Monday, July 14, 2008

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot fits in the Adult Mystery Fiction genre. It was first published in 2006 and is recommended for adult readers.

Admittedly I am a size twelve so I picked this book up for vain reasons, the title flattered me. I have read a lot by Meg Cabot, mostly the Princess Diaries Books, and I enjoyed the shift into adult fiction by an author I already love. Cabot's chatty writing style engages readers as she tells the story much like friends talking on the phone about a life more interesting than mine has ever been. This novel centers around Heather Wells who as a former teen pop star is used to having the world center around her. Heather is a former star because she decided she wanted to sing her own songs and her label didn't agree and decided to drop her. She also lost her figure and her boyfriend at the same time. Thus she is forced to live in the real world where people are always saying, “don't I know you from somewhere” and she's just trying to get on with life. Heather lands a job as an assistant dorm director at a college in New York and she things she's finally getting everything back together until a girl is found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft. Heather is the only one who is convinced there is foul play and makes it her mission to discover the truth. The twists and turns that follow captured my attention and kept me guessing. I was happily surprised at the ending and can't wait to read the other mystery books that feature Heather Wells.

Other Reviews Available:

Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot

Big Boned by Meg Cabot

I am the cheese by Robert Cormier

I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier fits into the Juvenile Mystery Fiction genre. It was first published in 1977 and is recommended for ages 14 and up.

In the beginning of “I am the Cheese” we learn that Adam Farmer is on his bike in Monument, Massachusetts on his way to Rutterburg, Vermont but that is about all of the information we are given. As the book unfolds the reader gets more and more as Adam's memories are triggered by interviews with a man named Brint. They have interviews that lead Adam to remember stories and then we get more information. It's a really interesting way to write a book and I was captivated by what I knew and what there was yet to learn. Bit by bit we learn about his life and family. They had a home and a nice life but they left in a hurry one night and never went back. We learn also about his girlfriend Amy Hertz and how they used to play practical jokes together. Further into the book Adam begins to question Brint's motives and get suspicious because all of the interviews focus on certain parts of his life and while

Brint says he's there to help, Adam is sure he's being pumped for information. In the end we learn that almost nothing is as it seems and that Adam has had one exciting life.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins was originally published in 2005.  It fits into the juvenile fiction genre and is recommended for readers ages 10 and up.

Finally there is a Newbery Medal winner that actually deserves the award.  So often when I read them I wonder but Criss Cross has it all.  This realistic and hilarious novel not only captured my attention it made me remember all the joys and frustrations of being a teen.  The story follows the lives of several teens in a town called Seldem.  Mostly we learn about their desire for boyfriends and girlfriends and their oblivion to the possibilities before them.  The laugh-out-loud anecdotes not only brought the characters to life but also told me how they think and what they struggle with.  The book was also filled with illustrations by the author every once in a while that were interesting, enlightening, or just funny.  Over all it was a great book and I would recommended it to anyone and everyone.

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett was originally published in 2003.  It fits into the Fantasy genre and is recommended for adult readers.

Monstrous Regiment was a great disappointment to me.  The particular volume I read was covered with reviews that listed of how funny it was and while there were one or two funny lines that I shared with my husband overall it wasn’t anything to rave about.  The plot was interesting enough.  It takes place in the country of Borogravia that takes part in wars continuously with all of the surrounding countries.  Polly Perks decided to join the army disguised as a man to find her brother that joined up a year before and went missing.  Polly, also known as Oscar, found that it was harder than she thought to appear male and was soon discovered my a mysterious someone who instructed her to put a pair of socks in her pants to “bulge where she should”.  Polly/Oscar finds out later that she is not alone in her secret and that everyone in the army has something to hide whether it’s a secret like hers or something else.  Polly and her fellow “men” find out what they are made of and are surprised at what they can accomplish in the end.  Overall it wasn’t great.  I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone but at the same time I don’t think I’d tell people not to read it because it wasn’t bad either it just didn’t wow me.

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor was originally published in 2006.  It fits into the Fantasy genre and is recommended for readers ages 10 and up.

The Looking Glass Wars beings in Oxford England in July of 1863 and “Alice in Wonderland” was just published.  Alyss Heart had told the story of her life to a friend she thought she could trust and he twisted the story all around making it sound like a silly children’s story instead of something real, scary, and tragic that happened to her.  Alyss had told other people the story but no one had believed her and the farfetched story by Lewis Carroll only made her feel like more of a fool and she began to wonder if her life in Wonderland actually happened.  From this beginning Beddor shoots off of Carroll’s story and tells his own version of Wonderland where things are not only more exciting but more captivating as well.  Princess Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne of the queendom in Wonderland her parents were killed by her jealous Aunt Redd and Alyss and her bodyguard Hatter Madigan must flee to save themselves from Redd’s assassin the Cat.  They get separated along the way and Alyss gets adopted into a family in England.  In the end Alyss finds her way back to Wonderland to take her place as the rightful heir to the throne from her wicked Aunt Redd.  Overall it was a great book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy.

Other Reviews Available:

Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor