"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Book Reviews

This month I read 3 books.  Here are my mini-reviews....

The Magician by Michael Scott
  "After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights. Home for Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenell is still locked up back in Alcatraz and Paris is teeming with enemies. Nicollo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He’ s after them, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenell. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year—their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophesy is becoming more and more clear.
    It’s time for Sophie to learn the second elemental magic: Fire Magic. And there’ s only one man who can teach it to her: Flamel’s old student, the Comte de Saint-Germain—alchemist, magician, and rock star. Josh and Sophie Newman are the world’s only hope—if they don’t turn on each other first."
image and summary from Amazon.com

This is the second book in the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series.  At first I had a hard time getting into this book.  I had previously rented it twice from the library and each time the library got to take the book back before I could even finish chapter 1.  Well, it turns out that the third time is the charm.  

In this book of the series, the twins and Nicholas Flamel continue their adventures in Paris while Perenelle battles for her freedom on Alcatraz.  Once I got into the story, I could not stop reading.  I love the author's take on magic and alchemy and how he mixes mythology and fantastical creatures with historical figures

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
This was a really interesting book about memoir writing.  Mary Karr uses great examples from a variety of memoirs, analyzing the writers' choices and what they add to the stories.  She talks a lot about truth in memoir writing: how much of the writing can be fictionalized, how to deal with those who disagree with your version of the story, how to find the universal truths that are represented in our stories.  It was an inspiring read, and I will use what I learned from Karr to continue exploring the possibility of writing some of my own memoir.  I am also planning to slowly work my way through her extensive recommended reading list.  

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
"Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.
Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love…until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most"
image and summary from Amazon.com

What can I say?  I know that I have already talked about my love of Scott Westerfeld's writing on this blog.  This book was another winner.

When I started reading this book, I thought I knew exactly what it would be about.  I thought that the writer's world and the world of her characters were going to mix together in a fantasy-type way.  I was very surprised to find that this was not the case.  I still loved the book; it did not disappoint.  In fact I could not put it down and finished the book in just two days.  

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