Saturday, May 23, 2009

In which Medeia and Aella say goodbye

Dearest Readers,

This is long overdue. For that I apologize.

Firstly, I would like to take the time to make it officially known that we of the Maelstrom are resigning. Handing in our keys and tossing our nametags in the bushes. If that wasn't perfectly clear from the months of review drought that we've put you through, then let me say it a bit louder We're leaving for good. Yes, really and truly this time. I know I know, we've done this before and always come back, but seriously. Leaving. Right now. *sound of door opening and closing* ... *sound of door opening again* Well I do need to finish this post. But I assure you that after this is posted I am never coming back.

Secondly, thank you. Our readers and fellow bloggers were what made the Maelstrom more than just a swirling vortex of bookish craziness for us. So, we wish you all the best of luck in your (made of awesome) future endeavors (and book bloggery, if you're the book blogging type).

Finally, as a parting gift, I have made this (alphabetized) list of every single review we have ever done, including the ones currently in the clutches of our ferocious kraken (just kidding, you can click the link, he won't... suck your face off or anything... no really, do it).

Best wishes from the Whirly Girls,

Medeia & Aella

· Airhead by Meg Cabot [6 out of 7]
· Airman by Eoin Colfer [6 out of 7]
· Blade of Fire by Stuart Hill [7 out of 7!!!]
· Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce [6 out of 7]
· Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer [???]
· Chains by Laurie Halse Andersen [Awesome out of 7]
· Chanda's Wars by Allan Stratton [6.5 out of 7]
· Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde [7 out of 7!!!]
· Cybele's Secret by Juliet Mariller [6.7 out of 7]
· Daughter of Statues by Phil McGrail [5 out of 7]
· Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz [5 out of 7]
· Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber [6.7 out of 7]
· Death by Denim by Linda Gerber [6 out of 7]
· Death by Latte by Linda Gerber [6 out 7]
· Devilish by Maureen Johnson [6 out of 7]
· Dingo by Charles DeLint [4.5 out of 7]
· Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey [5 out of 7]
· Evermore by Alyson Noel [4 out of 7]
· Genesis Alpha by Rune Michaels [6 out of 7]
· Gone by Michael Grant [5.5 out of 7]
· Graceling by Kristin Cashore [6 out of 7]
· Head Games by Mariah Fredericks [5.7 out of 7]
· Heavy Metal and You by Christopher Krovatin [4 out of 7]
· Hero-Type by Barry Lyga [7 out of 7!!!]
· How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler [6.7 out of 7]
· How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle [7 out of 7!!!]
· I Can't Tell You by Hillary Frank [2 out of 7]
· Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr [6 out of 7]
· Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish [7 out of 7!!!]
· Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer [5 out of 7]
· Little Brother by Cory Doctorow [7 out of 7!!!]
· Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine [4.5 out of 7]
· Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast [3 out of 7]
· My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgewick [6.7 out of 7]
· Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan [5 out of 7]
· Need by Carrie Jones [3 out of 7]
· Newes From the Dead by Mary Hooper [4.8 out of 7]
· Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner [5.7 out of 7]
· Ophelia by Lisa Klein [6 out of 7]
· Peeled by Joan Bauer [3.5 out of 7]
· Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock [5.7 out of 7]
· Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz [5 out of 7]
· Prom Queen Geeks by Laura Preble [3 out of 7]
· Revelations by Melissa Delacruz [4.5 out of 7]
· Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks [4 out of 7]
· Runemarks by Joanne Harris [1.5 out of 7]
· Secret of the Sands by Rai Aren and Tavius E. [4.5 out of 7]
· Shelter Me by Alex McCauley [3.5 out of 7]
· Siberia by Ann Halam [4 out of 7]
· Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by David Yoo [5.5 out of 7]
· Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson [6 out of 7]
· Sweet Miss Honeywell's Revenge by Kathryn Reiss [5 out of 7]
· The Alchemyst by Michael Scott [5 out of 7]
· The Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky [3.5 out of 7]
· The Compound by SA Bodeen [6 out of 7]
· The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill [7 out of 7!!!]
· The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgewick [6 out of 7]
· The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel [2 out of 7]
· The Hunter's Moon by O. R. Melling [4.5 out of 7]
· The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie [6.5 out of 7]
· The Luxe by Anna Godberson [5.7 out of 7]
· The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart [4.5 out of 7]
· The Red Thread by Roderick Townley [3 out of 7]
· The Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono [6.5 out of 7]
· The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Sitomer [5 out of 7]
· The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu [5 out of 7]
· The She by Carol Plum-Ucci [6 out of 7]
· The Taker by J.M. Steele [6.5 out of 7]
· The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima [6 out of 7]
· The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean [6 out of 7]
· The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima [5.5 out of 7]
· Truancy by Isamu Fukui [4.7 out of 7]
· Undone by Brooke Taylor [7 out of 7!!!]
· Unwind by Neal Shusterman [6 out of 7]
· Violet in Private by Melissa Walker [5.5 out of 7]
· Wake by Lisa McMann [4.5 out of 7]
· When We Were Saints by Han Nolan [5.5 out of 7]
· Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Mariller [5.5 out of 7]

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Andersen [6.5 out of 7]

Also, interviews:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wow. It's been quite some time since I have written a review over here. But you all know how life gets. Complicated, busy, and occassionally dragged down by the world-suck. It's the books that suffer. But today, on my birthday, I have had the time to sit down and for once in a long while, update you as to a review. Awesome.

It appears to be a fiesta of Laurie Halse Anderson over here, because the title I most recently devoured was by her as well (Medeia having recently reviewed Wintergirls). And devoured is the most appropriate word.

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. -- (Summary from Goodreads. Thanks Goodreads!)

I have never read anything by Anderson that I have not loved and was struck especially by Speak when I read it in sixth grade (oh. so long ago), but this book has completely revived why I love her books so much. Isabel's character was a fantastic narrator, with all of the emotions from growing older paired with the severity of her situation and tactfully intertwined. She gave a different view on the Revolution than I have ever read and I was completely caught up in the changing moods of loyalty as she learned about the bigger war surrounding her. But that didn't leave her personal battles unattended. Oh no. My heart was with her every step of the way.

Don't think because it's a historical fiction that it was at all short on action either. There was plenty. Spying and secrets and battles and fires and imprisonment and running away and and and... just so good. I was not bored at any point and I read this entire novel this afternoon.

I also loved how educational it was (EWwwww... Educationalllll. I can hear your thoughts, because I generally share them). But it was kind of refreshing to see the Revolution taken on from a different POV, no more the gung-ho patriot that we've read a million times. There is nothing wrong with the Johnny Tremains of the book world, just that there are soooo.... many.... of them....

So find yourself a copy! It's worth the read and *drum roll please* there is going to be a sequel in 2010!

Celebrating a birthday by books,

Aella Siofra