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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Rotters - Daniel Kraus

Rating: 5/5
Summary: When Joey Crouch's mother dies he is sent off to live with his father in a small town Iowa. He soon learns that his father is not only embarrassingly labeled the town "garbage man" but a grave robber. Joey's life takes a dramatic turn when he decides to demand his father's attention and care.
Review: This book was incredibly captivating in a strange way. Its plot is very dark and slightly depressing, even disgusting, at point but still kept me reading. Kraus strings together an unique tale with plenty of twists and turns woven together with completely believable characterization. With as pessimistic and dark as this novel is, I expected to be left feeling depressed but was pleasantly surprised by the ever-so-perfect ending. The story is completely balanced in every way and I was definitely satisfied when I finally finished it. DEFINITELY a must read for any YA, adventure-loving book enthusiast.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

Rating: 4/5
Summary: Meggie and her father enjoy books as most people typically enjoy food. When she discovers her father has a secret ability to bring characters to life simply by reading aloud, Meggie is thrown into an adventure of her own that teaches her about trust, love, good and evil.
Review: I definitely understand why this book was made into a movie. Funke weaves a beautifully written plot with captivating characters and a unique concept that is sure to draw anyone's attention. I suppose this book is intended for a slightly younger audience (say the 11-15 age range) but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't deny that little more adult drama and action would have made this a much more interesting YA book for the older crowd, but I still found myself returning to it as often as I could. I would definitely recommend picking this one up if you like the "Harry Potter" adventure type books or if you are looking for a great Christmas gift for the preteen on your list. This is a trilogy but this book doesn't leave you having to read the next books, so for now I am moving on.

Buy it here: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Hardcover)

Wino Review: Alaverdi - Tvalebi

Type: White
Name: Alaverdi - Tvalebi (Medium Sweet White)
Location: Georgia
Review: Um... wow. I'll be honest, I was hesitant about this wine. No only is the label cheesy and mostly in a language I don't associate with wine, but the idea of a "medium sweet white" printed right on the label screamed cheap to me. Boy was I surprised! This may just be one of my new favorites, if only I could figure out where to get it.... At first taste, this slightly reminds me of a honey mead (and certainly looks like it with a gorgeous rich amber color,) but not really. Its not really like anything I've had before. On the sweeter side, but really not overwhelming, this wine has a mild fruity (almost melon-y) flavor and a smooth finish. You easily could serve this alone, with fruit or you could even pair this with a cheesy dish like alfredo.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review: Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Rating: 3/5
Summary: Cinder is a cyborg in a futuristic Earth in which humans are plagued by... well, a plague. Paralleling the classic Cinderella tale, Cinder has stepsisters, a mean stepmother, and a prince she pines for.
Review: I really liked this book for the first three quarters of it, until I reached the ending. I felt like it was just cut off at a crucial point, forcing the reader to pick up the sequel. I get that this is an excellent marketing tactic, but it also leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and I probably won't pick up the sequel simply because I wasn't blown away by the plot and then put off by the ending. Also, there is one sentence in the beginning of the novel that almost ruined the whole book because anyone smarter than a fifth grader can guess its implications. I won't share this revealing sentence, just in case you decided to pick up this book out of boredom. I did like the characters, although I felt they could have been slightly more relatable and the relationships were shallow. Overall, the dystopian quality of this novel kept me interested, but the plot wasn't strong enough to hold my interest into the sequels.