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grrlpup has commented on (15) products.

Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 by Lisa Lutz
Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5

grrlpup, April 5, 2012

I was thinking, "Is this going to be the Spellman book that doesn't make me laugh out loud?" It was engaging to the point that I didn't want to do anything but read it, but I hadn't laughed yet. Then I got to this, between Isabel and her dad:

"I'd love to talk about the Slayter case."
"I think we should talk about your feelings instead."
"I feel sad that you don't trust me with work-related information."
"I meant we should talk about Henry."

and it was just like old times! I miss Rae's outrageous behavior of old, and maybe Isabel's too, but all the slightly-older characterizations felt real and I liked the low-key way everything fit together.

If you're not familiar with the series, you'll probably want to start with the first book, The Spellman Files, so that you'll be in on all the gossip and back-stories. But you won't be lost if you start with this one and back-fill with the others later.
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The Children of the Company (Company)
The Children of the Company (Company)

grrlpup, April 4, 2012

I enjoyed this installment in Kage Baker's saga of The Company because it filled in some plots and characterizations I'd been wondering about. It had the pleasure of good gossip, though not about Mendoza or Joseph, the characters I cared most about in other books in the series. This novel feels like several set pieces with only a few threads holding them to each other, but each is well written and engaging. If you're new to the series, don't start with this one! Go back to the first novel, In the Garden of Iden.
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Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
Lips Touch Three Times

grrlpup, March 25, 2012

(I listened to the audiobook version of Lips Touch Three Times, so haven't seen the drawings that are in the print version.)

Of the three stories, only the third and longest one felt to me like an original and fully realized work. "Hatchling" kept me intrigued as it moved back and forth in time, with each twist revealing more about what I had just heard. My sympathy expanded to characters I'd thought were flat evil, and I loved the fantastical winter landscapes.

The first and second stories seemed trapped in stereotyped versions of Romani and colonized Indian cultures, which made me uncomfortable (the overdone Indian accent the narrator put on for the audio version didn't help). The first story, especially given its contemporary setting, seemed overwritten. I wanted the author to stop with the evocative language and description and get on with it; it was as though she'd been told to Use All Five Senses in her writing and was cramming them all in long after we'd gotten the point. I enjoyed the fairy-tale rhythm of the second story more, but it didn't expand or examine anything beyond its stock fairy-tale outline.

In conclusion, if you start this book and it's not clicking for you, don't give up before trying the third story.
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Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy) by Kiersten White
Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy)

grrlpup, March 24, 2012

I picked up this book and within the first few pages I knew I'd found a good read. The quality of the writing made all the difference-- snappy, but not brittle. There's more going on than just flipness and sass: the main character had teenage attitude, but there was a real person behind it. The romance was sweet and wholesome, and there were enough plot twists to keep the story from getting predictable (until the very ending, which I didn't think held many surprises). I especially liked Evie questioning things she'd been brought up with, and coming to her own conclusions that had room for nuance. The weakest element was probably the fairy antagonists, who were fairly stock characters if you've read even a little urban fantasy. But five stars anyway, for a thoroughly pleasurable reading experience.
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Generation a by Douglas Coupland
Generation a

grrlpup, March 16, 2012

The first half of this book was compelling and funny. Five young adults in different corners of the world are stung by honeybees, long after everyone thought the bees were extinct. The five characters are distinct and interesting, and the book's indirect commentary on the state of the world is funny, disquieting, and sad.

However, starting at about page 200, I began having trouble remembering who the narrator of each section was, and had to flip back and look. The voices blended together and the events were less keenly observed. The characters started telling stories within the story; these were readable, but didn't add up to much other than general themes they all shared. The "big reveal" at the end frankly didn't make a lot of sense to me, and I felt the novel had been shoehorned into a preconceived plot that didn't do justice to the characters.

I'm not sorry I picked up this book, but like the author's previous novel _Microserfs_, it started with an outstanding set-up and then overreached, ending in a muddle.
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