First of all, and this should be counted as forgivable, I contacted BookSneeze as I still haven't received my last requested book (it will probably sit in my mailbox on Monday, ha) and they forwarded me the eBook of The Realms Thereunder (Ross Lawhead) instead now. I guess, for the future, I should simply revert to eBooks only, because the shipping times are ridiculous.
Then I risked a glance at the LibraryThing Member Giveaways (request hiatus, I know ... I'm weak, what can I say) and Future Destinies (Chris Turner) sounded just like my kind of thing ... let's just say I was was lucky enough to win it.
Of course this isn't all. I also managed to snag two free downloads from Smashwords, both anthologies - Here Be Monsters (Various) and Dark Tomorrows (Various).
Confession time is over, because - and this should not go without saying - I have been an awfully good girl aka reader this week. But see for yourself ...
I knew that I need to catch up on reviews, but early in the week I somehow didn't have the right mood to start on one of those books, so I kicked off the week with Uglies (Scott Westerfeld). While it was the fascinating premise that made me want to read the novel, and despite the fact that I still believe that the idea itself is really good, I didn't enjoy what the author made out of it. In short - it's childish. I think this really summarizes it. Of course it's a YA book, but come on, lots of YA are well developed and executed, so that's no excuse. My eye-rolling already started with small things like naming a city "New Pretty Town" and big things like the most unlikable heroine I've encountered in a book in a long time. While I did finish the book I don't see myself reading the rest of the series.
Gone (Michael Grant) on the other hand was a worthwhile read. Basically you get Lord Of The Flies in a paranormal setting. While I complained about Uglies being childish, this is really not the case here - granted, the narrative itself is aimed at younger readers, but the story flows smoothly and I really like the character development. The book lives more of the whole cast than of the not all that inventive premise, but that's really not a bad thing.
Finally I picked up two books from my review stack. Well, actually I picked up my eReader to read the eGalleys, but anyway.
Amglish In, Like, Ten Easy Lessons (Arthur Rowse) was more than it might appear on first glance. What Amglish is? Amglish is, like, English in blue jeans, you know. This book isn't exactly a how-to guide to improve your informal English, it introduces the reader to the history of informal language, focusing on American English and its impact not only on the media, politics, and teaching, but the global influence it has on other languages too. Entertaining all the way through, the book had me ROFL more than once. Highly recommendable!
The Grand Design (Stephen Hawking) is exactly the kind of book on science that a girl like me needs. Why? Because it is comprehensibly written, making the quest for a unified theory of the universe accessible without causing major headaches. Granted, I still can't wrap my mind around those eleven dimensions, but no one's perfect. Let me introduce you to the M-theory which is (at the moment anyway) the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe. No creator necessary.