Monday, January 31, 2011

Review - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer




Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Amazon)
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Release date: 2005
Pages: 326
Genre: Adult Fiction


Jonathan Safran Foer confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination." "Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, and pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11." An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin. (goodreads.com)

Kim's take - 

I have to honestly say that I was rather disappointed with this book. After all of the great ratings and reviews I have come across, maybe I just expected too much. The main character is a precocious 9 year old, Oskar Schell. I found his character a little too unbelievable. He’s on a mission to find a lock that will fit a key which he finds in his fathers closet. There were a few things that I liked about the book. I liked it when he let it be known exactly how he felt about his father’s death instead of spouting off about ridiculous inventions and statistics and odd facts about things such as elephants. It just took up too much of the book. The parts I liked the most were the letters pieced together regarding the lives of his grandparents. The story of their relationship was complicated and sad. All in all, the only reason I even finished it is my inability to stop reading a book until the end. I guess I’m always hopeful it will get better. Unfortunately, I just thought this book was a waste of my time, even though there seem to be many that loved it. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Kim's Rating - 2/5

 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)













 
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren . It is a way to share what books you have received during the week. This is my first week joining in! Here is what I got!

Bought-


 








Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine (includes Glass Houses & The Dead Girls' Dance
The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong
The Awakening (Darkest Powers) by Kelley Armstrong
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa 
Across the Universe by Beth Revis


From the Library-


The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


I can't wait to get started on Across the Universe! I am especially excited about that one. 

What books did you get this week?






Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire



Title: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years #1)( (Amazon)
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: Regan Books
Release Date: 2000
Pages: 406
Genre: Fiction


When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil. (Goodreads.com)

Kim's take - 

This was an excellent book. One that is worthy of reading more than once. It follows Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, from the time she is born, which was an event in and of itself. You get a glimpse into how the land of Oz operates and even into the great Oz himself. You get to read how Elphaba gets acquainted with Glinda (the good witch) as schoolmates and how Elphaba’s sister, Nessarose, comes to be the Wicked Witch of the East. There were a lot times when I was pulling for Elphaba! This is a must read book and it is very apparent why a play was created based on the story. I will definitely be checking the sequels out and other books from this author.

Kim's rating - 5/5

Review - What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz



Title: What the Night Knows (Amazon)
Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Bantam Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 442
Genre: Horror

In the late summer of a long ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a fourteen-year-old boy.

Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, recreating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family—his wife and three children—will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was fourteen and killed their slayer.

As a detective, John is a man of reason who deals in cold facts. But an extraordinary experience convinces him that sometimes death is not a one-way journey, that sometimes the dead return.

Here is ghost story like no other you have read. In the Calvinos, Dean Koontz brings to life a family that might be your own, in a war for their survival against an adversary more malevolent than any he has yet created, with their own home the battleground. Of all his acclaimed novels, none exceeds What the Night Knows in power, in chilling suspense, and in sheer mesmerizing storytelling.
(from Goodreads.com)

Kim's take - 

Some books take a while to lead you into the action. But not this one. In the first couple of pages, you are already involved in the plot. Koontz is always very descriptive in his writing so the scene is easily visualized. The lead character is John Calvino who is married with three children. A dark force has found it's way into their home and begins to manipulate and terrorize his family, each individual and child separately. Unfortunately, for John and the family, no one shares this with other family members for fear they will appear crazy. There are quite a few twists and turns in the plot of the story that take you by surprise but you ultimately know what is going to happen in the end but not exactly how. My favorite part of the book were the pages from the journal of the killer, Alton Turner Blackwood, that were given throughout the book. I found myself impatient to hear more of his past and what made him the way he was. This was a very twisted man who came from a very evil childhood. I can't say there was a whole lot of heart-stopping suspense but it was a really good read anyway. Not one of the authors best though.

Kim's rating: 4/5

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop


What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?

I am looking forward to Delirium by Lauren Oliver! Just a few days to go!

-Missy

Follow Friday



As you can probably tell, by the lack of followers and posts, we are new book bloggers. My sister Kim and I decided to start this up because of our love of books. We have found out about most of the books we read by recommendations from other bloggers. Thus became Two Readers Reviews. We wanted to inspire other people to read the books that we were finding on other peoples blogs and to support the authors that we love!

So thanks for stopping by and I hope you decide to follow!

This week's question is: What is/was your favorite subject in school?

I would go with English. I was always the kid that loved doing book reports!

Review - City of Ashes By Cassandra Clare


Title: City of Ashes - The Mortal Instruments (Book Two) (Amazon)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release date: March 25th 2008
Pages: 464 pages
Genre: YA


Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
(from author's website)

Missy's take-

City of Ashes is the second book in The Mortal Instruments series and let me tell you, this book does not disappoint. There was so much action and so many twists I didn’t want to put it down. It was an absolute rollercoaster ride.

I loved that the characters developed so much more and we learn so much more about them. I really enjoyed that there was a lot more focus on Simon because he is one of my favorite characters. I think it’s great they found a way for him to become a part of Clary’s new world. All of the characters are so complex. There isn’t just one side to them. They feel like realistic people.

We also get to find out more about Luke and the werewolves and even meet Maia, a new character. We learn more about the vampires and their transition and we also get a little insight into the faerie world as well.

The dialogue is probably one of the best parts of the book. There is so much quick witted banter between all of the characters, Jace and Simon especially. I wonder if those two will ever truly get along.

Overall I think this one was far better than City of Bones. I was completely captivated from beginning to end. The story was so incredibly well written. I absolutely LOVED this book and would highly recommend it to anyone!

Missy's Rating - 5/5

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City of Bones - The Mortal Instruments (Book One) (Amazon)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry 
Release date: 2007
Pages: 485 pages
Genre: YA 

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....
(from goodreads.com)

Missy's take - 

After finishing it I was pretty blown away by the plot itself. There is a mixture of everything I love in it, vampires, werewolves, demons, faeries and this is my first introduction into the world of Shadowhunters. If I'm being completely honest the book did start off relatively slow. I was worried whether or not I was really going to be able to get into. The action picks up about midway through the book and I wasn't able to put it down from that point on.

The detail in the book is great. Things were described in such great detail that I could envision myself there at times. From the moment the characters were introduced I had images of them in my head. I love when books do that because the characters instantly become more real to me.

Some things that happened were pretty predictable, but overall I really ended up enjoying it.

Missy's Rating - 4/5