Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hi there – Some small changes at The Basics Challenge as well as an introduction


Emily has decided that she would like to focus her energy on other projects in progress, and since I love this challenge I raised my hand so the blog would not be deleted.  I am so glad I caught it in time – a few more days and.. oh dear.. I would have been totally bummed.

However, do not fear/panic since Emily is not leaving us, and will still be around – lurking,  participating, and posting. She has just relinquished responsibility for the challenge which I will now be taking over. She will be there to correspond with you, and for questions from me. (Its nice to know you have that support). I am also hoping to use her expertise for posts on specifics within her genre of interest. Thanks Emily!

Please feel comfortable since the concept is still the same. Any changes to the blog will be minor and you will hardly notice – so keep posting, commenting, and reading as if there are no changes at all. I know most of you have not posted in awhile never the less your lists are still here.

Hopefully The Basics Challenge will grow and there will be more participants joining so we can all build a community to learn from and to explore within.

A bit more about me – Shellie. I have a blog called Layers of Thought which I started almost a year ago. Its been crazy fun, and I have learned a lot, but have miles yet to go. So fumbles, stumbles, and crashes are par for the course. I joined The Basics Challenge to explore speculative fiction, which I have a big big interest in, and know very little about – Emily is the perfect resource. I want to keep exploring so here I am.

Please, please, contact me if you have any questions at all, concerns and/or ideas, or would like to join the challenge. (Contrary to some opinion I do not snarl, bite, stalk, or spam.) Here is my profile page which has an email link within it.

I am looking forward to getting to know everyone here (Karen, Steven, Beth, Iasa, as well as any readers), reading more of your reviews, comments and more. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Triple Book Review by Shellie: Life As We Knew It, The Dead and The Gone, and (ARC)This World We Live In by Susanne Beth Pfeffer

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Mini Synopsis:

(Basic set up and setting information included but no spoilers.)

This is a young adult series with the latest book This World We Live In being the last of the trilogy (I think.) It is set within the present day where an apocalyptic event has occurred. The moon has been knocked off its orbit causing a plethora of environmental disasters all over the planet. Tsunamis destroy coastal cities and that is just the beginning. As all normal life deteriorates the 17 year old main character, Miranda, in the first book tells us through her diary the events and her feelings as her life completely changes. It occurs within a Pennsylvania suburb setting. The second book is a parallel book where the main character, Alex, lives in New York City. In the third book the two main characters’ lives come together.

The last in the series – This World We Live In, has just been released on April 1, 2010.

My Thoughts:

The books all have a realistic feeling for what could happen if the world’s food, communication services, and other vital systems were to break down and gradually collapse and disappear. The author does a nice job of giving the reader a feel for this type of event and doesn’t skirt painful happenings such as death, which she does tastefully for a younger audience.

It’s a page turning series for young men and women which I would “safely” recommend for my nieces, grandchildren, and/or students. The behaviors of the main characters in the books show strong character; I would almost say an unrealistic sense of self and behavior (I think I would have gone bonkers under the circumstances). Nevertheless, it’s what I believe to be exemplary behavior for young adults, which I support. I also liked the fact that the two character’s belief systems, atheism and Catholicism, are non-judgmentally contrasted.

Susanne Beth Pfeffer has a strong and easy to follow writing style, which sucks you in and keeps you reading while caring about the characters. I completely devoured this series. I would rate the first two books in the series as 3.5 stars. I would say I liked the latest book the best due to its incredible and heartbreaking ending. This, I think, takes the book over the 4 star edge with its deeper internal conflict. Highly recommended for adults and teens alike. I  also recommend that they are read in order, don’t be tempted to skip the second book – I almost did.


Other books that I have read and reviewed which are similar but written for adults are:

*I do want to note, that after thinking about The Road, over the past several months I have come to feel that I did not rate this book as highly as I should have. I now think that the esoteric babbling by the main character (which I complained about) is in fact his semi loss of sanity - a natural occurrence in a situation such as depicted by the author, and an important aspect of the book.

Planning to delete this blog

Hi All,

As many of you may have noticed this blog is pretty inactive - mostly due to my neglect and my recent lack of time for reading and completing my basics list.

I'm think of deleting this blog, as I don't think i'm doing it or you justice by doing things half arsed. I'm planning on continuing the challenge though but as part of my personal blog

BUT if anyone wishes to take over this blog PLEASE let me know!

I won't delete this blog till 11th April GMT

I just wanted to say a thank you to everyone who has posted their list, reviews and comments.

And Special thank yous to Shellie, Karen, Beth, Iasa and Steven for all of your amazing posts.

Remember if anyone is interested in the blog, let me know.


Emily xxx