Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What I Read Wednesday

Warm Bodies: A Novel
I requested this one from the library because Amazon said that it was about zombies and I was going through Walking Dead withdrawal at the time. I didn't read that much into it, but the actual story was fascinating and different than the usual zombie lore. These zombies, of course, eat humans. They especially seem to like brains, but they like brains because the brains give them glimpses of the memories of the person they ate. So in those few minutes, they get relive being human again and in some ways, they're able hold on to some of this humanity--which begs ethical the question, are they really dead? This is definitely not your typical zombie gore book. I would recommend it.

Little Wolves
In the wake of school shootings and the questions of what drives a quiet, loner type kid to pick up a gun and kill, this book that begins with a sudden murder committed by a teenage boy was incredibly topical and haunting. Interwoven with life in a small town, riddled with superstitions and stories and one woman's journey to find her mother and how it relates to the boy and how he was driven made for a really fascinating story.

The Bone Lady: Life as a Forensic Anthropologist
This was a quick and easy read by a female forensic anthropologist who runs FACES, a lab primarily dedicated to facial reconstruction on skulls to help close cases with unidentified bodies. Though sad, it's admirable that someone would dedicate her life to helping families find closure and some of the cases she's worked on are fascinating. Each chapter was dedicated to a different case, which was a little choppy but made for an easy read.

Flash Point
This was an easy, engaging YA lit read, but not as strongly written as I'd hoped (or edited--at one point, the word "co10uldn't" appeared... how does that slip through?!). Amy lives in a somewhat dystopian world set in 2016, following a collapse of the economy. In an attempt to earn money to support her sister and very ill grandma, she applies for a job and ends up on a reality TV show where teens are put in different, dangerous situations each week and the viewing audience votes on how they will react. Not quite as brutal as the Hunger Games, but still an engaging premise, nonetheless. While I enjoyed the overall premise of the story, the characters were somewhat flat and underdeveloped, especially for a 400 page book. There are things built up through the entire book, then dropped or never explained at the end. The overall society after the collapse of the economy is never really explained in that much detail which is, in my opinion, one of the more fascinating aspects of dystopian literature. That said, it was still an enjoyable read and I can see it working well for a lower middle school reader.

I loved this novel. Most period pieces about slaves or slavery seem to center around the Civil War or the Reconstruction, but Wash takes place earlier--after the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The main character, Wash, is used as a "stud" by his owner, a man who treats his slaves better than most, yet sees no wrong in using one to breed like a prized stallion. I hesitate to call Wash the main character because the book is woven from the perspectives of many characters, sometimes switching from first to third person point-of-view and retelling scenarios from different perspectives. Yet, with all of this, it never seemed choppy or confusing, instead it was flawless and heartbreaking and you felt a real connection to each of the characters. It was beautiful and heartbreaking.

What are you reading?


Anonymous said...

You read so fast. I finished the Matched trilogy and am digging back into Mrs. Bridges (followed immediately by Mr. Bridges, the books go together but don't specify an order so I figured ladies first). Let me know if you want to borrow our copy of Reached. It's just sitting here... you could pick it up on your way home today...

Kassandra said...

I just finished an amazing nonfiction work called Kisses from Katie. Now I'm digging into a Body Farm novel per your suggestion. So far it rocks!

Becky said...

What is the title of the second book? The link to Warm Bodies is on both and the second one sounds fab.
You do know Warm Bodies is a movie now too, right?

One crazed mommy said...

I finished Winter Garden over the weekend - great book! But be warned, it will make you teary! I just started The Bloodletter's Daughter by Linda Lafferty - it's a historical drama that takes place in the early 1600's during the reign of Rudolph II. His son Don Julius is mad so they send him to a castle to keep him from causing harm to the locals - also to have the local bloodletter try to cure him of his "bad humors". He begins to obsess over the bloodletters daughter, who comes to the castle to assist her father. It's based on true events, and is being an enjoyable read. I am reading it for free on the Kindle Library.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

little wolves and wash look really good. i am reading the dovekeepers by alice hoffman.

Mommy Mo said...

Did you read all of this in ONE week? Holy cow woman. I barely have time at night to read a few pages before I zonk out!!!

Unknown said...

I just read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. It was SO GOOD. Slow at the start but it took off halfway through and was excellent.

keli [at] kidnapped by suburbia said...

you're not only a speedy reader, you write the best reviews!!! Now I really really want to read The Bone Lady [mostly due to my love of the tv show Bones]. I guess it would better for my brain to READ it than WATCH it ;)