Monday, May 28, 2007

Ghost World

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Description: (From Dan Clowes described the story in Ghost World as the examination of "the lives of two recent high school graduates from the advantaged perch of a constant and (mostly) undetectable eavesdropper, with the shaky detachment of a scientist who has grown fond of the prize microbes in his petri dish." From this perch comes a revelation about adolescence that is both subtle and coolly beautiful. Critics have pointed out Clowes's cynicism and vicious social commentary, but if you concentrate on those aspects, you'll miss the exquisite whole that Clowes has captured. Each chapter ends with melancholia that builds towards the amazing, detached, ghostlike ending.

Review: I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought it was interesting, but wished it went into more detail at the end. It seemed to end abruptly. I did find it amusing and could relate a bit to the story. Overall its a fun, quirky story about teens. I'd recommend checking it out.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Movie Connection: There is a movie adaptation that came out in 2001. I didn't catch it in the theater, but I was always interested in it. Not too long ago it was on TV but I was not able to finish watching it, so I put it on my Netflix list. I did see it and I really liked it. So I got the book. I am not sure which one I like more. Usually I like the book better, but I'm not sure in this case. They sort of melded characters together for the movie (which they often do). I think you should definitely check the movie out.

Ghost World (2001)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

Description: (From Back of Book) It is 1772, the eve of the American Revolution, and the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Governor Josiah Martin calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But there is one problem: Jamie Fraser's wife, Claire, is a time-traveler, as are his daughter and son-in-law. And Jamie knows that three years hence, the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the end of it all will be independence--with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. Beyond everything else, though, looms the threat of a tiny clipping from the Wilmington Gazette dated 1776, which reports the destruction of th house on Fraser's Ridge and the death by fire of James Fraser and all his family.

For once, Jamie Fraser hopes the time-travelers in his family are wrong about the future-- but only time will tell.

Review: Wow, what a roller coaster ride! This book was great and I couldn't put it down. There were so many parts that I just got so excited that I had to keep reading. Many things were tied up with this book, which was nice. The end, however, left me feeling slightly melancholy. The next book should be interesting, to say the least. The characters were formed so well in this book that I really got into them. I'm glad to see that Gabaldon was back on her game for this one.

Score: 5 out of 5

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Fiery Cross

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

Description: (From Back of Book) The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser's wife tells hims o. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy--a time-traveler's certain knowledge. Claire's unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead--or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes...

Review: This book got me back into the series. I was more into the oncoming revolutionary war and most definitely with all of the little things that ignited the flame. I found it to be very interesting, historically speaking, as well. There wasn't as much action, but it still held my interest. I was surprised to see such a low rating on Amazon, but once I read a few of them, I figured out why they didn't like it as much... not enough sex and too much history. Well, I thought it was good and a must read for those interested in the series.

Score: 4 out of 5

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Drums of Autumn

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

Description: (From Back of Book) It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past--or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice. Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend--a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century. Their daughter, Brianna...

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history... and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past... or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong...

Review: I did not care for this book as well as the others. I'm not exactly sure why, but there was just something about it. I think part of it has to do with the absolute melodrama of it. There were so many situations that seemed out of the ordinary that really just irritated me. It was interesting though to hear about places that are close to where I live now. I've actually been to some of the places spoke of in the book, so I found that to be interesting. Overall, its a good read for those interested in the series, but to be honest, you could probably skip it and really not miss too much.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Monday, May 14, 2007


Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Description: (From Back of Book) Their love affair happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

When she discovers that Jamie may have survived, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face what awaits her... the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland... and the daring voyager into the dark unknown that lies beyond the standing stones.

Review: I started to listen to this book on audio from the library. I only got part one (which was 18 disks) and it was really good. It stopped at such a horrible part (by that I mean a really good part), that I had to go and get the book to finish it. It was well worth it. I thought this was a really great adult story. Showing how years apart can change people and yet they somehow remain the same. I thought it was a great story about how grown-ups relate to each other and how much men and women really don't know how to be with each other. This was one of my favorites of the series.

Score: 5 out of 5

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Description: (From Publishers Weekly) This immensely long, compulsively readable sequel to Outlander follows time-traveler Claire Randall and her 18th-century Scottish husband, James Fraser, to the court of Louis XV in 1744, as they seek to forestall the disaster due to overtake the Scottish Highlands at the battle of Culloden Moor the following year. Having learned from Claire about the forthcoming disaster, James, the son of a Highland chief, gains Prince Charles's friendship in order to subtly sabotage Jacobite efforts to raise funds for an invasion of Britain. When James is banished after dueling with his nemesis, Jack Randall, ancestor of Claire's modern-day husband, he and Claire leave France convinced they have accomplished their purpose. They settle back in Scotland, looking forward to peace, only to learn of Prince Charles's landing in Scotland and his signing of James's name to a declaration of the Stewart right to rule, effectively forcing the couple to the Jacobite cause and a fate they are unable to prevent. Portraying life in court and hut and on the battlefield through the eyes of a strong-minded, modern participant, Gabaldon offers a fresh and offbeat historical view, framed by an intriguing contemporary issue of Claire's daughter's paternity.

Review: What a great book. I seriously could not put it down. Yes, it was very large and kinda scary to look at (size wise), it went really quickly. I think I finished this one in three days. The story was really great but heartbreaking. Gabaldon has me totally engrossed and I need to read more. I am now waiting on the next book in the series, Voyager to come to the library. I will not be satisfied until I have read them all. I will admit that Dragonfly is not really a romance, but regular fiction. I think the Outlander series is really worth a look at. I know I'm glad that I did.

Score: 5 out of 5