Wednesday, April 6, 2011

March Books

Twisted
Laurie Halse Anderson
272
This was a decent story of a kid who was tired of being a nobody. He decided to pull a prank and vandalize his school. He was caught and sentenced to community service, including the cleaning of his school. He bulked up over the summer and was "hot" when school started again. Trouble ensues and life is Twisted.  This book did contain some strong language.

Going Bovine
496
Libba Bray
I really wanted to like this book, it sounded fun and I liked the ideas, however, it was another of those books where the coarseness of the  language made it very hard to get through.  The story is of a boy who is diagnosed with Mad-Cow disease.  He is then told by an angel that the disease was brought back by a scientist who was stuck in space.  The scientist was also causing a black hole and the earth was going to be destroyed, but the boy has the opportunity to save himself and the earth.  The story was very surreal, and while entertaining at times, not a recommended book.


The Shadow Club
Neal Shusterman
192
The Shadow Club Rising
Neal Shusterman
200
These are the stories of the seconds, they are the kids who are always second best.  They are jealous of those that always come in first and decide to do something about it, they form and club and pull pranks on those that are better than they are.  The pranks of course get out of hand and things begin to turn ugly.  The kids admit to what has happened but not before tragedy strikes. 
In the sequel a new boy moves to town and is the best at everything, and many of the kids in school start to get bugged.  Pranks start again and the Shadow Club is blamed once again.  The kids then have to flush out what is really going on and save the day. 
These were well written stories, and they were entertaining.  The language in them is clean.

Birthmarked
Caragh M O'Brian
368
In this dystopian future the first three children born each month are sent to live in the Enclave, there they will be riased by other families and given the best of everything.  Gaia, delivers her first baby independently and takes the baby to the Enclave.  Life gets turned upside down when her parents are arrested and she is forced to learn the turth about her world.
I really liked this story and found it a very fast read.  The world is well developed as are the characters.  I found myself caught up in their lives and wanting to help them.  I recommend this one. 

The Unit
Ninni Holmqvist
272
This was another dystopian world where people are deemed  not useful if they have not married, had children or careers that benefit society.  They are sent to The Unit where they spend there final days being test subject for scientific research, giving their organs to those that need them and in the end giving their final donation.  While in The Unit though, they are treated better than they have ever been before.  They are given everything they want, are allowed to pursue whatever they want and they enjoy their days.
While most of the dystopian books that I have read lately are of juveniles, this one was actually adults and presented an interesting change in the dynamics.  I enjoyed seeing how and adult would react to situations, and how they tend to go with the status quo more that teens do.  While this was a very good story, it was written as an adult book and contains some very "adult" scenes and language. 

Prom
Laurie Halse Anderson
224
This was fluff read about a group of inner-city high school kids and the prom that they are planning.  The lives of the kids are pretty rough, and they feel like this is their chance to have the fairytale.  That is until their advisor steals their prom money and they have to come up with something quick.
The story was okay, not great reading by any means though.  I did find the attitudes of the kids to be cliched and very unrealistic.  There is also some strong language in here as well.

Don't You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey
Margaret Peterson Haddix
128
Another quick read, this time written in diary format about a girl living with a screwed up mother, who longs for her alcoholic husband to come home.  When he does things are good for a bit, but the problems begin again.  The girl has to grow up quickly and take responsibility for herself and her little brother.
This was an interesting story. 

Make Lemonade
Virginia Euwer Wolff
208
Another story of inner-city life, and finding your way through it.  LaVaughn befriends and helps Jolly, a teen single mother of two.  LaVaughn has the plan of going to COLLEGE, the word that has a life of its own in her house. 
This was our bookclub book for the month, and while I didn't dislike it, I didn't like it either.  Parts of it hit too close to home and I didn't care for the writing style, it was written in free-verse.


Almost True
Keren David
445
This was the sequel to When I was Joe, here Joe is set to testify in the murder trial, but again is faced with the difficulties of being in the witness protection program.  He meets his paternal grandparents as well as his father and learns more about the truth of his life.  He also spends time getting to know a cousin and his girlfriend more.
I enjoyed this book a lot and thought it was a nice sequel.  I did get annoyed with the characters at times and wanted all of them to grow up, I guess it's the sign of a good book though when I care enough about the characters to want them to be different.  Some mild language, again it is British, so some of the slang is hard to get though.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
John Grisham
263
Both of Theodore Boone's parents are lawyers and he has spent his whole life around the law and wants to be a lawyer.  The kids at school know that he can help and give advice to them.  Once such kid comes and shares some information that is crucial to the biggest case that their town has ever seen.  Theodore must decide how to proceed and what to do with the information that he has received.
I love Grisham and was intrigued by his story idea.  I think he pulled it off fairly well, he did leave a large cliffhanger at the end though.

Nightlight: A Parody
The Harvard Lampoon
160
Bella Goose moves to the town of Swithblade and falls for the mysterious Edwart Mullen. 
This was a very funny parody of the Twilight novel.  I read and enjoyed the Twilight books and I found the humor in this book to be spot on in many parts.  After a while, the story does get tedious, but it does succeed in being a good parody.



Inside Out
Maria V Snyder
384
Outside In
Maria V Snyder
336
Trella is a scrub, her job is clean to ducts of Inside to keep them clean.  She and the other scrubs work hard to keep the Inside working and running smoothly.  The Uppers take care of the more technological aspects of life and the two groups are kept separate.  Trella's friend introduces her to a "prophet" who preaches about outside.  Trella is taken in and soon joins in and discovers some truths the will shock all of their world. 
I will leave off describing the second book so as not to disclose too much of the first book.  These were some of my favorite books of the month to read.  The first book is pretty clean and I would recommend reading.  The second book does contain some juvenile versions of adult scenes, as in the teens take a shower together, the book does not go into details, but leaves those to the imagination.

Total Pages for March: 3948
Total for 2011: 9428

1 comment:

The Sprouls said...

This was just March?! Holy cow! I'm jealous of your reading skills. It would take me all month (at least) to read one of those! Good job! :-)