August 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
We finally got power back after Hurricane Irene blew a transformer behind my house Friday night. I thought that we were pretty prepared for the storm but I was a little shocked by how intense the wind and the rain were here in New Bern, NC. We’re more inland so I wasn’t expecting us to see the worst of Irene. It turns out that we saw sustained winds upwards of 75 miles per hour and buckets and buckets of rainfall. I didn’t think it was going to end. It started raining in the afternoon on Friday and did not stop until after 9pm on Saturday night.
There was quite a bit of flooding in this area. At the end of this post, I’m including a link to a news video that was filmed right outside my house and you’ll see my husband Frank being interviewed and my son standing next to him. The video shows emergency workers taking boats up to homes in this flooded area and evacuating some kids and also some large busses that were in the process of rescuing people.
As of right now, we are still a little shell shocked but it’s definitely inspiring how people all across these damaged areas have come together to help each other clean up debris. My husband and son have been out helping neighbors clear debris out of yards and have also had people stop by to help us clean up our yard. I think all of us are so very thankful that our neighborhood did not suffer any serious injuries or deaths. As scary as it was, it could have been so much worse. Our thoughts are still with those still without power, who have suffered losses, and of course those in the Northeast US that are still dealing with Hurricane Irene.
August 26, 2011 § 27 Comments
In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question “comes out of the closet” and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?
That’s a hard one to answer as there are SO many types of paranormal creatures I’d like to see come out of my closet. I’d definitely like to find out that Hogwarts and the wizarding world is real as well as Anne Rice’s vampires. But I guess the paranormal creatures I’d probably choose are the Fae because they are so incredibly fascinating to me. I would love to learn more about their world and their magic. What about you?
August 24, 2011 § 4 Comments
|The Postmortal: A Novel
John Farrell is about to get “The Cure.”
Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.
What if a group of scientists found a cure for aging? Would you want it? This cure doesn’t encompass any diseases like cancer, AIDS, or even the common flu. So, while anyone receiving the “cure” would not age, they would still be susceptible to illness or injury. As the book explains, you would only be assured that when you do die, it would not be peacefully in your bed of old age, you pretty much are guaranteed that it will be nothing so easy. There are plenty of other ways to die, and plenty of other people who want to make sure you do. Drew Magary explores these issues and many of the possible results of this so-called “cure” such as overwhelming population growth, the horrific ways people abuse the “cure”, and all of the extreme religious and socio economic repercussions and then presents it in an extremely entertaining and entirely readable narrative.
To say I was blown away by The Postmortal would be an understatement. The cartoon-like cover image and back cover blurb did not prepare me for how crazy-good this book actually was. I wasn’t expecting it. This was so cleverly written. I was drawn in by the rich dark humor and the blunt, candid way the story is told. I would describe this as the “much cooler big brother” to all of the other dystopian novels I’ve read. I can literally picture some of these events happening within my own lifetime. And that is frightening.
The Postmortal chronicles one man, John Farrell’s journey into postmortal life, after receiving the “cure”. The story is told via John’s personal journal and from some of the news articles and blurbs from various news feeds he included in that journal. John is almost an anti-hero, flawed in so many ways but his story is still so compelling. The news articles keep the reader updated on what is going on throughout the world and then John’s journal shows how these things are affecting people on a more personal level, how they are living through and with these changes. I thought it was a very original and effective way to present a story.
This world was a terrifyingly realistic place that is all too familiar. The most frightening thing about The Postmortal is that it was so believable. From the strange religious cult to the shady government dealings, and even the mysteriously malevolent “greenies” all of it followed a very conceivable logical sequence. I was both extremely entertained and terrified at the possibility that any of this could actually happen.
The Postmortal was easily my favorite read of 2011. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a thrilling dystopian adventure as well as anyone who simply wants to be thoroughly entertained.
August 23, 2011 § 6 Comments
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
|The Postmortal: A Novel|
My teaser comes from Drew Magary’s novel “THE POSTMORTAL”
“You ever see the top of one of their churches?
Yeah, its got a big capital T on it
Did you know it stands for ‘teamwork’?
No, it doesn’t.
Swear to God”
August 22, 2011 § 1 Comment
|The Beginning of After
Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.
Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.
Jennifer Castle’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment.
I can only describe The Beginning of After as softly powerful account of how one teenage girl survives a terrible loss. This book is beautifully written and uncomfortably insightful. I felt as if I was listening to the main character, Laurel’s private thoughts and feelings as she faced an unimaginable tragedy with the sudden loss of her family. The author paints a vivid and intuitive portrait of a teen trying to cope with this profound loss while also dealing with normal teen situations like prom, SAT’s, and relationships.
