Genre: Young Adult

Guest Review: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Posted August 6, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Twilight by Stephanie MeyerReviewer: Missy
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #1
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, Twilight

Publication Date: February 26th 2009
Genres: Young Adult, General
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town.
But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella.
Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away - until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car.
Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward's coldness. He, and his family, are vampires - and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close.

 
I realise I am way behind.

I kept hearing that Twilight was a great series, that everyone was in love with it. I meant to read it, I really did. But I have been crap at reading books that aren’t required for uni (and even some that are!) so I never got around to it.

Until I had to fly a bajillion hours home, needed something to read, and had it recommended to me by Holly.

This is what I think. (May be hilarious to those of you who have already read it and the subsequent books, I have no idea.)

It builds very slowly. There is a lot of detail and setting the scene. Once I settled in to the idea that this was her style and not a lack of appropriate pacing, I managed to enjoy it a lot more.

I had a heard the phrases “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” bandied around the internet (I deliberately haven’t read anything on the book since I read it myself, by the way, and really didn’t know anything going in) but … I guess that’s later in the series. I wasn’t sure whether I cared if it appeared or not, but now, yes, I think they’re going to need some kind of conflict. We’re all getting along too well at the moment.

Bella, grr, the girl annoys me sometimes. I don’t hate her by any means, but I wanted to smack her a time or two. I just went looking for some examples, because I knew there were some even if I couldn’t mention any off the top of my head. And I found one, only seven pages in: “No need to add that my being happy in Forks in an impossibility. He didn’t need to suffer along with me.” I doubt this annoyed me at the time, but it illustrates one of my problems with Bella: she’s just too damn self-absorbed and sorry for herself.

I found myself snapping “We get it!” at her (Bella or Meyer on different occasions) way too many times. We know she’s smart; she doesn’t have to be such a snob about it. We know you don’t like the weather (hell, neither would I) but WHO DOESN’T LIKE SNOWBALL FIGHTS?

This idea of Bella wanting to be turned. I read the excerpt of Book Two and man she is whingey (Holly: I have no idea what this means, either) in that part. I can understand maybe later on this might be an issue. I mean, Buffy figured it out as well (that Angel wasn’t going to age, while she herself would), it’s bound to come up. It seems like a) Meyer threw it in there at the end of this one so she could have conflict over it in the next one and b) it should have been developed over time, maybe as the major issue in the last book.

Bella being clumsy. Is this going to have some huge meaning in the future? Because if not, it’s annoying and unnecessary. I was waiting for the revelation that she actually has MS or something and that’s why she’s falling down all the time. If the only reason is so she could show up with scraped palms (blood! plus vampire!), that is cheap.

Also cheap? The way Meyer throws in these “subtle” allusions. She managed to mention Eve and apples within about five pages of each other, and never mention them again. Twilight is his favourite time, because it’s neither dark nor light, not one or the other, he struggles with his human/monster sides, like, SEE WHAT SHE DID THERE? This is acceptable for bloggers who use the “subtle” device ironically, because then it’s funny. An author who cannot create truly subtle yet meaningful references throughout her text has no business doing a half-arsed job at it.

I felt at times she struggled with descriptions, especially of Edward’s skin tone. You just know she got “alabaster” from the thesaurus (or maybe from Anne of Green Gables). And I’m pretty sure certain phrases, like the one about Bella using her hair to hide, were repeated. (I could be totally wrong. I am not fact-checking at 10:30 at night.) I hate that! Noticing individual words and phrases distracts from the story. Don’t do it to me, please.

Wow, this kinda sounds like I didn’t like it. I actually did. I don’t think her writing is the most elegant I’ve ever read, but the story was interesting, the characters less so but only a little. I just glanced back through the book and remembered that I really like the relationship and banter between Bella and Edward. Even though the Q&A could have got a little exposition-y, most of the time it was interesting, true, and revealing. I will keep reading the series – who knows, I might even catch up with the rest of the world, by which time I’m sure it will have moved on to the next big thing – and I’ll be interested to see how the movie portrays the story and characters.

