Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

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Book Review – Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel

October 18, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 3 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia HabelDearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Published by Del Rey on October 18th 2011
Pages: 482
Genres: Romance, Steampunk
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

A classic romance, suspense thriller, rip-roaring adventure, and macabre comedy all at once, Dearly, Departed redefines the concept of undying love.

CAN A PROPER YOUNG VICTORIAN LADY FIND TRUE LOVE IN THE ARMS OF A DASHING ZOMBIE?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the mores of an antique era. Sixteen-year-old Nora Dearly is far more interested in her country’s political unrest than in silly debutante balls. But the death of her beloved parents leaves Nora at the mercy of a social-climbing aunt who plans to marry off her niece for money. To Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. Now she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting a fatal virus that raises the dead. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and thoroughly deceased. But like the rest of his special undead unit, Bram has been enabled by luck and modern science to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

Dearly, Departed was quite enjoyable for me … at first. I found myself overwhelmed by the storyline because it had entirely way too much going on. I picked this up solely because it was a zombie novel (gotta love zombies) but then I was thrown into this odd dystopian society and THEN it transformed into this weird steampunk society where everything is set in ‘Victorian’ times. That was all just a bit too much for me and made it quite unbelievable and entirely too hard to follow. Suffice it to say I’m going to skip my typical summarizing of the story because it’s simply entirely way too much to summarize.

I found each and every one of them to be an enjoyable addition to the story, but the multiple change in point of view added to the ‘entirely-too-hard-to-follow-ness’ that was going on for me. I thought it was an interesting touch when one of the POV’s was even the ‘villain’, but it didn’t work for me overall.
Bram was my favorite… he was charming, interesting, and quite funny. You could almost forget that he was a zombie.

’I gave her as long as she needed, all the while mentally designing my tombstone. R.I.P., Captain Abraham R. Griswold. He was completely useless and made girls cry.’

I think that was a part of the problem though… I didn’t want to forget he was a zombie! Zombies aren’t supposed to be mistaken for humans! I think I was missing the overall zombie-ness about him.

The zombie’s in ‘Dearly, Departed’ were an odd bunch. They were all infected with what is known as the Lazarus syndrome which caused people to come alive a few short hours after being pronounced dead… but they didn’t all come back the same. We had the Gray’s who are your typically moaning, limb dragging zombie-types. Then there’s a zombie army that fights the Gray’s. The members of the zombie army are zombies but they stayed fairly human, as far as personalities go… they still looked just as gruesome as normal zombies.

’I desperately wanted to roll my eyes, but we were discouraged from doing so. The muscles around the eyes are always some of the first to go.’

Well shucks. I was so hoping to like this more but unfortunately this really didn’t work for me.

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Book Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

October 15, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 27th 2011
Pages: 424
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

three-stars

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

“Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone.”

I was so excited to get my hands on this quickly after it was released, but what was even quicker was my disappointment. Sorry guys, am definitely in the minority here, obviously.

’He was standing over her, and his eyes were molten. They were wide, his orange irises ringed around in white, and he was holding, one in each hand, her crescent-moon knives.’

And what does he say?

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

And what’s her response?

‘Just then, lit only by the flicker of his wings, the sight of him was so… right, somehow. He was right.

I’m sorry… what?? What exactly is right about that situation someone please tell me? Now, speaking hypothetically, if I had weird magic eyeballs on my palms I would’ve blasted his ass right out the front door.

Overall, the story was beautifully written but I fear that that was the only redeeming factor and the only reason I gave it 3 stars. Maybe I’m just not cut out for fantasy novels; maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Either way I didn’t enjoy this as much as many of you did, although I can certainly see the appeal, even if it didn’t have the same affect on me. Like I said, the writing was beautiful, and the author certainly created an extremely detailed world; however, I can’t help but feel that it was all just too much. The storyline was incredibly original and I applaud Laini Taylor for that, but what truly brought it all down for me was the romance. The romance was too typical, too cliché, too star-crossed lovers, too… overkill.

