Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mark Twain, A Life by Ron Powers

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Back to History
In Their Shoes
Chunkster Challenge: At 722 pages including 95 pages of indexes, this book definitely qualifies as a chunkster. And it took me eleven days to read it!! Let's just say I've had my fill of Mark Twain for a while.
Back to History Challenge: Powers certainly did a lot of impressive research for this book. I enjoyed the way he not only told about Twain's life, but about what was going on in the country and in the world during those 75 years. He also imparted how Mark Twain influenced society through his novels, essays and lectures. It was quite a pivotal time in history; and I enjoyed reading about those years in the West, the South, and New England.
In Their Shoes Challenge: Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, was probably one of the most famous celebrities of the 20th century. In fact, Powers compares him to modern-day rock stars. This comparison almost made me quit reading, it seemed so ludicrous. Granted Clemens was mercurial, hot-tempered, and moody; he liked his liquor and cigars; he spent money at an alarming rate; but he was incredibly faithful and loving to his wife and family; didn't go around trashing hotels and trains; and was considered a good friend by those who didn't make him mad; and was certainly not a one-night wonder. He is considered by many to be America's greatest author and was a leading humorist of his time. There were a few instances when Powers seemed to be trying to be a humorist himself, again terribly distracting. "The Quaker City's crew had waged a three-night dockside brawl with some British sailors, and had ended up kicking some major Britannia butt." What?? There was enough fodder in the facts of Clemens' life to easily fill this book without annoying asides. Power's page and a half of trying to dispel any feeling that Clemens was a racist was a waste of time when a chapter later, he quotes a few very racist remarks from Clemens. I don't think anyone can argue that in his early years, Clemens was a product of his Missouri upbringing and that included racism. It seems to Clemens' credit that he overcame a lot of that prejudice later in his life and hated to see people misused. I really liked how Powers differentiated between the boy, Sammy Clemens; the man, Samuel or Sam Clemens; and the celebrity author, Mark Twain. Speaking of the changes in Missouri: "The "progress" that Samuel Clemens embraced as a businessman-investor was a betrayl of what remained of Sammy's faith. Against the sterilizing tide, Mark Twain needed to build a bulwark: a life on the Mississippi as permanent as words could make it." Powers also did some in-depth analysis of Mark Twain's writing and his talents. I think this part of the book would be very interesting to someone who was going to be teaching from his books. I was probably not as interested in it as I should have been. The section that dealt with his financial extravagances and mismanagement really put my banker's teeth on edge. He was such a mess that I had a hard time reading about it. For a person that famous and successful to come to the brink of bankruptcy was appalling. Mostly I just enjoyed reading about a person who truly was larger than life, who crammed a lot of living and traveling and experiences into his 75 years. Those experiences were definitely worth reading about. His love for his put-upon wife was so endearing and she was always struggling to refine and civilize him. "He promised Livy one morning he would swear off profanity, shortly before breaking two tumblers while trying to take some medicine--"then I released my voice. Mrs. C behind me in the door: 'Don't reform any more, it isn't an improvement.' " Would I like to meet the man? Probably not. He had a very forceful and abrasive personality and could be quite cruel in his sarcasm and humor. On the other hand, he was very funny and was a charming and entertaining host.
Rating: 4
Posted by Framed at 6:07 PM

Booklogged said...
I'm not sure I could read that many pages about Mark Twain. And if I did, I know it would take way longer than 11 days. (Did I just give away where I live with that "way" longer thing?!)
3/10/2008 12:21 AM
Trish said...
Whew--750 pages! I have to admit that I don't know very much about Mark Twain, but I enjoy his fiction. I'll have to put this on my list to pick up (one day). If you're interested in biographies, I read one a few years ago on Lewis Carroll (by Morton)--very fascinating and misunderstood man.
3/10/2008 6:59 PM
writer2b said...
Whew, this is definitely a chunkster. Twain sounds like a mixed character--like the characters in his books. I enjoy his humor, but I can't read several in a row by him.Thanks for reading and reviewing this. I hope you're reading something light and fun now!
3/11/2008 1:48 PM
gautami tripathy said...
I am on my third chunkster! It is never ending!
3/12/2008 9:38 AM
Mo said...
Twain is one of my all-time fav's, and while I have read quite a bit about the man, I haven't read this particular biography.. it sounds interesting to me, tho.. would *I* have liked to have met the man?! You bet'cha!! Brash & sarcastic tho he may have been, from all accounts he was gracious and charming, still!Great review, BTW.

