Wednesday, April 2, 2014

FLATLAND

FLATLAND



I first heard about this book from Sheldon, as in Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. He mentions it in the episode where Raj wants to hit the town, but, only Sheldon is available. Sheldon does not want to go out and instead suggests that for a change of scene Raj use his imagination and travel to Flatland. He should pretend he is a circle, 'all the gals are hot for circles', and look for an attractive line segment. Now, doesn't that sound like a funny world?
Have you ever pondered what it would be like to live in a 2 dimensional world?
Come on, I'm sure you have.
No?
Well, here is your chance. Abbott invents a world of 2D, inhabited by a variety of shapes from circles to irregular triangles. You are given a glimpse into the thinking and behaviors that could come from living life on only one plane. The differences from our 3D world are brought to life by problems I would have never thought about, such as accidental piercing by sharp angled triangles and trying to see without depth and height to help. The world Abbott comes up with is a rigid, class based society where many angled shapes (Circles being the pinnacle of perfection) are the upper class, whilst triangles make up the lowest class (irregular triangles are the lowest of the low). The only exception is women. They are in fact no shape at all. They are merely line segments (lower than even irregular triangles).
It is a fascinating world to begin with, but, the addition of the satirical math humour makes it infinitely more entertaining than similar 'world building' stories. Who would have though a book revolving around Math could be both funny and easy to read? Especially considering it was written in the 1880s!
Not only is it humourous, but, also very educational. As the story progresses the main character, a respectable square, dreams of Lineland (a 1 dimensional land made of only one line of points). Then his world is invaded by a 3D shape (a well meaning Sphere). These contrasting worlds give the reader a unique view of dimensions, how they are mathematically calculated and how they would look (to our 3D eyes). The idea of 4D, 5D, and so on are hinted at as well. For the novice mathematician and all non-math types, this is a great first step into the world of dimensions.

RATING : READ

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

MOLVANIA

MOLVANIA
A Land Untouched By Modern Dentistry



What a great guide to this relatively unknown, rundown, and backward country. For the traveller who actually considers going to Molvania, this book is a must to keep in the backpack. There is a bit of everything ranging from the history of this cement loving country to tips on how to interact with locals.
I personally love how the book starts. Paraphrasing here - Robust culture, magnificent panoramic views, unique flavourful foods, welcoming hosts, are all sadly, absent from Molvania. But, if you look hard enough the most adventurous traveller can have a one of kind travel experience.
This tone resonates throughout the book. That of a harsh, but, realistic look at this country, yet, upbeat at the same time. The few, and far between, bright (or at least not pitch black) spots of Molvania are really brought to the forefront with this type of writing. It makes one almost want to plan a visit. 
The format of this book makes it really easy to either skim through and find specific information such as hotel recommendations in the East Mountains, or just read straight through and pick up a good base knowledge of the entire country and its people. 
I personally enjoyed the highlighting of specific words dotted throughout the pages. It gave me direction and was an easy way to emphasize some of the more important facts or themes the authors were trying to get across. For eg, I have pulled a few pages from The People and The Arts sections of the book and listed the highlighted words below :


  • blowing your nose
  • barren plains
  • chainsaws
  • head butting
  • public hanging
  • cheap euro porn
  • noticeable stutter
  • Beta Video


See how just highlighting a few words can give the reader a much better understanding of the topic at hand. Don't you feel that much more enlighten on The People and The Arts of Molvania by just reading that list? I know I did while reading through this guide.

I will also applaud the hotel and restaurant recommendation section of the guide. The writers sure did their homework on this front and not only gave reviews of the somewhat Western friendly establishments, but, also the 'budget' places for those on a budget or for those looking for a more authentic experience. Personally, I'm happier knowing what restaurants serve horse meat. At least I know which ones to avoid right?

Scattered throughout the guide are tips, which I thought were not only useful, but gave even more insight into the strange and abnormal workings of the Molvanian mind. The tips ranged from common saying and greetings that one would need to know (in order to avoid physical assaults for eg), to what drinks to avoid if travelling the barren plains of the East (turns out many alcoholic drinks contain such things as gasoline and antifreeze).

After reading this guide I was struck with two thoughts. First, how awful a trip to Molvania sounded, what with the lack a hygiene, the constant threat of assault, and the smell. Then it struck me, this book could change all of that. Maybe, just maybe, a book like this will inspire some poor soul to take up the challenge and travel to Molvania. If they survive, there experience will no doubt cause more people (or at least the previous traveller's lawyers) to pay a visit to Molvania. And, maybe if enough people do this, the culture and laws of this country will change and allow it to become more tourist friendly. Then even a novice traveller like myself may consider spending a weekend in Lutenblaag. We can only hope.

