Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Cover Controversy and More ...

As promised, a short synopsis of each book and genre.

Sarah Dessen, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER -- (YA/Chick lit)
Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

Robert J. Sawer, WWW:WAKE -- Sci. Fi
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The wildly thought-provoking first installment of Sawyer's WWW trilogy, serialized in Analog in 2008 and 2009, explores the origins and emergence of consciousness. Blind teen Caitlin Decter gets an experimental signal-processing implant that inexplicably opens up her vision to the wondrous infrastructure of the World Wide Web. Inside the Web is a newborn webmind, a globe-spanning self-contained consciousness that is just becoming aware of the outside world. Secondary plot threads about a highly intelligent hybrid primate and Chinese bloggers battling a repressive government extend the motif of expanding awareness. The thematic diversity—and profundity—makes this one of Sawyer's strongest works to date.

Patrick D. Smith, A LAND REMEMBERED -- Historical Fiction
A Land Remembered focuses on the fictional story of the MacIveys, who migrated from Georgia into Florida in the mid-1800s. After settling, this family struggles to survive in the harsh environment. First they scratch a living from the land and then learn to round up wild cattle and drive them to Punta Rassa. Over three generations, they amass more holdings and money, and move further from their connection to the wild land.

Orson Wright, THE VENGEANCE OF ARGIR -- Fantasy
It seems it's won awards etc. but I'm having a bugger of a time finding anything about what this book is about. If anybody finds out, I'll post!!

Susan Choi, A PERSON OF INTEREST -- Adult mystery/contemporary
Professor Lee, an Asian-born mathematician nearing retirement age, would seem the last person likely to attract the attention of FBI agents. Yet after a popular young colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee's detached response and maladroit behavior lead the FBI, the national news media, and even his own neighbors to regard him with damning suspicion.

Amid campus-wide grief over the murder, Lee receives a cryptic letter from a figure out of his past. The letter unearths a lifetime of shortcomings – toward his dead wife, his estranged only daughter, and a long-denied son. Caught between his guilty recollections and the scrutiny of the murder investigation, determined to face his tormentor and exonerate himself, Lee sets off on a journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past – and that might even win him redemption.

Haruhi Suzumiya, THE MELANCHOLY -- "Light novel" (I found the definition of this offensive and will rant on a later post)
Apparently, though, it's now an Anime series and I haven't quite figured out if it's in book form, though it seems like it's a set of stories about a detective within one novel. As you can see, I'm not doing too well on my own investigations. Hmmm. This is what I get from the DVD reviews:
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006) overflows with zany energy. Despite the title, Haruhi Suzumiya is anything but melancholy: she's a bossy, outspoken high school girl who's searching for "aliens, time travelers, and espers." To aid her search, Haruhi founds a new club, The SOS Brigade. Although she doesn't realize it, Haruhi has actually found what she's looking for in her recruits: Yuki is an alien; Mikuru, a time traveler; Itsuki, an esper. Kyon, the put-upon narrator,is normal--at least superficially.Itsuki warns Kyon that the existence of the universe may depend on Haruhi's whims. When she gets upset, dark gaps open between dimensions, haunted by shinji (ghostly giants) whom Itsuki and other espers must destroy. Kyon wonders if he's having nightmares or protecting the world from destruction, but this storyline recedes as the series progresses. Like Dokkoida and Magical Shopping ArcadeAbenobashi, Melancholy spoofs the clichés of anime and otaku culture. When the president of the computer club challenges the SOS Brigade to a duel playing "Day of Sagittarius 3," the episode turns into an outrageous spoof of sci-fi anime, with Haruhi shouting commands from the bridge of an imaginary space ship. But the series stops, rather than ends, with the story unresolved as Haruhi and Kyon walk off into the rain. Given the popularity of Melancholy in Japan and the US, a sequel may be in the works. (Rated 13 and older: cartoon violence, risqué humor) --Charles Solomon


And finally, if you're interested in what goes behind a book cover (and what can go wrong), check out these articles and blogs about the latest book cover controvery over Justine Larbalestier's cover for her novel LIAR, LIAR.

Okay, the week of book covers, controversies, and all that goes with them is up (for now.) I'm off to swim with Amelia and play! Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

trishwriter said...

I bought The Gargoil based on the cover. I would say if it isn't an author I am familiar with, the title and the cover are 80% of my decision. I won't pick up the book if I don't care for either.