Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Reviews - The Host; Cindy Ella

Time for book reviews!

In my ongoing self-assigned "homework" of reading current YA novels, I picked up Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer. I've read her other two books, Geek Charming and Little Miss Red, and I really liked them. So I was looking forward to her debut novel, C.E.

Well... let me just say I've had a lot of *stuff* going on around here lately, so it's possible I just wasn't in the right mood for C.E. It took me a whole week to read it, and I just never really got into the story or connected with the main characters... (Jeez, I sound like an agent.)

It was Palmer's usual lighthearted fare, however. Her books are like the Clueless of the literary world, but I just didn't think it was as strong as Geek Charming (my fave, despite the ending) or even as silly as LMR. So if I were to assign grades, I'd only give it a B.

It's not a bad read, though. It's very clean (Moms) and cute. I've passed it to a reader-friend, so I'll be interested to hear what she thinks about it. Like I said, I could've just been in the wrong mood.

So after wrapping C.E., I finally picked up The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I should say I heaved up The Host because it a whopping 700 pages long. (!)

And while it's billed as her "first book for adults," I don't see how this book is any more adult than her Twilight series.

OK, sure, the characters aren't in high school. But the setting is post-alien-invasion Arizona. Nobody's in HS. The main character is only 17, so c'mon, people. If Twilight is YA, The Host is totally YA.

Now let me get this out of the way--I am not a Stephenie Meyer-hater. I think she does a super job making you care about her characters and then putting them in situations that you really want to know how in the world they're going to get out of. But shew! The girl writes for ever!

It reminded me of two things: #1-Those personality tests we used to take in college. They always had a question along the lines of "Do you enjoy the journey or are you more interested in the destination?" S.M. is totally a "journey" girl. I'm more the destination type. (Tell me what happens!)

#2-It reminded me of a friend I had in college who always had these outrageous misadventure stories that were interesting and you wanted to know what happened, but as she was telling you, she'd get sidetracked describing the decorations of the room she was in or the foliage in the park where *whatever* happened, and 30 minutes later, you still hadn't gotten to the end of the story.

All that being said, it's possible The Host is my favorite S.M. book. The premise is fun--Earth is invaded by aliens that take over human bodies by fusing into their brains, right? Well, this one alien is assigned to a captured, "adult" (17 yr-old) female who's one of the "wild" humans (the resistance). Said alien is supposed to find out where the rest of the wild humans are hiding, but instead, the human starts fighting back for her identity.

Cool, right?

It really is a fun read. I caved to my other reader-friend who said I should try it because it was described as Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Days of Our Lives. That's not entirely accurate. It's really more Star Trek meets Days, but I might not've read it if they said that. (I'm not the SciFi nerd in the family.)

It's also similar to imagining what's going on in the head of a paranoid schizophrenic--the whole, "nobody believes me, but I'm telling the truth."

So I give it a solid A.

Of course, when Richard looked over and saw me reading it, he came at me with Quicksilver again (Neal Stephenson). Or maybe it was The Confusion, from which I immediately recoiled...

JRM: I can't believe you'll read that and you won't read this.
LTM: I think the type is much smaller in those books...
JRM: You don't love me.
LTM: I do!

So happy reading, reader friends!


Q said...

I love when you post an interaction between you and hubby. It makes me laugh EVERY time!

LTM said...

Q--he's a funny guy... ;o)

Ex-pat Odessa said...

I concur w/"Q"!

BTW, Marius has same annoying habit as your college friend, only through thick accent into the mix, or incorrect language usage, and voila, you have enough to make you scream!

Ex-pat Odessa said...

correction: 2nd sentence, not 'through', supposed to read 'throw'

Q said...

I'm definitely a journey girl and can relate to the long drawn out descriptions of an event. My Daddy rubbed off on me that way... BUT I don't necessarily appreciate it when I have to listen to OTHER's taking the long journey! Yeah...the double standard... gotta love it... :-)

Jenni said...

ok -just finished Cindy Ella - very funny that I chose to read this first! It did take a little while to get into but I did like it in the end. Maybe the incessant sawing of your trees roots got in the way! Not sure about the sci fi books- last ones I read were Issac Asimov and that was high school!(awaitiing a wird comment from Richard to insert here) Starting Honey Baby Sweetheart now!!! I have to say that Shadow Falls definitely tops these!

LTM said...

@Odie--'sOK. You're thinking in another language.
@Q(S?)--I guess in books it can be OK to be taken on a journey. If it's done right. I know Richard LOVES those scary-thick books. I tend to shy away.
@JD--Aww! Thx! I'll give you Geek Charming next. Palmer (the author) uses recurring characters, so you should read them in order. (I found this out after starting at the end.) I really liked H,B,S. I laughed, I cried... But I think it got lost toward the end. Lmk what you think~

Q said...

Yes, it's Susan... You know, Q, as in Suzi Q. Corney I know, but I have friends who actually call me Q and now have a grandchild also is referred to as Q, for Quentin...TMI?

LTM said...

and here I thought it was because you were our technological mastermind... ;o)

JRichard said...

JD, if you are reading Isaac Asimov books in an effort to love sci-fi, allow me to apologize; good sci-fi involves writers of ideas, and IA is a man of ideas, but he ain't no writer. "How boring and arcane can I possibly make it?" If you really want to read good fantasy sci-fi with story you care about, I suggest Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, starting with Nine Princes in Amber, circa 1970. Trust me on this.

Leigh, as far as it goes, it's reading stuff like TAC that just puts me off Stephanie Meyer. It doesn't have to be long or involved or even male; I mean, even Anne McCafferey's Dragonriders sequel, which is as chick as it gets, strives for more pure story than this other junk. And McCafferey didn't get weighed down by navel-gazing, at least not in the first two trilogies (the adult Dragonriders tril, then the YA Harper Hall trilogy, which is my personal fave). These stories are like plates full of meat. To compare with contemporary stuff, Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle is like garlic, lentils and brown rice with dark ale; Harry Potter is like a smorgasbord at the Haufbrauhaus on Christmas Night. The Twilight Series, by contrast, is like four passes through the McDonalds drive through, with last trip supersized. Please double the crap.

And don't get me started on Philip Roth or Walter Mosely. Or Tom Wolfe.

Or Wally Lamb, God love him.

Or Steven King.

LTM said...

@JRM, I would try "chick" SciFi. But you know I can't read SK. That one short story you had me read in "Everything's Eventual" kept me up two nights straight... :p

Ex-pat Odessa said...

steven king blows! His stories just DRaaaaggggg out for forever, and ever. He's just slightly better than "Silas Marner" or "Canterburry Tales"! I know, totally different genere's, but equally boring and annoying.

I'm skeered to know what JRM would think of dad's sci-fi reads!

Solid Rock or Sinking Sand said...

What an interesting blog you have. I really enjoyed reading the posts. God bless, Lloyd

LTM said...

Thanks, Lloyd! And thanks for the feedback--all the best, :o) LTM~