30.4.15

Book Blurb Breakdown: Challenger Deep by Neil Shusterman

book blurb breakdown

Book Blurb Breakdown is a Sarcasm & Lemons feature where your anal English degree-holding author (gently) rips apart jacket blurbs to pin down what makes her want to pick up the book instantly--and what makes her want to throw it at the wall.  See the original post for more detail.  

Now, you too can shred a blurb and post for the world to see!  The post will go up at 12:01am on Thursdays.  Just link back with this fancy little button and add your name to the linky at the bottom.  You can share your grammar nitpicks or just your thoughts.  Make it your own! 

You can also choose to shred the same blurb, or pick your own!  





today's blurb


Status:  Unread


the blurb: as is 
from Goodreads


Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.

Caden Bosch is torn.

A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens. 


the blurb:  shredded 


Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. (I did not know this was a thing. Is it a thing? I'm intrigued.  I'm also wondering who Caden is and why he's headed there.  I've been grabbed.)  

Caden Bosch is (Still deciding whether I like this "Caden is" thing.) a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.  (Interesting.  Is this magical odd behavior?  Psychological odd behavior?  Is this related to his submersible trip?  I like the concision here.)  

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images. (No cameras here?  This is cool, very old school.  How did a high schooler get such a gig?)  

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.  (This should definitely go with the brilliant student thing.  The pieces are all mixed up, so it's unclear: is this book about him joining the track team or going into the trench?)  

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.  (Oooh, fascinating.  Where is this mutiny coming from, though?  I feel like I need one more hint.)  

Caden Bosch is torn.  (I like this ending.  It's very cheeky.)

A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force (Gag me with a spoon, please.) by one of today's most admired writers for teens.  (Not terribly informative (cue the cliches) but at least it's not being compared to 50 other books.)  


the verdict 
4/5 stars

would i read it?:  yes, for sure

I have a few issues with this blurb.  Foremost, it's oddly arranged.  We go from trench to high school to trench to high school.  Then to trench.  It feels piecemeal and doesn't give a clear picture of how the pieces are related.  If I had my way, it'd go track team - odd behavior - Challenger Deep - artist in residence - mutiny.  I don't mind narratives that jump time (I did just read Invisible Monsters, after all) but I don't necessarily want my blurbs to.  Other than that, I really like it.  The consistent line starter gives it a choppy, odd feel, which tells me something about the kind of person Caden is.  It gives hints of plot without giving anything important away.  Just enough to suck you in and make you want to read.  It also doesn't mention a mysterious girl who enters his life and turns it upsidedown, which is a major plus for me.  Also, the last line is kind of cheeky, which tells me that perhaps Shusterman's style is tongue-in-cheek.  I'm sold.  


your thoughts

Does this blurb grab you?  
Do you agree with my thoughts?  If not, how so?  
Do you have any recommendations for blurbs I should shred?  






23.4.15

Book Blurb Breakdown: Finding Paris by Joy Preble

book blurb breakdown

Book Blurb Breakdown is a Sarcasm & Lemons feature where your anal English degree-holding author (gently) rips apart jacket blurbs to pin down what makes her want to pick up the book instantly--and what makes her want to throw it at the wall.  See the original post for more detail.  

Now, you too can shred a blurb and post for the world to see!  The post will go up at 12:01am on Thursdays.  Just link back with this fancy little button and add your name to the linky at the bottom.  You can share your grammar nitpicks or just your thoughts.  Make it your own! 

You can also choose to shred the same blurb, or pick your own!  






today's blurb



Status:  Unread


the blurb: as is 
from Goodreads


A page-turning, evocative novel for fans of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and SPEAK, about a girl who must follow a trail of mysterious clues to discover what happened to her sister.

Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love.

But Leo isn’t going anywhere yet… until Paris ditches her at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared?

When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is a not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold tightly.


the blurb:  shredded 


A page-turning, evocative novel for fans of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and SPEAK (So it's an issues book, something with suicide or depression or sexual assault), about a girl who must follow a trail of mysterious clues to discover what happened to her sister. (....except now it sounds like some kind of mystery ala Paper Towns or something that is not Thirteen Reasons Why or Speak.)  

Sisters Leo and Paris (Oh, how cute.  They have unique names and Paris' is a pun.) Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather (How does their mother hop from guy to guy if she's apparently married to this stepfather?), who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future (Oooh, so dreamers can't have real futures in mind?) in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love.

But Leo isn’t going anywhere yet… until Paris ditches her at the Heartbreak Hotel (I'm gagging a little.) Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. (The timeline here is a little wonky.  Is this physics student someone they know?  Why is it important that he's a physics student?  The ditching seems more important than the Max, but the structure of this sentence says otherwise.) Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? (I dunno, you tell me.  Is it a note or a clue?  What does it suggest?  I need more.)  Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared?  (Good question. She did leave a friggin' note.)  

