Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Break Book Review

After Christmas Dinner, I was pretty much done with expending effort of any kind. I've been, as Kuba, our last exchange student would say, 'chillin'. On the couch. Reading. Towards the beginning of the break, we stopped by the library, and I checked out a huge stack of books that looked interesting to my boys. Particularly my older ones. Call it an insurance policy. With all this time on my hands, and nothing to do (that I wanted to do anyway) I jacked their books and read them. All but one of them. I read two books of the Alex Rider series. They were surprisingly intense! My 11 year old doesn't like them for that reason. I spent several hours in each book wondering how this 14 year old boy would survive the day. You see, in case you haven't seen the movie trailer, he's a spy. The books were almost spotlessly clean, you may see an occasional 'hell', and were devoid of sensuality. They were pretty serious adventures though.
I found another series by the same author, also involving a young teen boy who is a reluctant spy. These ones have a whole different feel. The main character, Nick, lives with his older brother who is a private detective and is practically witless. There is so much funny banter, silly wordplay and slapstick comedy, that you would never know the two series' were written by the same person. This series was squeaky, squeaky clean and very silly. There was still all the mortal peril we come to expect from a spy novel, but it was way more fun.
I checked out a book on CD, to listen to while I was cleaning; because you know, I clean for HOURS. Especially this Christmas break. I want you to know, that at no part of this book was I just sitting at the computer staring at the mesmerizing visualizations on the screen. Never. This was a seriously good book. It's about a girl in the seventh grade, who is so cerebral that she doesn't connect on any emotional level with her peers. My entire brood of boys was riveted to this book. It had an ending that I actually teared up for, and that's saying something. This is one of the best stories I've heard in a long time. The story is written from two points of view, and each girl's thought patterns are fleshed out so completely that you are sure they're real people.
The last book, has about 350 pages, and I read it in a day. I read it last, because it's about a dragon, and I'm a little prejudiced against books with dragon's that aren't Harry Potter. They seem like they're all the same. This one, was so beautifully written that when I absolutely had to put it down, I spent my time talking about how gripping the story was. It was originally written in Italian, and only published in English last year. It's not really about a dragon. It's about what happens to people when fear and ignorance take away humanity. It was a very satisfying read, with a great ending and a powerful message.
So you see, my friends, my time wasn't wasted. All that time curled up on the couch with either an enormous bowl of popcorn or a huge bag of chocolates was actually an investment. Right?


Anonymous said...

This was the perfect day for this post. I am on my way to the library. I was going to walk, but it's three degrees. Yikes. I need a good book and a fire, oh, and a minute to read it.

Sweet Cherie said...

As I was standing in line at the library to check out the entire biggest loser book collection, I was skimming the books on CD on a shelf near the line and I saw "Stormbreaker." Since I'd just read about it in your post, I picked it up and listened to it while I scrapbooked Friday evening. I listened to the whole thing and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the tip. Now I'm listening to "The Worthing Saga" by Orson Scott Card.

EarlGirl said...

Thanks for letting me know you like it, Cherie! Let me know about the Worthing Saga, I'm always on the lookout for something good.

Abby said...

Hey, guess what? I'm on my way to the library today to, what do you know? And I have boys that need books to read. And I think they'd like these, and thanks for the "squeaky" bits, etc. It's very helpful. . .and yes, it was an investment - which I will profit greatly from! Thanks a lot!