May 4, 2015

Recent Reads

44. Dawn (Xenogenesis #1)
This was my book club selection for the month, and is the first book I have read by this highly acclaimed author. Well people, color me not impressed.

The premise of this first book in the Xenogenesis trilogy is promising - humans have destroyed themselves and the planet, and an alien species rescues the surviving humans. See what I mean? So many fun possibilities here, but I was bored with the story. The writing is rather juvenile, the characters one dimensional, and the sheer number of times the word tentacles was used is mind boggling. I gave this book an additional star only because I did quite like some of of the ideas in the book, though unfortunately none of them were fully developed.

A side note - since I was reading the Omnibus edition at 3 am one sleepless night, I also read about 50 pages of book 2 in the trilogy. Not much improvement in the writing or story telling, so I've quit the series. I know there are so many fans of this work, but I am not one of them. Someday I might try another of her books to see if I can understand what all the accolades are about. Rating: 2 stars.

45. Americus
Middle School is tough enough when you are a book nerd with only one friend. Things take a turn for the worse when said best friend is shipped off to reform school just at that critical time when you enter High School. And if that weren't enough to make life in your piddly town of Americus suck, there are now a bunch of fanatics trying to ban your favorite book series from the library. 

There is much to like about this graphic novel targeted at a young adult audience, and I'd recommend it for readers of all ages who love reading and librarians. Rating: 3 stars.

I've had such fun dipping in and out of this book the past couple of weeks. It is chock-full of inspiration, ideas, and tips for people interested in sketching - with an emphasis on sketching outdoors. The chapters are themed by location with examples of sketchbook pages and materials used. I'd recommend it to anyone who keeps a sketchbook or wants to start doing so. Rating: 4 stars.

In this graphic memoir, the author (about to turn 22), and her mother (about to turn 50) rent an apartment in Paris for 6 weeks. This book is a visual journal of that trip - drawings, text, and photos - the places they visited, the things they bought, and the food they ate. My complaint with the author's earlier work still holds true for this one - she skims the surface of her experiences. There is no deeper reflection or insight, and I think she sells herself short by holding back from diving deeper. While the art is cute and fun, and I enjoyed a trip down memory lane of my own trips to Paris, I was overall bored with the we-did-this, we-ate-that, then-we-did-this narrative of this book. This is one of the earlier works by the author, and I'm glad that her newer work is more to my taste. Rating: 2 stars.

No comments: