Sunday, August 28, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - August 28, 2016

This is a unique WIR as I am writing it 10,000 metres in the air. I am writing this on my flight over to Canada going to my nephew's wedding. I didn't want you to miss out finding out what I read this week. So what did I read?

I was back to reading books from SPFBO 2016 and I am going to start with the book I enjoyed the most. I have found it interesting how many of the books that I have read during this contest are written for younger readers. I wonder why that is. Could it be that newer authors think that it is easier to market to tweens and teens or that they think it is easier to write for this audience. Anyway musing over.

The book I read that I enjoyed the most this week was The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree by Birgitte Rasine. The story is set in Guatemala where the eleven year old Max is on trip with his parents who are researching the local bee population. It's not long before Max befriends the local girl Ixtal and learns more about her community, the rainforest and more importantly about the cacao bean and chocolate production. After a few minor adventures Max and Ixtal end up angering one of the mystical beings of the rainforest when they inadvertently disrupt one of the ceremonies the elders perform to celebrate the cacao bean. Max, Ixtal and their new rainforest friends have placate the local gods before the cacao harvest is destroyed.

It is was obvious that the The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree was a labour of love for the author as it was so well researched and very well written. I did think it was a bit slow in parts and perhaps written is a more mature voice than what an 11 year old would have but I did enjoy it. I also enjoyed the free Spanish lessons that the author provided and the history lesson on the origins of chocolate.

Book 2 was Tayta's Return by Teagan Kearney. This was the story of the orphaned Tayta who was raised by her aunt. When the aunt takes ill with a mystery disease Tayta has to spend a lot of time in the hospital and in the company of the vampire Vance, who she hates. As the story progresses we learn that Tatya has special abilities that a part demon/vampire wants for himself. Tatya must team up with Vanse in order save herself from becoming the demons's slave.

I can't really say I enjoyed this book. It was a mix of boring and stereotypical. The protagonists were all very uninspiring and quite weak. Tatya flipped from hating vampires one minute to loving them the next. It felt like the author picked bits from different vampires novels and tried to mix them together. Everything seemed too familiar and quite frankly dull.

I am sorry to say that my third book Sebasten of Atlantis and the Forgotten Goddess by Olivier Delaye was a DNF. Again this was fantasy for a younger reader but this time neither the main character or setting captured my attention. I got 50% through but couldn't face finishing it. I think that SPFBO has impacted my ability to finish books that don't engage early on. I just can't rationalise spending time reading books I don't enjoy. Perhaps if I was a younger reader I may have enjoyed this story.

That is it for me this week. I will be missing next week definitely as I won't get much read next week and can't excuse myself from the wedding to write a post. I know crazy! Until next time Happy Reading!


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