Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I’m going to start this review by saying that this book is so out of the realm of what I usually read.  So keep that in mind.

First, the stuff I liked.  The world that Veronica Roth created for this book is fascinating and incredibly well formed.  The characters are wonderful (even when they are absolutely horrible).  It was incredibly creative and I always felt like Roth knew what was going on, which I don’t always feel reading sci-fi/fantasy.

Now the stuff I didn’t like so much.  First, there was the format.  The book flipped between two perspectives and one of them was in first-person while the other was in third-person.  I was incredibly distracted by this and it made me feel really connected to one character and I just couldn’t bring myself to care as much about the other.  Also, this book is incredibly graphic in its violence.  I have a low tolerance for this sort of thing and, to be honest, it makes it hard for me to recommend it to teenagers.  I think that passages could have been just as powerful if they didn’t describe every terrible moment of a horrific incident.

3-stars

Vacationland by John Hodgman

What. A. Delight.  I have been watching John Hodgman in various things for years but didn’t really know anything about him so this was so much fun to read.  The essays varied in topic and I really got a rounded view of who John Hodgman is.  My roommates ended up reading most of the book with me because I kept having to share the best passages with them (which were the majority of the book).  It is so well written and I can’t explain how much fun I had reading this.

I did take points off, though, for his very wrong views of fudge.

4-stars