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Recommend by a co-worker
I had decided months ago that I did not want to read this book. But when my co-worker brought it to me at work, I wasn't going to argue with him about it. He's one of those types that are very passionate about what they like and it's pretty hard to argue with someone's passions. Besides what harm was there, it's a pretty short book. So after reading the other books he had lent to me, I began The Alchemist. Almost immediately, I thought, "Great, this is another self-improvement book like The Secret. Well, let's get through it and get it over with." In fact, I ended up really enjoying the book. Santiago is a youg shepherd who is told to find his Personal Legend. He is given omens and help along his journey to achieve this goal, and meets some wonderful characters. Instead of telling us how we can get all the things we want in life, Coelho is basically teaching about a spiritual journey and how we need to find our own paths and learn to listen to what our hearts tell us. While you can't avoid the lessons involved in the book, the story is wonderfully simple and refreshing and Coelho's writing is pretty mesmerizing. Very poetic. Here are some quotes I marked:
"When each day is the same as the next, it's because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises."
"We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it's our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand,"
"What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, The Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not beause it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved toward that dream. That's the point at which most people give up. It's the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one 'dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'
'Every search begins with beginner's luck. And every search ends with the victor's being severely tested.'
The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It is said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn."
I really don't care for self-help books, but this one, couched in a story, was pretty entertaining. The message was repeated consistently so you couldn't lose sight of it, but not really annoying.
Rating: 4.25
Posted by Framed at 8:28 PM

aart hilal said...
hello!I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:http://www.paulocoelhoblog.comHave a nice day!Aart
2/28/2008 11:03 PM
Trish said...
Interesting--I've heard a lot about this book but I didn't realize it was "self-help." By the way, I like the new? look!
2/29/2008 6:38 PM
Jeane said...
I've been curious about this book since I saw a fellow student reading it in class one day, four years ago! The incident stood out in my mind because the student was sorely chastized, and I thought hey, that must be a pretty good book for him to risk running up against this teacher. Glad to know more about it.
2/29/2008 8:24 PM
Literary Feline said...
I tend to think of this book more as a modern day fable than a self-help book, but I guess I can see why you might classify it as such. I really enjoyed this gem of a book and found it very refreshing. I am so glad you gave it a chance and enjoyed it.
2/29/2008 9:26 PM
writer2b said...
I share your feelings about self-help books! I'm glad reading this one didn't end up a waste of time. (The title sounds like it would be more of a fantasy tale.)
3/01/2008 4:53 AM
Framed said...
You can read this book as a fantas. The self-help is subtle and just part of the message Coelho includes about how to find your personal legend. I didn't feel I was being preached at or given a list of things to do.
3/01/2008 10:10 AM
gautami tripathy said...
I did manage to read this. A mad airport buying this was. I liked while I read it. But thinking over it, I found it to simplistic.
3/01/2008 11:28 AM
valentina said...
This book had a big impact on me as a teenager, I even quoted in on one of my essays in school. Sometimes I remind myself not to forget my personal legend because that's all that matters!but I wouldn't want to read any more book of his. Even though I heard Veronika decides to die is even better.
3/01/2008 1:50 PM
Danielle Blogging for Balance said...
I'm not much with self help books either. I will be adding this to my TBR GoodReads list!! thanks.
3/03/2008 7:21 AM
themarvelous said...
I feel exactly the same as Gautami. It's supposed to Bill Clinton's favorite book, and all the more reason to . . . .
3/05/2008 1:52 PM
Stephanie said...
Oh...I loved this book. I think the entire point of it WAS to be simplistic. It was almost like one of Aesop's Fables....a literary representation of one of life's little lessons. I thought it was wonderful!! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. It seems to be one of those books that tends to polarize people. They either love it or hate it!
3/05/2008 5:23 PM
Tristi Pinkston said...
"not really annoying" is good . . .
3/05/2008 6:39 PM
Heather said...
I'm really glad you ended up reading and enjoying this book. It is on my top ten of all time list.
3/06/2008 11:06 AM
Booklogged said...
It was a nice fable with some good lessons woven into the story. I always like it when people share quotes. I especially like the one about recognized the good things that happen. I'm curious as to what passages I marked in this book - must go back and check.
3/06/2008 9:32 PM
sage said...
I'm glad you enjoyed this book--I've read three of his books and this fable is my favorite even though I also enjoyed the Pilgrimage.
3/08/2008 1:14 PM
Ana said...
This is one of my favorite books - I love Paulo Coelho. He is Brazilian as I am, and I have known him since I was a child (he also wrote great songs back in the 70s!) and respect him enourmously.
3/16/2008 2:25 AM

