My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Back to the Land of the Living with new book reports

Oh, dear readers, how I must apologize! I have been missing in action for over a week. I have had a horrible bronchial, sinus, ear infection, pure exhaustion disease that I am only now dragging myself out of. Bleeecchh. My daughter had it first and as I've told her half a dozen times, I was not sympathetic enough. I am terribly behind in Nano, which as any other Nano-ers out there know, is a tough, tough spot to be in. BUT nothing brings on creativity like a high fever and fortunately I had a notebook at hand to record all the ridiculous ideas that ran though my head. Stephanie Meyer wrote Twilight after dreaming it, but I think the part left out of that story is that she was running a fever. Although being feverish makes you want to write breathless romance (wonder why?) which is not exactly what I'm working on right now. At any rate, I fed the beast, and rather than write through my illness, which wasn't exactly possible (okay, I wrote a little, but not much), I read my way through my illness, much of it I actually listened to in stilted Kindle talk. SO...I have a bunch of new YA books to recommend. (I was in a YA kind of mood, you know whiny, drama queen, my favorite pants aren't clean kind of attitude) Perhaps, I subconsciously believed to be at death's door, or maybe I just got around to reading these recommended books, BUT I was definitely on a roll with the angel books. Apparently ANGELS are the new VAMPIRES, so I'm going to tell you which books to start with on this new craze.

The angel books I read are HALO by Alexandra Adornetto and FALLEN by Lauren Kate. Kudos to both authors who pulled me right in, Twilight-style, with the breathless love stories. Beyond that, they are quite different, but both highly readable. HALO is written by Alexandra Adornetto, an eighteen year old(!!), and precious child, in her acknowledgements thanked teachers, principals and guidance counselors. Gotta love that. HALO drew me right in with the story of three angels who were drawn down from heaven to take earthly form for the sake of a special assignment. The sleepy coastal town of Venus Cove is in dire need of goodness, and the angels are sent there to help. I loved the premise, the way the angels were supposed to interact (and not interact), and our protagonist is the youngest of the three angels, the most vulnerable to the lures of earthly ways, yet she has a gift for connecting to humans and understanding them which makes her role valuable. OF COURSE, she falls for a human which complicates their mission in many ways. The boy is so darling (Xavier) that I began to fall for him myself. And truth be told, he is a bit more angelic than even his angel girlfriend. HALO is a thoroughly enjoyable read. It's not just good 'for an eighteen-year-old, it's quite good.

FALLEN by Lauren Kate takes a completely different path. We don't know about the whole angel thing into well into the book which means we don't know who the angel is. I won't give any spoilers, but it is an interesting twist. This book is set in a run-down reform school where the students act nothing like the hardened youth featured in Harold Dean Myers' LOCKDOWN and other books on this subject. It seems more like your typical high school with maybe a few more piercings and tattoos. The conflict between good and evil slowly escalates into a full-blown battle, but ends with more questions than answers for the reader. As luck would have it, the sequel came out in September, so you can quench your thirst for more. Interesting read.

My very favorite 'sickness read' this week was by far WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS by Fran Slayton. This awesome piece of historical fiction takes us through a series of Halloween nights in the 1940s. It is set in a small railroad town where the trains are the backbone of the town and high school football is its right hand. This book does an amazing job, in one night a year, taking us through one young man's complicated relationship with his father and brothers, and navigating his way in a world where everyone in his family has been in the railroad, but the railroad as they knew it is fading away. You will feel that you have spent time in this town with this special family and their losses will feel like your own. Excellent, amazing book. Even though it's a MG novel, I will give it as a Christmas gift for men because the male voice is so strong, poignant, and real. A GREAT read. I highly recommend it to all.

Have a great day, a great week-end, and thank you for being patient with me! Pick up one of these books today!

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