Book Report: Woven by Michael Jensen and David Powers King

wpid-wp-1436475450142.jpgRarely do my passions for string crafts and fantasy collide as “seamlessly” as in Woven.

This was a fun read, and it felt fresh and original despite its rather run-of-the-mill pseudo-medieval setting. (I didn’t read the back of the book beforehand, so I was surprised when the main character died a couple chapters in. He is loads of fun as a ghost!) I particularly enjoyed the magic system, as it is based on sewing and weaving.

My niece read the first half of the book to me while we drove back and forth to WIFYR, and I liked it so much that I bought a copy after I got back to Washington. I will be sure to watch for other books by these authors.

I recommend Woven for teens and up, particularly those of a crafty persuasion.

Happy Yarning!

Book Report: Yearbook by Allyson Braithwaite Condie

IMG_4448One of my writing groups decided to read this in our efforts to improve at juggling multiple point of view characters. I have to confess, I wouldn’t have read the whole thing otherwise.

The author had about eight or ten viewpoint characters. Most of the chapters were told in first person narrative style, but some were in the form of journal entries or poetry. Smaller ways she differentiated the voices were with sarcasm or a high vocabulary.

One thing that really helped to keep the narrators straight was that she alluded to specific events from the character’s previous chapters.

My main beef with the book was that it was supposed to be set in Seattle, but for a good chunk of the beginning I thought they were in Utah. Having lived in both the Seattle area and Provo, Utah, I didn’t feel the author captured the feel of Seattle or the people here at all.

I think it’s still a good read for Mormon teens because, let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of books out there with Mormon main characters. But those who didn’t grow up in Seattle will probably enjoy it more than those who did.

Happy Yarning!

The Perils of Bookstores

 

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Sometimes, when I go to get pizza, I end up buying a book.

This happened on Saturday, when I ordered some take-and-bake over the phone and said I’d like to pick it up in about 10-15 minutes. Apparently it only takes five minutes to drive there.

So I thought I’d just take a peek in the bookstore next door and–oh look a bargain/used section and–ooh look it’s the first book in a series I enjoyed as a teenager.

Yes. Apparently I shouldn’t go into bookstores unless I’m okay with talking myself into buying things.

Anybody else have silly book-buying adventures?

Book Report: Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

IMG_3493This was a fun read.

I enjoyed Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles as a child, and I was glad to find something else by her to sink my sweet tooth into. Sorcery & Cecelia reminded me at different points of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and any number of Diana Wynne Jones’s books. It combines reality/history with fantasy elements in interesting and entertaining ways.

The format is a collection of letters between two cousins, which is a bit jarring at first, but soon becomes smooth and easy to follow. The story was originally just a letter-writing game between the two authors, which gives me all kinds of fun ideas…

I recommend it for teens and adults, especially those who have enjoyed other regency novels (and especially girls as it is a Girl Power book).

Happy Yarning!

Book Report: A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

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I finally got around to reading Megan Whalen Turner’s fourth book set in the world of The Thief. As usual, I loved the characters. They’re intelligent, but sometimes their emotions get the better of them. They have quirks and backgrounds and plans, and it’s fun to see them grow and juggle the calls of leadership and personal goals.

The setting was as magical as ever.

I wish I’d read this right after The King of Attolia, since I’ve forgotten lots of little things that happened in the first three books. This one looks back on The Thief a lot, because those events were a defining time for Sophos.

My only gripe for this book would be the shifting voice and point of view. Large chunks of the text were in first person (Sophos telling his story, bam, no problems there). But there were also periods of third person limited, in which the POV switched between different characters. I found myself reading so fast that I missed these shifts, and it became a blur of third person semi-omniscient.

I definitely recommend this series to teen and adult fantasy readers.

And for anyone who left off the series after The King of Attolia (because Sophos didn’t look as interesting as Gen), read on! There’s plenty of Gen in A Conspiracy of Kings.  (Also, Sophos is awesome too.)

Book Report: Avalon High by Meg Cabot

IMG_3253(Pippin insisted I immediately stop trying to get a selfie and take a picture of him instead.)

Avalon High is a fun, clean, teen romance with Arthurian flair. Cabot maintained a believable and enjoyable narrative voice, both sarcastic and self-deprecating.

When it comes to arthur-reincarnation stories, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence is more my style, but I liked this book, too.

I’d recommend it for teenage girls.