Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Historical fiction mixes with scandalous romance in the novel Lolita. Awe and exhilaration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hyper civilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation. It follows Humbert, the unreliable protagonist who falls in love with twelve year old Dolores after becoming her stepfather. And of course, his private name for the innocent Dolores is Lolita. 

What sets this book apart is the incredible sentence variation and poetry of the language. The book is also notable for its writing style. The narrative is highly subjective as Humbert draws on his fragmented memories, employing a sophisticated prose style, while attempting to gain the reader's sympathy through his sincerity and melancholy, although near the end of the story Humbert refers to himself as a "maniac" who "deprived" Dolores "of her childhood", and he shortly thereafter states "the most miserable of family lives was better than the parody of incest" in which they were involved. All and all this book uses the power of language to entice its reader and to intoxicate you with this tongue-and-check, rule bending approach to romance.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a technically and conceptually complex novel, whether you enjoy reading historical fiction or not. This book is like french chocolate, deliciously rich and will leave you feeling utterly satisfied. Read the book Naked Lunch? Then you'll love Lolita.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter

Love the first book in the Shadow Falls Series, Born at Midnight? Well you're in luck then because the second book in this series is just as addicting. From the moment Kylie Galen arrived at Shadow Falls Camp, she’s had one burning question: What am I? Surrounded by vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, fairies and witches, Kylie longs to figure out her own supernatural identity…and what her burgeoning powers mean. And now she’ll need them more than ever, because she’s being haunted by a new spirit who insists that someone Kylie knows—and loves—will die before the end of the summer. If only she only knew who she was supposed to save. And how…But giving Kylie the most trouble is her aching heart. Gorgeous werewolf Lucas left camp with another girl, but he’s still visiting Kylie in her dreams. And Derek, a sexy half Fae who’s always been there for her when she needed him, is pushing to get more serious—and growing impatient, especially when Lucas returns. Kylie knows she needs to decide between the boys, and it’s tearing her up inside. Yet romance will have to wait, because something from the dark side of the supernatural world is hiding in Shadow Falls. It’s about to threaten everything she holds dear…and bring her closer to her destiny.

Love romance and supernatural creatures? Tired of the same old story told time and time again? Well then you better get your hands on the second novel in this delectable series. Why settle for a book about common mortals? This book combines very real emotions with exciting elements of fantasy to create a show stopping novel that will leave you more than satisfied. Not only does this book expose the true journey towards human identity, it creates a magical new world that will leave any one's imagination hooked. 

Those who enjoyed the first novel in this series will fall head over heels with the sequel. Enjoy reading Twilight, Shiver or pretty much any other fantasy romance novel? Then you'll love Awake at Dawn. It will give you an amazing escape from the pedestrian world, making you believe that you really are in Shadow Falls.

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

To the world, twins Kaeleigh and Raeanne appear to live a picture perfect life. But of course nothing is as it seems. Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin. For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex. Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?

 The fifth book by Hopkins, following the similar trend of non-rhyming free verse. Yet again, Hopkins has exploded the private lives of teens, leaving no gritty detail to the imagination. This book will leave you raw and craving for answers. Maybe you'll even find yourself describing your own thoughts through poetry. You won't be able to put the book down and the twists of the plot will lead you to a very surprising resolution. So hold on tight, because this book will jerk you right out of your reality and into one of a darker caliber. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who has read any of Ellen Hopkins' other novels (Crank, Glass, Impulse to name a few). Like poetry? Then you'll love Hopkins' take on words. And don't be scared off by the length of these novels. You'll have reach the last page before you know it. So grab Identical now and find out the truth behind this mysterious set of twins. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Ever wondered about the things that go bump in the night? Ever wondered of you are one of them? One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

 This book is all about Kylie pulling through the hard things in life and figuring out who she really is. As teenagers we all have to deal with some pretty difficult stuff, parental divorces, being rejected and of course the temptations of partying. Born at Midnight takes what occurs throughout the adolescent years and puts a fantasy twist on it. Kylie may be different from teens in some pretty significant ways, but deep down she's just like every other teenager.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good fantasy novel. Are you a true twi-heart? Then you'll love the first book in the Shadow Falls Series. So don't wait another minute. Get your hands on this novel and find out the truth about Kylie.

Wither by Lauren Destefano

What if you knew exactly when you would die? Rhine Ellery lives in an age where girls don’t live past the age of 20, and guys don’t see their 26th birthday. Society is trying desperately to find a cure for this “virus” that is taking their young, but in the meantime, girls are often captured and sold as young brides for the gentlemen so that the race can continue, and so that the first generation can find the ever-elusive cure.Rhine is one of the girls that has been taken, and she finds herself in the home of — and married to — Linden Ashby, along with two other young girls, close to her in age. As Rhine tries to find a way out of her “prison”, she finds herself ever more drawn to one of the house’s many attendants, and developing a bond with her sister wives. But, she must constantly remind herself of where she’s come from so as not to get too comfortable with these new surroundings, and with the charm of her new husband

Love sci-fi as well as teen fiction? Well jump into this post-apocalyptic novel that puts a new twist on the phrase 'the good die young'. You'll be on the edge of your seat, dying to know what happens next in this intoxicating page turner. And while the world of Rhine may seem be strange, Rhine couldn't be any more human. It is like you're there with her on the journey, you forget that she's actually a character. One thing that can either be considered a positive or a negative was that it was strikingly similar to the Hunger Games. A post-apocalyptic world, impending death tied in with a glamorous world... but yet it is still original.