By the end, I wasn’t left with much desire to even pick up the next book in this series but I suppose we’ll see what happens. As it stands now, I’m still glad I read it and experienced the talent known as Laini Taylor, but I also wish that I had been able to enjoy it like many of you have.

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Book Review – The Gremlins by Roald Dahl

October 15, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Middle Grade, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Gremlins by Roald DahlThe Gremlins by Roald Dahl
Published by Dark Horse on September 12th 2006 (first published 1943)
Pages: 56
Genres: Historical Fiction, Kiddie Books
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Witches

five-stars

The story of the The Gremlins concerns the mischievous mythical creatures of the title, often invoked by Royal Air Force pilots as an explanation of mechanical troubles and mishaps. In Dahl's book, the gremlins' motivation for sabotaging British aircraft is revenge of the destruction of their forest home, which was razed to make way for an aircraft factory. The principal character in the book, Gus, has his Hawker Hurricane fighter destroyed over the English Channel by a gremlin, but is able to convince the gremlins as they parachute into the water that they should join forces against a common enemy, Hitler and the Nazis, rather than fight each other. Source: Wikipedia

With full-page color illustrations and with several black and white illustrations by the Disney artists throughout.

This was Roald Dahl's first book and preceded the British publication by several months. The story was optioned by Disney and was intended to be made into an animated film, but it was never produced. A note on the copyright page states: "The RAF Benevolent Fund will receive the author's share of the proceeds from the sale of this book." Dahl's next children's book, James and the Giant Peach, published eighteen years later.

“In this most beautiful green wood there lived a tribe of funny little people who were quite different from the rest. They had funny horns growing out of their funny heads and funny boots on their funny feet, and with these boots – and this was funniest of all – they could walk upside down under the branches of the trees. Oh, it was a happy and peaceful life that these little men led – until the humans came.”

And so begins the story of the Gremlins who were torn from their homes when the humans decided to build a factory for airplane production. The Gremlins knew it was time to act and ‘to get revenge for the loss of our homes. We will make mischief for them, and we will harry and tease the men who fly them, until we obtain some satisfaction for all the harm that has been done to us.

The pilots finally figured out a way to appease these pesky Gremlins: feeding them Transatlantic-special-deliver-airmail stamps. By feeding them this delicacy, they were finally able to talk to the Gremlins and explain why they tore down their home and that it was to save their homes from all being destroyed. The pilot asked the Gremlins to help and that if they assisted and were victorious that they would give them a patch of forest back to them to be their new home.

Interesting Facts
This was actually the very first children’s book that Roald Dahl ever wrote. ‘The Gremlins’ is a story set in the 1940’s when we were in the midst of WWII. This story was originally meant to be a film by Walt Disney but was dropped and never completed but the book was still published. This is considered to be a quite rare book as fewer than 5,000 books were published worldwide.

Thoughts
This was an adorable book that I stumbled upon. Highly recommended to anyone given the opportunity to read it!

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Early Review – Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

October 14, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Triangles by Ellen HopkinsTriangles by Ellen Hopkins
Published by Atria Books on October 18th 2011
Pages: 529
Genres: Contemporary, Verse
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Crank, Burned, Fallout

five-stars

THREE FEMALE FRIENDS FACE MIDLIFE CRISES IN A NO-HOLDS-BARRED EXPLORATION OF SEX, MARRIAGE, AND THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE.

Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-athome mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?

Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?

Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.

As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters. Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost.

Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers.

’Two lines that never intersect are parallel. Two lines that intersect forming ninety-degree angles, are perpendicular. Perpendicular lines cross each other. Crossing lines. Today I’m thinking about how easy it is to be perpendicular. And about how, while parallel lines may not intersect, parallel lives too often do.’