The Chase by Clive Cussler

Monday, February 25, 2008

Recommended by a co-worker
This is the second book lent to me by my friend at work. He really raved about this one. And I can see why. The Chase is a great cops-and-robbers book set in 1906 and 1907. There is no mystery as to who is going around the West robbing banks and cold-bloodedly killing all witnesses. At least to the reader. None of the lawmen can find him as he seemingly disappears into thin air. Finally, the government hires the Van Dorn Detective Agency who brings in its top agent, Isaac Bell. Bell is tall, lanky and absurdly handsome with his icy blue-violet eyes. But is he good enough to catch the sociopathic killer who is a mastermind criminal? Following the two as they circle around each other in several western locales including Salt Lake City and San Francisco was just great fun. Bell seems to be a step behind all the time and the Butcher Bandit always gets away. The net closes in on the thief in San Franciso until the huge earthquake and fire puts another obstacle in Bell's path. The ending involves a break-neck locomotive chase across the Sierra's and the western desert to reach a titanic conclusion. There is some great historical facts included in the book especially dealing with the railroad companies and the San Francisco earthquake. Having said all that, I have to add that the romance in this book was some of the dumbest stuff I've ever read. And there are a few corny dialogues thrown in along the way. It reminded me a bit of Dudley Do-right, Snidely Whiplash, and Nell. Maybe Cussler intended the book to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. Judging from his author's picture on the back cover, he seems to have a wicked sense of humor. Anyway, aside from those small distractions, I thought it was a terrific adventure to read and I plan to read more of his books.
Rating: 4
Posted by Framed at 7:50 PM

SuziQoregon said...
I think of Cusslers books as definitely tongue in cheek swashbuckler style adventures. Part comic book, part Errol Flynn movie.Just fun escapism.
2/25/2008 9:46 PM
Booklogged said...
Sounds fun. I'm always good for a humorous cop/robber story.
2/26/2008 12:53 PM
gautami tripathy said...
I like such books. Makes for verylight read. Thanks!
2/27/2008 3:07 AM
Tristi Pinkston said...
Hey there,For some reason, your e-mail won't let me talk to you! So I'm gonna have to do it this way!I'm doing a virtual book tour in April and wonder if you'd like to be one of the stops. I would send you a copy of the book and you'd choose a day to review it, and on that day, I'd send you a lot of traffic. Let me know if you are interested -- tristi AT
2/28/2008 8:59 AM
She Became a Butterfly said...
i found you via the tbr challenge!a friend and i just started a book lovers message board. we'd love for you to join!eden
2/28/2008 2:58 PM
Tristi Pinkston said...
Your first e-mail didn't work for me, so come rescue me from your spam filter on the other one, okay? :)
2/28/2008 8:44 PM
Nicola said...
Now you've got me interested! Sounds fun.
3/01/2008 7:33 AM

