Friday, October 30, 2009

Jessica, Bran & Other Stories

Since getting my undergrad, I have an unhealthy addiction to reading. Perhaps it is because I'm so used to having to read something that when the academic burden was lifted, I was compelled to search for some material, or perhaps it is just another phase, like my bug collecting or decorative box-making phases (these have simmered but not passed). Regardless of my addiction's reasoning, I have been going through novels like a woman possessed. This month, I completed the 5 books in the Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty as well as Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse. I have been reading Atlas, Shrugged by Ayn Rand for the past few months since it is a fat book in fine print (not ideal for light night reading, I gotta say).
For the Jess Darling books, I was sucked in from the first book and could not help myself - I had to know more about the weird Jess-Marcus dynamic. The books follow Jessica, an awkward, gangly teenage girl who has-it-all-but-doesn't-know-it-or-thinks-so, through her last two years of high school (1&2), college (3), and the development of her career (4&5) and include her tumultuous relationship with a certain Marcus Flutie who is the epitome of vague and confusing in a hot mysterious way. The first 4 books are written from her perspective only via journal entries and letters to loved ones. Jessica's snark wit, vivid and unusually hilarious descriptions of the events in her life kept me craving the next book. They are girl books that are definitely worth a read.
The other book I mentioned, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, is written by young author, Kaleb Nation. I heard about Kaleb through his blog in which he chronicles his experiences and responses to each chapter in the Twi Series. The details of the book are given on his personal blog. This is a story of a young boy who was one day discovered in a bank vault. He didn't know who he was and how he got there and the Finders Keepers law in the city of Dunce made Sewey his guardian. Bran is a quiet soul and he loves his tutor/ caretaker and he gets along fine with his adopted family. Bran is not too curious to look for trouble, but trouble finds him. It turns out that the woman who left him, his mother, was into big, big trouble and Bran must now face danger and embrace who (and what) he really is. The book is filled with mystery and action written in a very descriptive style, readable to both the young and old. It was a really good book, and if you are unsure, the first 4 chapters are available for free download from the author.

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