Saturday, October 24, 2009

A quick note...

I just wanted to highlight something amazing. 7 of the 14 books I have read this year were read on my Tmobile G1 cell phone. I never thought that reading on a cell phone would work. Screen size, formatting, availability, etc. But in the end this has become an awesome way to go! I have been limited in what books are available, and that has obviously affected my reading choices, but I have been traveling a lot this year for work and my phone has been a lifesaver.

I just wanted to share that tidbit. Carry on...

The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Magic of Oz (Oz, Book 13) The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Ok, so I wouldn't have read this book except it was on my phone. It wasn't bad for what it was, but I'm the first to admit that my main reason for reading Oz books is nostalgia. The stories are mediocre for this century. Still, not bad for what it was.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

So this was the best book in the series. I had to give it four stars, just like a famous actor with a huge career, but no awards, has to get that life-time award to validate all those years of effort. The sum is greater than the parts. And so it is here. This series definitely pulled me in and took me on the ride. It made me angry when the characters were stupid, it made me laugh when the characters were happy, and I was intrigued by the setting and plot combinations that kept coming up. In the end, Bella's skills tied back to scenes in the first book, and I like that. It just pulls the whole thing together.

Weaknesses? Yes. For the first few chapters I was worried that Bella was going to get crazy with Jacob again. Then I didn't really want to read 15 chapters (or whatever) about a strange pregnancy. And Reneesme is the dumbest name I have ever heard, and I have read a lot of fantasy books, which means that the list of dumb names I have heard is pretty long. I will say that I like how Meyers tied up the issue with Jacob. It is just a complete ending to the Jacob/Edward thing--I can't believe that some people think that a Jacob storyline would have worked after reading this one.

Back to weaknesses, probably my least favorite thing about the book is the ending. It is way too abrupt, and there are still lots of questions in my mind. I say throw in an Epilogue that jumps ahead 10 or 15 years, and show us Reneesme grown up and really accepted by the Volturi. Show us that the Volturi aren't planning to descend on the Cullens in the future for revenge for losing face. Lets see Charlie in a decade and prove that he isn't going to end up in a mental hospital, or bitten by a relative. I'm not asking much. I just want to know how the story ends.

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Eclipse by Stephanie Meyers

Eclipse (Twilight, #3) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
So this one just made me angry. Why? Let me expound:

1. Bella is an idiot. She knows that she has to end up with Edward, but can't stand up to Jacob and deliver the bad news. Come on.
2. The book was actually going great. Better than New Moon at least. New details about the vampire world, old enemies coming back as new threats, even the romance stuff seemed a little better done. We were solidly in the 3 star range, maybe even something better if the fight at the end was going to be good. And then she jumped on Jacob. How stupid was that? Lost two stars from that in my book. We only barely made it back to two stars because of an awesome missile in the form of a vampire's arm in the final battle. (Trying not to create a spoiler) That was a great touch.

Can't they just fight vampires? Do they have to cheat on true soul-mates every other chapter too? I mean come on. Get real.

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New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

New Moon (Twilight, #2) New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
New Moon barely scrapes by in the 3 stars category, and most of that because of the last few chapters where things get dicey with the Volturi. Why am I being so hard on this one? Simply put: I don't believe it.

I don't believe that Bella or Edward would have acted the way they did in this book. The characterization I praised in the last book was insulted by almost every action taken by those two in this book.

I know I have to back that up, so here are my examples:
1. Bella from book 1 would never have gone dare-devil. She was fainting at the thought of blood in the first book, and now she is out being crazy. And I don't buy the idea that the emotional distress made her change that fast. That is the kind of change we want to see in a character as they grow, but if you look at who Bella really was I think that this is a 180 degree change.

2. Edward is unbelievable. Maybe his character is a little more consistent, but I can't fathom his logic in leaving. I know it works on paper, but when the actors get off of the page to make it happen, it just seems totally wrong. Love someone so much you let them go? That is a story for young kids and wildlife (Old Yeller, Charlottes Web, Gentle Ben, Black Beauty, Fox in the Hound, etc.) Here we have two people so besotted with each other that they are in pain just being apart for a few hours. They spend days and nights together. I don't see either of them overcoming that emotional tie and walking away. Yeah, I know that apparently Edward is that guy, but I don't buy it. So the whole premise of the book is crazy.

So maybe my logic isn't rock solid, but I have at least much ground to stand on as New Moon did. Oh, and I might as well give my opinion on Jacob. Not that it matters. I feel for the guy. He is hosed. However, given the situation, nothing he does will help the rest of the saga. Besides saving Bella over and over, of course. Nothing good comes from infidelity, and I hate to say it, but that is what Bella did. Either she should have shelved Edward for good before getting involved, or she should have kept her distance. This being involved with two people at once is cheating. Literally.

So much for being brief. Also, so much for being objective. This book had its pros and cons, but as you can see, I'm knee-deep in the plot, so until we get this story straightened out, the other issues go on the back burner.

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