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WiB 2010 Fall Edition: Week 11

November 21, 2010

Six books this week, with 40 more to go to hit my goal of 300.  It was a slow year for me, really.

I started the week with Jane Feather’s The Silver Rose, which is the second book from that trilogy where I accidentally read the last book first.  It’s the loosest trilogy I’ve ever read, where there’s a bracelet in each one but I have no clue how it gets from family to family or what its purpose is.  This time, Feather takes on the trope of the warring families, and while there are some good things about this book, there’s not enough to keep me interested.  I’m kind of sad about this Jane Feather thing.  I loved the first book of hers I’ve read, and it’s been ehhhh ever since.

Next, I read Naylor’s seventh Alice book, Alice the Brave.  The series is starting to feel its age, with the books seeming less interesting in that they deal with less important issues and Alice really isn’t growing emotionally the way one would expect.  She’s still goofing off like a ten-year-old at the age of thirteen.  I realize that Alice grew up in another age than my daughter, but her cluelessness is hitting an epic level, and I’m hoping for a leap in the next book.  Still, Alice facing her fears and learning to swim is cute, and how it happens is incredibly heart-warming.

Next, I read Meet the Austins, but instead of getting the copy I REALLY wanted, I got the original copy with the Anti-Muffins taken out.  Blargh.  That still leaves me with an Anti-Muffins gap.  It’s interesting because there is that sense that the book just ENDS, even though everything is pretty much tied up.  But other than that, I love this depiction of a small-town family dealing with a death that leads them to taking in a spoiled little girl.  It shows very well how consistent parenting can put a child on the right path.

Next, I read Building Blocks, probably one of my least favorite Cynthia Voigts, but that’s like saying one of my least favorite chocolate bars.  In this book, a twelve-year-old boy goes back in time to see aspects of what made his father the weak-willed man he is in the present.  There are no clear answers to anything here, which is part of what I like about it.  Even when Brann comes back to the present, everything isn’t magically solved even with his new insight.  Still, it doesn’t feel like Voight’s other books.  The characters don’t have that voice–or, the one that does only taps into it occasionally.

I also read Julie Garwood’s Castles, because it was on my to-read shelf.  I found it slow going.  I think it was a reread.  It definitely had less of her book-to-book repetition (but it had slanting!) but it was also predictable and there was no sense that the protagonists and antagonist had much to do with each other.  I’ve been reading this and Castles just highlights how not to do this.  It’s almost entirely a disconnect.  Oh well.  It goes into the give-away/send-away/trade-away box.

Finally, I read the first Gossip Girl graphic novelization this morning, because I have yet to bring myself to read the book or watch the show. You know, this never works, reading a graphic novel instead of the work.  It didn’t work with the Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series (see picture on sidebar), it didn’t work with Anita Blake, and it didn’t work here. Apparently, the graphic novel is somewhere between the books and the show, with no soul at all to show for it. I was hoping for something along the lines of Cruel Intentions, but instead I got trash fluff.  Seriously, the worst of manga short-cut storytelling in a storm of appalling behavior.  Without using words to characterize everyone, you don’t get much of a sense of the characters existing as anything but a vehicle for drama. (Sorry for c&p-ing a lot of this from the book club, but hey.)

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