Yes. I would say this should be a required reading for all high school students.
The story of Deborah Lack's search and discovery of what happened to her mother and sister is heart-wrenching, at times bittersweet, astonishing or grotesque. It is made all the more amazing as Deborah tries to understand the advanced science behind an eternal cell line and tries to reconcile this with her Christian believe in resurrection and heaven. As you read, you experience not only current medical knowledge and high tech labs, but also the struggles of African Americans as second class citizens after slavery ended. The story of how Henrietta's life, morals and family were treated so brusquely (ignorantly?) by scientists while they used her cancer cells to protect millions of people from polio and begin the entire field of cell biology research is the sort of real life story that you only read about as fiction.
This is a wonderfully fun read for a rainy afternoon. Martinez throws you into a story where old world gods can be "signed up for" via the internet, and can end up crashing on your couch like uninvited college friends.
This is definitely a comedy. Don't be put off by the Goddess of Heart-Break. Her melancholy quickly becomes the funniest part of the story, in my opinion. :)
This book is, to be frank, a bit slow. I like this in an audiobook, so it didn't bother me.
It is written in first person: the diary of a young 15 year old girl in the late 70s in England. Mostly, we hear of her day to day problems at school, finding friends, and what books she is currently reading.
Interspersed with this are her stories of fairies, strange creatures that only a few people can see, and her battles with her mother, who is an evil witch, while our main protagonist in a good witch.
I'm not sure if I would have loved this book when I was 15 or not. The protagonist resonates with my idea of my childhood bookworm days, but at that age, I would not have been able to catch many of her references to famous scifi ("SF") and fantasy writers. As it stands, I still didn't catch many of the references. I personally often felt as if these references were overwhelming the story.
That being said, it's an enjoyable read, even if it is extremely sad at times, as our protagonist talks about her experiences with her dead twin sister in a matter of fact tone. I certainly finished the book with a long list of additional books that I want to read.
The voice actor, Kellgren, is a great deal of fun, and while at times the way she says "actually" and other words becomes a bit much, it's too much in a fun way, with her wonderful accent.
This book is very enjoyable, our main character is fantastic, the gods return with a joyful vengeance and all around this is a delightful read. To be honest, the plot was a bit transparent and left me a wanting a little more mystery in comparison to "The Curse of the Chalion". Pick this up for the character and world development, not the plot. :)
I really enjoy this author. The fickle gods are fantastic. This particular book is disconnected from the previous two, but you are dealing with your strongest protagonist of the three. In a way, this is very enjoyable. The story ambles a bit, but don't worry, it finishes with a flourish.
This trilogy starts out very weak, although the next book gets a little better. The characters are difficult to believe, being very transparent and untroubled with 'darker' thoughts. It's also a bit of a 'journey' story, which I love, but this one is not particularly engaging.
The title about sums it up. It will change the way you think about love, sex and the way other people treat you.
While this is better than The Ambassador's Mission, it's still a read for a day that you REALLY don't want to think. The plot is blatantly obvious, with the only twists and turns being "When is this thing that is obviously going to happen, going to happen?" That being said, I will probably get the next book, because I am addicted to the characters, and the ending on this book left me wanting to know who is going to die. :)
This trilogy is fantastic. My colleague insisted that I read it, since she loved it so much when she was younger. Her recommendation held true. We are introduced into a world where three characters firmly hold on to their independence and arrogance until they discover that they must work together to save their worlds. Jonathon Stroud spins a delightful tale, where we laugh at the follies of arrogance, consider the cyclic nature of the underclass rebelling against a domineering masterclass and see three very different people shed their own prejudices to work together.
All wrapped into a delightfully funny tell about a snotty young boy who summons a demon in an alternate timeline in early 1900 London. Good fun even for the advanced reader.
Mars, Mars, MARS!!!
I love Kit and Nita from her previous books. This story expands Kit's character, and as always, I love his geeky nature. In this book, be becomes obsessed with Mars (as Diane Duane obviously has) and we are delighted throughout his adventures with true facts about current Mars discoveries and references to past classics about Mars integrated nearly seamlessly into Duane's fantastic Wizardly world.
Diane Duane always gives me everything I imagine would be true if two young geeky kids from a normal high school were suddenly thrown into wizard world similar to and yet delightfully different from Harry Potter. While J.K. Rowling expands the fantastical and ironical in "real world" scenes, Diane Duane emphasizes the realistic.
For instance, the opening scene introduces Kit, sitting in a high school history class a week before school lets out for the summer with the air conditioning broken. Having sat in a few classes high school classes as a student teacher this past semester where this was just the case, I completely commiseration with him, and his sneaky use of wizardry to fix the problem when he thinks the teacher isn't looking.
In addition, Diane Duane gives us a delightful ride in her classic world where wizards are real people, hiding their abilities from their non-wizard friends, dealing with day-to-day problems while fighting "The Lone Power". If you have not read her other books in this series first, I highly recommend that you do. In "A Wizard of Mars," we are thrown into a scenario that emphasizes the similarity of her story premise to that of C.S. Lewis' "The Space Trilogy," without the heavy Christian overtones in Lewis' books. And his books are not the only Mars books that she references in delightful and comic ways!
Diane Duane never seems to fail at making me laugh, cry and think, even when these stories are directed at a high school audience and I am much older than this! :) I just wish Audible provided more than just her Young Adult books, I'm dying to read some of her newer work!
Oh, and one last thing about Christina Moore's performance: Don't worry, the wizard dinosaur's speaking parts are over soon. You can make it through them!
I still love Ann Flosnik. Her melodramatic reading makes me giggle at points. Of course, she's not for everyone. My co-worker listens to her readings at 2x speed to reduce the melodrama. XD
This story starts out with a great premise: The serpents that were led to the cocooning ground hatched... but they are deformed (From Robin Hobb's delightful Liveship Trader's Triolgy). This story starts with the "leftovers"... this is the story of people and dragons that the cities no longer want.
This is book one of what I suppose will become a 4 part series. I have just finished "City of Dragons" and I must say I'm very disappointed in this story. Perhaps my standards were too high after The Liveship Traders trilogy, but the suspense is just not present for these books, and the plot line is simultaneously too direct and straightforward for our main characters while not giving enough information about some of the subplots that suddenly appear in the third book. We also do not have the delightful tension of our characters walking the knife's edge of good and evil that made The Liveship Traders trilogy so enjoyable. Also, Robin Hobb's editor has not caught all of her repetition. She repeats story lines and conversations to an exasperating degree in these books so far.
All that being said, if you are looking for a very simple, direct, feel good sort of book, this one is for you. Also, if you love her other books and want to know what happened, these books have some key updates on the lives of the main characters in The Liveship Traders.
For myself, I will probably listen to the next installment of the story on a rainy day when it comes out, but I will not eagerly await its publishing.
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