How do I approach this book? I want to be honest, but I don’t want to be too over the top in either direction. I received a copy of Marionette via the author, who is a great blogging buddy, and this is my honest response and I received no compensation for my response.
I guess I’ll just rip the band-aid off. I HATED the first half of the book. (Sorry TBM!)
I can’t put a finger on it, but I’ll call it sophomore slump. I’ll talk more later in the response, but I just could not identify with Paige even though there was a great line which convinced me I was going to! TBM’s first book, A Woman Lost, was a phenomenal debut novel, but this one fell short (at least for the first half of the book). However, with that said, the last half of the book was AMAZING (mostly :-D).
What a great book! I’m not sure where or why I decided I needed to read it but I’m glad I did. I think it was on one of the blogs I follow or one of the podcasts I listen to (I think it might’ve been Pop Culture Happy Hour, but I’m not positive), but either way I’m glad I read it.
One reason I thoroughly enjoyed this book is that it reminded me a lot of Perry Moore’s Hero. The heroes in both of these novels are not your standard superheroes, they have unique talents and abilities. What this novel did differently than Hero was to explain why the most mundane tasks are actually superhero worthy. Kaufman talks about choosing a superhero name and speaks to the mundane portion of superheroes regardless of their talents and reminds us that they are (mostly) all human.
“The final stage of finding your superhero name is accepting how little difference it really makes. Okay, there’s this one thing you can do, a thing you can do like no other person on the planet. That makes you special, but being special really doesn’t mean anything. You still have to get dressed in the morning. Your shoelaces still break. Your lover will still leave you if you don’t treat her right.” (77-78)
If I were to write a book I would want it to be this book. I’m serious, I don’t think I need to write a novel anymore because this is what I would want to have written. Maybe one day I will, but I don’t need to having read this. The number of times I cried on the T (from this book and the other bazillion things going on in my life) are uncountable. It was a daily occurrence and I finally had to stop reading it on the T so I’d stop freaking people out. This review does not do this book justice, you need to go read it to really see what I’m talking about.
Levithan’s inspiration for the novel comes from an actual event and he draws other ideas from the past few years which fed into the various story lines and created this masterpiece. I’ve not read anything by Levithan previously, but I do have Boy Meets Boy on my bookshelf. If any of his books are anything like this I’m glad I’ve got another to read. Although this is classified as young adult I think everyone needs to read this novel, there is something so raw and so emotionally wrenching about this novel and Levithan’s writing that it has to speak across so many demographics.
Unlike Dickens, I could read Wilkie Collins ALL DAY. There are those of you out there that will find this shocking, but it’s the truth. This is the first novel I’ve read by Collins and I am VERY glad I added it to my Classics Club list! In addition it counted as a bonus book for my Tea & Books reading challenge coming in at just over 750 pages (according to Goodreads).
If you’ve followed this blog for a while you are aware, and often horrified, of my intense dislike of Dickens’ works (or at least the few I read). It’s not even that I don’t like his stories, characters or style, it’s that I don’t like the lengths of his ‘novels.’ As Dickens works were serialized I think he dragged out too many things and didn’t make them as action packed or as concise as they could’ve been. Whereas Dickens really could have used an editor, Collins took advantage of the serialization (IN DICKENS’ MAGAZINE!) and created an amazing work of fiction.
This is the second collection of short stories Riordan released in his Greco-Roman young adult series. I actually preferred this collection to the first, The Demigod Files, but I think that comes from the length of the stories and the inclusion of the final story in this selection by Riordan’s son, Haley. In addition this was the 18th library book I’ve read this year, which is pretty impressive for me and I’m excited to be supporting the library more and more these days.
The four short stories in this collection are The Diary of Luke Castellan, Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes, Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford and Son of Magic. Each one of these stories stands out and included different characters which I think is why I enjoyed this collection better than the first, but as mentioned above Son of Magic is what made this collection.