Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Things I Saw

Since I've been going through some hard stuff, my husband thought it would be nice for me to see my friends in Utah while he went up there to tune pianos. So we drove up on Dec 1st. Here are some things I saw this past week.

Red cliffs in the open desert on the road somewhere between Utah Valley and the Valley of the Sun.

This tree is at UVU just outside the main ballroom on Wolverine Way. It's like 25 feet tall and changes color. It's pretty awesome. You should check it out.

An ornament on a tree.

Ann Cannon and Alisha Geary at The King's English in SLC.

Christian McKay Heidicker (who just sold a book to Simon & Schuster) at Sugarhouse Coffee.

Don Seegmiller posing in his office with the poster I made for him... of him... .

A dapper dinosaur.

Pretty candy at Blickenstaff's in the Provo Riverwoods.

The Creative Collective at a poetry slam.

These sunset clouds on the mountain, which were much more impressive in person.

My uncle's treadmill work station.

Our roadtrip novel: The Martian by Andy Weir.

"Stay off the Animals." Generally good advice.

 Geek graffiti.

Monday, December 1, 2014

November Book Reviews

Strangely enough I didn't have time to read much this much, considering I spent most of my free time working on NaNoWriMo. But here's what I had time for.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

The most interesting aspect of this book is that it tells the story of a teenaged WriMo who gets a publishing contract, along with the story of the book that she wrote. The two narratives are told in alternating chapters, the story within the story chapters have black bands on the top and bottom of each page so you don't get the two stories mixed up. The WriMo, whose name is Darcy, goes to New York to follow her writerly dream. Her main character, Lizzie, after a brush with death, realizes she has powers. She also meets a fascinating boy with powers. As you all know, paranormal romance isn't really my thing. That being said, Darcy's foray into the world of publishing is fascinating. It's pretty neat that Westerfeld could maintain the two distinct voices in the alternating chapters. And I have to say, reading this book during NaNoWriMo month was a very meta experience.

Anyone interested in the world of YA publishing would find this an fun read.

Warnings on: language, some creepy imagery.

Jaybird by Jaakko Ahonen

Graphic novel about a little bird trapped in a big empty house to take care of his aged relative all alone. This gothic-style story is reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode. I read it in one sitting -- it's a quick read -- and was captivated from page one. This is a dark and creepy story with great art. I don't want to give anything away, so just go find it and then let me know what you think.

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I loveloveloved Jandy Nelson's debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor and go track it down. So I was very keen on reading her next book.  I'll Give You The Sun did not disappoint. It follows the story of twins who are trying to navigate a serious tragedy as they work through the reasons for their estrangement. Told in alternating chapters, the brother's timeline is three years prior to the sister's timeline, and as they go back and forth, each chapter giving heart-breaking revelations and painful growth experiences, this story-telling technique is stunning. The prose is lyrical with brilliant imagery. I cried.

This book also fills nicely a niche for an underrepresented YA audience, in the brother's development of a romance.

Warnings on: language, sexual situations, need for boxes of tissues.

Through The Woods by Emily Carroll

Five stories of TERROR in graphic novel form.

This. Book. Is. Incredible.

Gorgeous art. Uh-mazing prose. Scary scary scary storytelling. Did I mention the art? This is Emily Carroll's debut major work and it's everything I ever look for in a graphic novel.

Did I mention the scary part? This book is scary. And awesome. And WOW. Just wow.

Warnings on: SCARINESS.