Review Hacklet: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson ~ I yawped

It totally is.

It totally is.

1 heartI have to make this one a hacklet instead of a full hack because almost all the things I want to talk about are way too specific and spoilers in the sense that it was such a delight to come across certain little parts of this book and I’d hate to be that person who ruins someone else’s reading/watching/viewing/listening experience by nudging them and saying “Just WAIT until you get to the part where…!” I don’t want to be that guy.

So I’ll talk more generally. This book is full of all the elements that potentially make a book a turn-off for me: a love triangle, a bitchy rival, wall-to-wall quirky characters, Wuthering Heights references,  a (yet another) main character numb with grief, a (yet another) missing mother, bits of poetry written by the griever, a love interest that acts like a jerk and yet is still pursued by the narrator, and to top it off, the reviled first person present tense (FPPT) narration. Toxic, right? Nope. This book made me yawp. An honest to goodness Whitman-esque yawp.

In fact, though very different, The Sky is Everywhere gave me the same feeling I get when I read that Whitman poem. Warm, expansive, tingly, full of feeling, earthy. Whitman’s poems invites you to take a sky’s eye view of life, and you can guess from the title, that this book does too. Nelson is very daring to explore the intensities of grief and love and how those wires can get dangerously intensified or even crossed. And yet despite these intense emotions, the book was expertly leavened by the right amount of humor.

I enjoyed this book so much that I had to stop reading a few chapters before the end, so that I wouldn’t have to leave it. The story ends perfectly, and yet I wish it had kept going on. I want to live some more with those characters. I think for now, I’ll go re-read that Whitman and yawp some more.

 

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Review: Transcendence – by CJ Omololu ~ Akhet are the new vampires

Akhet are the new vampires

There is a kernel of a good idea here

Verdict: Interesting paranormal concept that played out in a disconnected, melodramatic plot with forgettable characters.

Perfect for: People who still love vampire stories, or are bored of vampire stories but still want that romance-between-beings-with-eternal-life thing. People who are interested in the concept of reincarnation.

Find out about what the heck Akhet are and why the book didn’t make the best use of them

Review: Angelfall – by Susan Ee

Could be a bestseller

Only one element needs hacking

Disclaimer: This is a review of an Advanced Reader’s Copy of the book that I obtained from an ALA conference. The final version of the book will be published on August 28, 2012.

Verdict:  Angelfall blends well-worn elements from a slew of recently popular books, such as: a badass teenage girl who becomes a heroine in order to protect her weak younger sister and psychologically damaged mother (Hunger Games); a trek through an apocalyptic urban hellscape (The Road, The Walking Dead series, and The Passage, to name just three); an antagonistic partnership with sexual tension between a human and an angel (Hush, Hush, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Fallen and a bajillion others). The blending is successful, and even if the story is not wholly unique, it is a great read and is the first book in what is sure to be a successful trilogy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie rights get snapped up, either. Bonus points to the author for initially self-publishing with Amazon, gaining a following, and getting picked up by Marshall Cavendish publishers. You go, Susan Ee!

Perfect for: People who like any of the books listed above. You know who you are.

Continue reading to find out why this book worked so well