*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Add link on Freda's site.
Are there any fictional characters whom you have emulated (or tried to)? Who and why?Bookish Sarah asks an interesting assortment of questions:
What literary character do you feel is most like you personality-wise (explain)?I think many characters in books have similar qualities to me. Usually main characters like to erad, are more introverted, and have a strong imagination. There isn't just one that I can relate to, I can relate to most main characters in that sense. I haven't read a book and thought that the character sounded EXACTLY like me. I don't know that it's possible, really.
The Rag and Bone Shop
by Robert Cormier
Summary: Jason, almost 13, is a shy, ineffectual child, who takes being bullied as a matter of course--but if he sees someone else being pushed around, he may strike back. When the seven-year-old girl who lives next door is murdered, Jason is horrified. He was the last one to see her alive. He wants to do everything he can to help find the killer, so when the police come calling, he tells them all he knows. What he doesn't know is that Trent, a detective adept at extracting confessions, has been called into the case--and Trent has Jason in his sights as the murderer. Cormier presents a cat-and-mouse game so tense that readers will feel they must escape the pages just as Jason wants to extricate himself from the stuffy, cell-like room where his interrogation is taking place.
Review: I gave this 5 out of 5 stars. I wish I could give it a thousand, like the last Cormier novel.
“I must lie down where all the ladders start, In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.”
This novel is amazing. False confessions are recognized now, but they weren’t always recognized. Jason only wants to help and the police are feeling pressure from political leaders to find the murderer of Alicia. They hear about Trent and his interrogation skills and call him in, with their sights set on Jason. The majority of the book is inside the interrogation room with Trent and Jason and it’s horrifying. Every leading remark makes me cringe. I think the worst part is knowing that despite the fact that this novel is fiction, this is very real occurrence.
I kept thinking about how terrible it must feel having someone force you to confess to something by making you so uncomfortable that you begin to doubt your own thoughts. A simple remark like, “I enjoy horror novels” can be turned into motive for a crime. I think about all the things I enjoy, like horror novels and how terrible it would be to have someone try to analyze me and pin me to a crime. What’s worse is that the mother of this child thinks he’s helping in an investigation, which is far different from being interrogated. He doesn’t know he should have his mother there or a lawyer. He trusts this police officer. He doesn’t understand what is happening. He’s being led into this terrible twist of words.
And what about the psychological damage an interrogation of this magnitude can cause?
Jesus… this book gives me the shivers. It was so magnificently written. I can’t believe I’m just now discovering this author. I want to read everything he’s ever written!
An absolute MUST read novel.
I Am the Cheese
by Robert Cormier
Summary: In this complicated, chilling novel of the savagery of modern society, Adam mentally relives his past while facing the interrogation and trauma of his present life as a guest of the government. An ALA Notable Children's Book.
Review: I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, and if I could give it a thousand, I would.
This book was absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t put it down, couldn’t stop turning the page to find out what it was that he knew. It was extremely well written.
Often times, when I read a book this good, I don’t know what to say. It seems I can review terrible books and good books, but great books always sort of leave me speechless and I can’t begin to describe it.
I work part time in a used bookstore and The Outsiders came in and I told the owner how I was thinking about buying it. And he said, “If you like that book, you should really check out Hinton’s other novels. We don’t have any, but we do have some Cormier books that you may enjoy.”
He was definitely right. Just last week, a customer came in talking about this book and raving about it. He was right, too.
I can’t really say anything except it’s well written, dramatic, kind of dark, and incredibly interesting. It’s a must read. Since it is a Young Readers book, it’s fairly simple to read, though it is mature.
by Christopher Moore
Summary: Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley Dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her. Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy (to his friends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen-turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway. But all that changes when a beautiful undead redhead walks through the door ... and proceeds to rock Tommy's life -- and afterlife -- in ways he never imagined possible.
Review: I gave this 4 out of 5 stars.
I picked this book up at my local used bookstore because of the cover. I was intrigued. I thought this would be a light and humorous book, and it kind of was, but I wasn’t prepared for the wonderful writing. Moore was descriptive and kept to the standard rules of vampires, which I enjoyed. I don’t mind books that break some of the rules, but I prefer the standard ones to be kept, like staying out of sunlight, drinking blood, having fangs, etc.
The book begins with Jody, the main character, getting attacked in an alley. She wakes up with a burnt hand and a handful of money. I absolutely loved this. I suppose I am used to stories in which the vampires that get turned automatically know what is now expected of them or they have their maker mentor them. This scenario was definitely different and kept my interest. After all, every author uses different vampire rules or behavior, so I kept reading along trying to learn what kind of vampire Jody will be and how she will cope.
I didn’t care much for Tommy, her human boyfriend, but this isn’t a love story like most. It was rushed and neither Jody nor Tommy knew what to expect. They just knew they kind of need each other.