RATING : READ

Monday, February 24, 2014

STAR WARS: SCOUNDRELS

STAR WARS : SCOUNDRELS



This book has confirmed it : Han Solo is the white hat wearing cowboy of the future!?
Actually, maybe more like a grey hat.

I've been reading a lot of western books lately and as I listened to this book, I quickly came to the conclusion that Han's character was like a replicated cowboy of the past. In old westerns the protagonist never goes looking for trouble, but, trouble always seems to find him. He lives on a code of ethics higher than the criminals around him, as in he never shoots first and does not shoot to kill - unless needed. He has a crusty exterior, but, a generous heart. And, is the fastest draw this side of Tatooine! A smaller similarity is that he has a non-english speaking sidekick that shows up just at the right moment to save his hide.
Wow, I sound like a literary genius...comparing old westerns to Star Wars books...um...back to Scoundrels.

Scoundrels is one of those feel good crime novels. Yes, I said 'feel good'. One of those stories where you get a bunch of sarcastic criminal buddies in a room all planning on breaking into an impregnable vault to steal millions of dollars (or space credits in this case). However, this simple break and enter soon turns into a much bigger and complicated ordeal. With a few plot twists the gang finds itself not only dealing with a locked vault, but with a powerful intergalactic criminal organization...and the Imperial forces as well (damn that Vader, can't leave anything alone!) Against all the odds they manage to get away free and clear with the money, leaving a wake of angry vengeful evil aliens (and Lando) lost in a cloud of dust. But, with a deceptive plot twist their fate and the value of their treasure is not all that certain.

Overall, I found the book riveting. It was full of unexpected plot twists and exciting edge of your seat (or fingertips in this case) action. All of the 'scoundrels' (Han and the gang) were all lovable, both in their sarcastic wit and their individual expertise in one certain criminal aspect. They were the kind of people I'd want to hang out with, especially if I were marooned on a far off planet. They all seemed to be having a great time working their game and solving the complex problems of getting in to this giant vault. Even with the constant feeling that they were going to be nabbed at any moment by a smart security guard, or just by bad luck. But, everything seemed to be going their way. The force was with them. 
I also liked how the story progressed. It started out simple. Then there was a small twist. Then another layer was added. Then another plot twist. Then a mystery character. Then a hint at something larger. It got very complex right at the end. Then it all exploded and the pieces fell into place. Wonderful writing by Zahn.

I listened to the audiobook version, which I was surprised at. It was more than just a reading. There was Star Wars music added in, and sounds of ships blasting off in the background, the chatter of alien crowds. The action scenes were brought up a notch when you could not only picture the blasting, but, hear it at well. Very well done.

My only critique of this book, which is something that is almost expected, is the almost unbelievable ways the gang can escape trouble. It starts with the crime bosses and their complete lack of common sense. Many times throughout the book one of the gang is captured and interrogated by the 'boss'. You'd think most high level crime bosses would not shy away from using violence and/or murder, but, in this case they did. On numerous occasions when Han or Lando were caught they either let their hostage go free with a only a warning or they let their hostage go free with a non binding naive feeling deal of some sort (ie meet me next week with the star credits...or else!). Realistically they should beat them to a pulp and keep them locked away, or simply shoot a blaster hole in their head. But, I guess that would stop the story right then and there. So, we have to make some concessions. Further to this, the ease of breaking in and escaping was pretty high on the scale of unbelievable. Even with Zahn's attempt at explaining the highly detailed plan and how everything (conveniently) came together. But, then again this is a Star Wars book. Remember the movies? Episode 4 - A New Hope, when Han and Luke managed to trot around the death star for hours on end without anyone noticing them? At the time it seemed believable, right?
If you are one of the ten people who have never seen Star Wars you might as well skip this book. There is a lot of backstory and history left out, under the assumption that it is common knowledge. Things about Princess Leia and Alderaan, Luke and the Force, Darth Vader and the Death Star, etc. The ending will also be a mystery to you, not an earth shattering shocker like it was for me!

RATING : READ

Monday, January 27, 2014

WORST. PERSON. EVER.

WORST. PERSON. EVER.