David was suffering from a similar loss as his family was also involved in the crash that killed Laurel’s family. The dynamic between Laurel and David was fascinating to witness. Both suffering from rage, guilt, sorrow, and unbelievable grief, they were alternately drawn to one another, yet unsure of each other. Watching how David struggled to cope with everything made my heart break for him.
The Beginning of After is a wonderful novel that travels through the lowest points of sorrow and leaves the reader with a feeling of hope. I highly recommend this for all ages.
*review copy received from Harper Collins
August 19, 2011 § 4 Comments
|Die for Me (Revenants)|
I thoroughly enjoyed Die For Me. I felt the Paris setting was exceptionally written, providing a romantic and beautiful background for this original story. From the small cafe where Kate would read to the Pont des Arts, the Parisian scenery was used effectively to enhance the romantic tone. Most paranormal novels could take place almost anywhere, but this story could only have taken place in Paris. The way the scenery was written was one of my favorite aspects of this book.
I enjoyed the characters too. They were rich in charisma, engaging, and each had their own distinctive personalities. Jules was the teasing and flirtatious bad boy, Charlotte, the sweet BFF, and her brother Charles, the moody teenager, and a few more Revenants were very entertaining in their interactions with one another.
I was surprised to find the main character, Kate, was not a badass heroine nor was she a weak and whiny damsel. She was an average teen dealing with the loss of her parents who enjoyed losing herself in books, museums, and art. Very relatable and, well, normal. Vincent, too, was not over the top “alpha”, he seemed very mature, perceptive, and sincere. The one drawback to Vincent’s character is that he did have some extreme stalkerish tendencies. I don’t know why authors do that, it is creepy, not romantic!
Anyway..other than that, I enjoyed their relationship. There was, of course, the instant chemistry, but from there, the romance grew between them at a believable pace and there was no declarations of undying love. It was nice. They were both very open and honest with each other about their feelings, there wasn’t a lot of posturing or whining. It was absolutely refreshing.
I really felt like the Revenants themselves were a wholly original and interesting concept. I was fascinated by the bits and pieces of the Revenant mythology, I wish the author would have explored that further. The fact that they were driven by compulsion to save the lives of random strangers at the cost of their own lives was utterly intriguing. I hated that they kept referring to themselves as zombies. I felt like I was more committed to the revenant idea than the author herself. I really hope that is one of the kinks that gets worked out as the series continues.
The plot itself was fairly simple, almost formulaic; bad guys vs. good guys. There wasn’t a lot of action, but that was okay. I was definitely held captive by the writing and the interaction between the characters. The plot’s resolution, I thought, was tied up a bit loosely, leaving me with many questions I’m sure will be addressed in later books. There was a bit of a Twilight feel to a lot of it. The Revenant family all living together, the obsessive stalking thing, the conflict between the good revenants and the bad revenants which was kind of a “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us” type of thing. There were definitely some flaws, but none that were serious enough, for me, that it took away from my enjoyment of the story. I think that this was a wonderful debut from an author I am excited to see more from!
Author Amy Plum shows some of where Die For Me takes place
August 19, 2011 § 28 Comments
Welcome to The Happy Booker for another Fun Follow Friday! I haven’t done this in a while but its nice to be back to blogging books again! I took a bit of an extended break, life just gets in the way sometimes… I’m sure you all have been there. Anyway, thanks for stopping by! If you have a minute, say hi either here or on one of my reviews and I’ll be sure to drop by and say hello to you!
Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book?
I’m not a writer, I wish I was that creative. BUT to answer the question, I would absolutely write myself into Hogwarts! I loved the magic of that world and would definitely like to be a character there. I’d hang out with house elves and become BFFs with Luna, I’d have rockcakes with Hagrid over tea, and sneak into the forbidden forest for a chat with Firenze or Bane. It would be wonderful!
“What’s the LONGEST book you’ve ever read?”
(Note: I’m putting one caveat on this question. You aren’t allowed to say the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, or other religious/spiritual text.)
I’m really not sure, possibly HP and The Order of the Phoenix or one of George RR Martin’s books, or Hanta Yo which I remember was really long.
My Google Friend Connect is only working intermittently and I have no idea how to fix it so if you would like to follow, I think you can click the blogger “follow” at the very top of the page. Thanks so much!