This Dark Endeavour…

The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, by Kenneth Oppel is a prequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Two words: loved it. We are introduced to a 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein and the tragic events that incite his passion for creation. The inclusion of a mortally ill twin brother who needs the Elixir of Life is an ingenuous idea. Kenneth Oppel is a brilliant writer! (I knew this already; he also wrote the Silverwing series.) I must now re-read Frankenstein and see how Oppel weaved bits of the classic into his novel. I’m especially interested to see the portrayal of Elizabeth and Henry.

I also read The Great Gatsby and loved that, as well, which totally surprised me. My best friend and I had talked about it a few weeks ago in the vein of, “Wasn’t that the book where a bunch of boring rich people talked at parties?” I’m embarrassed to admit that I had agreed, having read the book back in university and was not impressed. (Again, I chalk this up to having to fly through so many novels per week and not appreciating many of them.). Anyway, The Great Gatsby…Yes, there are obscenely rich people flitting from party to party, but I never realized that at the book’s core is obsession. Everything Gatsby does is motivated by his love for Daisy, to prove to her that he’s worthy and capable of taking care of her. She gets his hopes up, but in the end, treats him like garbage. Argh! Gatsby definitely partook in criminal activity, but wow, I felt such sympathy for the guy, and to some extent horror and embarrassment at his actions.

Neglected, Again

Wow wee. A full month since I last updated. What’s my excuse? Well, I’ve been busy working on my second draft of Hunter High, and of course, reading, reading, reading. I guess it’s easy to get out of the routine of updating once a couple of weeks have passed! So, my favourite books this past month…

Allison Hewitt is Trapped, by Madeleine Roux
A zombie novel written as a blog by Allison during the apocalypse. Gruesome, honest, and funny. Plus, it begins with Allison and five of her colleagues trapped in a bookstore. Let me say one thing, Allison is mighty handy with an axe.

Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion
Another zombie novel, this one told from the perspective of a young zombie called R. R is going through a crisis; he doesn’t want to be what he is, and through his relationship with a human girl, Julie (he ate her boyfriend’s brain), he starts to change. That’s all I’m going to write. I don’t want to ruin it, but hear this, it’s sad, sweet, gory, and hopeful. A unique take on the genre.

The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt
Not a zombie novel. Hallelujah. Recommended to me by a friend, this book is one of the best YA stories I’ve read in a while. I loved the main character, 12-year-old Holling. He’s so charming and sweet and clueless, plus he’s forced to read Shakespeare by a teacher he believes hates him. His dry sense of humour is priceless.

Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos
Also loved the young narrator in this book. Jack is “grounded for life” and is forced to help an elderly woman write obituaries for the summer. There’s murder, rats, baseball, and bomb shelters. Heavy on the local history.