40. Lamb - Christopher Moore - 444 pages (8/10)
This was the perfect thing to read right before finals. This is a humorous look on the life of Jesus,also known as Joshua, as told by his childhood friend, Biff, who was edited out of the gospels (the reader finds out why at the end). It especially focuses on the lost years from Jesus's teenage years until he was thirty.
I'm sure this book has offended many a religious person since it was first published.
I found it to be a book that was humourous without being obnoxious. Many disagree--glancing at the Amazon reviews, quite a few people called it "frat-boy humour," but I disagree. The story is far-fetched, but in my opinion, so is the story of Christ. Moore gently pokes fun at this, while still creating interesting characters that readers can relate to. Joshua is more joking than one would picture Christ, being particularly fond of sarcasm. Biff may initially seem like the asshole-who-is-actually-a-Good-Man, but he's a bit deeper than that. Maggie, or the Magdalene, ends up loving both Biff and Joshua, and they both love her in return. It's a love triangle, but without the drama that usually goes along with it, which I found quite touching.
Sometimes the humour had me in stiches. Other times, I was not so amused. But in general, this book has caused me to want to read other books by Christopher Moore. It's hard for me to find humorous writers that I like, but I believe I've found one, here.
41. Extras - Scott Westerfeld - 417 pages (8.5/10)
This is the fourth novel set in the same universe as the Uglies series. I suppose technically it's the fourth book in the series, but as it has an entirely different antagonist, it feels like it is separate. In the previous series, people are given a surgery at the age of 16 that changes them from "uglies" to "pretties," yet it changed their minds and turned them into "bubbleheads." Now, that regime has ended.
Aya Fuse lives in a city in Japan where people are rediscovering their culture (tea ceremonies, manga) but where fame is of the utmost importance. Everyone has a face rank, and their goal is to have the highest face rank possible. They move up and down in rank by "kicking" stories onto their "feed." Aya's face rank is low--around 450,000. Her older brother is an intelligent "techhead" at has recently hit the top 1,000, and Aya is burning with jealousy and anger at being an "extra." One day, Aya Fuse meets the Sly Girls, a group of girls who pull stunts and try to have the lowest face rank possible. Aya decides that it would be an amazing story and goes undercover to spy on them. Aya ends up uncovering a story much bigger than she initially thought she would.
It's different from the first three books (Uglies, Pretties, and Specials), but it's an excellent book in its own respect. As a blogger, much resonated with me. I'm sure if face ranks on Livejournal were ranked, my little book blog would be quite low on the list, where as some inane blogger with a pretty face blogging about what dress she should wear that day would rank near the top. I hope to one day have a bit of fame if I ever publish a novel. Yet this book made me chuckle at how silly such a pursuit ultimately is. Aya seemed so silly to bring her hovercam everywhere...but how different am I, taking a camera with me most places, to record what I did that day? I love young adult books that actually push decent morals. The Uglies series are books is perhaps not worth the money to buy (I read it in a day), but it's a more than decent read if one is into the young adult genre.
As always, if you feel you have similar tastes in books to me, I love new friends!