Reviews: Striped Pajamas, & Dearly, Departed

Lately I've been focusing more on reading than writing. Warning, this post may contain Spoilers... Click on the captions for links to the Goodreads pages for these books.

via goodreads
As I mentioned in my last post, I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne, this week. A story set in the holocaust background of World War II, as told from the perspective of a nine/ten-year-old boy.

The boy, Bruno, is very smart. And though he asks a lot of questions, he never gets straight answers from the adults around him. When he and his family are transferred to a place Bruno calls "OutWith," his only concern is why there are so many children on that side of the fence that he's not allowed to play with.

Then one day he goes exploring, walking along the fence for a couple of hours. Until he finds another boy his age who had done the same thing -- on the other side of the fence.

They become friends.

It's a very moving story. It is technically a children's book, but I think I'd want my kids to be at least eleven or twelve before reading it (middle grade age). I remember first learning about the holocaust as a sixth grader and wanting to watch movies on it because it sounded intriguing. I think this is a book that young people that age will relate easily to, and learn from.

* * * * * * * * * *

Wednesday, I began reading a book called, Dearly, Departed by Lia Hable. I heard about it from Vickie Motter, a literary agent with Andrea Hurst Literary Management.

via goodreads
I'm a little more than halfway through this book at the moment, but I HAVE to tell you about it NOW. I was completely hooked from page one. Literally. I am amazed at Habel's way with words. I don't know how long she's been writing, but her ability to voice a character is astounding to me. Each one, whether main or supporting, has very distinct speech, quirks, and tendencies.

Also, how she even came up with the idea for this novel -- I would LOVE to ask her. The setting is 2195, in a country called New Victoria -- a digitally advanced society modeled on the mannerisms and courtesies of an old age. Though it's a very eclectic combination, Habel makes it work beautifully.

Nora Dearly is sixteen, living in New Victoria. Then they come after her -- people with empty eye sockets, skin stretched tightly, rotting over dry bones. Zombies. But not all zombies are blood-thirsty. Some are on her side.

This is literally one of the best recently-released books I've read. It only came out last October, so I can understand if people haven't heard about it yet, but I can tell this book will go far. If fans of Twilight thought they liked Edward, they've no chance against Captain Abraham Griswold. *siiiiiigh* *fans face*

Even though there are zombies (which I was a little nervous of), I tell you it is done tastefully; just like the killing in Hunger Games and the vampires in Twilight -- in fact, I think this is FAR better than EITHER of those books.

And I'm not kidding in the slightest.


Twilight, for me, was a great story, but poorly written. Hunger Games, while written better, still took me a while to really like because it's in first person present tense, and the sentences were structured oddly all over the place. THIS book is better written, better characters, better story, better setting. All over, an AWESOME read -- and I'm not even done with it yet. I would say it's "just getting good" but it's been good all along. What I mean is, I'm getting close to the climax, and things are picking up and getting REALLY intense.

(Read Agent Vickie's post about the book HERE if you're interested.)

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to finish this book today.

Have a great weekend ;-)

-DC

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