Saturday, March 19, 2011

Goodreads Review: The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

The New Policeman (New Policeman, #1)The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. It's sweet, charming, intriguing and one-of-a-kind. Kate Thompson has a way with bringing mysterious elements into the world of a young (or older) reader with fantastic visual creativity. It's been awhile since I read this book and after seeing it at the library, I immediately remember so many visual details created through out the book's landscape. Thompson is a wonderful storyteller and this is a truly wonderful story. Great for young readers.

Rated PG for thematic material.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Goodreads Review: Messenger by Lois Lowry

Messenger (The Giver, #3)Messenger by Lois Lowry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third and final book in The Giver series by Lois Lowry. I had read The Giver some time ago and loved its dark dystopia appeal. I happened upon the second one in the series by accident in the library - Gathering Blue. I started listening to that book without realizing it was the sequel and was equally pleased, after a trying beginning (as all Lois Lowry books seem to have - not bothersome, but just quite sad and pathetic for a potential future society. Let's hope we don't go there.). When I did realize this was a full series, but not a typical series, I ran out and bought all three. The lack of a standard series actually adds to the charm of these books. They follow three characters independently. Each book stands on its own, but has characters from the other books that the reader will be able to reminisce about. However, if you haven't read any of the others, you won't even know what you're missing because the books truly do stand on their own.

Messenger follows the now-young adult life of Mattie, a boy who began his journey in Gathering Blue as a supporting character. Mattie is now a young man and lives in a off-set of the previous future villages of Lowry's world where all the people with disfigurements and disabilities have gone to live together. They are surrounded by a forest that comes to life in the most unusual and disturbing ways and Mattie, along with Seer and a few other characters begin to realize that their sort-of utopia is no longer such. People are trading parts of themselves for other things secretly; the forest is killing people; and now, the normally quiet and peaceful Village has become a place of anger and greed. Mattie journeys off to bring Seer's daughter home (Kyra - the main character in Gathering Blue) and learns a great deal about his special gift.

It's a wonderfully odd and dark tale that will captivate you and make you want to read to the very last word. Lowry leaves things unexplained, but with a heavy sense of why things unfolded the way they did. This story and the entire series is a parable about our own possible future told in beautiful, dramatic prose and a keen-sense of storytelling at its best.

Rated PG for thematic material and foreboding danger.

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Goodreads Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, HushHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had mixed feelings about this book. I liked the writing and the concept, but not the characters very much. It's really personal preference, but the characters didn't seem very likable most of the time. And I was having a hard time with the appeal of main male character, Patch. Not a particularly likable guy - for me - either. But his bad-boy image is hard to pass for many teenage girls. And a few older women.

It's enjoyable, but not my favorite. Don't know if I'll read the next few. :/

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, dark material, scary scenes, and overall tone.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

What have I been doing lately?

Ah, that question always comes to mind when the winter falls upon me and I find myself inside, huddling to get warm, curled up in front of the TV or a good book and not wanting to do anything. Why does cold weather make me or any of us want to do that?

I don't know. Just does.

So, for my cure for the winter mellowies, I try to get creative. I write when I feel inspired (or when I just can't hold out and whine any more about just doing it!), I go outside when I'm brave, I sit inside in the sun soaking up feel-good Vitamin D and the sun's holy rays, and I try - try - to motivate myself. There's no guarantees, but I do try to get some stuff done.

With the time change, it feels like time slips away even if we do get more sun and light throughout the day. So, why do I still feel like there is more I could and should be doing? Because I know I can.

I suppose we could all be doing more - feeding the homeless (which I do do), fighting for clean air and water for everyone (I try to stay abreast of this matter and pollute as little as possible), reduce/reuse/recycle (all three are favorites of mine and I do often), paying bills, playing with the kids, taking the dog for a walk, being with friends. There is always more we can do. But do we need to do it all?


I've tried it. I've been there, done that. And yes, we can be doing more, but should we? How long until we burn ourselves out like a spent light bulb because we burned for too many hours in a continuous attempt to light the path for everyone? Only until all we can do is flicker.

I don't want to flicker anymore. When my light shines, I want it to shine brightly for others to see because I have put my best effort forward. I don't need to be on all the time; it's okay to turn off the lights once in awhile and let the power plants take a rest. Rest, rejuvenate, reclaim. Truthfully, that's what the rest of nature is doing. And maybe that's why in the winter months, we want to do the same.

So, I think I will curl up with a good book, put down my need to type and be okay with just being.

Happy relaxing!

Oh, P.S. Just to prove that I have actually done something over the past whenever, check out the updates to my website: I added some new picture books I have been working on and updated a few pages. Let me know what you think!

Love and happy things,