Thursday, April 25, 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

 Prodigy picks up where its prequel Legend leaves off. Day and June, who are now refugees from the Republic (which is the western United States), must team up with the Patriots, a rebel group that wants to overthrow the government. In exchange for Day receiving medical treatment and his brother being found, June and Day must help in a plot to assassinate the new Elector. However, when June meets the Elector as part of the plan and realizes that he actually might different than his tyrannical father, she must figure out how to stop the assassination plot and still help Day.
 I really enjoyed the book a lot because the characters were very realistic and I was able to get a good grasp on the plot even though I never read the prequel. My only regret is not reading the prequel beforehand because I would have been able to understand the references made back to it more clearly. Needless to say, though, I will be reading the prequel and the third book, since the ending set the scene for a third book.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Breathe by Sarah Crossen

Breathe by Sarah Crossan is not the typical repressive government in a future society story line many teens are used to reading. Crossan takes this foundation for a dystopian novel to a new level - where the government physically interferes with each citizen's life by monitoring their oxygen intake and enclosing them in a glass "pod". The slightly cliche and predictable subplot of the "boys falls in love with the girl who was there all along" is present but the fact that all the characters literally do not know how many breaths they have left gives it a much needed refreshing twist. The characters act very similar to teenagers today. It shows that a society like the one in Breathe may not be that far removed from ours, a chilling and powerful realization.

Review by Nicolette

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Tangle Of Knots!

                                       Tangle of Knots

                                         By Lisa Graff


 Hey everyone! Sorry for the delay, but I have been crazy buisness with school and work! I finished this book quite a bit ago, and I have to say . . . I love it! It's a very nice fluffy tale about a group of people that are connected in some way. There talents bring them together.

I thought it was interesting how it started with a blue suitcase. Such a simple item can cause into so many events! And the character's talents are interesting:

A girl who can make a person's perfect cake, just by looking at them, a guy who always goes missing, but always appears out of no where. Or a lady that can tell if a kid belongs to a certain family. You will love this book.

I don't want to give the book away, but if you like stories that bring you to a whole diffrent world, read this book! You will think everyone has talents. No matter how big or small.

That's all for now!






Thursday, April 18, 2013

A review of "Black Helicopters" by Blythe Woolston

As anyone who knows their conspiracy theory lingo or has watched an episode of The X Files knows, "black helicopters" are vehicles that some people believe malevolent agents of the government fly around in to look menacing. While I personally don't subscribe to that theory, or most other conspiracies, really; some people are deathly afraid of these things, and hide out in the wilderness with gun and food stashes to avoid them. This book is from the perspective of one of these people, and details her life, and subsequent downfall. The writing in this was terse and fast moving, and the plot was, like  Maggot Moon, mainly based on implication and inference. The protagonist doesn't explicitly mention militias or suicide bombings, but you can definitely guess that's what she's talking about.

The use of in media res and non-linear storytelling was definitely original, and made for a more interesting reading experience. The author does a good job of making you sympathize with a person who is obviously amoral and possibly insane, and doesn't belittle or disparage conspiracy theorists no matter how easy it would be to do so. Quite thought provoking.
Grade: B

A review of "Maggot Moon" by Sally Gardner

The last dystopian novel I read was M.T. Anderson's Feed. This book is its polar opposite. Instead of being about a corporate run hell, it depicts a government run hell, and is as hopeful as that book was stomach-churningly depressing. It's about a kid named Standish who grows up in a version of Britain heavily implied to be run by Nazi Germany. Unlike Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle which deals with  a similar scenario, it doesn't outright state that, though. Everything is implication in this novel, including Standish's homosexuality, and the identity of the so called "land of Croca-Colas" he dreams about.

The dystopia itself is made up of jumbled bits of other settings: the run-down, veddy British state of V for Vendetta, the Stalinist purges of 1984, and the Nazi run government of the aforementioned Man in the High Castle, but this isn't really the point of the story. It instead seeks to tell a simple story of the resilience of the human spirit in times of trouble, and on that level, it succeeds. The writing is darkly humorous, and also Dashiell Hammett-level laconic, and the chapters are concise, so there's no real padding. I wish the author did more with her setting, but that probably would have just served to slow it down. The unnecessarily graphic/gross illustrations might not have been needed, though, just saying. Over all, worth checking out.
Grade: B+

Friday, April 12, 2013

Love and Other Perishable Items By Laura Buzo.

What attracted me at first was the cover and the title. I judged a book by its cover, but don't we all? I have been feeling like appreciating heart-broken teenage novels. But I do not like the ones with whiny girls that hunt down the most d-bag guy they could find. But according to the back reviews I have jumped ahead of myself. They critique the novel as, 

"Smart, honest, and full of achingly real characters. And it made me laugh. What else would you want in a book?" -Melina Marchetta

It seemed like I would not be disappointed in the book based on the reviews. But the summary of the book was terrible. Amelia is a fifteen awkward teenage girl that loves to read books and mature her mind. This doesn't change the way she feels about Chris. Now what could be so bad about Chris? HE'S TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD. He works with her at her job.

The book switches off between Amelia and Chris, but you mostly read about Amelia. And another important thing to know that I only fully noticed in the half of the book is that this is set in Australia.

Amelia immediately as soon as the book starts, falls in love with him. He affectionately calls her, "Youngster" as if she doesn't realize how much he doesn't see her as an equal. Of course, there are cute point of views between he and Chris from Amelia's view that I could relate to, being fifteen years old myself. But it doesn't excuse how ignorant she is about her relationship limit between her and Chris is. Even if she does "read" classics, that I haven't read I feel like I'm more mature than her. This interfered with the way that I read this book because I felt like I was reading about a super smart thirteen year old fall in love with her older brother.

The one thing I did like about this book is that the author actually gave Amelia a chance with Chris. She didn't look down on Amelia, making her look absolutely pathetic (even though she was at times)

Laura Buzo spins a new kind of relationship that actually makes Amelia and Chris' relationship work at times. I loved that part. But the part about making me laugh was not true, there is not one funny part in this book. None at all. The book is basically about their woes of life and how they're not brave enough to do anything about it. All they do is mope around the "Land of Dreams" (the store that they work at) and talk to each other about it. Amelia woes are with her family life, and Chris' is about a trashed love.

If you want to forget about your own troubles and feel like a young awkward teenager again, read this book. It has its good point and its bad. But its not a bad books overall, no matter how much this book conflicts with my values in life. 

*Warning* For a fifteen year old girl, she goes to a lot of College Keggers where some bad stuff goes down sometimes. For example, a lot of alcohol drinking which is the leading problem for a lot of the bad examples this book sets.  Just a warning you youngsters.