Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

After reading A Monster Calls back in October, I knew I wanted to get my hands on more novels by Patrick Ness.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into!  The Knife of Never Letting Go is a roller coaster ride with little chance to catch your breath.  There were a few times I was actually physically tired because of what was going on in the story.  Don't plan on reading this one for a few minutes before bed.  You won't be able to put it down.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Easy comparisons to The Hunger Games and the Divergent series can be made, but Knife is a unique and creative dystopian novel with a bit more sci-fi than these others.  It's gritty, dark, and intense, but holds just enough hope and optimism to keep the reader totally off-balance.  The ending is a merciless cliffhanger, so I'm really glad I already own the rest of the series.  You will not want to let go of this novel or the characters you meet.

5/5 stars for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness      

Book Review: "Do What You Can" Plan: 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better

I follow Holley Gerth's contributions to the wonderful blog, (In)courage, so I was excited to read this short e-book she wrote for the new year.  It's only 60 pages, but it's packed full with inspirational and motivational truths.  Studies show that it takes 21 days to form new, or break old, habits.  This book is divided into 21 short chapters, one for each of these habit changing days.  Gerth encourages her readers to set faithful goals and dream God-sized dreams.  She asks thought-provoking, and sometimes tough, questions but remains encouraging and judgement-free.  I recommend this book for anyone looking for her place in the world.  A practical and affirming read.
4.5/5 stars

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: State of Wonder

  The first book I've completed in 2013 is State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.  I wish I had amazing things to say about it, but it was just....dare I say it...average. 
  Patchett wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Bel Canto, so I really wanted to love this book.  I didn't love it.  It just never grabbed me. I kept waiting to get to the good part, but there wasn't really a good part.  I have rarely ever, and I mean ever, not finished a book...but I was tempted at times to quit this one.  I am glad I finished it and I will certainly read other Patchett novels. 
  Patchett loves exotic locations and characters.  She had those in State of Wonder, but the story just never took off for me.  Many have given it excellent reviews, but I was never engrossed by State of Wonder.   
  If you are interested in scientific research for major drug companies, fertility drugs for women well past the age of fifty, and/or the Amazon jungle, this may be a book you will enjoy.  Definitely read Bel Canto.  It's amazing.

3/5 stars for State of Wonder