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

Monday, February 25, 2008

Recommended by a co-worker
A few months ago, a co-worker asked me to lend him a few books as he had decided to start reading more and keep the TV off. So I did. When I later asked how he liked them, he was only half-way through one and not liking it at all. Then he proceeded to tell me all about the books he was reading that were absolutely fantastic. He returned two of the three books along with three he thought I absolutely must read. Jeez, I must have forgotten to tell him about the piles of unread books around my house. (He knows now so I probably won't be getting any more must-reads for a while.) I always get a little panicked when I borrow a book because I'm afraid I will forget where I got it and even that it's not mine if it hangs around the house too long. So I pushed all the challenges aside and started with this book.
I had noticed Playing for Pizza a while ago but had dedided against it as I'm not much of a Grisham fan. His legal thrillers seem to follow a formula that bothered me for some reason. But Pizza is not a legal thriller, far from it. In fact, the whole premise is very amusing. Rick Dockery is probably the worst quarterback in the NFL; and. in one fateful playoff game, he proves it by throwing three interceptions in eleven minutes, blowing a 17 point lead and costing his team their first chance at the Superbowl. He wakes up in the hospital with a concussion and swarms of angry fans trying to get to his room with murder on their minds. Of course, he is finished as an NFL player, but not ready to give up his football dream. Somehow, he ends up quarterbacking a semi-pro team in Parma, Italy. The coach and the rest of the team are a great bunch of characters, and the food and wine in this city are almost as important to the plot as the game itself. If there is way too many football plays described, I suppose it is only to be expected. (sigh) Still, this was a light, fun book with a good-looking ,klutzy hunk as its hero. Not a bad reason to read a book at all.
Rating: 3.75
Posted by Framed at 7:33 PM

Booklogged said...
I think I can pass on a football themed book. It's great that you're reading some of your coworker's suggestions. I'm curious as to what you lent him that he didn't like.
2/26/2008 12:56 PM
Much Ado said...
Hmm, this sounds like a Grisham book I might like to read! Great review.
3/01/2008 2:51 AM
writer2b said...
I know what you mean about Grisham. Sometimes it seems like he's writing for the screen, and imagining certain actors and actresses... But this one sounds different. Thanks for the review.
3/01/2008 4:56 AM
Megan said...
I decided to buy this book after seeing it on your blog. Hope it was worth my $1.50 :P
3/11/2008 6:52 PM

Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Canadian Book Challenge, Quebec
Recommended by Booklogged
I'm pretty sure I've read books by Willa Cather before, back in the Ice Ages, so I don't really remember. But I like the way she writes. Her prose is wonderful and she creates a picture of the town of Quebec in the year 1697 that is both picturesque and fascinating. Here's an example of her beautiful descriptions: "The autumn fog was rolling in from the river so thick that she seemed to be walking through drifts of brown cloud. Only a few roofs and spires stood out in the fog, detached and isolated: the fleche of the Recollet chapel, the slate roof of the Chateau, the long, grey outline of Bishop Laval's Seminary, floating in the sky. Everything else was blotted out by rolling vapours that were constantly changing in density and colour; now brown, now amethyst, now reddish lavender, with sometimes a glow of orange overhead where the sun struggled behind the thick weather. It was like walking in a dream. One could not see the people one passed, or the river, or one's own house. Not even the winter snows gave one such a feeling of being cut off from everything and living in a world of twilight and miracles. "
The story itself is quite simple and gentle. Cecile Auclair is a twelve-year old girl who lives with her father, the apothecary. Euclid Auclair had come to Quebec from France nine yers ago with his wife and daughter to serve the governor, Count Frontenac. His wife dies several years later, but Euclid and his daughter lead a rewarding life as they interact with a host of interesting characters, some fictional and others drawn from actual historical figures. In the year covered by the story, we learn about the isolation of the town from the rest of the world, the townspeople's allegiance to France and the Catholic church, the practice of medicine, the fur trade, common dining practices and town celebrations, etc. Even though the plot itself is pretty much a log of Cecile's day-to-day life, the book gives you a wonderful glimpse into the history and geography of one of the oldest settlements in North America. I do have a slight gripe about the French dialog since I didn't understand what was being said and Cather doesn't bring it out too much in the surrounding text. Other than that, I liked this book and thought it was a wonderful pick for the challenge.
Rating: 4
Posted by Framed at 11:04 PM

Stephanie said...
Last year for the Decades Challenge, I read my first Cather book: O' Pioneers. I really loved it. I thought the writing was just wonderful. Sparse, but it perfectly portrayed the scenes, and I loved that the main character was a really strong woman. I think Cather is great. I really do mean to pick up some more of her work!
2/23/2008 8:18 AM
Les said...
I love Cather's descriptive language. Some of my favorites are O' Pioneers!, My Antonia, Death Comes For the Archbishop and Song of the Lark. I've visited her hometown, Red Cloud, (in Nebraska) and can easily picture her characters in several locations.
2/23/2008 6:24 PM
Booklogged said...
So glad you found a copy. I never did find mine. I liked the story, too. Your description of the book was right on. I think we need to visit Quebec City and check out the places, don't you?
2/24/2008 7:05 PM
John Mutford said...
I feel like I've read that passage before but I sure I haven't. In regards to the French dialogue, I've found that in other books as well.
2/27/2008 1:37 PM
John Mutford said...
I feel like I've read that passage before but I sure I haven't. In regards to the French dialogue, I've found that in other books as well.
2/27/2008 1:37 PM

