• Bookish

    Date: 2012.09.18 | Category: Books | Tags:

    Despite my reading buddy Noel temporarily hanging up her fiction reading shoes for books she has to read for learning and teaching, I’ve managed to plow on with my book reading obsession. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

    The Maze Runner by James Dashner

    This story begins with a boy who appears in a world with bits and pieces of his memory intact. For the most part he can’t remember his past at all. He arrives in a world of teenage boys who have created a society to function in, all the while trying to figure out a giant maze full of machine-animal hybrids that attempt to kill them during the evening. What ensues reminds me of The Matrix meets Lord of the Flies.

    The bottom line: The story was good, different and interesting and spoke to my Matrix love enough that I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

    Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey NIffenegger

    I saw that a number of my Shelfari friends had read this book and given it great reviews, so I decided to give it a read. The premise is that when a woman passes away, she gives her London flat to her twin sister’s twin daughters under the condition that they live in the flat for a year and don’t allow their parents to visit the flat. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the separation of the twin who died and her sister who relocated to the U.S. This is a great, creepy, beautiful ghost story about the lengths people will go to get what they think they desire. There is a London cemetery and two sets of twins involved, as well as a little kitten of death. The background of the cemetery and the history of the departed buried there fills in the seams of this story and places it’s own grip on each of the characters. And when the story winds up to the-very-crazy-part-that-changes-everything, I found myself  flying through the book at a frenzied pace, gawking in horror and unable to put it down.

    The bottom line: Great book, especially for October. Be prepared to be a little creeped out, but intrigued.

    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

    This book is a love letter to video gaming and the 1980’s and I absolutely loved it. The premise is that technology has evolved to the point that there is a virtual reality world called the OASIS that almost everyone spends all day inhabiting, escaping the slums of the outside world. When the guy who created OASIS dies without an heir to his billions, a video goes out announcing that he has hidden an “Easter egg” in the gaming world of the OASIS and the first to find it inherits his fortune. There are three gates and three keys that must be found first in pursuit of the egg, and the trick to deciphering the locations of each lie with the creator’s obsession with the 80’s.

    The bottom line: I loved this book and couldn’t wait to share it with some of my friends. If you like 80’s pop culture and have ever loved an Atari game, go get this book, sit down and relish it.

    Delirium / Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
    These are two separate books in a trilogy (the third isn’t out yet). I’ve been hooked on YA dystopian fiction this year, and these two books fall into that category. The premise in this particular society is that love is a “disease” and once teenagers turn 18, they have a surgery that “cures” them. The story follows 17-year-old Lena and her journey from being terrified of contracting the disease to slowly realizing that maybe love isn’t a disease and all the dangers that line of thought imposes.

    I was a little disappointed with Delirium. I think comparing it to others I’ve read this year, it came across as whiny and I didn’t feel invested in the characters. The ending was a doozy though, and when the second one became available at the library, I decided to read the opening to see how it would transition and I am so glad I did. The second book, Pandemonium, completely redeems the first book. The story is much more interesting, the relationships more tenuous and the main character is so much stronger.

    Bottom Line: The first one is an easy read, and while it teeters on whiny, it’s almost worth it to get to the second one in the trilogy. I’m looking forward to reading the final installment.

    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

    I was recently talking to a friend of mine about the next book she should pick for her book club, and this immediately came to mind. It’s been sitting at number one on the top 10 fiction book lists for weeks, and with good reason. The writing and descriptions in this book are divine, and the plot twists knocked me off my feet. The premise is that a girl disappears and her husband is blamed for her disappearance and the chaos that follows. While you may have seen the plot point before, trust me when I tell you that you probably haven’t seen all that follows in a story before.

    Bottom line: The writing in this book is delicious, and how the story unfolds is jaw dropping. If you love good writing and mysteries, this is your book.

    So tell me, what should I pick up next?