Quick Reviews from the Underpaid

There is a simple reason why I have not been posting more often folks, and it is this. I currently am working two jobs, retail no less, throughout the holidays. Perhaps longer. I am also planning a wedding in January which means that I have to do things like fill out invitations, apartment hunt, make doctor appointments, and about a million other things.

With all that being said, my reading habit is still chugging away nicely, or at least I am reading more books in a month than most people do in a year. Because I cannot do the full length reviews that I would like to do because of my limited time, I am going to provide you with an abbreviated review for all the books I have read recently in one post.

 Life Happens Next by Terry Trueman
A sequel to Stuck in Neutral, this book picks up right were the first left off. After surviving his father's mercy killing because of simple phone call, Shawn prepares himself for his life ahead. But what kind of life can a guy have when everyone thinks he is a vegetable? Stuck within his own body, unable to tell anyone how smart and funny and annoyed his is, Shawn must accept the life he has and live it as best he can. A tiny book, just like the first, this book still left me with many questions. Shawn has a really great family, his siblings basically acting as if he can understand and interact with him. I wanted more than that though, and definitely more from a sequel. I desperately wanted someone to take Shawn somewhere and for someone to figure out that he is locked in his own body. That some kind of medical science would have figured out a way to make his twitching finger be able to interact with the world. I know this is possible because we wouldn't have The Diving Bell and the Butterfly without such knowledge. Not a bad book, but I didn't really see the point in reading it if nothing new happens.

 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Set in the future, everyone lives, works, and plays in the virtual reality world called the Oasis. When the creator dies, leaving behind a fortune and a hidden Easter Egg within the Oasis, the game is on. But there are some who will do anything to win the game, and Wade Watts quickly learns that some virtual worlds can become very real. Despite a rough first chapter, which is full of authorial intrusions, this is one awesome book. It is perfect for geeks, sci-fi freaks, and anyone who grew up in the 80's.

The Navigator and City of Time by Eion McNamee
One day the world around Owen shifts oddly: Time begins to flow backwards, and the world and family he knew disappear. Time can only be set right when the Resisters vanquish their ancient enemies, the Harsh. Time travel is a difficult subject to tackle, and sadly this series really struggled with the concept. Full of holes and logical fallacies, I was left feeling confused, as if the author had simply skipped a couple of sentences. Owen, the main character, is wholly forgettable and flat, and despite some nice action scenes, I was never fully engrossed in the story.

 The Diviners by Libba Bray
Evie O'Neill has been shipped off to New York City to live with her boring Uncle (Unc to Evie), who runs The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult"--also known by locals as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies." NYC is one glamor filled thrill from the speakeasies to the movies, that is until a string of occult-based murders comes to light and Evie and her Unc begin to investigate. Evie may be able to help find the killer, but how do you catch a ghost? Set against the backdrop of 1920's New York, The Diviners is a well told, terribly creepy, and poetically spun tale. Libba Bray, although a bit wordy at times, can craft a sentence so that it reads like a song. But beware, not only is this book occultish in the extreme, but it also sometimes reads like a history lesson. I promise you will walk away from this one with a chill and a firm grasp on 1920s vernacular.

 Let's Go For a Drive by Mo Willems
I love this book! This is my favorite Elephant and Piggie book yet! Mo Willems does so much with so few words and these two characters are so expressive. Seriously, buy this one for the child in your life...or the child within.

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
When T-Boom introduces Laurel Daneau to meth, she immediately falls under its spell. Calling it her moon, Laurel quickly sinks into a spiral of addiction in which death seems like the only out. With the help of an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, Laurel is able to see beyond the moon, to a place where her ghosts will no longer haunt her. Deeply moving, Woodson immerses her reader into the world of addiction that is so terribly awful and brilliantly hopeful. Never feeling didactic, Kaylee's story impacts on a level that demands understanding and a new way of looking at those suffering from addiction.