Grade: 3.8 aka 3.75 (H: Zeek, I swear she chose this grade on her own!)

In conclusion, you should probably stick with Holly for your reviews in the future.

You can read more from Missy at Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch.

three-half-stars


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Review: Breaking Dawn – With Spoilers

Posted August 5, 2008 by Holly in Discussions, Reviews | 20 Comments

Review: Breaking Dawn – With SpoilersReviewer: Holly
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #4
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, Twilight, Twilight

Publication Date: August 2nd 2008
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Love & Romance
Pages: 768
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life-first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse-seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.

Below is a follow up to my review (you can also read Thea’s non-spoiler review at The Book Smugglers here) of Breaking Dawn, but with full spoilers (Thea’s full spoiler review here). Please beware, if you don’t want to know what happens in Breaking Dawn, don’t read any further.

Part 1

Written from Bella’s narrative. Bella and Edward get married. She still has some concerns about going through with it, but she’s determined to just get it over with. She turned the whole thing over to Alice, so all she has to do is show up. The wedding itself was beautifully written and I like that Bella realized during the ceremony that she and Edward belong together and she was silly for worrying about the wedding.

During the reception, Jacob comes back and dances with Bella. She’s overjoyed to see him, as usual. She mentions something about her honeymoon with Edward and the fact that they plan to be physical and Jake freaks out, because he fears for Bella’s safety. He ends up storming off in a huff and they get back to it.

Edward has kept their honeymoon destination a secret from Bella. Directly after the wedding reception they leave and Edward reveals that they’re going to Esme Island. Apparently Carlisle had given Esme her own island and she graciously offered it to the newlyweds. Bella is anxious to begin their physical relationship, but Edward is still hesitant.

Eventually he gives into her and then immediately regrets it, because she’s bruised basically from head to toe. This part was kind of emotional. It was Bella’s first time. She doesn’t realize that anything bad happened (we all know the girl is oblivious) and she wakes up happier than she’s ever been, only to have Edward completely rain on her parade and ruin the moment for her. While I understood where Edward was coming from, I felt it was handled very, very badly on his part. And He never did apologize for making her feel bad and insecure.

Because he feels awful, Edward resolves to never be physical with Bella again. Or at least not until she’s immortal. Bella, as you can imagine, isn’t very happy with this and resolves to change his mind. Except he runs her into exhaustion so she’s too tired to press the issue. After a few days (maybe a week) of this, Bella decides to try a different tactic. She bargains with Edward, telling him she’ll go to college and put off becoming a vampire for another year if he agrees to resume their relationship. He eventually caves in.

Up until this point, I was really enjoying the story. Sure, it’s a bit..predictable and even kind of laughable how perfect everything is, but the writing was strong and Bella wasn’t at all annoying. She was just a young girl enjoying being married to the man of her dreams and on the perfect honeymoon. The dialogue between she and Edward was well done and I was mostly left with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Then Bella got pregnant. Yes, I said pregnant. Now, this wasn’t a surprise to me. A huge disappointment, but not a surprise. I had a feeling from the way things happened in Eclipse and the conversations Bella had with Rosalie – and the way Edward acted about wanting Bella to have a child – that this was going to happen. It still made me very angry. But I’ll get into that later.

The problem with this is that Bella is less than three weeks along and already she’s moody, tired and suffering from morning sickness. Oh, and she’s already got a baby bump. Naturally this freaks her and Edward out – though for different reasons. Alice calls and puts Carlisle on the phone and Bella explains that she thinks she’s pregnant. Edward and Carlisle decide the best thing is to terminate the pregnancy, because it’s obvious something is wrong.

Bella isn’t happy with this and calls the one person she knows will help her keep the baby. Rosalie.

Part 2

This is written from Jacob’s narrative. Having the novel broken up like this was an excellent call on Meyer’s part. Not only did I enjoy his “voice” but it also gave us a chance to breathe after the first part.

