Monday, October 20, 2008


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is the first book in the popular series of vampire novels about Bella and Edward. Bella is a junior in high school who moves to Forks, Washington to live with her dad. She meets a mysterious boy named Edward who is very different from anyone she has ever met. She notices that him and his siblings never eat, their eyes change color, they are very pale skinned, and they stay away from other students. However, Bella instantly falls in love with Edward, and once Edward begins talking to her, he falls in love with her as well. When Bella learns that Edward is a vampire, she must decide if her love is worth the risk. This book is very popular among teenagers and is a fast romantic read if not a bit cliche and cheesy. Read this book if you like romance novels, if you like books about vampires, or if you want to read the book before you watch the film. I give it  7 out of 10.

The Looking Glass Wars

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor is the first in a trilogy of the "true" story behind Alice in Wonderland. Alyss Heart is a princess in the land of Wonderland. When her evil Aunt Redd decided to take the thrown, Alyss' parents are murdered, and she must escape through a porthole to another world. Alyss ends up in Victorian Oxford, and must assimilate to her new life as an ordinary little girl. Alyss must forget the world that she came from to make her life easier in our world. As she continues to live her life, a royal guard from her land searches for her in order to bring her back to Wonderland to claim the thrown.  Meanwhile, in Wonderland, the citizens, thinking Alyss is dead, form an army to fight against Redd. The book is fast-paced and interesting as the readers learn what really happened to Alyss, not the horrible make-believe story written by Lewis Carroll. Read this book if you like fantasy, if you enjoy retold classic stories, or if you enjoy intense battles of good against evil. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green is Green's third young adult fiction novel. In this book, Q is a high school senior in love with his mysterious next door neighbor, Margo. When Margo takes him on an all night adventure of revenge on her enemies, he believes things will be completely different between the two both at home and at school. However, when Q returns to school the next day, he realizes Margo is missing. Margo remains missing, but Q and his friends pick up on a trail of clues seemingly left for him to discover where Margo has disappeared to. This book has several literary references and borders between mystery and emo. Read this book if you enjoyed An Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska, if you like mysteries, or if you want to keep up on the latest teen fiction. I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Nectar in a Sieve

Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya is a story told from the perspective of Rukmani, an Indian woman reflecting on her life. As a young woman, she was married to a poor farmer, a man she didn't even know.  He is a wonderful husband, however, and together they raise their children and work hard on the farm that they rent. Troubled times come to haunt the family with the onset of foreigners, floods, and drought.  Poverty leads to leaving, and starvation leads to death. The book comes full circle as Rukmani begins the story at the end and ends where she began. Read this book if you're interested in other countries and cultures, if you like stories about the bonds of love and family, or if you like to empathize with people in hard times. I give it an 8 out of 10.