Thoughts
I got this off of Galley Grab and it went on my list of ‘I might read… maybe’. Truth is I had heard about Ellen Hopkins YA books and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle the harshness of the subjects that she writes about and if her YA books were harsh I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her adult novel. I picked it up one morning when I had some time to kill and was completely blown away. This woman is an amazing writer.

’Falling to pieces. That’s how my life feels. Fractured. Crushed. Disintegrating. And the weird thing is, it’s all because of that stupid little word: love. I’ve fallen in love with *name omitted*, and it’s tinting everything normal about me with shades of insanity.’

I could go into the storyline and what it’s all about, but the summary of the book pretty much says it all. The storyline wasn’t what made this book amazing though, it was the writing. The author also did the most amazing thing with the formatting of each page that really added something spectacular. I’m not often a fan of POV changes, and this book switches the POV often between the three main characters, but it totally worked in this situation. She also used a different font to differentiate between the characters which I thought was a brilliant touch.

As many of you already know, this author writes in verse, and I was not expecting to fall in love with that style of writing as I have. She would write in verse and then often between POV changes she would insert a poem… which was simply remarkable.

This was my favorite piece of hers:

Spilling a Secret
What its size,
will have varying
consequences. It’s not
possible to predict
what will happen
if you
open the gunnysack,
let the cat escape.
A liberated feline
might purr on your lap,
or it might scratch
your eyes out. You can’t
tell
until you loosen the knot.
Do you chance losing
a friendship, if that
friend’s well-being
will
only be preserved
by betraying sworn-to
silence trust? Once
the seam is ripped, can
it be
mended again?
And if that proves
impossible, will you be
okay
when it all falls to pieces?

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Audiobook Review – The Crucible by Arthur Miller

October 14, 2011 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Audiobook Review – The Crucible by Arthur MillerThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
Published by L.A. Theatre Works on October 1, 2001
Length: 1 hour and 59 minutes
Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Arthur Miller's classic play about the with-hunts and trials in 17th century Salem is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially-sanctioned violence. Written in 1952, The Crucible famously mirrors the anti-communist hysteria that held the United States in its grip. Directed by Martin Jenkins.
A L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Richard Dreyfuss, Stacy Keach, Irene Arranga, Rene Auberjonois, Ed Begley, Jr, Georgia Brown, Jack Coleman, Bud Cort, Judyann Elder, Hector Elizondo, Fionnula Flanagan, Ann Hearn, Carol Kane, Anna Sophie Loewenberg, Marian Mercer, Franklyn Seales, Madolyn Smith, Joe Spano and Michael York

I never actually read this in school; however, I was very familiar with the storyline itself. The Crucible. What is there to say that hasn’t already been said?

This story was based on historical people and real events and was a very authentic depiction of paranoid and hysterical people in a tiny village. Despite knowing this was mostly factual, it was still hard to imagine such an unfortunate situation occurring. This village had laws established but it blew me away how everything was handled. These people were accused of crimes that many of them were innocent of yet they were denied a fair trial and the accusers were believed 100%. This is a prime example of what happens when there are gaps in due process and when local governments infringe on an individual’s civil liberties: chaos.

The scene that I will forever remember was where they speak about Giles Corey and the torture he suffered through. Giles had been one of the individuals accused of witchcraft (falsely) but he refuses to admit guilt or innocence as he is educated in the law. The law at the time stated that anyone who refused to enter a plea could not be tried. To force a plea, the townsfolk proceeded to pile large stones on top of his body in an attempt to get him to admit to his ‘crimes’.

At the end of the audiobook I listened to there was an interesting tidbit regarding what followed in future years that I was unaware of.

‘Twenty years after the last hanging, the government awarded compensation to the victims still living and to the families of the dead. However, some people were still unwilling to admit their total guilt. The town was still divided into factions for some of those compensated by the government were not victims at all, but informers.’

