ningerbil (ningerbil) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 26 and 27

26. Stitches: A Memoir, by David Small. 2010 Alex Award Winner. An incredible memoir, done in more than 300 pages of illustrations. Small, now an artist, illustrates his life, from a small boy through adulthood. His family life as he grows up pulls farther and farther apart at the seams, especially after he is diagnosed with cancer due to the X-ray treatments he was given by his father for sinus and other mild ailments. He goes in for surgery for a sizable mass on his neck only to wake up and find that most of his vocal chords have been removed. It is by accident that he even finds out that he had cancer. The drawings are well done, well thought-out. I love this one scene, where the father is scolding David for slouching and how it will impact his health, and all the while he is puffing away at a cigarette. Oh, the irony. Some of the pictures do get a bit graphic; I'd save this for older teens and adults.

27. Soulless, by Gail Carriger. 2010 Alex Award Winner. This was an amusing story. The book centers around Alexia Tarabotti, a fun heroine who has resigned herself to being a spinster. She's an interesting contradiction: Alexia insists on being up to date in fashions, but also loves to flout conventionality when it suits her. She's an interesting mix of independent and insecure. She's also a peternatural -- meaning she not only doesn't have a soul but has an interesting effect on the supernatural beings -- werewolves and vampires. Alexia also seems to have an effect of a different kind on Lord Maccon, a high ranking Alpha werewolf. The two are forced to work together after Alexia accidentally kills a rove vampire, after the vampire tried to attack her. The story is not perfect; the author sometimes forgets the adage "show, don't tell." I think the relationship between Maccon and Alexia is too obvious, and I would have liked to have seen things drawn out a bit more. But all in all this was a fun story. It made me think that if Agatha Christie had written stories with supernatural elements, she probably would have written something like this (without the Harlequin-esque elements).
Tags: autobiography

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