Monday, May 19, 2014

MMGM: CODENAME ZERO

After another period of darkness (there is light coming, I swear!), I'm finally back!

This time I have a MMGM feature with the book CODENAME ZERO.





In case you can't really read those tiny letters at the bottom of the page, this book is by Chris Rylander. Sound familiar? He's the author of THE FOURTH STALL, a book that is a member of my endless TBR pile. *sign* There is just so little time.

Goodreads calls it:
Seventh-grader Carson Fender finds out there's more to his sleepy North Dakota hometown than meets the eye in this hilarious mash-up of middle-school story and spy adventure novel from the author of The Fourth Stall.

There are places in the world where heroes are born. There are places where brave men and women fight a never-ending battle against evil in order to keep our country and all other countries safe. There are places where the fate of our planet is being decided, even now as we speak, the consequences of which will echo through history.

None of these places are in North Dakota.

Carson Fender, seventh grader and notorious prankster, knows this. He's lived in North Dakota for his entire life, going to the same boring school every day, the same boring movie theater every week, and the same boring state fair every year. Nothing ever changes, and nothing ever happens. That is, until today. Because today a desperate man is going to hand him a package with a dire set of instructions. And that package is going to lead Carson to discover that there's a secret government agency operating in his small, quiet North Dakota hometown.

And that this agency needs his help.


I say:
I've been reading a lot of YA recently, which is not surprising because a lot of YA books I'm following come out in spring (one of the reasons I didn't have a MMGM last week), so it was nice to get back to a MG book. Sometimes enough romance is enough, right?

The book was appealing in a weird sort of way, kind of like a funky-smelling cheese that you can't stop eating. The characters aren't realistic because they are so busy being larger-than-life and funny. I wouldn't say this book is laugh-out-loud funny, but it is one that will have you chuckling.

Plot-wise, this book was pretty straight forward. I kept expecting some giant twist to happen, but, alas, my guesswork turned out to be worth less than the fainting goats.

The writing was fairly simple, so I don't see this book being a difficult read for the targeted age group (eight to twelve year-old children).

Altogether, this book was interesting- maybe not as interesting as Dillon's theories, but still interesting- and very enjoyable. I would recommend it.

4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, May 5, 2014

MMGM: The Wrath of Darth Maul

Warning: my brain is fried right now. I am sorry about all mistakes!

I'm not actually a huge Star Wars fan. I picked up this book because it looked interesting. How could I not? The first page grabbed at me, the little snippet on the back sparked my interest, and the cover looked crazy.

It is a little weird, but the title is on the spine, not the cover. The author is Ryder Windham.

Goodreads has only a little bit on this book:

The most anticipated Star Wars biography yet!

One of the most feared villains of all time.

One of the most iconic characters of the Star Wars saga.

One incredible story.

Features new, never-before-told secrets about Darth Maul!

The beginning was different than what I expected. I thought we would see some of his family, maybe learn his rage was fueled by their deaths. Hint: it's not.

We follow Maul as he trains with his master. His master has special powers that Maul doesn't understand- that is, until an accident causes his master to figure out that he has potential to control these special powers. Little by little, Maul learns of the force and the evil Jedi. Fueled by a desire to prove to his master that he is not weak and worthy to become not only his apprentice but also a Sith lord in his own right, Maul is faced with many difficult challenges.


From a purely story-based standpoint, the book is good. You really get a feeling for who Darth Maul was. The author's intention was to make you feel sorry for him, but I really didn't get that from it. I got a sense of understanding.

I think there are some hidden secrets for die-hard Star Wars fans. There were a lot of characters that I felt were people I should know.

If you like Star Wars, READ IT. If you are looking for a light read or a book for, say, an eight year old who likes star wars but won't read, check this out.

4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Out of the Cave and review on PANIC

Hello!

Yes, I know. I haven't posted AT ALL for the whole month of April. Zilch. Nada.

But I really needed a break. Getting ready to move, selling my house, and then there's all the regular craziness of life.

But it's May and I'm turning it all around with a review of PANIC.


Yes, I'll admit that the cover isn't exactly the loveliest. But, like they always say, don't judge a book by its cover.

Or its blurb, for that matter. After all, it Goodreads says:

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

My first thought was HUNGER GAMES!, but it is actually very different.

Not only is the point of the game (feeling sheer fear or panic) different, the characters and plot also varied quite a bit from HUNGER GAMES.

I loved the plot. Not only did I find quite a few twists and turns hidden throughout it, but there were TONS of awesome moments. I'd rattle them off, but I don't want to ruin it! :)

I thought that Heather was a great character, although her "type" is nothing new; she is simply someone who wants to get away from her small hometown and substance-dependent mother. However, this fit into the story quite well. Dodge was a surprise and a little hard to figure out. I think I would have liked Dodge a little better if he was a little more developed in the beginning.  I got a good feeling for him two-thirds the way through, and I wish we could have connected earlier.

A little more Bishop, maybe a POV or something would have been EPIC, but I can deal with what Lauren Oliver gave me. And I understand why there isn't one. But, maybe a companion book?!

The characters were very real and had their flaws, which made them great.  You won't see this book showing up on any of these posts.

Not only that, but the writing was stunning. Not only was it addicting, it was fast-paced and never gave me a second to come up for air.

I really can't say enough good when it comes to this book. Lauren is a very talented writer.

Because of the so-so Dodge beginning, I'm going to give it a 4.85 out of 5.