Thursday, July 1, 2010

Westerfeld... are they all a bit quirky, but fascinating?

I'm on a bit of a Scott Westerfeld kick. Honestly, I think it started just like I said in my last post. I was perusing the library shelves and got stuck in the W's. I check out Woodson, and then I saw Scott Westerfeld. I had read Uglies by him. I thoroughly enjoyed Uglies. It was a bit quirky, but it was interesting. Westerfeld seems to be able to create these worlds that aren't completely different from the world we live in, but at the same time, his worlds are bizarre and... quirky. I love it! He imagines and creates these worlds that I wouldn't even dream of. I guess that is what makes him an author.

If you haven't read the Uglies series you should. They are quite fascinating and interesting. However, Uglies is by far my favorite in the series. The others are good, but I think don't have the quality of a story like Uglies does. It's all about a world of beauty. You might be thinking that this isn't too far from the present day. Well, that is where it starts. It definitely reaches the quirky, but fascinating story that Westerfeld seems to create. At a certain age, you become "Pretty" and enter a world of fun. However, you seem to lose a part of yourself. Those that escape becoming pretty become almost like the enemies. The "Specials" are the forces that are looking for them. This might seem confusing or a bit general, but I'm doing that on purpose. Read the book; tell me what you think; enjoy the quirky but fascinating world of Uglies.

I also just read Leviathan. I not only peruse the library shelves, but I absolutely love going to a book store and looking at all of the books. I will spend hours in there if my husband doesn't put a time limit on me. I am a nerd, but I thoroughly all of the books, and I even enjoy the smell of a bookstore. I saw Leviathan first at the bookstore. I wrote it down on my "To Read" list in my phone. I finally was able to check it out from the library. This book as well is a bit quirky, but fascinating. It is set in 1914 before the World War I. However, this isn't an Historical Fiction book. There are historical pieces, but the story is definitely from the mind of Westerfeld. Who else could come up with this I'm not sure. The story begins with a main character Alek in Austria, and Deryn/Dylan in England. Each chapter, or set of chapters, tells their stories. Eventually their stories come together. At times I found my self-frustrated with the characters, but that was just because of the actions they were making. Thererfore, Westerfeld does a good job of character development, and his plot development is well paced. It isn't all action, but it doesn't go too slow where you feel like you're dragging along. Leviathan is a world in the beginning of WWI where countries are either Dwarnist or Clankers Dwarnists use animals and evolve them into a mixture of species to work for them. Leviathan is a huge whale type beast that flies. Quirky, I know. Clankers use metal to create machines to fight. They each have their pluses and minuses. See how some of the Dwarnists and Clankers combine their skills to escape a common enemy. Yet again, I don't want to give too much away, but this is a very enjoyable book. It is a bit quirky and confusing at first, but becomes the fascinating story that Westerfeld is known for creating. It does appear to be the first in a series. We'll see when the next one comes out and if it lives up to the quirky but fascinating trademark.

The Afterword was an enjoyable read, and I recommend not skipping it. It seemed to explain, in a much better way, some of the thoughts I had while I read. "Leviathan is as much about possible futures as alternate pasts. It looks ahead to when machines will look like living creatures, and living creatures can be fabricated like machines." It truly is a fascinating read.

I'm about to read So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld. However, it is due back at the library on Tuesday because it has been requested by another. I should be able to get it read, but you know how life is. There seem to always be a million things on our plates. I'll let you know how the book is and if it lives up to the Westerfeld trademark.

Happy reading! Oh, and Happy 4th of July!


  1. "So Yesterday" was the same quirky but fascinating story as the others. At the beginning of the story I was a bit confused. However, that is not much different from the Uglies series as well as Leviathan. After the beginning confusion and a bit of difficulty getting into the story, "So Yesterday" got very good. I was drawn into the story and I didn't want to stop. I even found myself delaying all of my responsibilities so that I could finish reading it before I had to return it to the library that day.

    It is a story about a boy that is a "cool hunter," one who looks for things that'll be the next big thing. Though there is mention of cell phones in there, it doesn't age the book at all. You could read this book for the next 30 years and still have it apply to young adults. This cool hunter comes across an event where his boss seems to be missing, with just her cell phone left behind. He ends up solving the case, but he also learns more about himself. He grows and develops as a character. It is a fun read. I don't want to give the story away too much since it is a mystery type, hence the reason for my vagueness.

    Enjoy! I don't think "So Yesterday" is as popular of a Scott Westerfeld book, but it is worth the check-out from the library.

  2. Megan, this is SOOOO cool that you have this blog (and that I found it)! My "to read" list is already about a mile long, but I still love reading book reviews to get ideas! (I also LOVE the smell of bookstores. :)) So thanks!

  3. Oh, and P.S...I also LOVE that you used a Harry Potter spell to name the blog. :)

  4. Thanks :) You are definitely a HP fan if you recognized that. I read so many books that I wanted to have a place for my thoughts/reviews on them.