Jacob is home in La Push waiting for the news that Bella has died. The Cullen’s have been in touch with Charlie – Bella’s dad – and are claiming she contracted some dread disease while on her honeymoon and she now has to be quarantined. Jacob knows this is just some story they made up to cover the fact that she’s being turned into a vampire. He discusses it with his pack and they decide not to retaliate against the Cullen’s for breaking their pact. In a fit of rage, he rushes over to their house to kill them himself.

Only when he gets there things are not what they seem. Bella is, in fact, deathly ill. And not because she’s been turned or about to be turned. She’s now hugely pregnant. Hugely. Apparently the fetus is growing at 10x the normal rate. Even though she’s only a month or so along, she’s the size of a woman who’s 9 months pregnant.

The worst part is the baby is slowly killing her. It rejects all food and beverages, so she’s slowly wasting away as the baby steals from her body to nourish itself. The entire family – with the exception of Rosalie – is desperate to save Bella. But she refuses to allow them to take the baby early, knowing it will die. Rosalie has become her bodyguard, refusing to allow anyone to be alone with her and constantly by her side.

I can truly say I hated Rosalie during this part. She wanted the baby, and didn’t care what it did to Bella or anyone else to get it. At one point Jacob speculates that Bella is nothing more than a means to an end for Rosalie and Edward agrees. It was disturbing the way she was willing to do anything to ensure the life of the child, even if it meant taking Bella’s.

Edward is broken. To see Bella suffering so much, to know he’s the cause..well, he’s barely hanging on. He begs Jacob to talk to Bella, to convince her to save herself. Jacob knows it won’t do any good, but he reluctantly agrees. Edward, close to madness at this point, tells Jacob to offer her a child if that’s what she wants. Yes, Edward told Jacob he could get with Bella to give her a child if that would save her life.

I have to tell you, this is the most emotionally compelling part of the entire novel. Seeing just how broken Edward is, feeling the animosity the entire Cullen family (sans Rosalie) has toward the fetus, witnessing Jacob’s anger at how horribly sick Bella has become…this really got to me. I cried several times during this part. I also have to say..I truly hated that fetus right along with the rest of them. At the end of Part 1 my sympathies were entirely with Bella, but my tune changed.

While part of me understood Bella’s reasons for insisting on carrying the fetus to term, another part of me was furious with her for being so selfish. I have to give mad props to Meyer for this part of the novel. She did an amazing job of writing this so I, as a reader, was just as conflicted as the characters. Brilliant.

Jacob goes back to his pack and Sam (the alpha) decides they need to take out the Cullen’s, and Bella, to protect their families against this unknown abomination. Jacob disagrees. Though he wants the fetus dead, he doesn’t think all the Cullen’s should die because of it. Sam tries to force Jacob into obeying and Jacob ends up breaking from the pack because Jacob is the true Alpha. Seth and Leah join him.

The biggest concern at this point is how Bella will survive until the birth, since she isn’t able to keep anything down. At one point Jacob thinks to himself that the fetus is nothing but a “blood sucker”. Edward hears the thought and suggests that perhaps the baby needs blood, being that it’s half vampire. That ends up being the case. So Bella drinks blood. As a human. And likes it. Because that’s what her baby needs. Weird.

Anyway, they’ve decided Bella will be ok during/after the birth because Edward will immediately transform her. I have to tell you, this severely pisses me off. Throughout the entire series, Bella has waffled back and forth about whether or not to become a vampire. Sometimes she wants it, sometimes she doesn’t, but it’s always been one of the major conflicts of the story. For the choice to be taken from her, for her to be absolved of all guilt in the making of the choice..well, that was a cop out by Meyer, plain and simple.

Meyer had the opportunity to really delve deep into the psyche and build upon the morality of the choice between life and the living dead, and instead she chose the easy way out. Yes, I’m still pissed about this.

Of course, I’m even more pissed off about what happens next. This wasn’t a surprise to me. Not even a little bit. As soon as Bella turned up pregnant I knew the following was inevitable. That doesn’t mean I like it. So what happens?

