Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Stepford Wives and other mini reviews

I think these mini-reviews are a great way to find a book if you're stuck in a book-slump and NEED something to read. You just can't find anything good, and those 200 sitting in your room just don't sound fun. So here are a variety of books I've read in the past month and all of them got me out of reading slumps so I'd like to share:

Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman
September 2013, (this book doesn't need reviews because Neil Gaiman.) kids book, with pictures

Soooo funny! Really, Neil Gaiman can't write a bad book. Great one-sitting read, and those illustrations were out of this world…(heh see what I did there?) This is an incredibly creative story that will appeal to pretty much anyone who loves an adventure.

Feed by Mira Grant
May 2010 release (Hugo nominee)
horror, zombies, lots of blood and gore and nerd-speak and swearing.

Bloggers. Zombies. If either of those words catch your interest, you'll like Feed. Siblings Shaun and Georgia write and run one of the leading news sites in 2040. We've cured cancer and the common cold, but are left with the side effects of a zombie apocalypse. The zombies are controlled relatively well though, and they are just a part of dealing with daily life and hoping there isn't an outbreak near you. There's a presidential election coming up and Shaun and Georgia, along with their techy friend Buffy, have been picked to cover the entire campaign. The narrative is sharp and intelligent, and you'll warm up quickly to these siblings who are closer than twins. Georgia and Shaun are willing to sacrifice anything to keep the signal going, and let the truth rise up. Things get more interesting than I anticipated, and I was glued to every one of these 600 pages like it was the last book in the world. Feed is filled with conspiracy, corrupt politicians, and more detailed world building and technological inventions than I've seen in ages.

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
mystery, horror, adult, wouldn't recommend for younger audiences.

You've probably seen the movie. I've seen the more recent one, but there's the original 1975 version that I still have to track down. I liked the movie a whole lot, and didn't notice till the end credits that it was based off a book. (grrr) So probably now three years later, I read this book in about one sitting. It felt like watching the movie, or a movie, since his writing is very clear-cut and simple, like you're reading a script, so I can see how this was easily adapted to the screen. It's like the 1970's feminist satire you've been looking for. If you're at all a fan of The Twilight Zone episodes from way back, you'll probably love this. I didn't realize till halfway through that there aren't any chapter breaks, and that's probably why I read it from cover to cover in one breath. There's pretty much a 'part two' and an epilogue, and the rest in one shot. I was also surprised to look up the author and see it was a man. Just from a glance, I thought Ira sounded like a woman, but I've never seen that name before, so what do I know. This book is one of those that I don't think you'd be able to tell if it was written by a man or woman. And I wonder why I haven't heard of the name Ira Levin before in all my bookish habits. The Stepford Wives is definitely a horror novel, perfectly unsettling with no beating around the bush, and it's a great thrill. I recommend.

Salvage by Alaxandra Duncan
Released April 1, 2014 (debut novel for this author)
ya futuristic, space travel, firefly fans, no central love-interest

Salvage is a stellar spring debut not to miss. It's a rare ya bildungsroman piece of work, and I was hooked at the first "right so." It's a non-stop adventure from there out. Ava is likable and relatable, and I forgave her immediately for her naiveness that's necessary for the story. She's true to herself and has a kind heart; you'll be rooting for her prevail. The world building is beautiful, extensive and imaginable. Futuristic Mumbai a sea of colors and cultures, and the space stations are exciting in their own way. Salvage will appeal to fans of Beth Revis' Across the Universe series, as well as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Think of it as if you merged them into one, and added some of Meyer's Cinder in as well because we all love us an outsider mechanic. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this author for future stories.

and also, THIS. Slutshelf Giveaway is so great.

So there are some of my recent reads. Not all required me to rant on for four paragraphs, so I thought I'd fit them into one nice viewing area. I've been trying to read a variety of genres lately, and it sure shows here. Read anything unusual/off the main chatter recently?