Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I picked up the City of Bones because a couple of my students had recommended it. I admit that as I read the first chapter I almost put it away and didn't finish. To be honest I'm getting a bit tired of fantasy, and this just seemed like another crazy tale.

However, I was in the car and it was the only book I had with me, so I kept reading. I got sucked in and tore through the book, anxious to find out what would happen next. Now that I'm done I want to get my hands on book two in the trilogy and follow along on the adventure.

The story begins with Clary, a pretty normal teenager, and her friend Simon, and their evening in a teen nightclub. It gets exciting very quickly as Clary sees people no one else can see and she watches as a group of teenage Shadowhunters kill another teen. She quickly learns that her mother has spent a lifetime keeping secrets from her. Now Clary must uncover them and locate her mother in the process.

I found myself really liking Clary, and admiring her courage and loyalty. I also liked Simon, and I felt so bad for him when he was turned into a mouse. Throughout the story the tension was often broken by humor, which I enjoy so much in a book.

The novel is fast-paced and definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. I loved reading it - and can't wait to get on to book two!

As so often happens with these good books a movie is being made. Watch for it - and enjoy the trailer below.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The minute I finished Divergent by Veronica Roth I began the next book in the trilogy, quickly followed by the final book. Throughout the last few days of my holiday vacation it became somewhat of an obsession with me. It helped to have my daughter here, as she had read all three books and was anxious to talk to me about the final chapters of the last book. (You'll get no spoiler from me here: you've got to read this one on your own!)

I admit that I am a speed reader. I rarely read a book more than once, and typically I fly through books very quickly, sometimes missing important details. There are a few books that deter me from this path. If a book is beautifully written it causes me to slow my reading and to re-read many phrases, paragraphs and even whole chapters. That being said, you need to know that I LOVED Veronica Roth's beautifully written books! I found myself reading much more slowly and carefully, even reading parts of the books out loud, because I enjoyed the language so much!

The first two books in the series are written only from Tris' point of view. Hearing the story in her words causes the reader to form a strong connection with Tobias, and with many of the other characters in the books (Peter, Cara, Christine, Caleb, and many more). In the third book we are introduced to the Tobias perspective through chapters written in his voice. This allows us to not only see his choices in a new light but also to give us a new perspective on the strengths and the shortcomings of Tris. We see another side to each relationship, and I think that does so much to help us understand and connect with each character.

So, if I haven't said it clearly enough, this is one series you won't want to miss!