Jacob imprints on Bella’s baby.

Yes folks, you read that correctly. The reason Bella and Jacob were so attached to each other was really because Jacob was destined to imprint with Bella’s daughter. Once again, Meyer takes the easy way out. What had become an interesting love triangle turned into something straight out of a soap opera.

Part 3

Once again from Bella’s narrative. First, let me tell you about Bella’s daughter, Renesmee. Yes, Renesmee. you know, like Renee and Esme together. headesk She is not your average child. She grows at 5x the normal rate, is extremely intelligent and can communicate by touching your face and showing you her thoughts. She’s a miracle baby. Oh, and she has the ability to wrap every adult in a 100 mile radius around her little fingers.

Ok, so now you know that Bella had the perfect baby. Now let me tell you about Bella the perfect vampire. She was transformed (though it was touch and go there for a minute) directly after Renesmee was born and spent 3 days changing. She was doped up, so although she could feel every horrible second of it, she couldn’t make a sound. Then, she the morphine wore off, she refused to cause Edward more suffering by yelling out her pain, so she suffered in silence.

Once she was able to get up, she finds she can control the bloodlust and she isn’t really one of those newborns like she thought she was going to be. She’s graceful, beautiful and in complete control of herself. Oh, and she’s extremely powerful too. Even stronger than Edward. Wow, look at her go.

Then Irina (another vampire) sees Renesmee, Jacob and Bella out hunting and mistakes Nessie (as she’s called by everyone but Bella) for an illegal being called an immortal child. As it turns out, centuries ago, vampires were turning children and they were completely out of control, so now all immortal children are sentenced to death immediately. It’s one of those, “Kill first, ask questions later” type of things. The Cullen’s decide they need to gather reinforcements to witness for them that Nessie isn’t an immortal child, but Edward’s biological daughter.

They call on all their friends and the wolves and prepare to stand against the Volturi. Bella realizes that she has a super special “talent” and can actually create a protection shield that she can put around herself and anyone else who’s in danger. Do you see where this is going?

Actually, rather than going on any further, I think I can sum this up pretty quick:

Bella becomes the perfect vampire with the perfect husband and the perfect daughter who is perfectly content in her perfect little world because she’s friends with all the vampires and all the werewolves and she gets to keep in touch with her human family because she’s selfish like that.

Oh, and because Jacob and Nessie have imprinted, there’s no longer any tension between his pack and Sam’s pack, because they can’t endanger someone’s mate.

What I’m saying is: All the internal and external conflicts are resolved, quite easily and with as little fuss as possible. Bella becomes perfect. She’s able to keep her human family, her wolf family, her friends, her child, everything. Cheesy, neat, textbook, total cop out all the way around.

Very disappointing.

You know, I might have given this a higher grade than it deserved, looking back on it.

There you have it in a nutshell. Thoughts? Feelings? Agree or disagree?

On the other hand, this is marketed as a young adult novel. So perhaps things happened exactly as they should?

three-stars


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Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

Posted August 4, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 12 Comments

Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie MeyerReviewer: Holly
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #4
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, Twilight, Twilight

Publication Date: August 2nd 2008
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Love & Romance
Pages: 768
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life-first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse-seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.

Book Cover

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipse turned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for….

Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.

I’ve decided to review this without spoilers, and later in the week (possibly sooner) I’ll open a separate post for spoilers.

When I finished reading Eclipse, I was severely disappointed in the direction the series was headed. I had been looking for some sort of maturity from Bella Swan, the main protagonist and narrator of the series, but didn’t feel there had been any growth. As a matter of fact, I felt she’d digressed in her behavior, and seemed younger and more immature than ever. It came as quite a surprise to me that Bella not only seemed more mature in this entry, but she was also a character I identified with, and even…liked? At least in the beginning.

