Thursday, May 17, 2007


Gideon, Melanie. 2006. Pucker.

When the back of a book is endorsed with a quote from Scott Westerfeld, there is a very good chance I’m going to take it home with me. Chances are, I might have been inclined to pick it up anyway since I devour anything new at the library that says “2006.” But the endorsement from Westerfeld only helped it. Pucker resonates with vital truths about how we challenge our own fate, reshape our own past, and--sometimes--find our own way home. An intense and compelling fable, beautifully told.

There are so many great things going for this book. The book had me at hello with this first paragraph:

Let me say this right up front: this is not a story about kissing, or wrinkles, or things that are sour. It’s a story about redemption. I suppose all stories are, and if they’re not, well, then they should be. For what else do we have in the end--but hope? (1).

Thomas Quicksilver is not your average teen boy. He shoulders adult responsibilities in caring for his mother. He was the victim of a fire which left his face scarred and damaged. Teased and called “Pucker” he has few friends and no experience with the opposite sex. He’s resigned himself to this. Accepted his fate such as it is. But things are about to change when his mother surprises him with an unusual command: “If I’m to live, you’ve got to go back to Isaura and find my skin.” Yes, average teenage boys aren’t from alternate realities (with hidden portals to earth) where parents or adults have second skins with special powers. Thomas is special in more ways than one.

I won’t bother explaining the different worlds and where and how they’re connected. I will say this...returning to Isaura will be the biggest adventure and biggest tempation he has ever had to face. You see, in Isaura he’ll be healed. His face, his scars, his appearance--everything that makes him the subject of teasing--will be erased. He’ll be beautiful. He’ll be perfect. A dream come true. But he’ll have to go there knowing that this isn’t permanent. Knowing that he has to return to Earth to save his mother. Returning to his former apperance after having tasted what life could have been like. Can he do it? Is he strong enough? Does he have the will power to resist his own desires?


Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP