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Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Divine Ryans by Wayne Johnston

Genre: Humour and Mystery
Pages: 215

"It became a kind of routine for me, standing at the window watching the empty house across the way grow dark. Twice in the next couple of weeks, my father appeared in the kitchen exactly as before." ~Draper Doyle


Young and naive Draper Doyle grows up in St. John's Newfoundland. He hates choir, boxing practice and the visits to the Ryan family funeral parlour. But, Draper doesn't despise everything, one of the things he loves and cherishes most as a Montreal Candadien fan is hockey. Throughout the story Draper struggles with moving into a new home, trying out for hockey, puberty and finding someone he feels comfortable talking to as he overcomes the death of his beloved father. Draper Doyle sees his father's ghost, or is it just his imagination? And finally, he is able to unravel the dark secrets hidden deep within his family.

Why Read It?

I think people should read this book because it's rather interesting how naive Draper Doyle overcomes all of his problems. It's actually rather humorous too and I think girls would get a good laugh out of it. It's a great book for guys too, but I don't think that they'd find funny what I found funny. The characters and plot are quite odd and twisted, but that's pretty much what makes it so great.

My Thoughts

The Divine Ryans caught my interest in a book talk my school librarian had given to my English class this year. She’s actually the one who got me started on this blog! Which I am grateful for! When I picked up the book and first began to read it I became engaged into the story almost immediately. Because Draper Doyle was going through such a difficult time in his life dealing with his father’s death the story atmosphere was rather depressing. However, Draper Doyle’s naivety to puberty made me laugh. I found it quite unusual to put something like that in a book. I also pitied him though. Because of his father’s death, Draper doesn’t have anyone to confide in, at least no one he is entirely comfortable with.

The family runs a funeral home and the story revolves a lot around death and some or most people aren’t so secure with the subject, I being one of them, found it quite difficult to spend too long with the book. Since I was reading it for school I didn’t want to put it down and also I wanted to see how it ended and how Draper Doyle would overcome his depression. But if you’re not someone likes this kind of humorous depressed atmosphere maybe this book isn’t something you’d want to be reading.

I do believe it is a mature read. Because it does talk about “it” (sex) a lot. The plot is slow, and there isn’t much happening here and there. However, I would become alert and stiffen when it talked of scenes of Draper seeing his father’s ghost. That was interesting. But I’d hate to ruin the rest of the book by saying much else, except for the ending is rather twisted. It’s a very interesting story and I think it points out a lot about how kids don’t really feel comfortable talking to their parents, or just don’t have anyone to talk to. I found it hard to connect with Draper and his story because I have never had a person so close to me pass away and I’ve always had someone to talk to and actually so many people that I am able to talk to it’s almost overwhelming!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Science Fiction and Romance
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 619

"I knew it would begin with the end, and the end would look like death to these eyes. I had been warned. Not these eyes. My eyes. This was me now." ~Wanderer


Aliens have invaded our planet, but not the little Martians from Mars. These aliens or “souls" as they're called do not have a body or a host. In order for them to survive they must inhabit a living host and make it their own.

Melanie Stryder is one of the last humans, she strong, stubborn and determined to win. When her body is invaded by a “soul” named Wanderer, somehow Melanie doesn’t fade away as all the other humans have. She refuses to disappear and continues her battle to survive.

After Wanderer is inserted into Melanie she must do her job and search Melanie’s thoughts for any remaining humans. Instead Melanie fills Wanderer’s mind with visions of Jared, the man she loves and is still in hiding. Wanderer can’t seem to separate herself from her body’s desires and falls in love with the man she is suppose to expose. Finally, the two unwilling allies set off on an uncertain and risky search for the man they both love.

Why Read It?

The Host is a definite must read because of the complicated and compelling story line. It is absolutely original and will leave you wanting more. You’ll connect with both Wanderer and Melanie and want everyone to live in peace because you see both of the characters perspectives.

My Thoughts

Honestly, it took me forever to read this book. I had checked it out last year from the public library and had two weeks to read it. One day I sat down in English class and the next thing I knew a friend had stole the six hundred and nineteen paged novel away from me. He insisted on reading it during our reading time because it looked so interesting. I agreed to it and we switched books. So I sat there reading Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, which wasn't so bad, but not really to my interest. I'm not really sure if my friend cares for reading so much but this book he begged to take home overnight and then over the weekend. His dad apparently yelled at him for not being social enough because he had his head in this book. Finally, when I got my book back it had to go back to the library. I hadn't been able to read much of it and it took me forever to get my hands on it again. Finally, I did, but not through the library I ended up just buying it. :) (Laughs).

This book blew me away. The characters are so full of depth that I feel like I actually know them. It's hard, for me personally, to relate to them though, however The Host gave me a lot to think about. I realized it wasn't as much science fiction as I thought it might be. While reading it, I learned about how wonderful it is to be human, and how lucky I am to be me. I know mushy, right? But the book made me love my body (or "host"), when I put my flaws aside and was just thankful for what I had, which is a lot like being healthy, young, strong... All those things! And also something I must add! I had this little battle going on in my mind about how everything was going to work out because I really did want all the characters to live in harmony. I had to leave that to Stephenie Meyer to solve!

Problems I had with this book were at mostly the beginning. I was lost when I read the prologue and actually had to reread it a few times. Another issue I had was because since it's a rather mature read, there is a lot of description about the surroundings and what’s happening and that began to bore me a little, except it was WORTH READING!

Anyone who likes to discover new worlds, read about a wonderful romance, doesn't mind complicated plots and wants to be left guessing...this book is probably most likley for you! And if maybe this isn't something you particularly care for give it a try anyway...because it's always great to try something new!

I’m going to read this book again and again and again... So you might see it on the reading list for 2010 twice and that won’t be a mistake!!!