The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Summary (via the author's website): "Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love."

Review: So you may have noticed the Twilight-themed poll in my left sidebar... I'm kind of curious how y'all feel about those books. I fall into the second category. It's the "I recognize that they're poorly written, but something about them appeals to me." Not to say, mind, that I LIKE them, per se, but that when I read them I can't really put them down.

I feel a little better about the Host. I actually do like it. The characterization of Wanda is fairly well done, although I think if I met her in real life she might be kind of annoying in the crème brûlée way (has anyone seen My Best Friend's Wedding??). The story is fairly interesting, high in the "then he looked at me twice" drama that I love. The beginning and ending are slow, but I'm ok with that.

All in all, a pretty decent book. Kind of surprising from the author of Breaking Dawn, n'est pas?

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, i-own-it, is-this-a-kissing-book, pretentious, thought-provoking



Reading My Own Darn Books

Hi guys. Can we talk for a minute? And by "talk," I of course mean that I'll type and you'll read. And if you're not ok with that, well, that's cool.

So anyway, I decided to take on a project. It's kind of epic. Here's the deal: I want to read my books.

I know, right? It seems pretty intuitive... yet most of you know that it's much easier said than done. You buy books, you check them out from the library, you win them, or you borrow them, and you end up with a huge stack of books that you own - paid money for, even! - that you've never even cracked open. What the heck?!

So my goal is to read, if not ALL of them (I have shopped many a book sale in my day), at least a lot. I think it's good to go ahead and read books I actually already have. Who knows, maybe I'll end up trimming my collection down a little. To that end, I'm enforcing a Ban on all books that I don't own, starting... well, about a week ago, actually.

As with all good Policies, there are a couple exceptions. In this case, they're very specific, and are as follows:
  • I already have The Maze Runner out from the library, so I'm gonna read that. Probably.
  • My father-in-law lent me two books about World War II, and I'm gonna read those.
  • Audio books are excepted, because I only have one (Harry Potter 5, if you're curious).
  • Ebooks don't count. I'll buy or download as I see fit, although I won't borrow any from the library.
Other than that,  the Policy, for the forseeable future, is that I'm not going to read or buy any book that I don't already own.

I'm actually pretty excited about this. I have a lot of books I haven't read, and I'm betting I'll find a new favorite or two. :)

I know that we all need solidarity sometimes, so if you want to join in, feel free! It's a good way to curb a book-buying habit, if you have one, or a library addiction, like I'm recovering from. Just link to your blog in the comments. Create your own rules (don't think you have to follow mine!), and go ahead and grab the button! Good luck!


Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

Summary (via the publisher's website): "Miles Vorkosigan is back!

Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove-he's been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp-an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future-attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out.

On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to re-write her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning Don't mess with the secretary. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping-something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and it isn't due to power outages in the Cryocombs. And Miles is in the middle-of trouble!"

Review: So... wow. This book kind of makes me sad, because the Big Thing that happens at the end kind of overshadows the rest of the book. So that there's this whole book, but the only thing anyone's going to talk about is the Big Thing. Which comes at the very end.

Other than that, though, good book. The storyline was a little confusing for me, but I'm going to blame that on rushing through the book for the sake of devouring it. Doing that tends to get me confused.

Random thought: On most planets in this universe, you can tell that there's some kind of Earth-based cultural influence (the idea being that everyone originally came from Earth when they colonized all these planets), but the cultural influence in Kibou-dani is the strongest I've seen in this series, from the architecture to the clothing to the way people speak. (It's all Japanese, if you were wondering.)

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, funny, i-have-the-ebook, i-own-it, thought-provoking



A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede

Summary (via Goodreads): "When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.

Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper lady and a magician in her own right.
Magic and intrigue go hand in hand in Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward, two fast-paced novels filled with mystery and romance, set against the intricate backdrop of Regency England."

Review: So I'd already read both the books this one's made up of, several years ago. But it was nice to revisit them, since it's been a while. I was a fan. The stories were fun, and the characterizations were pretty well done. Also, because I was looking for it, I caught all of the instances where Mairelon was subtly unhappy about Kim having suitors and stuff. So that was fun.

I had a hard time keeping track of what people looked like, though. This interfered with how well I was able to visualize things, so I wish there had been more description sprinkled in.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, funny, i-own-it, is-this-a-kissing-book

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