My favorite character is the Emperor. I should have noted that the book actually begins with him, but I had no idea he would play a major role. I thought what everyone who saw him on the street thought: he was a weird homeless guy. Turns out, he was a very witty and interesting character!
Without giving too much away, I’m pretty blown away by how awesome this book was. Like I said, I expected something light and humorous. Even though humor was delivered, it was so well written that I found myself enjoying it on a higher level than I anticipated. I will definitely keep my eye out for other books by Moore.
hosted by Should Be Reading
This week’s musing asks…
Have you ever found a book out of the blue, read it, and then had it be surprisingly good — one that stuck with you for years? If so, what book was it?
Definitely. I have been known to pick up books on the fly at a bookstore without knowing anything about it. The most recent one was The Glass Castle. I knew I heard of it, but didn’t even look at the synopsis. I just bought it and took it home and started reading. I didn’t expect it to be quite that powerful or shocking. Now it remains one of those books I recommend all the time.
A good 30% of my read books may fit into this category.
I’m a little less inclined to pick up random books than I used to be. Using Goodreads has helped me organize my TBR list a lot better, but that doesn’t mean a book doesn’t catch my eye at the bookstore and will eventually find its way onto my bookshelf.
I think some of the best books can be ones that you are simply drawn to.
by Scott Westerfeld
Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.
Review: I gave this book 4 out of 4 stars.
At first, I was not impressed with the book. I understood what was happening, but trying to read through all of the pretty speak was so aggravating. If I hear anyone use the word bubbly ever again, I think I’ll scream. I just can’t stand the way pretties talk, like how things are “pretty-making” and what not. I get that we are reading through Tally and that’s sort of how things ARE in New Pretty Town, but I could NOT wait for her to get back to normal.
With that being said, I thought the story was definitely interesting and I like the way it continued. I enjoyed the character of Zane a lot. I never really felt that Tally was really meant to be with David in Uglies, so when I met Zane in Pretties, I thought he was a far better match. I think he knew the right way to push Tally without being too much, too extreme, too different, etc. Growing up in that kind of society, I would imagine it’s far easier to relate to someone still on your level as opposed to David, who had never grown up in that society.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but there were some really thought provoking aspects of it along Tally’s adventure and interesting developments with Peris and Shay. I thought Tally became a little more independent in this book. One of my major complaints about the Uglies was how all the decent decisions Tally made never seemed to be her own, truly. I felt like she grew a little bolder in this one.
I will definitely continue this series. I recently saw the Uglies is going to be a movie and I’m excited about it. Their whole world is so different than ours and I think it will adapt really well on screen. It does take quite a bit of imagination to picture everything in the books, but I like that about it.
Hosted by Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I am currently reading Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. I’m excited to continue the series.
I recently finished reading Letters In Cardboard Boxes by Abby Slovin. Check out my GIVEAWAY and author interview here: GIVEAWAY and Interview! and check out my review here: Letters In Cardboard Boxes Review
I think I’ll probably start on one of the Robert Cormier books I have. It all depends on if I receive Fated in the mail or not.
How long have you been writing?
I've always loved to write. Little poems and short stories used to be all over my journals as a child. Its been a "secret" hobby of mine for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until relatively recently that it became a serious endeavor.
Is Letters in Cardboard Boxes your first novel?
Yes, Letters is my first novel. I started writing in the Fall of 2007 and it took me three years to finish.What led you or inspired you to write this story?
How did you pick the title?
Basically, I started with a number of working titles that were much more vague and obscure and one day I was writing a section of the novel -- I can't remember which exactly -- but it just occurred to me very suddenly. I loved the images that such a title evoked, so I kept it.
I try to keep my characters completely fictional simply because I love writing truly fictional characters, I love the challenge of creating a sense of a genuine person from a fictional place. The one exception to this is the character Phila who is very loosely based on a homeless man I met in college. Very groovy sort of guy with an interesting world view, so I found a place for him in the story.Do any of the characters reflect friends or family members in your life?
Are you currently working on another book?
Yes, I'm working on two new projects right now. The first is a monthly feature on a blog called the Dunce Academy about a recent college graduate searching for work (link below). The other will be my next novel, called 10:15 On A Tuesday, the story of an unlikely friendship between an upper-middle class widower and a psychic (link below as well).
Some of my favorite books are One Hundred Years of Solitude, White Oleander, Ishmael, and A Thousand Splendid Suns. And, I love everything by Kurt Vonnegut. My other favorite authors are Ruth Ozeki and Charles Baxter.What is your favorite book or author?
Favorite time of the day to write?
I'm always more productive late at night. In my "perfect world", I wouldn't have to wake up until noon and I could write every night from Midnight until 3AM.Any advice to aspiring writers?
What have you learned about writing or publishing since releasing this book?If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?I have such a long list of places I want to go. Right now, Portugal is calling to me for some reason, but the list is endless.
Thank you for these questions, Megan!I'm so excited that I got the chance to interview author Abby Slovin. Enter to win an E copy of her novel, Letters In Cardboard Boxes below.