Breaking Dawn
picks up almost directly where Eclipse left off. Jacob is still gone and Edward and Bella are preparing for their wedding. I didn’t bother to re-read Eclipse in preparation. As a result, I felt a bit lost at first, trying to remember exactly what had happened at the end of Eclipse. It wasn’t long before I was caught up in the story.

Meyer’s writing is as strong as ever, and even though I had some major issues with the story, I can’t fault her writing style or voice. Just as with the previous three novels I was completely sucked in.

This was probably the most emotionally compelling of the series so far. I could actually feel the emotions leaping off the pages. I laughed, I cried, I was so angry I wanted to throw my book. I could absolutely empathize with the characters as they faced various trials and tribulations.

Parts of this novel were much less dark than the previous entries in the series. I think this is both good and bad. I think part of the appeal of the series to date has been it’s darker, somewhat morbid undertones. While I think the levity in this one was needed, it was still hard to reconcile it as being part of the series.

Despite the strong writing voice, this entry lacked the punch of the previous ones. It seemed to read like textbook novel. I predicted every.single.thing that happened. There wasn’t one surprise, one outcome I didn’t foresee. That severely disappointed me, because though I was angry about some things that happened in previously in the series, at least they weren’t what I was expecting.

I do think Meyer offered us another angle from which we could study and analyze the gift/curse of love, and the ways our lives are effected by the decisions we make. That aspect was certainly interesting.

Overall the writing was just as strong as always, but the storyline and characters were just a bit too neat and tidy for me to recommend this. Too many things happened to make me shake my head and roll my eyes. It’s definitely a disappointment, realizing Meyer took the easy way out.

3.0 out of 5

Personally, I’m glad to see the series come to an end.

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

This book is available from Little, Brown and Company. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-stars


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Review: Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot.

Posted February 12, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot.Reviewer: Rowena
Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 6th 2009
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Katie Ellison is not a liar.

It's just that telling the truth is so . . . tricky. She knows she shouldn't be making out with a drama club hottie behind her football-player boyfriend's back. She should probably admit that she can't stand eating quahogs (clams), especially since she's running for Quahog Princess in her hometown's annual Quahog Festival. And it would be a relief to finally tell someone what really happened the night Tommy Sullivan is a freak was spray-painted on the new wall outside the junior high school gymnasium—in neon orange, which still hasn't been sandblasted off. After all, everyone knows that's what drove Tommy out of town four years ago.

But now Tommy Sullivan has come back. Katie is sure he's out for revenge, and she'll do anything to hang on to her perfect (if slightly dishonest) existence. Even if it means telling more lies than ever. Even if, now that Tommy's around, she's actually—no lie—having the time of her life.

Alright, this has got to be the first book, oh no I’m lying because All American Girl was another book by Meg Cabot that I just thought was okay. This book wasn’t a bad book, it wasn’t at all it was just …okay. I mean, I guess a lot of it had to do with the main character, Katie Ellison. She’s the brainiac of her school and yet she’s landed the most popular boy in her school for a boyfriend. She’s liked him for like ever and finally got with him when she was in 8th grade. She’s been with him ever since and they’re about to be seniors in high school. Her life is pretty cool, I mean she’s got a cool and hot boyfriend, she’s got a great job, her parents are decent and her brother is pretty cool.

What’s not to love?

Apparently, there are things Katie doesn’t love. First on that list is …her boyfriend, Seth Turner. Seth is the starting kicker of the Quahogs, her high school football team and the town’s celebrities. If you’re on the football team, you’re treated like royalty and it’s really stupid but hey that’s how their life is. Anyway, so Katie’s got this hot boyfriend who adores her and what is she doing? She’s making out with Eric Flutely, the guy who’s like the Brad Pitt of her school, the “actor”.

It was really hard for me to get into this book because Katie was a stupid little hussy who was making out with every boy in her damn grade, it was so dumb and she kept berating herself for doing it and I just didn’t understand why she was still with Seth if she didn’t want to hurt him but she didn’t want to stop kissing Eric either.