I first heard about this book through an interview Coupland did on CBC radio, click here to listen. He described Raymond Gunt, the protagonist of this fine novel, as the most foul mouthed person you could ever image. And, it turns out he may be right. The book's storyline, about a cameraman who travels to a remote Pacific Island to help in the taping of a Survivor style show is not the highlight. Instead the entire point of this book was to come up with a character who is the worst person ever. Coupland did a wonderful job too. Gunt was out of this world terrible, but, believable at the same time. He kind of reminded me of that distant relative you may have, the one that shows up at the extended family picnic smoking non stop (around the kids), drinking beer after beer (not his), and commenting on the lazy foreign welfare bums that live in the apartment above him (or some similar inappropriate topic). But, the comment in the interview that really piqued my interest was when Coupland admitted that he sincerely hoped his parents would never read this book. Now, that says something doesn't it? What was in this book that was so terrible that the author was reluctant to throw a copy over to his parents for a once over?
Well, I can type out a quote from the first few paragraphs to give you an idea of what might be lurking in the book..."the universe delivered unto me a searing hot kebab of vasectomy leftovers drizzled in donkey jizz". Now, would that be the line Coupland didn't want his parents to read? Maybe. Or it could be the rest of the 300 odd pages littered with this crafty rubbishy language. I have to give credit to the variety and originality of the foul mouthed descriptions Coupland comes up with for the usual body parts and their functions. Not my area of expertise, but, to see someone really master it is very entertaining. And, if you are worried about being turned off by the language, well once you hit the F word and C word and D word for the twentieth time it loses a bit of its shock value and you find yourself desensitized (scary, how quickly that can happen) and enjoying the latest crude word mash-up.
Similar to the language Gunt spews out, his actions are just as socially unacceptable. He is a self centred, sex crazed, lazy, rude, obnoxious wad, who hates children (probably kittens too) and picks on the homeless. He is one of those people who provides no good in the world and only takes, takes, ruins, destroys, eats the last chocolate, belches, and takes some more. There is not much to like in this guy. Which in a strange way makes him likeable. Reading reviews on this book I noticed over and over that people felt pity for this character, and in turn 'liked' him. I did not like his personality, but, I did like his character. I found it very entertaining to watch this train wreck of a personality crash its way through the novel. It was fun watching his almost formulaic life - Gunt enters a new scenarios, he finds someway to offend, eats macadamia nuts and has a black out. You just know, that with each scene, Gunt is going to come up with some terrible way to offend the world, be it with his foul mouth or by discussing bestiality. His only redeeming quality was his harsh, well deserved, criticism of American food. 
A bit embarrassing on my part that I find this entertaining, but, I prefer to look at it this way - as a literary work. Coupland does an amazing job of satirizing the pop cultural exploits of shows like Springer and Survivor (at the same time!). So, if anyone asks, I don't actually laugh at the trailer trash level comedy, I laugh at the satire.
I was lucky to have heard the interview with Coupland and have some idea of what I was getting into when I started this book. Judging by the reviews I have looked over, there were a lot of readers out there not expecting something so filthy. A lot of witty reviews called the book 'Worst. Book. Ever.' or something similar. I will agree with some of the negative reviewers that when I finished the book I was not a better person, unless you count the increased vocabulary in the cuss words dept. However, I did not feel it was a waste of time. It was not exactly time well spent. It was more like, time spent and I don't regret it. There Coupland, put that quote on the dust cover of your book. This was definitely something I have never read before, and would probably not go out of my way to find again, but, it was an adventure for sure. It is always nice to get out of your comfort zone sometimes and see how the other half lives (and swears). Worst. Person. Ever. is one of those unforgettable books you'll have a hard time describing...and forgetting.

RATING : READ

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NOT QUITE THE CLASSICS

NOT QUITE THE CLASSICS



This book is built on an the Classic improve game, the first and last line. In this quasi-version of the game Mochrie takes the first few lines from well known Classic books then writes a short story in between, and finally ends with the last few lines of that Classic book.
If you are at all familiar with who Colin Mochrie is you won't be surprised to hear that the stories are funny, quirky, and sometimes just plain weird. Mochrie is that joking Canadian who stars on Who's Line is it Anyways? (and is also a part of the This Hour Has 22 Minutes - The Classic Canadian political satire show anyone?), so he has the chops to make people laugh...but, you ask, does his humour translate well onto the written page?
For the most part, yes. And, to my surprise his overall writing skills are extraordinary. I was happily surprised at the high quality of the writing. It was so good it almost fools one into believing the absurd topics and storylines are the 'real' Classic writings of Doyle, Orwell, Fitzgerald, or even Seuss. I was especially impressed with Colin's ability to mimic the tone and feel of these Classics. His choice of words and phrases were bang on with the originals. Again, it was so easy to fall into the feeling that you were reading a strange story written 100 years ago by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ...albeit, a strange story about stand up comedy, but, none-the-less believable.