I Married the Klondike by Laura Beatrice Berton

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Canadian Book Challenge-Yukon Territory
I had originally chosen "The Call of The Wild" as my book to read for the Yukon Territory, but I didn't really want to read it again. So I asked my old friend,, for suggestions and found this little gem. In 1907, Laura Thompson leaves Toronto at the age of 29 to teach kindergarten in Dawson City. She plans to leave after a year, but stays for twenty-five. In this fascinating and thoroughly delightful memoir, we are invited to experience the decline of the jewel of the once great Klondike Gold Rush. Laura includes everything from the strict social mores of the time, the regimented visiting schedules, physical hardships, northern lights, the rough miners, the ladies of the night, proper Englishmen and down-and-out social misfits hiding in the gulches above the Yukon and Klondike rivers. Her chatty but objective prose draws you into a frigid climate that almost seems appealing. Along the way, she marries and raises two children. Her son, Pierre Berton, grew up to become one of Canada's most prolific non-fiction authors. He writes this about his mother's book:
"I Married the Klondike has become a minor Canadian classic, read by thousands, first as an intensely human adventure and, second, as a piece of social history. It has been anthologized, serialized, translated and excerpted for the schools . . .In her twilight years it brought my mother a modicum of fame, which she thoroughly enjoyed."
Berton shares the history of the close of that era with humor and love. Here are a few quotes to illustrate:
"We had struggled for hours up a steep, tangled gulch, our feet deep in the wet caribou moss and our legs and ankles bruised by sharp rocks. Then, suddenly we broke out on to a sunlit hillside. On its upper reaches, fairly dancing with the joy of life, was a grove of young white birches. Lower down, towards the valley, lay acres and acres of wild flowers--clumps of blue lupins, larkspur five feet tall, monkshood and great feathery bunches of white Baby's Breath. We never spoke of that scene to each other again, but it was one of the reasons why we were returning."
"In the very cold weather a thick fog settled over the Yukon valley. It appeared as soon as the thermometer sank below forty, and, looking out from our windows, we could pretty well judge the temperature by its density. If the houses a short block away were invisible we knew it was forty below. If those half a block away were invisible, it was fifty below. If Service's** cabin across the street was shrouded, then we could be certain it was fully sixty below zero."
**Robert W Service was a Canadian poet who wrote "The Cremation of Sam McGrew", a poem Berton explains the origin of.
Klondike Rose, the old deaf prostitute, was asked by Berton if she would like something to read, but she replied that she did not care for books. "Someone gave me a Bible once and I tried my best to read it," she said, "but I came on so many dirty stories that I closed it up and never opened it again."
This book presents a birdseye view of a time and place that has been romanticized in books and movies. It is steeped in wonderful historical facts presented in an entertaining and charming manner.
Rated: 4.5
Posted by Framed at 8:24 PM

John Mutford said...
It's great that this was a pleasant read. I once read Claire Mowat's Outport People simply because she was married to Farley Mowatt and was very disappointed (then I've never been a fan of him either, so that shouldn't have been surprising). When was this published and do you think it would have been had her son not been Pierre Berton?
2/06/2008 8:01 AM
Nicola said...
I'm so glad to see you liked this book. I've always meant to read it but haven't really heard any opinion on it. Will have to make sure I get to it, sounds good.
2/06/2008 11:05 AM
Booklogged said...
Will you be mooching this book? Sounds like a good one to read on a hot summer day. To think we are shivering our little goosebumps off at -4 degrees!
2/06/2008 11:28 AM
Teddy Rose said...
Thanks for the review. I had heard of this book before, but didn't know much about it. On to my TBR it goes.
2/06/2008 5:22 PM
Framed said...
John, it was published in 1954. After I read about Pierre Berton, I thought he probably had a lot of influence in getting the book published. But I didn't know who he was until after I read it. I know you didn't care for his book that you just read. Are there any you would recommend?Nicola and Teddy, Thanks for visiting. I think you would enjoy this book a lot if you like delving into history. Booklogged, it's on its way.
2/06/2008 7:08 PM
Nicola said...
Framed, I'm not John but the Berton's that I enjoyed the most are Vimy (about the battle of Vimy Ridge during WWI) and The Dionne Years (about the Dionne Quintuplets).
2/07/2008 7:20 AM
John Mutford said...
I LOVED The Arctic Grail.

