Friday, November 13, 2009

Why I Fight by J. Adams Oaks

Wyatt has been traveling with his uncle since he was twelve years old, when Uncle Spade spirited him away from neglecting parents and took him on the road. They travel constantly, Spade selling goods and visiting his 'ladyfriends' with Wyatt in tow.

When Spade realizes the fighting potential for tall, hulking Wyatt, the teen is dragged into a world of violence and self-destruction. He tells his story directly to the reader in a brutally honest narrative. Not so much about the fighting he does, but why he does it.

Wyatt narrates in the spirit of Forrest Gump, telling his story to someone as he leaves it all behind. The style is difficult to read at first (Oaks uses dashes instead of quotes, and Wyatt's grammar reflects his erratic schooling), but once I got used to it, I was dragged into the story he told.

Food for thought:
  • Spade rescued Wyatt from seriously neglectful parents, but how much better was this option? He didn't go to school, had no friends, and essentially lived in a car during his teen years. He worships Spade, but is it justified?
  • Spade also brought him into fighting, seeing a monetary opportunity in his powerful physique. Wyatt was constantly bloodied and bruised, but he was on top...for a while.
The visual aspects of this novel were powerful additions. The cover reflects Wyatt's gritty story beautifully, and there are blood spatters at the beginning of every chapter. You will not forget that this is a survival story.

The Bottom Line:
Even if you're not a fighter, Wyatt's story is worth learning. Read it when you want something serious.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Crashed by Robin Wasserman

Lia Kahn is done pretending to be normal. She is a mistake, a replacement for the real Lia Kahn that can never be the original. It doesn't matter that she thinks like Lia or acts like Lia, because she is a machine. And she embraces it, living in a refuge for mechs that allows them to be themselves - whatever that is anymore.

But when someone with Lia's face commits mass murder, she is faced with more condemnation than ever. Even worse, the most prominent hater is Auden - Auden, who had accepted her, loved her. Can she overcome the hatred?

Thoughts on the world:
This series is very definitely sci-fi. So how far away are we from uploading our brains into machines? What about self-driving cars, zones (think facebook), and behavior-modifyers? When will we wreck the earth so badly that the sun rarely appears through the smog of pollution?

Thoughts on the characters:
  • Lia isn't perfect, and she's not pretending to be perfect. She's just trying to feel something. Why should she care about injury, or even complete destruction of her body, when she'll just be uploaded into a new one?
  • We learn more about Jude, Riley, and Ani in this book. Wasn't it nice of the BioMax people to give them working, Caucasian bodies as a consolation prize for being lab rats? Also, venturing into the city has given us a glimpse into the lives of the unfortunate. The world is perfect for those who can afford it...
  • Lia's dad bailed her out of jail. Why? If he doesn't think that she is his Lia, why bother helping her?
If you like this series:
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox
  • Uglies
Add your own questions, comments, suggestions...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Linger" cover revealed

Get the full story from The Compulsive Reader's post.

It certainly holds in the art themes of Shiver...the image of the wolf and girl are much more clear on this cover than the wolf is for Shiver. What could the imagery mean? It looks like the girl is walking away from the wolf, which has my plot-predictors running on overdrive.

Linger will be released in the fall of 2010. It's too long!