25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Find Books


Read the City


Win Free Books!


PowellsBooks.news


Original Essays | August 20, 2014

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

spacer

Customer Comments

eeclarkson has commented on (5) products.

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Fallen

eeclarkson, October 18, 2010

I’ve come to not expect much from teen books over the last year. Some are spectacular, and some are spectacularly terrible. Hunger Games: the former. Evermore: the later. So to shield myself from disappointment, I try not to read too much about the books anymore before I read them. This was the case for Fallen, which I found through Amazon recommendations (not always the best place to find books, but every once in a while there is a gem). I guessed from the cover art and the title that it had something to do with the supernatural, and I knew it was a love story.

With that in my mind I jumped in yesterday. And then resurfaced again tonight feeling quite surprised and happy. The book was good, and it managed to surprise me, which was the really good part. At first I could see similarities to other teen series that I’ve read (Twilight, The Awakening, City of Bones, The Fallen), but the book soon asserted itself and went off on its own path. I intended to put it down about an hour before I did tonight, and I ended up finishing it when I thought that wouldn’t happen until tomorrow.

Here’s a little teaser of the plot:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword and Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce—and goes out of his way to make that very clear—she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret … even if it kills her.

I’d say more, but again, the surprise of finding out all the little quirks in the story was the best part about reading it. In this case, ignorance is bliss.

It’s not Pride and Prejudice, but it was one of the better books I’ve spent two days reading. And I’m not cringing at the thought of reading the sequel (which happens when I want to know what happens next but kind of hate myself for reading on).
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Flash Burnout by Lk Madigan
Flash Burnout

eeclarkson, October 18, 2010

I don’t think I ever expected to pick up a book about a 15-year-old boy and call it one of the best books I’ve ever read. Yet here I am doing just that.

I found out about Flash Burnout at Wordstock last weekend. I heard the author speak about the book during a teen-book session (I had gone to see a different author). L.K. Madigan really didn’t impress me. She’s new to writing, she’s a 40-something soccer mom, and yeah. The one thing that really caught my attention about her book was that it won the 2010 William C. Morris YA Debut Award (a previous winner was Graceling, one of my favorite books). Then when I was at the library last Sunday I saw it on the shelf and checked it out. I’m not sure if I was really intending to read it at the time, but I’ve been chowing through books this week and it came up in the pile.

When I picked it up two days ago I gave it the first two chapters to get me interested. I was a little turned off by the fact that it has a first-person teenage boy narrator. And it had me in the first three pages.

There is something very honest and very true about Blake’s voice (the main character). He is funny and insightful, and so entirely 15-year-old boy. And at the same time it’s a story about love, and friendship, and figuring out life at that age. Nothing in the book ever felt fake or cheesy. I had a hard time putting it down and was actually up past 2 am last night reading (which is why I am so freaking tired today). The ending was unexpected, but so much better than anything I had imagined. It’s a little sad, and a lot hopeful. And one damn good read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Rampant

eeclarkson, October 18, 2010

When I started this book I was a little skeptical. Killer unicorns, really? And for about the first 50 pages I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to keep reading. But then, I don’t know what happened, all of a sudden the main character, Astrid, came alive for me. Suddenly she was brave and strong and I needed to know how her story ended. From there the rest of the book flew by and I’m desperate to know if there will be more in the series.

The premise of the book is this: unicorns are not all cuddly and rainbows. They are vicious, killing beasts. And since the time of Alexander the Great (and longer) they have been hunted. By virgin girls. (Because of course that part of the unicorn stories is still true). And Astrid Llwelyn, doesn’t really want to kill anything.

While dealing with unicorns and learning to be a warrior, the story also explores issues of sex, relationships, and learning to trust yourself. In essence it’s a classic fantasy coming on age story, but in our modern day world. With unicorns.

The ending was satisfying and surprising, and the writing was great. Another check in the column for a good teen book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
Nomansland

eeclarkson, October 18, 2010

I began reading this book expecting something like The Hunger Games. The story is in that same vein of dystopian futures that there have been so many books about lately for young adults. But what I found was so different from The Hunger Games and so provocative that I’m not sure I have anything to compare it to.

The premise is that sometime, far in the future, a colony of woman have isolated themselves on an island, living completely without men. In fact, men are the enemy. Everything about their world is a strange combination of the strange and the familiar for readers. The woman grow crops for their food, ride horses, train with the bow and arrow. And sometimes in the wild they find Found Objects, glimpses of the past world and past people.

What was so fascinating and so well done with this story is the dissection of gender roles. While this story could have easily been an affirmation of feminism, a world where men are unnecessary (which has been written before), it does not stray there. Some, those in charge, push the propaganda that women before were treated badly—raped and abused by the lustful men. But the young protagonist and her friends are not steeped in this thinking so much yet that they are not willing to wonder. And when they find a treasure trove of Found Objects—magazines, make-up, clothes, high heel shoes—they begin to wonder what it really means to be a woman.

The book is short, only 243 pages, but in that time it told an intriguing and compelling story. I could barely put it down to go to sleep last night. There is something so captivating about viewing our world through the eyes of strangers, about considering everything we take for granted in an entirely new light.

I’d definitely recommend this to any female reader, and even the male ones. It’s not a romance, its not an epic, and its not exactly an adventure. It is a venture into a possible future, and an exploration of our present.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver) by Dan Wells
I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver)

eeclarkson, October 18, 2010

This book is funny, a little brilliant, and completely fascinaiting.

The premise is this: John Wayne Cleaver is a sociopath. He doesn’t connect with people, he’s obsessed with serial killers, and there’s a monster inside him that he keeps carefully in check behind a wall of rules. But then a serial killer comes to John’s town and he pushes himself to every limit in order to stop the killer.

Sounds like a recipe for nightmares right?

The funny thing is, it wasn’t. There were some graphic scenes, and the details about serial killers could be creepy, but the voice of the main character was so compelling. Sure he’s not exactly normal, and his tendencies and desires are very alien, but there is a spark of humanity in him, somewhere, because that’s what I connected with (and I’m pretty sure I’m not a serial killer). He has a desire to help, to stop the killings, and while he may not feel empathy or remorse for the victims, he does have a solid sense of good and bad, right and wrong. And his quirks, his oddities, are what make John so fascinating.

It also helps that the book was superbly written (woohoo to Dan Wells for a fantastic debut) and I’m dying to read the second one. Haha.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.