November 13th, 2010

books

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen

Sarah and David, a rather dysfunctional couple and on the brink of divorce, are on their way to a weekly marriage counseling session. There are a few anomalies: the Seattle roads are deserted, parking is a breeze, and the receptionist is gone. As it turns out, she’s in the bathroom of Dr. Kelly’s office where Dr. Kelly is herself, kneeling on the carpet—gnawing on her previous appointments. Caught completely unprepared, Sarah and David must now rely on their only available weapons: their knowledge of horror movie techniques and pop culture zombie references to fight their way out of Seattle and see if anyone else has survived. But they have to do it together.

Married With Zombies is the first in Jesse Petersen’s Living With The Dead series. It’s a charmingly facetious guidebook for surviving a zombie attack, but also a quirky self-help manual for marriage and relationships. I am, at best, ambivalent about zombies; gore and I do not get along. However, the “walking dead” are interesting and in this case I hoped would prove entertaining. With a tag line of “The couple that slays together, stays together” I knew this would be about more than just zombies. Honestly, I was also looking for a good laugh.

Book recs, pretty please

I'm very fond of the Hunger Games trilogy & angst ridden young females ( Laurie Halse Anderson's books come to mind . I've read Wintergirls & have ordered Speak.) I like young women as the main characters and having them overcome a tragedy that they may or may not have caused. I do love romance as a subplot ( I can't help it I'm a shipper XD). Basically I'm looking for two different types  of books( action thriller, like Hunger Games  & emo young adults). I'm kind of over the vampire, werewolves, witches, fallen angels fad. I can't stand gory, horror novels but I love a good mystery. I'm not a feminist so I don't like female characters too butch but I don't like weak female characters either ( i.e. Bella Swan, Juliet.). Some of my favorite heroes & heroines are Anne Elliot, Alice Cullen ( love her but with the exception of New Moon I could barely get through the books), Amy Dorrit, Edward Ferrers, Peeta Mellark.
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Book recs please?

My three favorite books of all time would have to be House of Leaves, Go Ask Alice and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I'm looking for something that can grasp my attention as much as these books did. Anything that involves (but not limited to) drug addiction and/or losing grip of reality, where the main character is the narrator.

Any help is much appreciated! ♥
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Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow

One-line summary: BoingBoing goes to war.



Reviews:

Amazon: Average: 4.2. Mode: 5 stars
Goodreads: Average: 4.02. Mode: 4 stars.


Marcus, a.k.a w1n5t0n, is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works, and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they are mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.


If you didn't get the one-liner reference, BoingBoing is the tech blog of author Cory Doctorow. I began reading Little Brother with trepidation: I've read his collection of essays on technology and intellectual property, Content, so I knew where he stood on those issues. I was worried, however, that he would grind so heavily on those themes in this novel (the first fiction of his that I've read) that the message would eclipse the story. Most of us have experienced a book written by an author whose political views we largely agree with but which we would have preferred not to be beaten over the head with.

Doctorow comes close a few times, but while an awful lot of Jeffersonian rhetoric comes out of the characters' mouths, he stays just this side of keeping it engaging and in context.

Because Little Brother is a YA novel, I cut it some slack I wouldn't if it were aimed with the same purpose at adults, but it rises above the majority of fiction aimed at teens. It's not wish-fulfillment fantasy, and it actually has relevant thought-provoking content. That said, it's not without a few flaws.

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Verdict: I am becoming increasingly jaded with regard to anything labeled "Young Adult" (especially if romance is a major component). Little Brother is one of the few intelligent entries in the field. It's not a perfect book, but it's good and thought-provoking. My reactions swung from wild agreement to skepticism and occasional eye-rolling to "Hell, yeah!" In the end, it was a great and entertaining story (the first requirement of any novel, no matter what the author's agenda), and yes, it was actually educational. Doctorow makes no bones about his agenda (the foreword and afterword are full of contributions by himself and other notable names in the privacy and security field), so know going in that he has a point to make -- just like Orwell did.

Note also that while you can buy a traditional print version of this book, Doctorow puts his principles where his mouth is: you can download a free ebook version of Little Brother, just like all his other books.