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

Monday, February 18, 2008

Young Adult Challenge
From front book cover: As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again find herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob--knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewofe. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?
This book answered some of my questions from New Moon. It was good to see Bella realize some of the uglier aspects of vampirism that she has over looked in her consuming need to be just like Edward. And that decision is still pending. The conflict with the rogue vampire is resolved in another gripping and violent scene. Edward really is an oustanding character, very mature (he is 97 years old though he looks seventeen) and very selfless in his love for Bella. Bella is still pretty whiny and I don't quite get the whole thing with Jacob. I really like the character of Jacob, but can't quite buy the fact that Bella seems so torn between the two guys. I use the term loosely; one's a vampire and the other a werewolf. In "Eclipse," Meyer incorporates some great humor while describing the conflict between the vampires and the werewolves. I laughed at how they can't stand the way the other smells. And reading about Jacobs's and Edward's attempts to get the edge on Bella and their under-handed tricks was darn funny. Of course, Edward has the advantage so he's pretty smug and I even liked that. Like the previous novels in this series, "Eclipse" is a very intense book; the emotions, the suspense even the setting is intense. As ever, a very enjoyable and hard-to-put-down read. I can't believe I have to wait so long for Book Four.
Rating: 4.5
Posted by Framed at 1:38 PM

Maw Books said...
I always preferred Jacob over Edward. August does sound a long way off. I know they are doing a midnight release party at The King's English Bookshop in SLC. Reminds me so much of Harry Potter. I may end up going . . .
2/18/2008 4:51 PM
Cassie said...
I'm so glad you liked the series. The rivalry between Jacob and Edward was pretty funny but it drove me to dislike Jacob even more. I don't understand why people prefer him but that's me.
2/19/2008 9:44 AM
Suey said...
My favorite scene was in the tent, with Jacob acting as a space heater and Edward listening to all his thoughts. I thought it was hillarious!
2/19/2008 5:36 PM
Tristi Pinkston said...
Framed, would you please e-mail me? tap AT
2/19/2008 10:33 PM
Bookfool said...
Everyone seems to prefer Jacob. I've only read the first book, so I'm anxious to meet him, so to speak. It'll probably be a while. :)
2/20/2008 8:31 PM
Framed said...
Suey, that was the scene I was thinking about when I wrote my review. As for Jacob vs Edward. I like Jacob a lot, he's easier for me to relate to, but Edward is, well, the total guy. Romantic, caring, thoughtful, sensitive and just plain hot. (Not temperature-wise. In fact, I find that his biggest fault. I could never cuddle with a stone-cold vampire.) Anyway, I'm rooting for Edward and I'm sure in Book Four, Jacob will find someone to imprint on. (Read the book to learn more about imprinting.)
2/20/2008 9:06 PM
April said...
I can't wait to read this series! I really need to just sit down and dig into it. It sounds so good and so many have said such great things about the books!
2/23/2008 5:12 PM
Stephanie said...
I really enjoy all the books in this series, although Twilight is still my favorite.
2/26/2008 10:47 AM
Alix said...
Great review. I laughed out loud a lot too. Although I did find Edward's constant nobleness annoying after a bit. So I was leaning towards Jacob and I kind of thought Jacob had imprinted on Bella. Maybe I got that wrong though.
2/29/2008 8:41 AM
Em said...
Thanks for commenting on my blog awhile back...sorry for taking so long to visit yours. I'm glad I did! :)I agree with you about the whole Bella being torn between the two guys thing. I just hope that Jacob imprints on someone else SOON.I added your blog to my google reader so I'll be dropping in from time to time. :)
3/04/2008 9:08 PM
Thea said...
Wow, I have to say this is the first place I've been that shows some love for Jacob! I am a huge Jacob fan and prefer him to Edward, probably for the main reason that Jacob does not need or desire Bella to change her very essence to be with her (the relationship w/ Edward IMO is terribly unhealthy as Bella needs to give up everything and everyone she loves to be with him...what kind of message is that to send YA readers?). I loved New Moon and Eclipse, and I find that Bella's struggle in these two books to be realistic (well, so far as realism extends to a vamp and a werewolf lol!) and endearing. Is it August yet? :p
3/16/2008 1:55 AM