I would recommend this book to those who have read the Hunger Games Series. It takes everything that is to love about a futuristic novel and mixes it will a story line that will keep you on your toes. Or maybe you're tired of your usual white bread book? Well this one is certainly interesting as well as imaginative. So what are you waiting for? I know you're dying to know what happens next. Already read Wither? No fear fellow book lover! Fever, the second book in The Chemical Garden trilogy is out now.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Outcasts by John Flanagan

*Anonymous Student Review*
Looking for an action, adventure series that will grab your by the horns and pull you into a land beyond your wildest imaginations? Well look no further than The Outcasts. Hal is a young Skandian who is about to go through Brotherband training and must overcome two bigger and stronger teams with wit and teamwork. The third book in the Ranger's Apprentice series, which follows the adventures of Will, an orphan who is taken as an apprentice Ranger, as he strives to keep the Kingdom of Araluen safe from invaders, traitors, and threats. He is joined on his adventures by his mentor Halt and his best friend Horace. This series is filled with adventure and will leave you craving for more.

This book drew me in instantaneous. I was able to see, feel and understand what it was like to go through Brotherband training. That's what truly marks a great novel. If it is able to transport you to another world and hypnotize you into believing that you're following along with the dynamic band of characters. Which the Ranger's Apprentice Series certainly does.

While I did enjoy this book I felt that it was a bit predictable. There were a few things that you just knew were going to happen. But all and all I liked reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the Ranger's Series or loves action adventure novels. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

Dive into the intoxicating world of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, where scandal thrives and secrets are waiting to be uncovered. It's one year after they solved the Harriet Vanger mystery and uncovered the truth of the Wennerström, and Mikael and Lisbeth didn't exactly leave off on great terms. Determined to rid her life of Mikael, Lisbeth isolates herself with travel to exotic lands with a new fortune she's mysterious acquired. While in Grenada she becomes obsessed with complex mathematical equations, especially Fermat's last theorem. When Lisbeth returns to Stockholm, we learn that she transferred a sum of three billion kronor (446,413,412.25 USD) into her bank account. She purchases a new apartment and leaves her old one to off-and-on girlfriend Miriam 'Mimmi' Wu. Her guardian, Nils Bjurman, develops a growing hatred for Lisbeth and plots to do whatever it takes to take her down.

Meanwhile Mikael has lost all contact with Lisbeth and focuses his attention on Dag Svensson, a young journalist who has written a meticulously researched thesis about sex trafficking in Sweden and the abuse of underage girls by high-ranking figures. Blomkvist immediately throws himself into the investigation, planning to run Svensson's story in an upcoming issue of Millennium. On the other hand, Salander hacks into Mikael Blomkvist's computer and learns of the publication. She becomes intrigued by the name "Zala." However, shortly before the printing of the story, Svensson and his partner are shot dead in their Stockholm apartment, and Salander is missing. Salander's fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Prosecutor Richard Ekström assembles an investigation team, led by Inspector Jan Bublanski, who demands that Sonja Modig be included in the team. The team identifies Salander's fingerprints on the murder weapon. They find Salander's formal record which establishes her as a violent, unstable, psychotic woman with a history of prostitution, and is currently linked to Armansky at Milton Security and Bjurman. The stark contrast between Armansky's trust in Salander's high intelligence and her official records surprises Bublanski. Bublanski then visits Blomkvist and Berger, who are puzzled by Salander's psychiatric history and her involvement with the murders, but Blomkvist also insists that she has no cognitive or moral deficits. While investigating her social circle, Modig finds Bjurman shot dead in his apartment, with Salander being the prime suspect. In the light of these new data, Ekström holds a press conference and discloses Salander's name and psychiatric history to the press. Within a blink of an eye, a girl who once hid in the shadows now has her face on every major magazine in Europe as a highly dangerous criminal.Throughout the rest of the novel, the characters struggle to discover who is behind the murders and the secrets of Salander's troubled past. Is Lisbeth guilty of these crimes? Or is she innocent? Well you'll have to find out for yourself in this addicting page turner.

Dying for a delectable page turner that will leave you craving answers? The Girl Who Played With Fire is a perfect accompaniment to the equally as delicious first novel. Filled to the brim with mystery, scandal, murder, this book gives you the exhilarating sensation that can't be found anywhere else. Whether you're a secret bad-ass like Lisbeth, love a good crime novel or just looking for a great book to read, The Girl Who Played With Fire has got it all and more.

I would recommend this book to those who loved the first novel by Larsson, or those who love a great murder mystery. Already captivated by this series? Check out The Snowman by Jo Nesbo or pretty much any novel by Stephen King. While King is mainly a horror novelist, you still get the excitement from his page turners. So what are you waiting for? Don't you want to learn the secrets of the the mysterious Lisbeth Salander?