Saturday, December 5, 2009

unfinished books (1).

Woe as me! We have all had this experience. We hear the hype, we read the blurbs, we froth at the mouth for a book, (or we simply say "Hey this looks good. Why not?") and then letdown! we find we can't finish. This post covers what books I have recently had to bid adieu to before they were completed.

The Named by Marianne Curley.
Sixteen-year-old Ethan Roberts has more to worry about than his lackluster grades. As one of the Named, he is charged with secretly protecting history from the Order of Chaos--an evil group that seeks to alter the past to achieve ultimate power in the present. Ethan is given orders to train his first apprentice, 15-year-old Isabel Becket, in a few short weeks as his growing nightmares soon make it apparent that trouble is brewing on a cosmic scale. The two are helped by Arkarain--Ethan's violet-eyed, blue-haired, 600-year-old mentor--and their secret powers. Isabel is a healer. Ethan is a master of illusion.

Someone somewhere out there in the blog world talked about these series before. I can't remember who exactly. She said they were some of her favorite books when she was younger. She talked about how these books cover a story about a time-traveling boy, but she didn't really elaborate on much else in the plot. I instantly thought of a Pendragon sort of book going on, obviously different but with the same sort of boy saves the world motif. I love me some Pendragon, by the way, so you can see why I was intrigued. I scooted down to the library and picked this book up pronto. My dismay grew from the moment I cracked open the first page and continued, until finally I had to quit. Not nearly as well written or as interesting as Pendragon, for starters. I wasn't even comparing it to Pendragon as I was reading it, though. The whole thing reeked of a juvenile read to me, which may be why the book was that blogger's favorite when she was younger. I wasn't interested in the plot, I wasn't invested in the characters, and parts of it seemed ridiculous to me. I figured I was wasting my time if I couldn't even like the beginning.

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.
A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal’s life.
Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he’s infected the girlfriends he’s had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It’s Cal’s job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. . . .

I have been wanting to read this book for a while. I love Scott Westerfeld; I think he is hilarious and has something unique to say that I like hearing. But I didn't realize this book was about a gruesome parasite. I just sort of picked it up and ran with it. I have to tell you that I am very squeamish. I obsess about these things for hours, whenever I hear about ticks or flatworms. Just, eww. I'm grossing myself out now. I thought that maybe I could get through Peeps because I really did think the plot was interesting. If it hadn't been for the details about other parasites in the alternating chapters. If it hadn't been for the fact that I had a terrible cold which made me cough up nasty things a few times a day. If it hadn't been for the chapter about worms that enter your body, lay eggs that you swallow back down when you cough up nasty things, and eats away at the lining of your stomach. Enough said.

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