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

Friday, February 15, 2008

Young Adult Challenge
What a bunch of moody characters!! Bella goes into a months' long depression when Edward, the love of her life, leaves town. Normally cheerful and happy-go-lucky Jacob becomes angry and morose as his body becomes larger and more muscular. And the beautiful Edward who was sardonic and wise just disappears. We don't hear about him again until he attempts suicide. In short, aside from the fact that we are reading about vampires and werewolves, it's all pretty average teenage angst. And I did enjoy this book a lot, just not as much as book one. Bella does spend so much time whining and feeling sorry for herself. And I felt she took advantage of Jacob. Jacob, who I really liked in the first book, is much darker, dangerous and less fun. Even Edward doesn't seem quite as smart and in control in this book. So what is good about this book? There is so much. Even though I tired of the whining, I felt Meyer's treatment of Bella's almost death-like existence for those months was incredibly effective. The opening dream sequence showing Bella's nightmare about growing old made me laugh out loud. Oh no, she's eighteen and Edward is still hanging in there at seventeen. Then I found the birthday party scene which precipates the Cullens departure to be both riveting and sad. And the action in Italy . . . absolutely spine-tingling. New Moon is definitely not a stand-alone book. I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much without reading Twilight first and it leaves you hanging at the end. There is no resolution with the vampire who has caused such an uproar on the La Push reservation and you are left wondering who is going to win the argument over will she or won't she make the big change. And after the goings on in Italy, I can certainly understand why Edward is reluctant and wonder why Bella hasn't considered that aspect of vampirism. Have I left anough teasers so that you will want to read the book just to find out what I'm talking about? I hope so. In spite of my criticisms, I think Meyer is a creative and talented storyteller; and this is a very engrossing series. I'm excited to start on Eclipse as soon as I post this review.
Rating: 4.25
Posted by Framed at 9:52 PM

Maw Books said...
Who actually wants to be blogging and writing reviews when you have books just begging to be read? Have fun reading Eclipse!
2/16/2008 1:16 AM
Les said...
I didn't care for this one as much as Twilight. Gave it a 3.5/5. It took me two weeks to read and I got very tired of Bella's whining. Having said that, I'll still read Eclipse (and the new one that comes out later this year).
2/16/2008 10:31 AM
Stephanie said...
I really have to start reading this series! And I'm the big vampire lover. many people just love it.
2/16/2008 11:15 AM
Andrea said...
I also didn't enjoy New Moon as much as the first and third books. I think you will enjoy Eclipse a lot more!
2/16/2008 4:03 PM
writer2b said...
I love this: "In short, aside from the fact that we are reading about vampires and werewolves, it's all pretty average teenage angst." :-) Thanks for your review; yes, it's full of teasers!I see 'The Blue Sword' in your sidebar. I read that recently too, and really liked it.
2/16/2008 5:11 PM
Chain Reader said...
I have read this series, and I think although it's not perfectly written, it is perfectly entertaining. You're review is right-on.
2/16/2008 6:56 PM
Booklogged said...
I think New Moon has one of the best covers ever. That said, I still have no desire to read it. You rated it pretty darn high, but I'm still not going to read it!
2/16/2008 9:28 PM
Alix said...
Great review. I really enjoyed this one I love Jacob though so maybe that helped.The ending in Italy was great and I'm hoping for lots of answers in Eclipse.Bella did whine a bit too much but the blank months thing nearly made me cry!
2/27/2008 9:19 AM
Anonymous said...
I have not yet read New Moon, but by the sounds of it, it seems boring. Are ther any parts that actually have a meaning to the story?
3/25/2008 7:17 PM