Sunday, June 27, 2010

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

I know I should have finished this series a long time ago, but I have been reading them slowly, leisurely...just as each movie comes out--so I can read the book, then see the movie.  I've got my tickets to the midnight premier of the movie, and just finished the book, so I'm ready.

This book continues the story of Bella Swan and her vampire lover Edward Cullen.  In this book Bella is anxious to become a vampire, but Edward wants to marry Bella first, and to complicate matters, Jacob Black (her werewolf friend), declares his love for her too.  Thrown into the mix is Victoria, a vampire who is hunting Bella for revenge, and Seattle murders that are being committed by an army of newborn vampires. The Cullens and the wolves join forces to combat this threat and Jacob and Edward manage to become allies.  They defeat the newborns, but not before Jacob is hurt and  Bella comes to the realization that her friendship with Jacob Black is more than just friendship.  She is forced to confront the fact that she loves Jacob too...just not as much as Edward.

The touching scene where Bella has to confront Jacob after leading him on and ultimately rejecting him, is done better than I thought it would be.  But I'm sure lots of Jacob fans will be angry with Meyer and disappointed with Bella by the end of this book.  And if you were angry with Edward for leaving Bella in New Moon, you'll be much more sympathetic to him after Eclipse.  His motivations are more completely explained and he really does seem to have Bella's best interests at heart--always.

An interesting twist is that when Jacob receives a wedding invitation in the last pages of the book, it is not from Bella it is from Edward.  He then transforms into a wolf, and runs away to escape the heartache.

I do like this one the best so far, but one thing I really do have to remedy.  I have to read "Wuthering Heights".  There are many references to the book in Eclipse and it's got me really interested in finally reading it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

In the Wizard of Oz, we got only Dorothy's side of the story.  In this highly imaginative book, Maguire tells us a bit more about the life and background of her arch-nemesis, the Wicked Witch of the West, and how she became so "wicked".

The book is broken into several sections.  In "Munchkinlanders", we learn about Elphaba's early life.  "Gillikin" takes us through her young adult years.  "City of Emeralds" (one of my favorite sections) takes us through her first love affair and its tragic outcome.  "In the Vinkus" concentrates on her life immediately prior to Dorothy's house falling out of the sky onto her sister, and the last section "The Murder and its Afterlife" tells the rest of the story.

What I liked about the book was the philosophical underpinning to the writing that was constantly challenging notions I had about good and evil.  Surprisingly, Elphaba came off as a very sympathetic character at times, and the motives of others seemed to be questionable.  I did think the book bogged down a little bit in the middle, but finished strong.  I found it an interesting book and overall I'm glad I read it.

I haven't seen the stage play that is based on this book, but I understand it is very different from the book. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Message from Kate DiCamillo

Ms. DiCamillo won the Indie Choice Award for "Most Engaging Author".  Here is her Acceptance Speech from the ABA's Celebration of Bookselling Luncheon at BEA.

Do yourself a favor a pick up any of DiCamillo's books.  You won't be sorry.
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