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Book Review – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

October 14, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – Speak by Laurie Halse AndersonSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 22, 1999
Pages: 220
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

Another on my list of Banned/Challenged books. And another book that I apparently failed to be given as a reading requirement when I was younger. And yes, I’m starting to feel like a broken record at this point. But at least I’m getting around to reading them! Better late than never.

Speak is a moving and heartbreaking tale about a young girl who is keeping a dark secret from everyone including her family. This kept secret cost her all of her friends who all hate her for what she did, yet she still lacks the will to speak the truth.

’I am BunnyRabbit again, hiding in the open. I sit like I have an egg in my mouth. One move, one word, and the egg will shatter and blow up the world.’

Speak is the story of her healing, coping, and coming to terms with it all. It was a truly enthralling tale that kept the pages turning despite the sadness each page is steeped in. To me, this was such a vivid and accurate depiction of a teen girl suffering through high school and the blowback from her kept secret. I may not have been able to personally relate to what happened to her, but I think everyone could relate in some way to how she was treated in high school by her classmates and how she felt. I don’t look back on high school (or school in general) with fond memories, I wasn’t popular by any means, and I often found myself dreading going to school. Reading about how she felt, how she was treated, definitely struck a chord with me.

It was such a touching novel and I was so pleased that she finally found her resolution in the end and that she finally found the ability to speak.

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Book Review – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

October 13, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 2 Comments

Book Review – A Monster Calls by Patrick NessA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Published by Candlewick Press on September 15, 2011
Pages: 224
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: More Than This

five-stars

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

I can understand now why many readers had difficulty reviewing this book now that I have read it myself.

The Story
Conor, a 13 year old boy dealing with his dying mother and absent father is visited by a monster one night who says that he will tell him three stories and then Conor will tell his story. Confused by the monster’s presence and his purpose for being there, the monster simply says:

’Stories are important. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.’

Who is this monster and what is his purpose? This is the basis of the story so I won’t ruin it for those of you who have yet to read this. With that said, the monster was such a revelation to me as I was clearly anticipating something different. Not bad different, just different.

Overall Thoughts
This was a beautiful yet heartbreaking tale of a boy having to survive the hardships of life at a very young age. This is a children’s book and the writing is very simplistic and straight forward; however, it can still be fully appreciated by all, so please don’t let the targeted age group dissuade you. Be prepared to need a tissue (or give) as this is a tragic novel that will have you feeling it completely. I know I did.

After taking the advice of a GR friend (Wendy :D) I held off on reading the e-book until I got my hands on the real book. Let me tell you… the illustrations are truly amazing and brings something wonderful to this story. They are an experience in and of itself. (See her wonderful review with a few of the illustrations and a link to the webpage of illustrator, Jim Kay, here.

As I finished this book, I turned to look at my boyfriend and the look on my face must have said it all. He asks me if I’m okay. I wasn’t sure how to answer him. It brings out an abundance of emotions and makes it difficult to fully comprehend how exactly you’re feeling.

A very valuable lesson is in between the pages of this little gem. When your monster comes and visits you in the night, how will you respond? Will you turn it away and refuse to accept its existence? Or will you accept it for you and what it is? This is certainly one book that I plan on purchasing so I can go back to it time and time again. Definitely a must read for anyone.

’You do not write your life with words. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.’

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Book Review – The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan

October 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick RiordanThe Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Published by Hyperion on October 4, 2011
Pages: 540
Genres: Fantasy, Greek Mythology
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

ONE CURSED DEMIGOD.
TWO NEW HEROES.
A QUEST TO UNLEASH THE
GOD OF DEATH.....

Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, God of the Sea, has woken from a very deep sleep and come face to face with two snake-haired ladies who refuse to die.

But they're the least of his problems. Because Percy finds himself at a camp for half-bloods, which doesn't ring any bells for him. There's just one name he remembers from his past. Annabeth.

Only one thing is certain--Percy's questing days aren't over. He and fellow demigods Frank and Hazel must face the most important quest of all: The Prophecy of Seven. If they fail, it's not just their camp at risk. Percy's old life, the gods and the entire world might be destroyed...

