Jul 28, 2012

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Book Description: When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He's also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin's on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl.
Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin's hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.

 It is well established that I am a huge fan of Vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green. It's even more established that I am a huge fan of Young Adult novels. The fact that John Green writes young adult novels kind of seems like a dream come true.

This is the first John Green novel I've read. According to a lot of the reviews I've since read, it's his worst book to date. I sure hope that's true, because I really liked it. I didn't love it or anything, but it was good. I read it quickly, even with all the math and footnotes.

Lets talk about the footnotes for a minute. I was reading on my kindle, and at the beginning found the footnotes really, really annoying. There was a lot of scrolling and clicking and back and forward. Bah. Didn't like it. At all. I would have skipped them all together, if it wasn't for two things - they were quite important to the story and they were really, really entertaining. By the end of the book I ended up loving the footnotes, even if reading them was mildly annoying.

Speaking of mildly annoying, both Colin and his best friend Hassan are kind of annoying. What with their watered down profanity and Hassan's too often mentioning of this "Thunderstick". Colin is particularly not very likeable - he's whiny and incredibly self absorbed. You kind of want to slap him in the face and tell him to get over himself. As un-likeable and annoying as they are, I still found myself caring about them and kind of liking them? I guess? I don't know, it's a little hard to explain.

...kind of like the reason I liked the book. I can give you tons of reasons why I shouldn't have liked it - the characters, the math, the fact that the story was incredibly predictable...But I still enjoyed it. Quite a lot.

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically awful, I would give this book a Really Good. I'd recommend reading it, but don't expect to be blown away.

Jul 23, 2012

Jul 19, 2012

Blackout (Newsflesh, Book 3)

This is the third book in the Newflesh series. See my other reviews here: Feed ° Deadline

Blackout (Newsflesh, Book 3) by Mira Grant

Book description: Rise up while you can. -Georgia Mason

The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.

The year was 2039. The world didn't end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.

Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there's one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it's this:

Things can always get worse.

BLACKOUT is the conclusion to the epic trilogy that began in the Hugo-nominated FEED and the sequel, DEADLINE.

Final books in series make me sad. I know this is the end, and I’m going to miss the characters and the world. And the zombies. I can never get enough of the zombies.

The other thing is, third books are rarely as good as the two that preceded it. No exception here. The plot was not near as compelling and there were a lot of things that only make sense if you don’t think about them too hard. On top of that you still have  the fact that the author tends to tell you the same things over and over. YES, we get that Shaun is crazy. We get that the rest of the team ignores that he’s talking to himself. Seriously, we get it.

I did like that we got Georgia back as part time narrator. That was one big plus to the book. I missed her in Deadline, and really enjoyed the parts that from her perspective. Not that I minded Shaun’s parts. I’d gotten used to him as narrator, but he is not nearly as interesting as George.

Then there was the ending. In the first two books, the ending made the books.. I know that  you can’t have some big surprise cliff hanger ending in this type of book. But we’re chasing a conspiracy here! You want to be blown away by the big reveal. When we finally got there in Blackout I was underwhelmed. I found myself thinking, Wait, that’s it? That is the reason for all the hoopla? Seriously? It just seemed like there would be much easier ways to keep that secret. I guess half of the reason was enough to kill and hide, the part that would make it harder for people to "pull the trigger" on the zombies. But the other thing? I don’t know. It was just kind of ...meh.

Book 3’s are why I shouldn’t, logically, like trilogies. But so help me, I do love them. I’m glad I read the series, even though the ending was a bit disappointing. I loved the world, I loved the characters and I loved the zombies. A few loose ends and a less than stellar conspiracy are not going to change that.

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically awful, I would give this book a Good. It wouldn’t be able to stand on it’s own, but as a final book in an excellent trilogy, it works ok. It wasn’t a bad book, it just could have been so much more.

