Saturday, June 06, 2009

48 Hrs - Evernight

Evernight by Claudia Gray

From the start, everything about this book -- the title, the structure, the narrator -- simply screamed "I wanna be Twilight!" But there is a twist, and though it's an obvious one, it's also fairly well thought out and effective. The story will never win awards for lyrical writing or strong characterizations, but it's smooth and very absorbing and after awhile I stopped making comparisons and just enjoyed it. Should appeal to most readers who like star-crossed lover stories with a touch of creepy.

R: 3 hours, 6 minutes
B: 14 minutes
RB: 14 minutes

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48 Hrs - The Game of Love, part III

Phew! Edith Layton has been well and truly commemorated by me. A good book - and so much of it!

R: 3 hours, 40 minutes (!)
B: 1 minute
RB: 4 minutes


48 Hrs - How to Ditch Your Fairy

I didn't enjoy this one as much as I hoped I would. The premise is fun, though rather different from what I'd gathered from reviews. I thought it was about an alternate universe in which everyone has a fairy, but in fact, no one really knows if they do for sure or not and some people don't even believe in them. Anyway, what kind of killed it for me was the slang. I am highly allergic to first-person narratives with heavy repetitions of the same slang. Even if it's new, weird slang or maybe Australian slang.

I think I most enjoyed the narrator's horrible school, because she unquestioningly adores it and because everything she does in it is related to sports. History homework is about sports history, statistics homework is about sports statistics... it's like Miss Pym Disposes gone completely mad.

Do you have a fairy? My husband used to have a cat-loving fairy. Strange cats would literally follow him places and wait hours for him to come back out. It was replaced, handily enough, by a can't-get-laid-off fairy. I have an exact measurements fairy. It is vaguely useful, albeit unexciting.

Why yes I am a bit punchy, why do you ask?

R: 1 hour, 54 minutes
B: 10 minutes
RB: 3 minutes

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48 Hrs - Bah!

I looked up last years winner and it was 40 hours! The runners up were both 30. Seeing as I have already slept, I guess I will have to settle for a personal best.


48 Hrs - Ow

Anyone else got a headache?

On the bright side, I just found How to Ditch Your Fairy in my pile. That should be good for a laugh.


48 Hrs - Review: David Inside Out

(I read half of this book earlier in the day, but am putting all the minutes together now.)

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle. Henry Holt, 2009 (978-0-8050-8122-0) $16.99

Trying to figure out how to put the moves on a girl for the first time can be hard. "Was I supposed to touch her knee now?... Should I just drop my hand on her? Were you supposed to squeeze?" wonders David. But David has an extra problem... Kick, the girl who pretty clearly wants to be his girlfriend, isn't nearly as attractive to him as someone else -- his track teammate, Sean.

David is determined not to give in to his feelings. "This wasn't me. It couldn't be. Not gay. Anything but that." He makes a list of ways to be more straight, correcting himself with a snap of a rubber band on his wrist whenever he has a wrong feeling. Then Sean invites him to fool around, throwing all his best straight intentions out the window. David is scared of being out to his friends, but ready to be in love--but Sean refuses to admit he likes anything but getting off. "I don't kiss or write love poems... I don't put it in my mouth." Sean, David will find, is far more determined not to be gay than he could ever be.

Fast-paced and plot-focused, this sympathetic coming out story will probably have the most appeal to readers who are also struggling with their sexual identities. I found myself most interested in the secondary characters, whose actions and motivations are something of a puzzle to David, complicating his life. Sean has the private sex rules designed to prove that he's not really gay. Kick betrays his confession to her and then deliberately seduces him, perhaps in a misguided attempt to "cure" him, only to wind up hurt. Only his oldest friend Eddie, who recently came out himself, is really straightforward about who he is and what he wants... an excellent role model for the newly self-aware David.

The story has a small amount of graphic language and quite a few brief, non-explicit but not coy sex scenes. I was bothered that condoms are only mentioned in a heterosexual context, though it would have been quite narratively easy to have the person David talks to at a gay hotline drop a word about safe sex -- considering Sean's secretive, denial-filled approach to sex, he strikes me as a highly risky person to have unprotected encounters with. Recommended for mature readers. (15 & up)

© 2009 Wendy E. Betts

R: 1 hour, 46 minutes
B: 43 minutes
RB: 4 minutes

Other Blog Reviews:

The Goddess of YA Literature
The 3 Rs of Summer
Queer YA
Stop, Drop and Read -- interesting, albeit somewhat insensitive review by someone who felt "weirded out" by gay people and now has a better sense of the discrimination they face. The book may have more general appeal than I had thought.

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48 Hrs - The Game of Love, part II

Can you believe I'm only halfway through this book? They really don't write 'em like they used to.

I have a confession: I've decided to put my all into this. I skipped a social engagement last night and will skip two today. The dishes are piling up on the counter; the laundry is unfolded; I could really use a shower. If my son doesn't get that drawing, well, it won't be for lack of trying.

I sure wish I hadn't decided to go on the spur of the moment though. I have plenty of books, but not much variety; I've been pawing through the piles, desperately trying to find something funny.

R: 1 hour, 25 minutes
B: 5 minutes
RB: 2 minutes


48 Hrs - the Awakening

The sequel to The Summoning. I didn't like this one enough to want to review it--also, I enjoyed more of it this morning than I did last night, so possibly I was too punchy to do it justice. My overall impression was that it's almost nonstop action, which is surprisingly boring. Chloe's frequent references to movie tropes only highlights the fact that at times it almost feels more like a screenplay than a novel. There are so many twists, most of which don't make much sense or flow plausibly from the previous book. I was interested in the relationship developing between Chloe and Derek, so I might want to continue reading the series to see how that plays out.

R: 2 hours, 23 minutes
B: 7 minutes
RB: 12 minutes

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