Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

I Heart You, You Haunt Me June 1, 2012

Filed under: book reviews,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:14 pm
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My review of I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, in verse.  Of course.

.

A verse novel

is like dessert.

Not double chocolate fudge cake

or creme brulee.

More like

lime jello

or

custard.

You want to love it

because it’s dessert,

but somehow

 it doesn’t quite satisfy.

There’s a lack of depth here.

The message is simple

and the path is straight.

Apparently,

I like more

complexity

in relationships

and characters.

More conflict.

Something

more.

.

Lest you think I’m just negative toward all verse novels, here’s my review of Wendy Phillip’s Fishtailing, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Echoes November 24, 2011

In my on-going delight over having discovered and devoured Diana Gabaldon last month, I have read the last book in the Outlander series twice this month (I read through most of the series twice since I discovered them. Just because.

I had a bunch of ponderings about Echo in the Bone, and was hoping to spend some quality time on the Outlander Book Club forum. Unfortunately, having Americans involved, they have closed the forum for the Thanksgiving holiday (imagine! shutting down the internet for a holiday!) NOT being an American, I’m not very impressed. I did a search for other discussions and came across this amusing review.  I thought you might be entertained by it as much as I was.

Having shared that, and not being able to play on the forum, I shall have to listen to Voyager and cut out that linen tunic, I guess.

 

lonnnnnnnnng walk November 17, 2011

Filed under: book reviews — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:16 am
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I’m reading The Long Walk for my book club.

I’ve decided I don’t like expository biographies that don’t use dialogue or skillfully develop suspense or tension.

I suspect the movie is actually going to be better than the book.

That’s saying something, but it’d be hard to be worse.

 

interviews October 19, 2011

Filed under: book reviews,Grace Awakening,Reading,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:10 pm
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I like interviews.  I enjoy meeting people, and I enjoy the fun of discovery that comes from questions.

Recently I was asked if Grace, Ben and Josh would consent to participate in an interview.  With some difficulty, the three of them were assembled in one place, and this is the result:

http://oneminutebooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/good-characters-make-you-feel-like-you.html

 

getting it October 12, 2011

I was impressed with OneMinuteBooks’ review of Grace Awakening for a couple of specific reasons. Of course, I like that she’s enthusiastic in her praise, but specifically, I love that she GETS it.

She understands that since Grace is the narrator, the reader has only as much information as Grace does. (Well, they get a little more, as they get to peek in on those 3rd person mythic realm dialogues that Grace doesn’t know about). Yes. This is confusing. Yes. This was intentional.  Yes.  This means you are Grace, in all her confusion.

I like that the reviewer gets the mythical allusions, and understands the purpose behind not telling the reader straight out. Yes. You’re supposed to be smart enough to be able to look this up yourself (with the help of the glossary at the back).  Yes. I expect that you are smart enough to figure out that there is another story happening, beyond the one that Grace knows about.   Congratulations on discovering the puzzle pieces that Grace doesn’t understand!   Reading between the lines and interpreting the additional clues take skill!  Grace hasn’t figured it out.  I’m glad when readers can!  😀

Once upon a time I was told “Grace Awakening is Twilight for intelligent girls.” I think this is true. Most people will get the surface story, but there is a lot more at play here than is apparent on the surface. It makes me happy when someone not only gets it, but actually appreciates that it’s there.

Followers of Athena, I salute you! This book was written for you!

Thanks Amanda for understanding what Grace is all about.  After a couple of weird reviews this week when I suspected the reviewers hadn’t actually read the book, this gave me faith in the process again.  Not everyone will get it, or like it, but there are more out there who do!

To read the OneMinuteBooks review visit here.

 

Review of Matched by Ally Condie September 27, 2011

Filed under: book reviews,Commentary,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:14 am
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First let me say that I LOVE the cover of this book. I thought it was absolutely fantastic, and although I’m still trying to figure out exactly what the symbolism is (I get the green dress- but why the bubble?), I think it is a very powerful image.

I enjoyed this book. On Goodreads there are a lot of angry statements that it’s a rip off of The Giver.  I appreciate the many comparisons to The Giver, but the oft-repeated statement that it’s a copy are unjust. While there are some similarities, I see more in common with Orwell’s 1984, Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, or the 1970’s move Logan’s Run. It’s dystopian literature. There are only so many ways to interpret the theme! A few concepts are going to overlap. I don’t hold that against Condie.

I like the protagonist, Cassia. I like her feisty nature and her thoughtful approach. She knows she’s good at things, and she isn’t humble about it. I like the logical development of her awareness and her conscience. I do think the impetuousness is going to cause trouble. It’s inevitable, otherwise there wouldn’t be more books coming, right?

I like Xander. I like the strong security of him. I like his unquestioning devotion. I understand the attraction of Ky, with his mysterious past and strange knowledge, but personally, I would say good-bye, think fondly of him, and stick with the steadfast spirit of devotion that Xander provides willingly. (That’s a Bright picking Jim kind of choice, I realise).   I wouldn’t walk into the trouble that Cassia is going to get into because of Ky. But then, I don’t live in a dystopian novel.

Thankfully.

 

hourglass September 25, 2011

I belong to a YA reading group on Goodreads.com that had Hourglass by  Myra McEntire as its monthly book in August.  I really enjoyed this story of a teen who is fresh out of the psych hospital for hallucinating.  She wasn’t hallucinating though, she was seeing through time bubbles.  I love Emerson the protagonist- she’s sarcastic, feisty, and tortured.  I enjoyed the time travelling component that came up toward the end of the book.

The characters in this book were well crafted and became very real for me. In fact, they became so real that as I read Hourglass, I had a new experience. I kept hearing echoes of my own characters, and I kept thinking how well Grace and Ben would love to hang out with Emerson and Michael. I could see them all taking on the bad dudes together. How cool would it be for Emerson and Michael to go back and visit Grace and Ben in one of their past lives? (There’s a project for some fan-fic writer).

I had never had that experience before, and it was quite fascinating.  Emerson is tougher than Grace, but she shares the same bent for sarcasm and healthy doubt about the male in her world.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Very entertaining read, Myra McEntire! Thanks a lot!

 

 
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