Jul 16, 2012

Jul 15, 2012

Eating the Dinosaur

Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman

Book Description:
Chuck Klosterman has chronicled rock music, film, and sports for almost fifteen years. He's covered extreme metal, extreme nostalgia, disposable art, disposable heroes, life on the road, life through the television, urban uncertainty and small-town weirdness. Through a variety of mediums and with a multitude of motives, he's written about everything he can think of (and a lot that he's forgotten). The world keeps accelerating, but the pop ideas keep coming.
In Eating the Dinosaur, Klosterman is more entertaining and incisive than ever. Whether he's dissecting the boredom of voyeurism, the reason why music fan's inevitably hate their favorite band's latest album, or why we love watching can't-miss superstars fail spectacularly, Klosterman remains obsessed with the relationship between expectation, reality, and living history. It's amateur anthropology for the present tense, and sometimes it's incredibly funny.
Q: What is this book about?
A: Well, that's difficult to say. I haven't read it yet - I've just clicked on it and casually glanced at this webpage. There clearly isn't a plot. I've heard there's a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don't laugh when they're inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women. Supposedly there's a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I'm misinformed.
Q: Is there a larger theme?
A: Oh, something about reality. "What is reality," maybe? No, that's not it. Not exactly. I get the sense that most of the core questions dwell on the way media perception constructs a fake reality that ends up becoming more meaningful than whatever actually happened.
Q: Should I read this book?
A: Probably. Do you see a clear relationship between the Branch Davidian disaster and the recording of Nirvana's In Utero? Does Barack Obama make you want to drink Pepsi? Does ABBA remind you of AC/DC? If so, you probably don't need to read this book. You probably wrote this book. But I suspect everybody else will totally love it, except for the ones who absolutely hate it.

I started reading this book back in April. I read it off and on, in between other books, but I just couldn't get into in. I finished it in the first week of July. My reading of this book spanned four months. That's how much I enjoyed it.

It isn't a bad book, per se. There were several parts that were quite interesting. I liked the bit about Nirvana and Waco. There were a few parts that even made me laugh out loud. But all of the parts in between those parts were slow, and I just didn't find them interesting. The were about people I'd never heard of or sports I'm not interested in. Just all around dull to me.

On a scale from On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it a Meh. I wouldn't recommend it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't read it.  It just wasn't for me.

Jul 10, 2012

Vote Canning, Nova Scotia in the Kraft Celebration Tour

Canning is a small town in Nova Scotia, really (REALLY) close to here I live. They are also one of 20 finalists for the Kraft Celebration Tour!

We've had some good news here in the Valley recently, and it would be awesome if we could add some more. Today at noon ET until July 11 11:59 a.m. ET, voting is open to get them one step closer to $25000 and a live broadcast of TSN SportsCentre in their town.

Wont you help them out?

Jul 9, 2012

Music Monday: Scavenger Type

This is one of my top 2 favourite NOFX songs of all time. It's acoustic but still kind of manages to be punk-y.

Jul 8, 2012

Grand Pré - Unesco World Heritage site

You may remember that a while back I posted that the landscape of Grand Pré (Nova Scotia) had been submitted for nomination as a World Heritage Site to UNESCO. Well, it's official - The landscape of Grand Pré has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This is just a quick follow up post in congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.

Check out their new website - Landscape of Grand Pré.

While we're at it, it's worth mentioning that Nova Scotia has two other Unesco World Heritage sites. 

Joggins Fossil Cliffs, where the layers of rock expose the world’s most complete fossil record of life in the “Coal Age” - 300 million years ago.

Old Town Lunenburg is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America. Established in 1753, it has retained its original layout and overall appearance, based on a rectangular grid pattern drawn up in the home country.

Just a few more reasons to visit Nova Scotia.

Jul 7, 2012

This Burns My Heart

This Burns My Heart: A Novel by Samuel Park

I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Book Description: On the eve of her marriage, beautiful and strong-willed Soo-Ja Choi receives a passionate proposal from a young medical student. But caught up in her desire to pursue a career in Seoul, she turns him away, having impetuously chosen another man who she believes will let her fulfill her dreams. Instead, she finds herself tightly bound by tradition and trapped in a suffocating marriage, her ambition reduced to carving out a successful future for her only daughter. Through it all, she longs for the man she truly loves, whose path she seems destined to cross again and again. In This Burns My Heart, Samuel Parks has crafted a transcendent love story that vibrantly captures 1960s South Korea and brings to life an unforgettable heroine.

This is not a book I would have picked up on my own. Nothing about it is the type of book I'm drawn to. Everything about it has a soft quality to it - from the cover to the writing style. There's not anything wrong with that, it's just not really my thing.

That being said, I enjoyed the story. I liked the culture and the history of it. Soo-ja is likeable enough. I wouldn't exactly call her as a heroine, though, as the book description does. She's tragically naive at the beginning, and it more or less ruins her life. You feel bad for her, but at the same time it was her own decisions that got her into the mess she was in. Actually, it was a pretty depressing story for most of the book, things went from bad to worse, got a little better (sort of, I guess) and then got worse again. Glimmers of hope shattered at every turn. And still, I liked it. It was a charming book that was not difficult to read, understand or follow.

On a scale from On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it a pretty good. I know a lot of people who would really, truly enjoy this book, love it even. I'm just not one of them. But I did enjoy it and would recommend reading it if it came your way, but I wouldn't bother seeking it out.

Jul 2, 2012

Music Monday: The Luckiest

One Year ago today, I married the love of my life. This was our first dance song.

To my wonderful husband: Happy Anniversary and I love you.