When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, (This leading phrase is kind of weak.  There should be more emphasis on Max offering to help--and seriously, who the hell is he?--but it's just sort of thrown in here.) the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond (To infinity, and beyond!). But the search for the truth is a not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold tightly.  (Leo and Max have secrets?  What are Leo's secrets?  What do they have to do with Paris being gone?) 


the verdict 
2/5 stars

would i read it?:  not unless a trusted friend told me i should

Perhaps this is a great story, but the blurb is so aimless and meandering that I can't help suspect that the book shares the same unfocused quality.  There's very little indication of why Vegas is important, even though it's emphasized.  The description of Paris' disappearance is so vague that I have no idea if her note suggests she was abducted by aliens or decided to embark on a whirlwind road trip to the Grand Canyon.  Who is Max Sullivan, and why is it so crucial that he's a physics student?  Does his physics knowledge give him a special edge for investigation?  Does Leo have a hard-on for physics students?  And, hold the phone, I thought it was Paris with the secrets here, considering she just went MIA.  Now Leo has secrets?  Why are these important?  Why aren't Paris' secrets more important?  I don't expect a blurb to answer all my questions--after all, that's what the book is for--but I'd like to know enough about the set-up to decide if I'll like it or not.  A slapdash blurb feels like a warning sign.  


your thoughts

Does this blurb grab you?  
Do you agree with my thoughts?  If not, how so?  
Do you have any recommendations for blurbs I should shred?  







21.4.15

Top Ten Tuesday: C.J.'s Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

top ten tuesday
                characters


Hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  



Want to help support your broke blogger so she can host more giveaways and give swankier prizes?  Click the book covers.  If you like the book and choose to purchase it from Amazon, a little bit of the proceeds goes to Sarcasm & Lemons!  



This is a cruel one, but I think I narrowed it down.  It's also weighted towards authors I've known for longer, given the nostalgia factor and the fact that I've read more of their books.  So, some of my favorite current authors (*cough* Sarah Maas Marie Rutkowski Pierce Brown A.S. King *cough*) may find themselves here in a few years.   The picture accompanying each is my favorite (ish) book by that author. 



c.j.'s selections
                         there may be extras...

one Diana Wynne Jones

My mother bought me The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Vol. I because it was thick and she figured it'd last me longer.  It didn't, but it did spark an obsession with Diana that will never wane.  She is everything that fantasy should be.  
 //  Goodreads   
two  Oscar Wilde 

Irreverent, sarcastic, witty, clever, artistic, poetic--I could run out of adjectives trying to encapsulate Wilde.  I feel a kindred spirit in him.  His books feel like home, his quotations like many of my own thoughts.  
  //  Goodreads
three
Chuck Palahniuk 

Yes, he's much more than Fight Club.  Palahniuk's darkness speaks to something in me.  His books are gritty, raw, and ruthless, and somehow nihilistic and hopeful at the same time.  I've understood more of life from his books than any scripture. 
  //  Goodreads
four  Kurt Vonnegut

I discovered him in English and devoured everything I could find.  He was a master of cynical hope, sarcastic genuineness, and totally bizarre, profound, self-aware science fiction.  So it goes.    
//  Goodreads
five  Neil Gaiman

I'm still working my way through his opus, but he's very deservedly on this list.  Gaiman feels to me like Palahniuk on anti-depressants, or a grown up Diana.  His books are simultaneously whimsical and profound, with a mastery of language owned by few.  
 //  Goodreads
six  Bret Easton Ellis 

Ellis is my sociopathic spiritual guide.  He's gritty like Palahniuk but more realistic.  His books are infused with a deliciously vicious humor, and an existential malaise that speaks to me at my dark moments.  
  //  Goodreads
seven  Tamora Pierce 

Pierce's Tortall books inspired me to write fantasy.  Her heroines are strong and capable; they still feel like best friends.  Her worlds had a sense of the magical that still draws me in.  She's my fantasy godmother.  
  //  Goodreads

eight  Roald Dahl 

Dahl had a knack for inventing subversive, eerie worlds that were somehow still fluffy and fun.  He appealed to my sense of the macabre while also filling my craving for whimsy.  As a child, I appreciated his silliness.  As an adult, I love his edges. 
   //  Goodreads
nine  Fyodr Dostoyevsky 

If you can't tell, I'm quite a fan of existentialism.  Dostoyevsky takes the dark and absurd and elevates it into something truly beautiful.  No one captures the angst of existence like the Russians, and for me, Dostoyevsky is their tsar.  
 //  Goodreads
ten  J.R.R. Tolkien 

There's simply no getting around Tolkien.  He's inspired me in so many ways--to write, to learn languages, to invent languages, to dream.  His books were my childhood, dense and thorny as they were.  His genius is my greatest aspiration and inspiration.  
//  Goodreads
eleven  J.K. Rowling

It would be remiss not to include her, even though I haven't read any of her new works--so I'm cheating.  Harry Potter was such a powerful force in my life, a place I'll always return to.  Rowling gave me a place to escape when I most needed it.  
//  Goodreads
...

honorable
mentions  


Franz Kafka.  Vladimir Nabokov.  D.J. MacHale.  Alexandre Dumas.  Phillip Pullman.  Lewis Carroll.  C.S. Lewis.  Jane Austen.  

Sarah J. Maas.  Marie Rutkowski.  Pierce Brown.  A.S. King.  Matthew Quick.  John Green.  Laini Taylor.  Leigh Bardugo.