Monday, January 23, 2012

Somewhat of a Morrie Story

      If you ever read Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom and loved it, then you will most likely like this one. Written by Yoko Ogawa in a first person narrative, this novel goes into depth in the relationship between a housekeeper and the professor she takes care of. The relationship starts on the rocks when the housekeeper sees for herself that the professor's memory can only contain 80 minutes of present time before it disappears from his memory. As the story goes on she also sees that the only things he could never forget are the numbers he surrounds himself with and the memories before 1975.
Despite this and both of them being from two different worlds; her from a world of housekeeping and him from the world of numbers; these two characters end up teaching each other life lessons that help them evolve as characters. 
There are some quirks to the book that set it off: such as almost all of the characters don't have names and there isn't no specific time frame. Reading this novel, I found out that even though these quirks might have given the novel a less personal touch, I saw that it helped put emphasis on the importance of the details in their relationship and the progression of it as a whole.
However, I do have to say that this book does not give in to some reader satisfaction of Disney endings. Rest assured, if you read Tuesdays With Morrie, you will cry or at least shed a tiny little tear. I recommend this book for those days when the mood is turned on for some comfort food and a need for some tissues.

Til Next Review,
Miss Bobo

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Run, Witch, Run!

So you want a brain snack for your bookworm noggin' and find yourself thinking 350 pages are just too much for you (at the moment anyway)? Don't sweat it (really don't), because I just finished reading a wonderful noggin snack perfect for a short train ride or just passing by some minutes.
Written in third person narrative by Vivian Vande Velde, Magic Can Be Murder has the magical triple combo of mystery, murder, and magic taking place during the time of Salem Witch Trials.
soft cover copy (even cheaper as an e-book)
Following the story of Nola, a teen witch who learns the hard times of being a witch-in-the-closet, this novel takes the cake as one of Velde's great desserts for any witch-lover out there.
Starting from a flashback of Nola's childhood, you get the deal that being a witch-in-the-closet was rather...tricky. From then on, you follow "the present" of Nola as a teenager who is constantly on the run with her mother because of the voices her mother hears. Yes, you did not read wrong, her mother hears voices and what is worse is out right vocal about it, embarassing Nola and in turn, leading Nola to cover her with the whole "she's losing her wits" line.
Although, most parts of this book don't get too serious, there is still a view of what it was like to be on the road in the 1600's with no cars or anything but yourself and your "wits" to help you through.
Nola's character is surprisingly relatable and witty despite the time setting of the novel. And the mystery aspect of this book will be fulfilling enough to make you think more of Nancy Drew than Agatha Christie mysteries.
But don't get too serious, because as mentioned before, there is humor splashed here and there that at least will make you chuckle..
Be warned that with it's charming ending, this novel still gives the after effects of wanting more. Vivian Vande Velde must have known what she was doing when she set the ending, especially when it takes a witty twist on the "happily ever after." Again three words: great snack read.

Til Next One,
Miss Bobo

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Cheer and a Ghost Breath in the Midst

Hello! I hope you all had an awesome holiday cheer and I wish you the best for this new year. Since I am on vacation for the holidays I took the opportunity to grab a handful of books to read and review. Unfortunately for Giacomo, I left him just when things got all Rubik's cube and so that book review is on hiatus. (BOO!)
However, I was able to begin and finish reading one of the novels I burrowed at the library titled Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen.
Taking place in South Carolina, this novel starts in the voice of Charlotte Silver talking about her life as the daughter of two paranormal researchers and the sister of a charming Annelise.
After dealing with a life of being on the road to haunted places with her parents, Charlotte gets a change of scenery and gets settled at a house near Charleston, South Carolina. From then on things get wacky as she ends up finding out she is haunted by a ghost that seems to have followed her from a recent trip to a haunted place with her parents in Charleston.
At first reading the novel, I thought it was going to be one of those stories of a plane Jane or a dorky girl being changed by an extreme paranormal event. As the novel progressed I realized I wasn't wrong.

Pertaining in the YA paranormal/fantasy genre, this novel gives a bit of a twist to the stereotypical ghost story.
Instead of having the main character being a random person, she ends up being the offspring of what she herself quotes as the daughter of "ghostbusters." I did find the narrative to be a bit reminiscent of Meg Cabot and a pinch of R.L.Stine and also found some interesting scenes of the novel; like when Charlotte encounters the ghosts and communicates with them.
Because I've read a lot of paranormal YA novels, I wasn't scared at all reading the novel. However, I would recommend this novel for teens who are slowly getting into the paranormal genre and don't want to get scared too easily. Besides that I would say it's "cute."