The collection started with the well loved Sherlock Holmes. A great one to start the book with. It had a lively, extremely well written and entertaining storyline. It read just like one of the Classic Sherlocks, but, funny at the same time. The story centred around Holmes trying to solve a mystery. The mystery of humour. He observed people, mades assumptions, then experimented with different types of humour. Most of which sounded good in theory, but, then ended up failing. He eventually came up with the idea of 'Stand Up' and attempted a show. The whole process was both an interesting look at humour, from the comedian's side, while being witty and funny at the same time. I think the interactions between Watson and Holmes were what really brought out the laughs. They were Classic; the eccentric Holmes berating the dim witted Watson for questioning his outlandish conclusions. This was the kind of story that made me want to read more.

Then came the make over of Moby Dick - Moby Toupee. This one almost sank the boat for me. It did not put the wind in my sails as much as some of the other stories did. It was a funny idea: a toupee changes an actors life. Toupees are funny things. But, the story just did not catch my interest.
Luckily, a short while later the splicing of A Tale of Two Cities brought me back aboard. This was another highlight for me. The first line, 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' It ended up being an account of Wile E Coyote's obsession with Road Runner. It took an interesting view, through Wile E's life, attempting to be a human but giving into his animal desires to hunt and eat Road Runners. He has some early highs (the best of times), then becomes obsessed with catching RR and his life quickly goes downhill (the worst of times)...where a big rock rolls down on top of it, then it is hit with an anvil marked 50 tons. We eventually end with Mr. Coyote in jail. It was again, extremely well written, and had a great mix of Classic anvil dropping humour and that sharp satire comparing his Road Runner obsession with, say, a drug addiction. He loses his job, family, even his mind in the struggle to catch the ever slippery Road Runner. The end is a bit disturbing in a dark humour sort of way. So, if you have a weak heart (or stomach for that matter) for the Road Runner, I suggest you do not read the last few pages.
Another story that made my highlight reel was the Frankenstein spoof. It involved a chicken who learned to read. It was not the story that brought the most smiles and giggles, but, it captured my imagination for awhile. The story of the chicken and the farmer mirrored one another, they started out lonely, then found mates, then things went terribly wrong. The hen dies and the chicken tries to resurrect her. This story also ends badly...I guess that makes sense, all the Classics seem to end in death.

I went into this book thinking it was going to be a work of low grade nonsensical writing, with a few easy Moby Dick jokes (which I will assure you there were none of). But, it was not. It was the exact opposite. It was an extremely well written collection of short stories that were funny on so many levels, from the spot on impersonation of the Classic writer's style to the farcical/bizarre tales Mochrie brought to life. The only thing missing was a talking pickle.

RATING : READ

To hear an interview with Colin talking about this book, he was on CBC's The Next Chapter - CLICK HERE

I used the word classic 11 times in that review - new record!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

LIVE AND LET DIE

LIVE AND LET DIE
James Bond #2



This is more along the lines of what I thought the Bond books would be like. There was an insane football-headed villain, some poisonous fish and shark attacks, an unbelievable plot centered around a long lost pirate treasure of gold coins. All we were missing was a car equipped with a hidden gold detecting radar system.
However, my expectations of Bond were disappointed again. He was no superhero. He barely survived this adventure and he almost ruined the whole operation. He was also constantly getting caught by the bad guy, who did the whole Dr. Evil villain thing and revealed the outlandish way he was going to kill Bond. This time he was going to drag him behind a boat across some coral reefs and let the sharks eat him piece by piece.
I guess I was expecting  the death count to be 32 for Bond, 2 for Evil guy...but, Bond never even got a shot off before he was caught. Also, he fell for this episode's 'Bond Girl' again and let his feelings ruin his judgement. Bond is a very troubled character.
But, as it turns out, that is a good thing. His flaws, mixed with some fast action, and an extravagant plot make reading Bond books enjoyable. You never know what is going to happen.

RATING : READ

BOSSYPANTS

BOSSYPANTS



Months and months ago we borrowed a couple of humourous books from a friend of ours: 1) Sh*t my Dad Says (to save typing I will call this book Sh*t through the rest of the review) & 2) Bossypants.

1) Sh*t ... was read right away to rave reviews. Both my wife and I laughed and laughed, reading passages out loud to one another, and we still paraphrase it from time to time. Grade A+ on LOLs and ranked as one of the funniest books read in 2013!
2) Bossypant had another adventure, mostly sitting on the bookshelf looking pretty. Until last month, when I finally got around to cracking it open.

Now, being borrowed at the same time my little brain has filed these books under the same heading - humour book borrowed from X. Therefore, while reading Bossypants I was constantly comparing it to Sh*t... , even though they are vastly different books in style and content. That is just how my brain works I guess, rightly or wrongly.
Onto Bossypants. This book was a very well written humour book, not as packed with laughs as Sh*t but still laughtastic. An account of Tina Fey's raise to stardom...er, class B celebrity status, whatever. Pages and paragraphs, chapters and lists, of lighthearted and intelligent joke filled prose. What the book lacked in substance it made up for in tidbits of quirky jokes and play on words.
The actual story of Tina Fey's career is, um, not action packed. No suspense, no rags to riches story. Not even a lot of struggle. I have to give credit to Tina here for taking the road less travelled, by releasing a book that does not rely on crude humour or attack humour (ie name calling of easy targets like Rachel Ray). Finally, a funny book on the bookshelf that does not deal with drugs or one night stands. She even threw in a serious theme for good measure - feminism. Constantly reinforcing that women can do anything, even get into the male dominated world of comedy.
I really enjoyed the way Tina managed to get her feminist agenda into the book. It wasn't overly aggressive, just mixed in subtly in a very feminine way. Like Mama would flavour a nice soup. There were even refreshingly truthful passages about how life on the 'top' is not all that great and even while you may look successful, balancing life, work, and children does not always happen.
Overall, it was a good read - positive & funny...even with that feminist ranting going on in the background

RATING : READ

Monday, November 18, 2013

CASINO ROYALE

CASINO ROYALE
James Bond #1






Well, that was not what I expected.
What I thought I'd read was non stop action full of dubious double crossing spies with hidden razor blade faux playing cards and walkie talkies in their cuff links blowing up souped up sports cars and leaving a trail of at least a dozen or so dead bodies behind them. Instead what I read was a low key story about Bond doing a bit of gambling, falling in love, and being beaten/tortured to near death. He did not save the day. He did not have a fancy watch that shot laser beams. He did not capture Dr. Evil and lock him away in a dungeon on Skull island. He was actually a flawed hero who obsessed over every detail , appeared to lack any confidence in himself whatsoever, and completely lost his mind over a woman he barely knew!
There was a car chase, there was a small shoot out, there was a gun hidden in a cane...but, that's all the secret agent stuff I can recall. That being said, it was still a good book. Bond is an interesting character to read, with all his little quirks, and his insight into the mind of a killer (the killer being him). I was surprised to find that a good chunk of the book had almost nothing to do with the whole spy vs spy thing, that it was almost a love story. Bond agonizes over every word and action this episode's 'bond girl' does. I actually found it interesting to see him consciously ignore all the warning signs that this girl is going to leave him. I wondered how far he would go, how much he would pass off as nothing, how desperate he would become? It was pitiful by the end. A double O agent (aka the cream of the crop) almost crawling on his hands and knees begging an obviously broken woman to love him...just not the image I had of Bond before I started this book. Which actually makes me want to pick up the next one, Live and Let Die, to see if Bond can redeem himself or if he will fall for the next woman he meets?

RATING : READ 

I think the covers on these Bond books are hilarious. Imagine seeing that in a bookstore today? I'd love it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

