Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Livin' Easy in the summertime!

Dishes done - X
Floors cleaned - X
Laundry done - X
Glass of Soda - X
Lots of books - X

Yep, I'm ready for the day. Nuthin' else needs attention (well, that may be exaggerating a bit but I'll shut out the clamoring noises) so I'll just READ!!

My library is a favorite haunt and this week I found just the right books there. I've read only 2 so far but vacation is ahead and I've got miles to read!!!

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh blended modern New York City and it's underground with a modern retelling of a Greek myth involving Orpheus and Eurydice. An original twist for me. My knowledge of Greek myths can fit upon the tip of my pinkie so I'll just take their word on it!

The main character, Jack, is a 14 year old nerd. He is a classics prodigy. One day while trying to avoid an encounter with a girl he is hit by a car. Fortunately he escapes with what appears to be only a few cuts and bruises; or at least he thinks that's all. Something is not quite right now. It seems that Jack can both see and hear strange things - the dead! This ability enables Jack to search for his dead mother with the help of a girl named Euri. He wants to find his mom and bring bring her back from the dead!! Just like Orpheus and Eurydice!! Jack's journey takes him through the Underworld of New York; a place where the dead wait to enter Elysium or Paradise.

I found lots of NYC history and landmarks fun to read about since our visit there 2 years ago and I got caught up in the story quickly. By page 10 the stage was all set and action got me deep into the story. But the story fell a little flat.

Both Jack and Euri were likeable enough characters and the author caught some of the lonely feelings of the nerdy and dorky side of a 14 year old. There were LOTS of classical literature references and allusions to old poets and authors. I felt more than a little low-brow and ill-read. I'd be very impressed if most teens caught on to the Latin as well as the poems quoted. But then maybe I'm just too ordinary - idk!

I understand that movie rights have been bought and it would make a good movie - think Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore for teens!! This would probably be a better movie than a book. It just didn't scream great to me, good, not great.

The next book was a keeper though. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett was a recommendation from Book Nut. Her review is what sold me and I can say she was right on the money! I tried it and laughed outloud at the tongue in cheek humor and well crafted characters. My favorites were the Nac Mac Feegle, or Wee Free Men!

Tiffany Aching is nine years old and believes that she is a witch. Odd things are happening all around her but being a practical minded girl she hopes to take care of things on her own. That is when she meets the Nac Mac Feegle - 6 inches tall and blue they have a Scottish brogue which Pratchett commands skillfully. I could swear that I was "listening" to Scotty in Star Trek!!

When Tiffany's little brother is kidnapped only Tiffany can stop the evil - -Tiffany, her "magic" and the Nac Mac Feegle.

This was a fun book that got a bit long in places; dream wandering and such but it was different, had a message to it and I liked the author's humor! I'm game to try more and I definitely want more books with the Nac Mac Feegle!!

I loved this quote:
Miss Tick sniffed, "You could say this advice is priceless," she said. "Are you listening?"
"Yes," said Tiffany.
"Good. Now ... if you put your trust in yourself..."
"...and believe in your dreams..."
"...and follow your star..." Miss Tick went on.
"'ll get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye." p. 36
I love it!!

My library stack will get smaller - I'm determined!!

We're off on a road trip - 4,400 miles so not only will I see the "world" but I'll see different worlds between the covers of books!! Now this is my kind of summer!!


beckaboots said...

I love your schedule! I do the laundry and household chores and then I spend many hours reading. Sometimes I feel like I haven't done much but reading really is great for the mind and much better than tv or video games!

Melissa said...

Awesome, awesome. SO glad you liked Wee Free Men... now read Hat Full of Sky! :)