Archive for Young Adult

Horns, you know, that book.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2014 by urbannight

I decided to read Horns because I had been hearing that the book was pretty good.  It would have been if I thought it was actually aimed at the YA audience instead of adults.  I am a bit let down by it.

All the characters are in their 20’s and acting like they are 10 years younger, about early High School years.   This is why I thought maybe it was supposed to be a YA book.  But it turns out it wasn’t.

I also thought it was supposed to be set in England but it isn’t.  It is in the U.S.   I didn’t come to that conclusion because Daniel Radcliffe was playing the lead character, Ig.  I came to that conclusion early in the book when Ig is thinking he needs to get some medical help with his horns.  And, more importantly, by the way the characters sound in my head.  They only make sense to me if I imagine that they are all middle to late 20 somethings who were not able to go to University and who were all on the dole because of too many people and not enough jobs to go around.  Everything makes more sense that way.

The first section of the book, Hell, has been the most enjoyable.  I really liked reading how people started telling the truth about everything to Ig and didn’t seem to be completely aware of it.  They saw the horns, know it was somehow off, and then it slipped on by and they forgot.  So far, it is the best part of the book.

Part two is Cherry, named for Cherry bombs, virginity, and I think there was a third

Official movie poster.

Official movie poster.

reason but I forget now, just like people forgetting those horns.  It tells the entire back story about the time when Ig met the love of his life, nearly drown, became friends with the guy who really kills the girl, (that is not a spoiler as the book reveals that before the start of this section), and sets up the relationships between all the characters.

I don’t remember the name of the third section.  It bounces back to the present and explores how Ig handles finding out who killed his girl, how Ig is dealing with the knowledge that his girl wanted to break up with him the night she died, and starts to explore the really bad things Ig did the night before he woke up with horns.  He also explores more of the boundaries on what he can or can not do with the new abilities the horns seem to give him.

And that is where I am at with the book.  It has been relegated to the bathroom to read when I’m stuck on the toilet.  The concept is a good one but the execution is not. Oh, the writing isn’t bad, other than the fact that I think the writer was going for an adult audience and yet the characters feel and sound like teenagers and the overall feeling of the book is Young Adult in nature, despite the language sometimes used in book.

Books, Books, and More Books

Posted in Art, Books, Entertainment, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2012 by urbannight

Yesterday I spent hours rating books on Goodreads.  I found books I know I read and can’t really remember anything about.  I did not find books I read but can’t remember titles.  Memory is a very strange thing.

There are two young adult books I would love to find again.  The first is about 4 kids how are sent off on a mission that is to be an end to their formal education if they succeed.  They don’t waste space on candy bars.  Their instructors get really annoyed and make them take the candy bars.  Things go sideways on the mission, they are stuck out there longer than their supply of candy bars so they run out.  Then their friendships start going pear-shaped.  Turned out the candy bars had something in them to help suppress some of their hormones and they start going though the emotional side of puberty will stuck on a dangerous planet in the middle of a mission that turned out to be far more dangerous than they expected.  I also think that they might have wanted to do something for their final mission project that they were told they could not do, so they filed a totally different mission but went on to do the one they wanted instead.  Which was why they didn’t have the right amount of the candy and when they didn’t show up on time the school wouldn’t know where they really were to come rescue them.

The other book was similar in a few ways.  It was also young adult science fiction.  I think darkness might have been in the title somewhere.  It’s about several older teens from different planets.  I’m not sure if it was a comparable to a specialty high school are a bunch of young people who had just finished the equivalent to high school and were now starting some think of military or spacer program.  The main character is a young man who is a small giant.  He was a farmer from a colony planet with different gravitational forces.  People eventually ended up taller and more massive and very strong when on more standard human gravity planets.  It also dealt with a mission that didn’t go as expected and had these young adults dealing with romantic issues they never really faced before.

Both were excellent books and I read them over and over and over again.  So why can’t I remember titles or authors I don’t know.  On the second, I can picture the cover.  But after over 20 years, if it is still in print anywhere, cover art would have changed.  But it probably is not in print anymore.

As it is, I think I’m going to order some Teresa Edgerton books have been out of print for a long time.  I can get a new copy of the first for 3 dollars or a used copy for one penny and then shipping.  Funny when the shipping is more than the cost of the book.  I had both the first and second trilogy.  But when we moved into that house and the hot tub went in, a pipe had been damaged and the storage room had flooded.  We hadn’t even finished unpacking yet.

This was a great series heavily influenced by the historical peoples of the UK.  Welsh, Scottish, Pictish and so on.  But a highly mythical version of those people.  I spent years trying to find copies in used book stores before I eventually just gave up.  I gave up before Amazon.  I’ve only recently started to replace missing and lost and damaged books that I miss.

In order to try to save some of the damaged books, I remember laying out all the damaged books in the bath tub and spending a lot of time with a blow dryer trying to salvage books.  I don’t remember all the books I lost, but I lost the 6 books in the Green Lion and Celydonn trilogies and the 3 books in the Midori Snyder Queen’s Quarter series.  I’ve discovered they have been reprinted as young adult fantasy instead of adult fantasy and the series name has changed to the Oran Trilogy.

I may contemplate ordering those as well.  Only Books one and two.  I still have book three.  I wonder if some of those books I vaguely remember reading were also in that one box on the bottom.  I know there were more books I was not able to salvage.