Some thoughts on a few titles I’ve recently read….
Zombies on Kilimanjaro: A Father-Son Journey Above the Clouds – Tim Ward (2012, Changemakers Books, U.K.)
If this book had been more about the climb and less about the psychology of dysfunctional relationships, I may have liked it better. Ward’s agenda is broad and bold: he frames the trip to the top of the mountain with a lengthy conversation with his adult son about social memes, climate change, and all the wrongdoings of their past. But their conversation is stilted and unnatural, and the further it degenerates into philosophical blather, the less I care.
Sprinkle Bakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist – Heather Baird (2012, Sterling Epicure, New York)
This talented lady bakes pure art! Her cakes are like nothing you’ve ever seen before: just take a look at her anatomical heart cake, made for Hallowe’en, here. Can you believe that? It’s INSANE! If you like your desserts a little more on the pretty side, they’re all in this book and on her blog…plus, she shows you all of her tips and tricks so you can make them yourself. I’m blown away by her creativity! (Even if you aren’t up to the task of baking these marvels, you simply must grab a copy of the book just to look, drool, and dream).
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins (2009, Scholastic Press, New York)
Yep, I’m late to this party. In my defense, I read Hunger Games a really long time ago, and I’m still way ahead of the game for this year’s movie release of the second book in the trilogy. Unlike most middle books, Catching Fire was extremely well-paced and action-packed…right up until the very end. Then I abruptly felt horribly, horribly rushed, like Collins ran out of pages to set us up for Mockingjay, even though that had been the intent all along. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Divergent – Veronica Roth (2011, HarperCollins Publishers, New York)
Late to this one, too. Our Teen Book Club at the library where I work is currently reading this one, so I snagged a copy to peruse for myself. Teenagers in dystopian Chicago must choose what faction they will spend the rest of their lives in, a choice that reflects their personalities and talents, and dictates their behaviour and future goals. Only trouble is, some kids such as Beatrice don’t truly belong in any single faction, which causes all sorts of trouble for her. And then there’s the matter of the pending revolution….
I think the target audience would love this book; me, not so much. The characters are strong and well-drawn but I spent the whole (absurdly lengthy) book wondering when it was actually going to get started. It did, finally, at the end, which decently prepped the reader for the sequel, Insurgent. But I don’t think I’ll (yawn) bother. I’ll wait for the movie instead.