mary_j_59: (Michael)
I don't usually watch the Oscars - and there have been a lot of people refusing to watch because DH was slighted, etc. Well, most of the time, my favorite movies haven't been nominated, and I can't remember the last time a movie I hoped would win best picture actually won. But, although it was much too long and self-indulgent, as usual, I really, really enjoyed the Oscar show this year Read more... )
mary_j_59: (books)
Happy Fourth of July Weekend to all who celebrate - and I understand it's Canada day? Happy Canada Day to all celebrating that! Here's a review for a really fun middle-grade book:
CosmicCosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay - this book may have a wildly improbable plot. It may have exaggerated characters. It also has great warmth and humor and kept me both interested and laughing out loud throughout. And, in the end, it's also genuinely touching. Finally, I love Liam! His deadpan voice, his combination of intelligence and cluelessness, his passion for his videogames - somehow, he is, to me at least, a very believable young teen, and his character anchors the plot, as well as providing most of the humor.

As to what the book is about, it's not really about a bunch of ill-prepared kids getting blasted into space. It's about fatherhood, responsibility, and a boy starting to understand what those things mean. It's really kind of great. Really! (And I will never forget Liam in the car dealership, nor his speech at the school assembly.)

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mary_j_59: (Default)
UltravioletUltraviolet by R.J. Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actually, I think my rating would have been five stars, but that, like "Pegasus", this is crying out for a sequel. RJ, how could you end it there!? I will add that I read this as an electronic galley. It was an uncomfortable experience; I don't like reading books onscreen, but I still stayed up till 1:00 a.m. reading. I could not put this book down. Also, it's clear the author is a Dr. Who fan!

The story starts off with a bang. Alison, 17, is convinced she has killed another girl with the power of her mind. She cannot explain what happened - apparently Tori disintegrated before Alison's eyes. But that's crazy, isn't it? Is ALISON crazy? When she hears sounds, she sees colors. She knows other people don't perceive the world this way, but there is no one she can talk to about her perceptions, and especially her conviction that there was something wrong with Tori, who wasn't quite the charming, gifted young girl other people thought her.

Because of her strange responses when she's questioned about Tori's disappearance, Alison ends up confined to a hospital/group home for mentally ill young people. The home and its residents are very well described, and readers share vicariously in Alison's disorientation and distress. Then a young doctor from South Africa arrives. He is carrying out a research project, and Alison learns for the first time that she is a synaesthete, and that there are others like her. What she doesn't yet know is that Dr. Faraday, whom she trusts almost instantly, is, like Tori, not quite what he seems to be.

Next to "Arrow", I believe this is R.J. Anderson's best novel yet. For any fans of her writing, it is a must-read. It's very well-plotted, with the overarching mystery - what happened to Tori, and how, and why? - maintained throughout. We learn the answers to those questions, and we also see Alison grow as a result of her experiences. A couple of threads were left dangling, and one, involving Faraday, was very frustrating to me. I also didn't quite buy Alison's paranormal abilities towards the end of the story. Otherwise, fans of paranormal romance and softer-edged SF should snap this up. Aimed at a slightly older audience than the "Faery Rebels" series, this will be a joy to booktalk to some of my high school girls. I look forward to their reactions - and to the next book.

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mary_j_59: (Default)
Well, my sister and I and a friend are just back from Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and here is my report. Warning - some spoilers ahead: Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Well, I am impressed so far, because the actors have nailed both Heathcliff and Nelly Dean. However-

This is absolutely the best review of Wuthering Heights that you will ever read (There is a link to a serious review, also excellent.)



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