50 Word Friday: What I Hate: From A to Z

What I Hate: From A to Z [Hardcover] [2011] Roz Chast
What I Hate: From A to Z
Author: Roz Chast

Summary:

What I Hate is an A to Z of epic horrors and daily unpleasantries, including but by no means limited to rabies, abduction, tunnels, and the triple-layered terror of Jell-O 1-2-3. With never-before-published, full-page cartoons for every letter, and supplemental text to make sure the proper fear is instilled in every heart, Chast’s alphabetical compendium will resonate with anyone well-versed in the art of avoidance- and make an instructive gift for anyone who might be approaching life with unhealthy unconcern.

Review:

Not this book, I loved it. However, the title is misleading. It is not so much hate as fear, or maybe causes great anxiety. Everything from Alien Abduction to Jello 1-2-3 to Vision Loss are things which cause Chast some bit of anxiety and me some bit of uneasy chuckling.

50 Word Friday: Days of Blood and Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor

Summary:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Review:

Heartbreaking and lovely, that is DoB&S. Again unique in setting with characters who more real than most contemporary YA even though they are less, the story takes us places we are sure we don’t want to go but in the end are sure we could not have gone anywhere else.

P.S. I am totally in love with Laini Taylor and want the next one right now!

50 Word Friday: Celtic Saints

Celtic Saints

Celtic Saints
Author: Martin Wallace, Ann MacDuff (Illustrations)

Summary:

The Ireland of the Dark Ages inspired strange and marvelous legends that intertwined history and fancy. Today, these legends live on in the stories of wandering saints, who performed good works and miraculous feats on their travels throughout the British Isles and Europe. From well-known and beloved icons—such as Saint Patrick, who chased the pagans from the shores of Ireland along with the snakes, or Brigid, the wise woman of Kildare, who displayed a special gift for healing the sick—to the likes of Columba of Iona, David of Wales, and Aidan of Lindisfarne, Celtic Saints tells their stories, with each saint beautifully depicted in illustrations reminiscent of stained-glass windows.

Review:

The Blessed got me all excited to read about saints so I decided to work through backlog of saint books I have to read. This has beautiful faux stain glass illustrations, but not much depth to the short descriptions of the saints themselves. Perhaps I am no longer a beginner.

50 Word Friday: Gone Girl

Gone Girl: A Novel

Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn

Summary:

Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Review:

How does one write fifty word variations on WTF? I pride myself on being one step ahead of most books and movies but this one upended me every single damn twist. I was glad I avoided spoilers because most of the enjoyment was being surprised. Well done, Gillian Flynn, Bravo.

50 Word Friday: The Gunslinger Born

Stephen King's Dark Tower Vol. 1: The Gunslinger Born

The Gunslinger Born (Stephen King’s The Dark Tower – Graphic Novel series #1)
Author: Robin Furth

Summary:

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King’s Roland – an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, in a comic book personally overseen by King himself, Roland’s past is revealed! Sumptuously drawn by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, adapted by long-time Stephen King expert Robin Furth (author of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance) and scripted by New York Times bestseller Peter David, this series delves in depth into Roland’s origins – the perfect introduction to this incredibly realized world; while long-time fans will thrill to adventures merely hinted at in the novels. Be there for the very beginning of a modern classic of fantasy literature! Collects Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #1-7.

Review:

I like King but I have never taken to Dark Tower. I thought maybe the graphic novel might entice me. On the plus side, I finished this book. I never got through any of the novels. So, what did I discover? Westerns makes almost all things completely unpalatable for me.

50 Word Friday: Crossed

Crossed

Crossed (Matched #2)
Author: Ally Condie

Summary:

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Review:

I was a bit disappointed in this installment. So much of this story could have been condensed. It seemed to me like a placeholder or filler to get to the next book. While there are some reveals which move the story forward mostly it was toward at the very end.