48HBC, Part Six. It’s so over.

h1 June 11th, 2007 by eisha

tick tick tick…Time: Monday, 12:35 a.m.

Books Finished: 5. Read Defect by Will Weaver this afternoon, and Grand & Humble by Brent Hartinger this evening.

Pages Read: 1213

Time Spent Actually Reading: 15.25 hours.

Time Spent Blogging About It: 2 hours.

Unicorn Sightings: none.

Pathetic. I thought I would rock at this. I mean, seriously, sitting around reading is pretty much how I spend every weekend. Why was it so hard this time? Here’s what I think: because reading is what I usually do to procrastinate whatever I should be doing but don’t really want to, like cleaning or packing or whatever. When reading becomes the thing I’m supposed to be doing, my whole equilibrium is thrown. Good to know for next year.

But hey, I read some good books. Wanna hear about them?

Here’s some speedy-quick reviews of what I read. I won’t bother with summarizing the plots – just click on the links to Powell’s for that if you aren’t already familiar with ’em.


Ironside by Holly Black
Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007
(library copy)

This is not just a sequel to Tithe, as I’d thought, but actually brings the characters from Tithe and Valiant together for a joint sequel. It was very satisfying. I love the faery-punk world Holly Black has created, and I really appreciate the amount of care and research she’s put into developing the mythology behind these books. It’s imaginative, yet consistent. And often quite witty. I wish I’d thought to re-read Tithe before I read this, though – turns out there’s a lot I don’t remember from 3 years ago. Thankfully, I had only read Valiant a few weeks ago, so that part of the story was pretty fresh in my mind.

Bottom line: very good. Doesn’t really stand alone, though, so read the others first. If you like smart urban fantasy, you’ll love them.

Magic’s Child

Magic’s Child by Justine Larbalestier
Penguin/Razorbill, 2007
(library copy)

Again, the third book in a fantasy trilogy. And again, featuring a strong female lead. Hey, a theme!

I really liked Magic or Madness, the first book of this trilogy. The second, Magic Lessons, was disappointing. It was so not-a-stand-alone book it didn’t even feel like a whole book – more like the middle of a bigger book had been ripped out. So I was glad to finally get some closure with Magic’s Child. I really love Larbalestier’s imagination, and her descriptions of the way the different characters experience their magical abilities are really cool. And I like how complex the characters are, and how she keeps you guessing about who can be trusted, and how far. Plot-wise, the trilogy gets a little shaky, particularly in the second book (there’s a lot of standing around staring at a door – more exciting than it sounds, since it’s a magic door, but still…). Magic’s Child successfully picks up the pace again, though, and makes the trip worthwhile.

Bottom line: good. Really, really doesn’t stand alone, though.

The Egypt Game

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Reprint ed.: Random House/Yearling, 1986
Original ed.: Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 1967 (I think)
(library copy)

Um, how did I miss this in elementary school? I would have loved it! It’s got shades of Bridge to Terabithia in the whole imaginary-world-creation thing, plus the smart-outsider-misfit-kid theme that I generally dig. The dialogue is a little dated (“Sheesh” comes up a lot, as does “kooky”). I was surprised, though, at the whole child-predator subplot. It seems kind of before its time. But it’s good, I think – it’s not handled in too scary or graphic a way. And it’s realistic how the kids react – spooked, but generally more concerned with when they get to play outside again.

Bottom line: very good, although I’d be curious to see how a modern 6th grader would react to reading about 11-year-olds playing at being Egyptian priestesses.


Defect by Will Weaver
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007
(review copy)

Wow. This was really good. I’ve never read Will Weaver before, but I’m totally putting his other books on my TBR list.

I think the concept of mutant-teen is so appealing because it takes the usual teen anxieties – changing bodies, crippling self-consciousness, struggling to define one’s identity while simultaneously trying to understand where one fits in with the rest of the crowd – and amplifies them into something that’s safely surreal and ultimately more satisfying than real life. As in: it just wouldn’t be believable if the pariah-nerd-boy actually defeated the bullies and got the homecoming queen by his charm and wits alone. But if he turns out to be able to fly or walk through walls or something… well then, anything’s possible, isn’t it?

Anyway, Defect adds another dimension to the genre by incorporating the question of faith: is David’s condition just a random birth defect, or is he part of a higher plan? And if he has the choice to be “normal,” should he take it? I liked that it raised these kind of questions. I also liked the complexity of the primary characters, and the tragically spot-on descriptions of the redneck teens who torment him. There’s some witty dialogue, too.

Bottom line: Fun, thoughtful, and imaginative. Highly recommended.

Grand & Humble

Grand & Humble by Brent Hartinger
HarperCollins/HarperTempest, 2006
(library copy)


Did. Not. See. That. Coming.

Bottom line: read it. I don’t want to say any more. Just read it.


Thanks to MotherReader for hosting the 48 Hour Book Challenge. I had fun. I know I won’t win any prizes for most books or hours, but I’m hoping there’s an Honorable Mention for Most Frequent Unnecessary Updates or Weirdest Roger Sutton Dream or something. But whatever, reading is its own reward, right?


Also, please tune in tomorrow, when we’ll have our weekly blogger interview with none other than Adrienne of What Adrienne Thinks About That!

7 comments to “48HBC, Part Six. It’s so over.”

  1. YES. I also had a real problem focusing, and I think it was for similar reasons.

  2. well, coulda fooled me, leila! you read circles around me!

  3. Drat. No unicorns!?

  4. CONGRATS, Eisha (unicorns or no)!

  5. Eisha, I think this right here is a BRILLIANT piece of analysis:

    “Here’s what I think: because reading is what I usually do to procrastinate whatever I should be doing but don’t really want to, like cleaning or packing or whatever. When reading becomes the thing I’m supposed to be doing, my whole equilibrium is thrown.”

    That may have been exactly my problem. Why do we still have to rebel even as grownups?

    But don’t diminish your accomplishments. I think you did great.

  6. I so agree with you and Robin. It was hard focusing on the reading this past weekend. I only finished 1 1/4 books, so pat yourself on the back. You ROCK.

  7. […] violence, inter-species romance, and teen angst to speed the plots along. Read my mini-review here for a little more about why they […]

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