Reading list update

I didn’t mention my reading for Feb, because I was only able to finish three books, and the fourth has been taking FOREVER.


I started the month off with three YA books. The first was Orson Scott Card’s “Pathfinder”. No “Ender’s Game”, but a nice read none-the-less. Booklist review:

*Starred Review* The first in a series, Card’s latest title has much in common with his Ender Wiggins books: precocious teens with complementary special talents, callously manipulative government authorities, endlessly creative worlds, and Card’s refusal to dumb down a plot for a young audience. Here he takes the notions of folding space and time, embracing paradox, “adopting a rule set in which . . . causality . . . controls reality, regardless of where it occurs on the timeline.” Thirteen-year-old Rigg is a Pathfinder, one who sees the paths of others’ pasts. Rigorously trained and thoroughly educated by his demanding father, Rigg is horrified when Father dies unexpectedly after a final order to find the sister he never knew he had. Rigg is accompanied on this journey by a small group of friends who have powers of bending and manipulating the flow of time. Card also skillfully twines a separate story line into the plot, featuring earth’s colonization of distant planets, led by the idealistic young pilot Ram Odin. Fast paced and thoroughly engrossing, the 650-plus pages fly by, challenging readers to care about and grasp sophisticated, confusing, and captivating ideas. As in L’Engle’s Time Quartet, science is secondary to the human need to connect with others, but Card does not shy away from full and fascinating discussions of the paradoxical worlds he has created. Grades 8-12. –Debbie Carton

Next was “Matched” by Ally Condi.

For Cassia, nothing is left to chance–not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the “burden” of choice. When Cassia’s best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy’s face flashes on the screen. This improbable mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path to the unthinkable–rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her. As author Ally Condie’s unique dystopian Society takes chilling measures to maintain the status quo, Matched reminds readers that freedom of choice is precious, and not without sacrifice.–Seira Wilson

A tad predictable, appropriate (light) Science Fiction for a young teen.

My third read of the month was my favorite of the YA lite triad was Catherine Fisher’s “Incarceron. School Library Journal review:

Catherine Fisher’s intelligent, genre-bending tale (Dial, 2010) will fascinate teens looking for something new and different. Finn is a 17-year old prisoner of Incarceron. His memories begin and end there. He knows nothing about his heritage except for vague memories that tease at his mind. The teen is determined to escape the prison fashioned centuries ago as a solution to the chaos created by man. Now Incarceron is self-sustaining and self-perpetuating—prisoners are born there and they die there. Legend claims only one man has ever escaped, Sapphique, and Finn is determined to follow in his steps. Claudia, the warden’s daughter, lives sequestered in a castle surrounded by servants. But she, too, longs for escape—from a father who frightens her and from betrothal to an insipid prince. Finn and Claudia each discover a crystal key and are amazed to find that they can communicate with each other. As their trust in one another builds, each pledges to help the other. The two stories emerge, intertwine and, by the end, unwind in startling twists that will astonish listeners. Kim Mai Guest delivers an amazing, fully-voiced performance that vividly paints each character. Her pacing is impeccable and, in the last chapters, she delivers a one-two punch that will leave listeners breathless for the sequel, Sapphique, to be released in December.—Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School

What’s led to my reading standstill, though, is George Elliot’s “Middlemarch”. That took-up the rest of February, and a week of March (so far, still not done.) Oye. I’m on page 572 and there’s almost another 200 pages. I hope to finish that in a day or two.

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