I’ll give her some credit though because by the time a third guy comes into the picture, she realizes that she was never in love with Seth or with Eric because when she’s with this new guy, Tom Sullivan she doesn’t want to kiss anyone else, she wants only to be with him but she’s afraid of why he’s back in town because some crap went down and he was chased out of town. He’s back and she wants to know why because well, nobody forgot about what happened before Tom was chased out and it’s bad enough that the football team wants to beat him up for it.

The whole story revolves around Katie and her trying to get over herself and get over why she feels the need to have TWO boyfriends and it shows her grow into a respectable girl who doesn’t lie all the hot damn time. I didn’t like Katie at all when I first started reading this book but by the end of the book, I forgave her for all of her stupidity, chalked it up to her being a teenager and excused for being so hot damn dumb but she did set things right and I was a happy camper by the end of the book, so would I recommend this book?

Yeah, why not…just don’t expect the fireworks you got when you read her other books, because this isn’t the best best.

Just okay.

But I’m still a Meg Cabot fan girl, FOR real!

three-stars


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Review: Paraworld Zero by Matthew Peterson

Posted January 4, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Paraworld Zero by Matthew PetersonReviewer: Rowena
Paraworld Zero by Matthew Peterson
Published by Blue Forge Press
Publication Date: January 1st 2008
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 251
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Simon Kent is just an ordinary 12-year-old trying to cope with the loss of his parents and the bullies at school . . . or so he thinks. After meeting an outspoken girl with strange hair that changes colors with her mood, he is swept into a futuristic world filled with dragonlike creatures, vast technology, and enslaved giants. But Simon also stumbles upon a secret: He can perform magic in this parallel world! While fighting mystical creatures, unraveling an ancient mystery, and even experiencing his first kiss, Simon discovers that he, an outsider from Earth, is the only person who can save the high-tech planet from an impending doom.

I got this book a couple of weeks ago and I started reading it expecting one thing but was completely surprised to get something else. I was expecting Harry Potter and ended up with demonized pigeons and draguno’s and exploding dumpsters and just every sort of thing that I’m not into as an adult. So, I had to change my focus on the whole book and read this book with Brenna (my daughter) in mind.

Is this something that Brenna would like? Is this something that one of my nieces and nephews would like?

And the answer to that is quite simply: Yes.

The world of Simon Kent on Earth is one that we’ve all read about or even lived. He wasn’t the most popular kid in school, he got good grades, he was an orphan, living with a bully of a kid named Dimitri and he lost himself in his video games. One day, all of that changes when he meets Tonya, some chick with hair that changes colors like a mood ring, someone who is from a different, parallel world.

She’s got this world changer remote thing that takes them from one world to another and while they’re causing havoc on Earth (cue in the possessed dumpsters and overly large demonized pigeons terrorizing humans on Earth) so they need to get out before they get caught by the police and end up in jail. So using her remote changer worlds thingy, they get zapped into space and Dimitri (aka Billy Bad Ass on Earth) follows them and steals their remote changer thingy and Simon and Tonya are stuck on some strange paraworld where science is EVERYTHING.

Not long after they get there do I realize that I hate this paraworld. They’re into slavery here on this paraworld and they pretty stupid. They think they’re so superior to everyone and it grates on my hot damn nerves. They’re living with Dr. Troodles and his family and although I like Thorn, he kind of gets on my nerves too.

Simon starts dreaming of a mysterious woman and he begins to realize that something is going on around them and he needs to do something about it.

There’s all sorts of things happening in this book and it’s just one big fat adventure after the other. After I stopped reading for myself and started reading this book for the kids, I started to enjoy it…it’s not something that I, myself would probably pick up and read but this is something that I would definitely pick up for Brenna to read. The characters are lively and the storyline is fast paced and exciting to read.

Its got everything a kid would enjoy reading so you guys should definitely pick this book up, which comes out sometime this month. The kids will enjoy this book and they’ll enjoy tagging along with Simon and his band of merry men to conquer the evils of all the parallel worlds.

Great story for the kids!

four-stars


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