Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book review: The Haunted

I was in the big library, one town over from me, and picked up The Haunted by Jessica Verday. This is the second in a series of three. The first book was The Hollow. I seldom do book reviews because I want to be completely honest when I review something, and I see so much written about being careful what is included in a review because one never knows who may be asked to write a blurb for her in the future.

I love the premise of this series which is based on Washington Irving's stories of the Headless Horseman. In all honesty, the Headless Horseman scared the bejeezus outta me growing up. I was intrigued by The Haunted but had things that I didn't like about it. I picked up The Hollow in hope that I would like it better; and I did.

I'm in love with love and this story has a very nice love story in it. The two main characters are so well suited for each other, well, if one ignores the fact that they can't touch. The plot, though simple, is very well done and there is a surprise. I couldn't put the book down and stayed up almost all night reading it, that says a lot to me about a book. The ending left several questions to be answered in the last book and at the same time ended on a good note, unlike the first book, and that was perhaps my main problem with the first book.

If you didn't like the first one, it's worth it to give it another chance and pick up The Haunted. And if you liked the first one; I think you'll love the second.

Let me know your thoughts and don't forget to check out the contest.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A cause worth speaking out about

I must've had my head stuck in a hole yesterday. This morning I see that an interesting man is speaking out about books, again. I say interesting because it's the only nice word I can use. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but they should not have the right to push their opinion on others. Most certainly they should not have the right to ban something because of their beliefs.

This man has chosen Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak, to me, was a horrifyingly amazing experience. I worked with rape victims for a very short time and it saddened me how many women did not speak out. How many bury it deep inside and blame themselves. Anderson's book shed a light into those dark places. It handles it very well, not sugar-coating the issue or backing off for fear of offending.

I work in a library and it never ceases to amaze me what patrons find to complain about. The "body books" for boys and girls seem to disappear. Just last week I found one stuffed in the massive civil war section. Someone decided that children don't need to know what their body looks like or what sex is. Or where a baby comes from. I have a friend who thought storks brought them; until she was fifteen!

I don't believe in censoring books from my children. I do believe that there is a time when a child is able to handle tougher subject matter. I will not let my eleven-year-old read Speak. She is not ready to handle something like that. Once she matures, I will gladly hand over the book so we can discuss it. That's my choice. I would never tell another parent she should be the same as me, just like I don't want to be told I should be someone I'm not.

And that is what banning does. It tells someone she is wrong. It assumes the person with the problem is the right one and his beliefs are more important and valid than anyone else's.

Banning Speak sends a message to our young ladies that they do not matter. That they have no voice. That rape is a taboo subject. That one cannot move on past something terrible in their lives. That adults won't stand up for them. That we do not care. That a boy can do what he wants because he has power and no one cares. It is not an intelligent decision but an emotional one. He who cannot control his emotions has no control over his life.

I appreciate someone voicing her opinion. I appreciate knowing which YAs have sex in them, just as I appreciate knowing the content of movies before my children see them. And I look forward to the day when I no longer have to watch what my children read, when they are mature enough to read and have discussions with me.

Anderson handled her subject extremely well in Speak. Soft porn? Hell, no! I am impressed and hope my writing can be that powerful one day. I am adding a copy of Speak with the rest of my giveaway. In fact, by the time Oct 1st gets here there may be a few more books in there too.

In conclusion, we need to speak out and take up for our industry. There is no subject that should be taboo. We live in a country and a time when we have freedoms. I hope we all appreciate them while we have them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One year anniversary giveaway

It has been one year since I started a blog and I'm having a celebratory giveaway!

I'm adding Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson in honor of her amazing writing and the crap that is stirred up.

Something old: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Something new:
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Something borrowed: Torment by Lauren Kate (this is pre-ordered so the package will not ship until I receive it.)

Something blue:
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

All you have to do is follow my blog and leave me a comment. For those of you who are already followers, I will give you three extra entries. One additional entry for each retweet. Please keep up with your points in your comments. Winner selected by random generator. This contest will not close until October 1st at 12:00p.m. est.
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