Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. And once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself. - Blurb from Amazon
Aside from Twilight, I haven't read many vampire fiction stories. I think a part of me had enough of reading blurb after blurb about some kind of vampire story, so I never bothered. When I picked this book up, I was a bit hesitant. I like Holly Black and so her name alone was what made me want to read it. And I will say, I liked it.
I liked that it wasn't a vampire origin story, so to speak. Tana didn't want to become a vampire and even when she was bitten, she still fought the urge as much as she could. She saw the damage vampirism had first hand on her family and it wasn't something she wanted to bring back to them.
I liked that this was mostly a survivor story with vampires simply being the backdrop of it. Tana wanted more for her life than that and even through the allure of it, with Gavriel around, she stayed true to herself and I admire that.
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It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.
Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”
Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything? - Blurb from Amazon
By this point, I have read five of these stories in the series and I have to say, Greg annoyed me in this book. I understand that, at this point, Greg is nearing the end of middle school and is therefore in his early teens. And yes, there were time where I realized he was behaving as a teenager would, but then there were times where I thought he was behaving like a spoiled little brat.
The entire scene with cutting Mrs. Canfield's yard made me feel like Greg needed a big lesson in "putting in the work to make the money".
This book was about the dog days of summer and spanned three months: June, July and August. At times I felt like the story jumped from one story line to the next without any clear transitions. I get it's a diary format and diaries don't always have a clear chronological flow but I found it hard to keep up sometimes. At one point, I had to flip back to see where July started.
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I will say, I liked the movie better than the book which is usually NEVER the case. But I think it has to do with the fact the Greg is more likable in the movie. As stated above, I felt he was annoying in the book, but the movie had him down a notch in his selfishness and it worked. He was more careless than selfish, making mistakes that he was too scared to admit to. And that I could relate to more than the other version of him.
As this is an adaptation review, here is my list of changes.
1) Holly Hills. She had a much bigger role in the movie than the mere mention of her in the books. I get it though. There needed to be a bit of young romance in this movie.
2) Heather Hills. Now this is one change I don't like. The took her from being a simple lifeguard Greg tries to impress to a spoiled brat that Roderick wan't to impress. I hated Heather and so no point to her except to show that Holly and Greg have one thing in common: older siblings that treat them like crap.
3) Nagging Parent. In the book, it's the mother that nags at Greg for not being active enough. In the movie, it's the father. I get it. Since part of the plot line was centered around father/son bonding, it was easier to make the father the nagger. But then this meant that Rachael Harris was reduced to cameo shots here and there just to remind us that there was a mother in the story.
4) No making money schemes. Since the whole mowing lawn story line drove me crazy in the book, I was glad they took this out in the movie. Instead, the smoothie bill comes at the end and Greg's father ends up reluctantly paying the over 200 dollar bill (P.S. it was 83 dollars in the book).
5) Greg and Rowley don't have a falling out. In the story, the two boys get into a fight and are mad at each other for part of the story. I kind of liked this plot line. It showed that you can fight with someone and still be friends afterwards. It's the test of a good friendship, is it not?
In the end, though, the movie stayed true to the core theme of the book: family, friends and summer fun.
Welcome to the archived section "For Readers". Here you will find a collection of all previous posts written. So, if you're afraid you missed something, no worries. It's listed here for you anytime.