Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: Colin Fischer

Colin Fischer
By Ashley Edward Miller and Zach Stentz

"Solving crime, one facial expression at a time."
Colin Fischer is a young man entering his freshman year of high school. Colin has Asperger's syndrome, which is a high functioning form of autism. He is a brilliant student, excelling in many subjects, but he needs a chart to recognize facial expressions. He's very interested in how things work and why people do the things they do - he even keeps a journal of all his findings, with the plan to further investigate everything. Sherlock Holmes is a hero to him and he finds peace jumping on a trampoline.

Because Colin is so different, he tends to get bullied. In fact, he gets swirlied by his most constant bully, Wayne, on the first day of school. But then something happens early in the school year that Wayne is blamed for, but Colin knows for a fact that Wayne didn't do it. He just has to figure out who did it: to investigate the crime like Sherlock would.

This was a fantastic book. Despite some of the events that take place, the book maintains a light tone. It's a fun who-dun-it that touches on important subject matter, and also teaches the reader, without getting to dark or preachy. I really enjoyed reading this and highly recommend it to teen AND adult readers, cuz it's awesome!

Manga Review: The Earl and the Fairy Vol. 1

The Earl and the Fairy, Volume 1
By Ayuko (Illustrator), Mizue Tani

This series takes place in historical England - I don't recall exactly when, maybe the Victorian era? - and follows a young woman who is a Fairy Doctor and is tasked with finding an artifact for a young man who claims that his ancestors are from the fairy world. So the Fairy Doctor is one of the few people who can actually see people and creatures from the fairy world, when everyday humans are not only unable to see them, but don't believe in them either. Adventures ensue.

Ok, so here's the deal. I didn't really like this story. I have heard this term used in relation to other stories: "too stupid to live." This phrase describes a character, usually female, that is praised in the narration and by other characters, but the character's actions are the antithesis of that praise. They're basically the character that everyone says is so smart, and then doesn't look both ways before crossing the street and gets hit by a car. The "heroine" of this story fits that bill. She was kidnapped in the first half of the book...twice. Then she's hanging out with the second kidnapper, thinking he's a rescuer, then a kidnapper, then a nice guy, then the enemy, then she should escape, and then she should help him and BAH, SHUT UP ALREADY!

So yeah, not a fan of the story, but the artwork is nice. Hence the two stars instead of just one.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meg-A-Rae Episode 25: A Very Special Valentine's Day Episode

In this episode of Meg-A-Rae, Meg loves love and I hate love. So Meg reviews Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer and I review Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. Meg get's all gooey with the romance (though there IS a hitman in her book, so it's not overly gooey) and I get emo about zombies and blood and guts (though there's a lot of heart in R&R, no pun intended).

In reality, I prefer romance and Meg prefers horror, so please remember whilst viewing this episode that WE ARE ACTING! Enjoy!

Death plants.

Meg-A-Rae Episode 24: A Very Special Mardi Gras Episode

In this episode of Meg-A-Rae, we're celebrating Mardi Gras! Meg discusses the Queen of New Orleans, Anne Rice, and her numerous novels, and I talk about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. Now DoSaB isn't exactly a novel about Mardi Gras, nor does it take place in New Orleans, but the cover does have a lovely mask that feels very festive and appropriate for the holiday. Plus, at some point in the video, I don a blue wig in honor of Karou, the heroine of the story.

Be sure to check out our next Valentine's themed episode! It's a great one for lovers AND haters of the holiday.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! OR Boo Anti-Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day is one of those mixed emotion holidays.

 Some people love it...

 And other people...not so much.

So I'm going to appeal to the pro-love and anti-love day people by providing books for ANY mood.

First up, Pro Icky Love Stuff Book List:

PopulazziAllen, Elise
Dreamland Social ClubAltebrando, Tara
The Story of UsCaletti, Deb
Keep Holding OnColasanti, Susane
The Almost TruthCook, Eileen
In the Shadow of the LampDunlap, Susanne
SpeechlessHarrington, Hannah
If I LieJackson, Corrine
Never EnoughJaden, Denise
Small DamagesKephart, Beth
CatherineLindner, April
JaneLindner, April
Caleb + KateMartinusen-Coloma, Cindy
Red Heart TattooMcDaniel, Lurlene
Pushing the LimitsMcGarry, Katie
The Boy RecessionMeaney, Flynn
Meant to BeMorrill, Lauren
Anna and the French KissPerkins, Stephanie
Smart Girls Get What They WantStrohmeyer, Sarah
Love & LeftoversTregay, Sarah
Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me FamousWilliams, Kathryn

This is by no means a complete list, but just a few good titles to get you started. Also worth checking out, but neglected by this list is anything by Sarah Dessen.

To get you in the mood, check out this book trailer made by moi of Anna and the French Kiss. It's about love and stuff in Paris!

Now, for those of you who think Valentine's Day is just the candy corporations' made-up holiday designed to make people buy chocolate, then check out these great Zombie and Monster novels. Eat your heart out? They don't mind if they do!

Enclave (Razorland #1) Aguirre, Ann
Zombie Queen of Newbury High Ashby, Amanda
The Infects Beaudoin, Sean
Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1) Bick, Ilsa
Zombies Vs. Unicorns Black, Holly (et al)
Something Strange and Deadly Dennard, Susan
Zombies Don't Cry: A Living Dead Love Story Fischer, Rusty 
Z Ford, Michael Thomas
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Grahame-Smith, Seth
Bad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable #1) Harris, Carrie
Zombie Blondes James, Brian
Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1) Maberry, Jonathan
Warm Bodies Marion, Isaac
Bonechiller McNamee, Graham
A Monster Calls Ness, Patrick
iZombie (Vol 1-4) Roberson, Chris
The Forest of Hands and Teeth Ryan, Carrie
ZOM-B Shan, Darren
Frankenstein Shelley, Mary
Generation Dead (Generation Dead, #1) Waters, Daniel
The Monstrumologist (Monstrumologist #1) Yancey, Rick

Again, this is not a complete list, but it's a good one! To get you in the mood, check out this other book trailer made by moi of Rot & Ruin. It's about a zombie apocalypse and a zombie-hunter ninja!

So, Happy Valentine's Day OR Happy Chocolate-Eating-Thursday!