08 October 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow - Robin Wasserman

I am compelling and mysterious! There is a shadow in my blood-colored eye! GET IT??
So now I have a library card and the books are starting to filter in - generally too fast for me to read in anything resembling a timely manner according to the library, which also (as it happens) objects to me making notes in the margins of its books. Library, I blame you for my newfound obsession with Post-It page markers. 

Ok, focusing on this book. I enjoyed this book much more than I... well, not more than I expected to. The nice thing about reading a hundred+ book blogs every day with the library request page open is that books just magically appear and I'm pretty sure I'll like them because otherwise I wouldn't have put the book in my queue. But I digress (shocker). I like this book because even though the heroine can translate Latin on the fly, she has a legit reason for learning to do so - and not just because she was home-schooled as a cancer kid (::coughJohnGreencough::).

I do, however, take SERIOUS ISSUE with the teenagers-solving-ancient-mysteries thing. Granted, the author gave us a moderately reasonable story here - information came to light that no one had seen yet, and the kids' professor hoarded it so they knew What Was Up. But still; as a general rule, I am almost as tired of this trope as I am of the two-rockin'-guys-one-clumsy-girl love triangle (TwilightandHungerGamesIamlookingatYOU!)

Make no mistake, there are many things Wasserman did right here. The aaaaaaangst of teenaged love is hard to watch, even when the participants to speak fluent Latin (unlike me who has had Wheelock's and sundry workbooks for years to no avail...). A few lines stuck out to me, and this one in particular:

"So Thomas had left her behind, alone. She had given him her heart and, apparently, he'd taken it with him as a parting gift." (p. 72)
Girl, I have BEEN THERE.
And then there's this totally legit point about how the author of the letters was writing 3 years post- Romeo and Juliet, and how can she accurately describe love without books like Pride and Prejudice or Gone with the Wind (not actually a love story)? Which makes me think that there must have been some equivalent that is lost to the ravages of time, so what were they? 

There's a buncha stuff that happens that I enjoyed but I can't tell you about because

(Alice that one's for you)
 But I liked it and you probably will too. 

7.5 of 11 Latin Translations (the hilarious dirty kind)