I’ve ended up the summer reading a couple of books that a movie and a Hulu show are being made about right here in Portland, Oregon. Plus other books that I find by authors I’ve read or haven’t read books from before. If you’re a book lover like me, you know how it goes…
*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through on them, at no cost to you, I may receive a small drop of money. Enough to keep a light bulb burning in my home. Thank you in advance for helping keep a light on in my home!
The first one is a kids book called Timmy Failure by Stephen Pastis (comic strip writer for Pearls before Swine). Disney is making it into a movie for their new streaming channel due out next year. I like reading the book if I get a chance to work on set as an extra for a movie or show based off a book, so I can get an idea what the movie is about. In this case, the books are written for elementary school aged kids. I’m having a hard time telling what was happening on set compared to in the book. Perhaps they elaborated on the books simple story line, or perhaps they used more than one of the books to base the movie off of. There are 7 books in total – I believe the 7th and last one just landed recently. I have only read one. I may read a few more to see if I can figure out what was going on on set the days I was there, but so far all I’m seeing are vague references to things I saw on set. Hmmm. Cute book, though. About a boy with an invisible polar bear named Total who helps Timmy out at his detective agency. Timmy is a terrible detective, but thinks he’s really clever. He likes to hang out with his friend-not-friend, Rollo and has an enemy who’s name must not be mentioned with a rival detective agency.
If you have an elementary school aged kid and they want to be in on what’s happening with Timmy Failure before the movie drops, I would recommend you get the whole set for them to read. They may be a bit too simply written for adults, but I have a feeling the movie is going to make up for that. Can’t wait to see it!
Note: Five of the books are in a set, the other two you have to buy separately.
Next up, Shrill. I was having a hard time with this one. I really prefer fiction books. I thought this book was going to be funnier than it was because Lindy West is a comedian. And while it does have humor, it wasn’t really a funny book. It’s sort of a biography of her life, but not written in chronological order. (which drove me nuts!) It’s mostly her picking a topic she wanted to write about (mostly life as a fat person – not being rude, that’s exactly what she calls herself), then adding anecdotes from her life. I wanted to put the book down and stop reading it several times, but once I got past the half-way mark, I was kind of curious about her life and how things were going to end up for her.
This is being made into a 6 episode Hulu show. Not really seeing why, but having gotten a chance to be on set the last day they needed extras, I think, like Timmy Failure, they are probably making the show better than the book. I’m sure others I know would love the book. I thought it was just okay.
Mercedes Lackey, on the other hand, always produces good books. And I think I’ve read almost all of them. The only ones I don’t like as much are the ones where she co-writes with male authors and the books get kind of crass. Mercedes Lackey does better writing on her own. Ditch the co-writers and just write your own stuff, I say!
The book I just read is a trilogy about her characters Tarma and Kethry. If you’ve never read any books by her and don’t know these two characters history, I would suggest starting with the last section of the book because that is their original story. I thought it odd that she put it at the end, but perhaps she was making sure the newer stories were up front for people like me who’ve already read the first book about these characters. If I would have read the old story first, its possible I wouldn’t have realized there were two new stories also in the same book and might have returned it to the library disappointed and unread. But, because I didn’t know the two new stories at the front of the book, I kept reading until I got to the last of the trilogy series and realized I already read that. So, it worked good for me.
I’ve also recently finished two other trilogies.
The first by Aimee Carter:
Pawn: In a world where you need to take a test on your 17th birthday in order to find your rank in the world, Kitty Doe places at a level only good enough to get her sewer cleaning duties. The higher you rank, the more privileges and better jobs you get. Kitty escapes this by joining the most powerful family in the country and assuming the identity of the Prime Minister’s niece. Betrayal and espionage follow.
As we follow the story along in the next book, Captive, Kitty is forced by the Blackcoats to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece and while trying to defend those she loves ends up finding herself in Elsewhere, a place for non-ranking or non-compliant citizens that no one ever returns from.
By the time we reach the last book, Kitty is trying to expose Prime Minister Daxton’s secret to the world and end his tyranny. Doing this puts herself and the boy she loves plus others she cares about in danger.
The other series I finished reading I accidentally started on the second book in the series. (Hate when I do that!) I did go back to read the first book, Delirium, but would prefer to have just read them in the right order to begin with.
I was reading the last series at the same time as this one and kept finding similarities with the two sets of books. This series, by Lauren Oliver, is also set in a world where they must take a test just before their 18th birthday, and also was set in a futuristic world where the powers to be decided love was a disease that must be eradicated. So, when you took tests, you got set down a career path picked out for you, had a spouse picked out for you, and also underwent ‘treatment’ – a lobotomy to cure you from amor deliria nervosato – which makes you stop loving people. A few months before her 18th birthday, Lena falls in love and decides she doesn’t want to undergo treatment and attempts to escape to the Wilds – a place where other ‘Invalids’ or uncured people go outside the bounds of civilization.
I picked up the book Pandemonium first and came in on the story where Lena has escaped into the wilds and is grieving her boyfriend, Alex, who didn’t make it over the fence with her. This one follows Lena’s story as she learns to live in the uncivilized world of the wilds, then later infiltrates the DFA, an organization committed to offering the “cure” to all citizens regardless of their age in spite of the known risks to anyone under the age of 18. She begins having feelings for Julian, whose father leads the DFA, after they are captured together. There are a few twists at the end of this book, which is all the better if you ask me, but I won’t reveal those here…
In the final book, Requiem, Lena helps rescue Julian from a death sentence, and flees back to the Wilds, only to find it is no longer a safe haven and they must fight against the powers to be to try and save their corner of the world. Lena runs into her best friend who is engaged to marry the new awful Mayor of Portland (Maine). Will she help or hinder Lena in her attempt to overthrow the government?
You can shop these and other books here, or also by clicking on the photo of the book you want above.
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases