Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Fang Face

Title: Fang Face
Author: Norm Cowie
Page count: 281

Back cover:
     Erin has bigger worries than how she'll do on her Trig Final.
     A vampire bit her and she's turning into an Undead.

     Things could be worse though. It cleared her complexion,
     she can fly, and now her parents have to let her go out at night.
     And being a vampire is great for freaking out her little

     The downside? Besides being dead, of course... and having
     to drink blood smoothies... was having to give up tanning
     and pizza. And with her new edgy Goth look, jet-black hair
     and porcelain skin, everyone tells Erin she's become
     beautiful. So much so that the other girls in school have
     started calling her names... like 'Fang Face.'

     Erin wouldn't mind checking her new look for herself. But as
     everyone knows... Vampires can't see their reflections!

   When my sister first got published, my mom checked out all the other authors, and started getting into the whole 'ebook scene'. The first one she got was this teen book called Fang Face. So I started reading, and me being a supernatural fan, I didn't stop
until I finished the entire book. The entire, GOOD book.
   As legend goes, vampires can't see their reflections, have no shadows, and sleep in coffins. However, did you know they have annoying bat friends and attitudes? Being a vampire can be tough in other ways-- It's really messing with newly bitten Erin's beauty routine. How are you supposed to apply makeup when your looks are changing and you can't see yourself? Her beauty's not the only thing changed, though. Her instincts are suddenly more acute than a panther, and she's not the only one who is freaked out by her changes... And Erin thought braces were bad.
  Fang face is the story of an accidentally supernatural teen and her delightfully mismatched friends against the terrifying student body and some scared parents intent on revenge. With antics bordering on possible and jokes even at the crazy-serious-est moments, The writing was dipped in cheese sauce. While that usually annoys me, in this instance I could hear the author's voice, his personality, in the words. Having now met the author, I can tell you this is most correct. Norm Cowie's voice is always in his writing, no matter who the character, whether it be Trug, the kid who's ugly in the best way, Slim, the graceful guy the shape of a beach ball (and proud of it!) or Alex, the freaked out little sister.
   I rate this book as a 4.5/5. Crazy in the best way, because I love the storyline and the beautifully depicted characters and the author's No Fear policy, flying outside of the lines in a way that makes the story even richer.

Go Fang Face! I've read this book at least 7 times already and now have a real live signed copy. I suggest you get one to :) because it is GREAT. I couldn't pick just one scene, so here's an interesting medley of dodge ball, garlic, and um, well lots more! It makes a lot of sense when you read the book!
Buy, borrow it, or use it as scrap paper?

-Winnie :)

(PS-- check out the official Fang Face website: 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review: Maximum Ride

Title: Maximum Ride (The Angel Experiment)
Author: James Patterson
Page count: 413
 Back cover:
Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways—except that they're 98% human, 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. Riding the wind, their wings are an amazing gift...and yet, their world can morph into a nightmare in a single instant. For when the bloodthirsty Erasers—half men, half-wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists—kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission that will change them forever.

From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, 14-year-old Max leads her five feisty "family" members on a journey full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking—not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side!

   Um woah. Those are the first words that come to mind. While Patterson was a little slow in the romance department, the story was never lacking in action. Me being one of those people who lie awake dreaming of having wings and flitting over moonlit landscapes, Maximum Ride temporarily satisfied my taste for in the air action.
   So the book begins with the smallest of the six, little Angel (looking exactly as her name suggests) being snatched away to the evil facility where the children were first studied and given their wings. Getting her back unhinges Max and her crew's lives, makes their home vulnerable to Lupine hybrid hunters...and eventually gifted, kidnapped Angel begins to learn of new things-- of their origins, of their lives, of their beings. Even if they retrieve the young girl their lives are now in more danger, have more strings attached, and are swamped in far more questions and enemies than before... the book lives up to it's name. It's the Maximum thrill Ride.
   The way the characters' wings didn't just pop in and out of existence really boosted my opinion. Fantasy/sci fi books that have the main character(s) spontaneously growing wings and poofing them back into nevernever land when they’re done makes the characters seem less real. It make them more able to appear normal but really—is that just for convenience? On with the story? I don’t know… it just kind of bugs me. The fact that Max doesn't have that luxury makes the premise much more believable. So go Max!
   Still, the whole concept is kind of hard to wrap your head around, though fun to read.   Max and her crew are tighter knit than a sweater and they know each other like they know how to fly. Their nicknames reminiscent of their personalities, they act like a real family with their arguments and tenderness.

   I'm going to rank my books in paint splotches because stars are overrated, pun intended (har har, get it? rated?). So this book gets a 4/5 for its incredible flight action, its very non-cliche intro (you get thrown right into the plot) and the fantastic action, settings, and personalities of the characters, even the minor ones. It was a little confusing at times, and there was not very much of a character arc from Max, in fact barely any change in her at all, but overall a fantastic read.
   Now, without further ado... the 1000 words of a scene that spoke to me :)

Buy it, borrow it, or use it as scrap paper?
  Buy it.

- Winnie :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why is it worth 1000?

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. If so, I use a lot of words every day through pictures. I draw all the time, and when I'm not drawing, I'm either at school or reading.

One of my favorite things to draw is fiction. Whether I'm sketching a character I made up or doodling a scene from the story I'm reading, I love bringing it to life. I also always have an opinion on the books I read. Often my older sister and I will read the same book and get into discussions, or even "debates" about it. (Speaking of which, she might throw in her two cents here once in a while.)

So now I'm going to start a review blog that won't just tell you what I see in a book, I'll show you.

- Winnie :)