No one sings over Ronnie Van Zandt!

Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough; 2012; $17.99; 297 pages; Arthur A. Levine Books, New York, NY; 978-0-545-382-137; purchased at Powell’s Books, Cedar Hills Crossing at an author appearance; 1/18-1/21

Why did I pick this up?  Martha was at Wordstock 2012 but I didn’t get this read before then.  She was at Powell’s at Cedar Hill Crossing with Sean Beaudoin and Kevin Emerson, both of whom I had met at Wordstock.  They all had books that recently came out.  If the you are next tour comes near you with these three and Cat Patrick I would strongly recommend going.

What is the story?  Jerome and his cousin Mike decide to re create the legend of William Tell with an Orange and Jerome’s head.  This does not go well for Jerome, as he awakes in rehab for those who weren’t good enough to get to heaven or bad enough to get into one of the nine levels of hell.  He is assigned to be the guardian angel to Heidi Devine, when she is born. Jerome doesn’t take much of what he does as a guardian angel seriously until a crisis occurs in  Heidi’s life when she is around 17.   Jerome learns some valuable lessons about family and caring through dealing with the crisis in Heidi’s life.  Jerome is the ultimate in recycling after he learns this valuable lesson.

Grade-A

Did I like it?  Yes, although this wasn’t a book that grabbed me from the first page or even chapter, but I stuck with it and was drawn in by Martha’s writing and came to care about the main characters.  I am looking forward to reading more from her.

What is with the title of the review?  When Jerome tries to soothe Heidi’s soul when she is young he sings Freebird to her, (hope he didn’t sing the 15 minute version).  Later Heidi is at a party when Freebird comes on the radio and one of the girls at the party sings along, and all Heidi can hear in her head is Jerome saying no one sings over  Ronnie Van Zandt ( lead singer of Lynryd Skynyrd).

 

Quantum Leap the book?

everyday by David Levithan; 2012; $16.99; 324 pages; alfred a. knopf, New York, NY; 978-0-307-93188-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Holgate; 1/9-1/11

What did I pick this up?  David Levithan was at Wordstock this fall. I didn’t get a chance to read this prior to Wordstock and just got it.  I am looking forward to reading forward to reading more by David Levithan.

What is the story?  From the day A was born he hasn’t been in the same body more than a day.  Each morning he wakes up in a new body, and has to acclimate himself to it and not do anything to damage it or change its personality.  He (I am just using he because it is easiest)  inhabits bodies that are the same age as he is and gay, straight, transgender and more.  He has been so many people in his 16 years and he seems to remember bits of each one.  One day he inhabits Justin and falls in love with Rhiannon, as he moves from body to body to body he finds a way to keep seeing her as much as possible.  One night he  is inhabiting a young man named Nathan, who he doesn’t get out of in time and leaves along the road.  Nathan is questioned by the police and says he was possessed by the devil, A is able to communicate through an email account with both Rhiannon and Nathan.  A constantly has to learn quickly with parents, friends, lovers, enemies, siblings, differing lifestyles, differing belief systems, body types and different levels of self esteem.

Grade-A+

Did I like it?  Yes, it is a very thought provoking book set inside an exciting, unusual story.  Levithan does an exquisite job of portraying all the different people inhabits without judgement in all but one instance.

What is with the title of the review?  Much like Sam Beckett on the show Quantum Leap, A jumps from body to body.  Unlike Sam, A usually doesn’t have time to correct history, but simply inhabits a body for 24 hours.

 

let’s hear it for the boy

The Lost Code, Book One of the Atlanteans by Kevin Emerson; 2012; $17.99; 435 pages; Katherine Tegen Books, New York, NY; 978-0-06-206279-6; Purchased from Amazon.com; 1/4/13-1/6/13

Why did I pick this up?  I read one of Kevins’ other books, because he was going to be at Wordstock 2012 and I like reading things by authors that are going to be there.

What is the story?  Owen “wins” a trip to a summer camp inside a dome, because climate change has gotten so bad that most people live in domed cities to protect them from the UV rays and raising waters.  Owen drowns and discovers that he is related to the people of the missing city of Atlantis.  Before he can fulfill his destiny as the newest Atlantean he has to deal with the many issues of summer camp, being an outsider, being bullied, deciding which side to be on, hormones raging and being young and naive.  An exciting look at a dystopian future, but with a hero that many of us can relate to.  Owen must deal with shifting allegiances, being the (perhaps) savior of humanity and earth, all the while learning lessons about himself, others and life as he goes on.  I am looking forward to seeing how the relationships develop between Owen, Lily and Carey.

Did I like it?  Most definitely, for several reasons, the main character is male, in so many YA titles of dystopian futures, (Hunger Games, Reached, etc)  the main character is female.  It is nice to see a strong male character taking the lead.  Also although this is set in the future there are many elements that are relatable, from family and friends to the whole summer camp agenda.  And the story is exciting which makes all the rest even more enjoyable.  I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  Besides being the title of a great song from the movie Footloose, a young man is the main character which seems to unusual in todays’ young adult novel.

nose hairs, pit bulls, doughnuts and adolph

the nose knows and other stories by David Hudnut; 2012; $7.99; 111 pages; 9781478390749; purchased from the author at Wordstock; 12/31/12-1/1/13

Why did I pick this up?  I talked with David at Wordstock and was intrigued with his story ideas and synopsis so I picked this and Nightwalk up.  I already read Nightwalk and was scared spitless.

What is the story?  There are four short stories, sort of mashups; first is a romantic comedy combined with a horror story, then a dream denied, too much of a good thing can be fatal and what happens when the wrong person is cloned.  Four very different stories, very well told.

Did I like it?  Yes I was very impressed with the diversity of the stories and the inventiveness of the stories.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  All of those things listed figure into the stories in this book.

Want to See Something Really Scary!

Nightwalk by David Hudnut; 2012; $17.99; 354 pages; 9781477543368; Purchased from the author at Wordstock Festival; 12/26-12/30

Why did I pick this up?  I met the author at Wordstock and after talking to him I decided to purchase the book and I finally got around to reading it.

What is the story?  Rob, Amelia and Eva head out to the beach for a fun day in the surf.  First they encounter 4 muscle bound men who steal a parking space and the day seems to get better, but then a couple of thugs begin to follow them and when they finally get the police to help them, the thugs are nowhere to be seen.  But then… the terror escalates.  I can’t say more without giving too much away.

Did I like it?  Yes, it reminded me of some early Steven King, where most of the suspense and horror can be attributed to the evil inherent in each of us.  Then and only then do the supernatural elements of the story kick in.  This is the first book since Pet Sematary that has scared me as I tried to sleep, I remember praying as I was falling asleep and asking him to keep nightmares from striking me.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  In the movie The Twilight Zone after several very scary segments ambulance driver Dan Ackroyd looks at someone who has just been traumatized by something scary says, Want to see something really scary?  This book is just that really scary.