Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Airplane Reads

I flew home over the weekend to visit my family and watch my baby brother graduate from high school. I haven't seen my family since I up and moved to Indiana nearly 2 years ago. How much Jake has changed! He's going into the Air Force in the fall, and I'm so proud of him. Ok, enough of the big sister moment. I also got to meet the boy we've been hoping to adopt, and I bribed him with mini marshmallows to sit with me. He's not much of a reader, being less than 2, but he likes the copy of Go, Dog Go! that we sent him a while back. I hope things turn around for him. That's more personal information than I've ever shared on this blog, I think. And now to the books.

High Stakes, by Erin McCarthy. I thought I'd give this a read, since I just had to purchase a replacement copy of this, the first book in a series. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It's another one of those sexy vampire novelettes for 30-40-something women, with nothing much to recommend it. There isn't much to say about it in general-- it didn't rely too heavily on stereotypical romance conventions, the characters were likable if predictable, and the writing was decent (not too much swearing, not too many fragments). It was only a few comments, but the main female character said a few things that made me think the author may be my height-- the main character is short, and she captured very well some of the frustrations of being towered over by small children. It seems like most authors who use main characters who are short just regurgitate a few predictable devices, but this character knows the frustration of being cute-- when you're short and "cute," you feel overlooked and like you're not taken seriously. Loomers don't understand that.

The Runaway Princess, by Kate Coombs. I really enjoyed this book. It had flavors of Terry Pratchett and Cameron Dokey-- a few turns of phrase, a few unexpected plot details-- that I personally enjoyed. Girls about 10-15 will enjoy this book-- it's about a princess, yes, and she has pretty dresses, yes, but she is very likable as a character and creates a great story, going on a real adventure.

Jane Eyre: The Graphic Novel, by Charlotte Bronte; Editor in Chief, Clive Bryant, leading a team of 8. What a great graphic novel interpretation! I've already recommended it to a friend, who's taking it home for his daughter. The illustrations are bright and colorful, and the drawings are consistent and well done, not like comic book drawings, which are kind of sloppy, or manga drawings, in which characters are apt to change from cell to cell. Jane always looks the same, and her transition from child to adult is quite good. The illustrations match the tone of the novel, having a romantic gothic feel. The text is taken directly from the original novel, with nothing added. Some of the lines that I found the most memorable aren't included-- I guess everyone reads it differently. I didn't particularly like how half of the text is in bold, especially since the emphasis isn't needed-- the text makes it clear what's going on, and the added bolding just distracted me. Maybe if only one or two clearly important words had been emphasized, it would have made more sense to me. I thought it would also have been helpful if all the French had footnote translations. The girl doesn't have many lines, and the nurse has none, but it would have been nice.

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