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Showing posts from December, 2010

Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherman

You've heard of the artist formerly known as Prince who is now known as Prince (again).  Well, this is the novel formerly published as The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.  Its title (which I quite like a lot better than its current incarnation) was shortened to Charlie St. Cloud when it was adapted as a major motion picture.  I have not yet seen the film, and I thought I should read the book before I see the film.  And I'm glad I did.  Charlie St. Cloud (the character) is a six-foot-three, twenty eight year old man played by Zach Efron who is neither six-foot-three nor twenty eight years old.  I'm not sure how I feel about the younger, shorter St. Cloud because, let's face it, Efron can't pull off a twenty eight year old man yet.  I'm trying to reserve judgment until I see the movie, but still there are already mixed feelings about the casting choice for the lead character.

When Charlie's fifteen and his brother, Sam, twelve, the boys' are in a hor…

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn

I did some reading over the holiday weekend that in the run up to the holiday I hadn't had as much time to do.  I read two and a half books and am halfway through another.  Reviews to follow on those.  This review is for Deanna Raybourn's The Dead Travel Fast-- a rare stand alone novel for the author, who has the Lady Grey mystery series to keep her busy.  I wish she had more stand alone novels because I really liked this one, and currently I'm avoiding getting sucked into another series or author to follow.  There are too many authors/series that I already follow, and sometimes it is agony waiting for the next release or installment to drop--AGONY!

I could easily turn this post into one that obsesses over the new books that I'm waiting for (im)patiently to drop in 2011, but I won't.  It'll be hard, but I will restrain myself and return to the title at hand: The Dead Travel Fast.  Now.  As an aside: with most books you can see why they are titled what they are…

Dead Connection by Charlie Price

Dead Connection is the debut Young Adult fiction novel from Charlie Price.  In a blurb on the book jacket the author Christ Crutcher calls Dead Connection witty and humorous or maybe he used the word funny.  Witty I agree with but I'm not sure I would use humorous or funny to describe this novel.  Considering its subject matter, it's not particularly serious or dark, but I wouldn't call it funny.  It is well written, well plotted, and always suspenseful--nail-bitingly so in some parts.  Its mystery is twisty and just when you think everything's been figured out, a wrench gets thrown into the works.  There is a subtle supernatural element that is integral to the plot that is done well, too.  The novel tells its story in rotating third person point of view that helps develop the story from multiple perspectives that serves to heighten the thrilling suspense.  Sometimes the device of rotating point of view annoys me because usually just when things really start happening …

A Thief In The House of Memory by Tim Wynne-Jones

A Thief In The House of Memory is a Young Adult fiction novel by Tim  Wynne-Jones, and it's quite a fast read--I read it in about four hours.  It's a well written, well crafted mystery for younger readers.

When Declan discovers the corpse of a would be burglar in the vacant, old mansion that's been in his family for generations, it unleashes a flood of memories of his long gone mother.  The memories are so vivid and tangible they're like visions being played out before his eyes.  These long dormant memories spur Declan to think about his mother and her abandonment of their family more than he has in a long time.  Soon Declan is unraveling the long buried, serpentine mystery of his mother's disappearance.  However, he's blocked at several turns by an emotionally distant father who lives hundreds of years in the past and who resists Declan's every attempt to talk about his mother.  Declan struggles to fill in the blank spot in his memories that surrounds the …