I’m still working on the details of an actual YouTube vlogging channel. Surprisingly I’m not upset about actually talking on camera as much as I am mortified at how often I slip into the rut of using the same words and phrasing over and over and over again. It’s something I’m working on while I sort out recording and editing logistics.
Anyway… I figured I should follow-up with a little “this is what I thought about this” review of the books I chose for Booktubeathon 2015!
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. This was my choice for a book with blue on the cover. I am a huge Gaiman fan, as is J and I actually had to wait for J to finish reading this book before I could start it, which is why it was the last book I actually read! Neverwhere tells the story of Richard Mayhew, a fairly average, everyday Joe sort of guy, living in modern-day London. Richard’s life is pretty “meh” in general with a few quirks. Through a random act of kindness Richard finds his world turned upside down and slips through the cracks to the world below. In the vein of Stardust we are transported to a world where things are just ever so slightly different and Richard finds his senses overwhelmed and his abilities to cope with an altered reality tested. It is an excellent book, one that I greatly enjoyed reading.
- Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. This book is set in and around the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC and follows the story of Serafina as she tries to solve the mystery of the disappearing children on the grounds of the estate and come to terms with her shrouded past. I enjoyed this book in part because I am familiar with the house and grounds having visited the house many times and having been horseback riding in the woods where much of the action takes place. It is a fast paced, quick read and definitely one that I will be passing along to Xander.
- The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White. This is the classic tale of the voiceless trumpeter swan Louis. I am currently reading this book to the children for part of their school time and other than having to explain a few “out of vogue” words, it’s been an enjoyable read that has sparked much conversation and even a couple skits.
- Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout. I had high hopes for this mash-up of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet but alas it only really achieved a “meh” level of greatness. The book was the readable but not riveting story of Hamlet helping the distraught Romeo travel through the Underworld to rescue Juliet. I think had this book been written as a general fiction instead of YA it would’ve had greater depth. I would recommend it to tweens or early teens or as a casual throw-away beach read.
- Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. Obviously I was on a bit of a theme with the Romeo and Juliet thing! Another YA selection, this was my choice for reading in one sitting. Another variation of the classic tale, the story opens with the Romeo and Juliet’s wedding night then progresses to the future where Romeo and Juliet are now agents for opposite sides of a ethereal war between good and evil. The story follows Juliet as she becomes aware of the truth of her past and the consequences of her actions. I found it to be a decent story, another light beach type read. There is a sequel to this book that I have not read yet but I may pick up in the future. Overall I liked the book and could see it being a good read for the middle school crowd.
- Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle. This was my choice for book I wanted to read, which is funny as I only purchase books I want to read. This is the story of Miranda, a fledgling actress trying to live up to the pressures of her famous acting parents. The book opens with her angst driven meltdown after bombing on the opening night of her high school’s production of Taming of the Shrew. Miranda is approached by a fellow student who turns out to be much more than he appears and she finds herself back in time and attempting to woo Shakespeare away from a career ending life in the monastery. I had anticipated this book being another throw-away read but surprisingly it turned into quite a good story that managed to draw a few feels at the end. I would love to see a sequel to this story as Mingle left the door cracked for future adventures that I hope come to pass!
- Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata. This is a Manga that I have heard a good bit about over the years. I was not really overjoyed with this story. Light is an annoying sociopath thinking that he’s solving the world’s problems. L is an annoying investigator-savant that is trying to locate and identify Light in a string of worldwide murders. The only interesting character is Ryuk, the bored Shinigami that drops his death note to be entertained by the human that finds it. I would recommend watching the anime instead of reading the manga as I found the story progression to be boring and repetitive. The physical book is quite striking as it the black edition, but that’s not really enough of a reason to search for this book.
So that’s my run down of the 7 books I read last week. My favorite of the lot would be Neverwhere, but then I’ve been a Gaiman fan for a long time. I look forward to doing more reviews in the future :)