The Heroes of Olympus series

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

In true Rick Riordan fashion, the half-bloods are once again sent on a quest by the Gods, but this time Percy is on a quest with Hazel and Frank, two half-bloods from Camp Jupiter. Percy has lost his memory and can barely remember anything, and if he does it’s quite fuzzy in his mind. The three set off on their quest to release a God who has been captured by Gaea, the God responsible for keeping dead things… well, dead. With him captured, the enemies on their quest don’t die, which certainly makes things interesting and quite dangerous for the trio.

Thoughts
I’m a huge fan of Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series. His books are always lighthearted and funny, although sometimes I’m reminded that these are in fact children’s books when the occasional goofy statements thrown in. Like how Amazons run amazon.com. (Sighing and eye rolling did occur). But there were some funny lines that had me gigglging.

”Um… is that thing tame?” Frank said.
The horse whinnied angrily.
“I don’t think so,” Percy guessed. “He just said, ‘I will trample you to death, silly Chinese Canadian baby man.’”
“You speak horse?” Hazel asked.
“’Baby man’?” Frank spluttered.

I gotta admit, the first half of the book I was pretty much indifferent and I had a hard time staying interested at first. It’s such a confusing storyline because Percy has amnesia, Frank and Hazel have multiple secrets, and nothing is revealed so you pretty much feel like you’re stumbling right along with the characters in the book. The characters were great, as usual, and I loved the introduction of the new characters Hazel and Frank. Once things started coming together, I was completely swept away and will be waiting quite eagerly for the next installment.

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Book Review – Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory

October 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl GregoryRaising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory
Published by Del Rey on June 28, 2011
Pages: 449
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda — and he begins to move.

The family hides the child — whom they name Stony — rather than turn him over to authorities that would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret — until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run and he learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world.

In Part I, the Mayhall family find a woman long dead on the side of the road with a baby wrapped up inside her coat. Shortly after, Wanda Mayhall realizes what he really is, yet decides that they are going to keep him anyways and hide him from the world. We watch Stony change and literally grow from a baby into a young man just as any normal living human being does. We watch him become an integral part of the Mayhall family and develop into his own unique person. This was my favorite part of the novel.

Following Part I, which I was absolutely in love with, there was a major shift in the story and I wasn’t exactly on board with it. It became overly political, it became slightly philosophical, and I realize in retrospect that this was the world that the author was creating but it wasn’t exactly how I thought the story was going to go (or how I would have preferred it to go). I did enjoy the scientific aspects of the story and how the Living Dead were researching to find out what made them the way they are and what made it possible.

’Here was Thomas’s blood before he died, six hours after the bite: perfectly normal. And here was Thomas’s blood after he passed, at the 6:12 mark: dark, viscous, waxy. The transformation had occurred between observations, like the state change in a quantum particle. Like death itself.’

Many parts of this book required a certain amount of imagination. The idea behind the zombies in this book was that “Consciousness was the key.” At one point Stony explains how he once removed one of his toes and yet it still failed to decompose even though it was completely separated from his body. Once the toe was finally off his mind and he had failed to continue checking on it and thinking about it, only then did it finally start rotting and decomposing. I found this to be quite an interesting concept yet extremely hard to understand. Was that the only thing that kept these zombies ‘alive’? That if they had stopped thinking about themselves as a living dead person would they simply cease to exist?

’Where one dead thing ended and another began was largely a problem of perception and definition.’

I was overall disappointed with this book; however, I think that was largely because I was expecting something different entirely. I thought the storyline with the LD ‘governments’ and the plans being hatched by them was pretty strange and largely unbelievable. I had a hard time understanding where all the money came from… how one person could be the sole benefactor of so many. Also, the ending was inevitable but a bit too anticlimactic I thought. I loved Stony in the beginning but I was pretty disappointed at how the rest of the story unfolded.

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