CROSSING THE LINE

CROSSING THE LINE




Another hockey memoir from a player who had it all...then lost it because of drinking and drugs.
I can't get enough of these type of books, I loved Theo Fleury's Playing With Fire and Bob Probert's Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge, which were essentially the same kind of story. A tough hockey player makes it to the NHL, makes rookie of the year, has a bright future, then for some reason takes to drinking and drugs and gets kicked out of the league. They are a bit sad, and at points frustrating (b/c you can see where the drinking is taking them), but they are interesting reads because the lifestyle is so far removed from mine. It's like they take place in a different world.
I had no idea who Derek Sanderson was before I read this book. I vaguely knew about the success the Boston Bruins had in the 70's with players like Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. I had no idea what hockey was really like back then.
Turns out, at least according to Derek's versions, the game sounded ten times more violent than today's games. Frequent bench brawls, stick swinging, lots of fights, and a culture of being rough & tough. That was the way to win, and that was the way Derek played. The behind the scenes stuff sounded almost unbelievable as well. They would all smoke in between periods, go out drinking when then game was done, and only workout a week before the season started.
The main topic of the book, of course, was Derek and his crazy life. Apparently, he had a knack for saying outrageous things to the media, exaggerating the fast life he lived (dating playgirls and owning a rolls royce for instance), and playing hockey with a feisty spark that caught fan's attention. He was not the star hockey player who scored the most, but, he was pretty good with his hands and gave a good show with his fists.
Underneath this larger than life personality was an insecure, fearful, pretty modest guy. Which is why, according to Derek, he started drinking. It was his way of coping with his fears. Well, the drinking kept getting worse and eventually it caught up to him. As a reader you could see it coming and knew he was going to lose it all and just wanted to shake some sense into him. As it turned out when he hit rock bottom it was worse that you'd think. On top of admitting to himself he was an alcoholic he found out he had a corrupt lawyer who was in charge of his finances and cleaned him out. So, the millions he had made were gone. Sanderson ended up living on the streets for a short time, penniless and to proud to go home and ask for help.
It took a near death experience before he found God and changed his ways. From there, the book wraps up with a brief history of his after hockey life.
This is one of those books that I'd say is good, but, only b/c I'm a hockey fan. If you are not a fan of the game, well, three quarters of the book will be mind numbing he-shoots-he-scores kind of stuff, interlaced with only brief off rink debauchery. So, I give this book a 'READ' rating for all the hockey fans out there, and a 'Do Not Read' for all the non-fans.

RATING : READ

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

NIGHTLIGHT - A Parody

NIGHTLIGHT - A Parody




Nightlight has all the aspects of Twillight - the brooding teen aged clutz, the vampire love affair that stretches page after page, even a Bella and and Edward, er sorry a Belle and an Edwart, but, close enough right...well, not close enough to infringe on copyrights and be sued of course.
As with any good Parody, Nightlight roughly follows the story of Twilight, highlighting the ridiculous parts and shining a critical light on the book that captured the spotlight in, and around, 2006/2007 .
Right from the start the character flaws of Belle are exaggerated to such an extreme that is seems unrealistic; the setting is mocked with ease; and the supporting characters are written with that little bit of extra hot sauce that gives it a kick...showing the lack of 'kick' the original Twilight had. Not that making a joke or two about Twilight is that hard - 'I think my boyfriend may be a vampire', nuff said.
Sadly, the amount of pleasure and laughter I experienced reading Nightlight really only proved one thing. That I had my own deep dark secret...and it wasn't that my boyfriend was a vampire...no, it was that I read, had watch, and had somewhat enjoyed Twilight. That's the thing about parodies, you need to know the original in order to laugh at the jokes. Fine, my secret is out there - I'm a Twilighter (or whatever they are called nowadays, A Breaking Dawner? A Newish Mooner?)
But, to make it sound a little better, at least to my ears and self respect, I didn't actually read, er, finish the book. I've only watched the movies. All of them. Multiple times. But, I hated the book. Twilight, the book form I will reiterate, was a long drawn out romance. Not my thing. But, Twilight the movie was full of half shirted action heroes, doing actiony things like climbing trees and fighting evil. That works for me.
Nightlight starts out exactly like Twilight with Belle leaving her mother to go live in a rainy village in Oregon that is too small to be on a real map. She lives in her old bedroom with her absentminded dad and goes to highschool. Many similar things happen, she meets Edwart in biology class, she is almost hit by a car, she Googles info about vampires. From there things take a bit of a twist. Belle and Edwart's love affair fizzles out when she discovers he is not a vampire. Instead there are real vampires out there trying to bite her. It gets a bit crazy from there, but, still remains funny and entertaining.
The characters are slightly different as well, which makes for some good laughs. Belle is completely self obsessed and has the ego of Donald Trump. While Edwart is a pale faced computer nerd who has no self confidence at all. The Dad is almost exactly the same, which is hilarious. And, there is no real 'Jacob' character. So, if you are a Team Jacob type of person you may be slightly peeved if you read this book. Thank goodness I'm all for Team Edward.

RATING : READ