

At first, I thought the series was going to be a lot like Harry Potter (young orphaned boy who finds out that he's a wizard) but they ended up being completely different.  Yes, both series involve young boys and magic but the Septimus Heap books are more humorous than dark.  Also, they are obviously geared towards a slightly younger audience.  Angie Sage does an amazing job of using words.  These books make me laugh out loud.  I have listened to every one of them on audiobooks narrated by Gerard Doyle.  Doyle is one of the best narrators out there and does a wonderful job of making the characters come alive.

In Syren, Septimus finds himself stranded on one of the Islands of Syren with his best friend, Beetle, and Princess Jenna and his dragon, Spitfyre.  Septimus' brother Nikko and Snorri also end up on the island.  Septimus learns that the Syren is involved in a plot to take over the castle and the Wizard Tower and sets out to rescue everyone.  This story involves syrens, djinn, cat men, and evil pirates - so there is plenty of adventure for everyone.