Heard of the Salem Witch Trials? Colonial Massachusetts, town of Salem, mass hysteria and accusations of witchcraft. 20 people were hanged fBook talk:
Heard of the Salem Witch Trials? Colonial Massachusetts, town of Salem, mass hysteria and accusations of witchcraft. 20 people were hanged for the crime of witchcraft. Historians now think that this was all political and that the most expedient way to get rid of a bunch of people was to accuse them of witchcraft, which was something people were legit afraid of at the time. Cotton Mather was a minister at the time and one of the driving forces behind these trials and executions.
So this book is written by one of Cotton Mather’s actual descendants about a fictional descendant of Cotton Mather, Samantha, who returns to the town of Salem, where the descendants of the witches make her life a total hell. There's suspicion, accusations, unfortunate happenings, things that look like coincidences but aren't.
There's a curse that's held sway for generations: every hundred years there are a lot of sudden deaths in Salem, and they're all tied to the families of the witch trials which means they're all tied to Samantha Mather. There is a mystery to be solved here and Sam wants to solve it because the deaths have already started and the people she cares about will be next. ...more
The servant of a pennyless nobleman takes up his master's quest, which turns out to be nothing more than kidnapping and liberating a faerie princess wThe servant of a pennyless nobleman takes up his master's quest, which turns out to be nothing more than kidnapping and liberating a faerie princess who's been promised in marriage to a mortal prince. Pretty much what you'd expect....more
I normally hate reading reading YA books where a rape takes place. Reading it makes me uncomfortable because it fills me with anger and heartbreak. BuI normally hate reading reading YA books where a rape takes place. Reading it makes me uncomfortable because it fills me with anger and heartbreak. But these things are real, they really do happen to teens and if we cannot even read about it then what are we saying to the kids who have to live through it?
This book is about a girl who is raped at cheer camp right before her senior year of high school. Her experience isn't everyone's experience, obviously, and certainly not every sexual assault survivor's experience. This is a story about a girl who is supported by her parents and friends, a girl who chooses not to allow others to make her assault her entire identity (not everyone has that choice, true). (view spoiler)[She chooses abortion (not everyone can). (hide spoiler)] She and her parents and her friends already know that there was nothing she could have done to prevent her assault, that it is not her job to prevent someone else from assaulting her. She already knows that rape is the fault of the criminal who commits it, and no one else. That isn't to say that she doesn't have grief and anger and more to work through, she does. But this isn't a morality tale about how girls should behave to keep this from happening, or about a community magically coming to realize, through the suffering of our angelic protagonist, that rape is bad. Instead, the theme that runs through this book is "choice." It's about the choices she can make after one very important choice is taken from her.
Some people criticize this book for being about one girl's rape instead of about every girl's rape, and that's not entirely fair. Yes, this protagonist is much more privileged than many sexual assault survivors. But it is nice to have at least one book where the assault survivor isn't treated like a doormat, or like an object lesson, or like a messiah who must suffer in order to teach others how to behave. It's nice to have just one.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Very similar to Grasshopper Jungle, in terms of strange things, an emphasis on history and how it unfolds, plot points slowly weaving together, and aVery similar to Grasshopper Jungle, in terms of strange things, an emphasis on history and how it unfolds, plot points slowly weaving together, and a nefarious science corporation behind everything.
This book is very weird and gritty. It starts out with a guy named Ariel telling about how, the day he turned 14, his town was attacked and he was the only survivor. His country was in the midst of a civil war and it was only weird chance that spared him and no one else. That’s how it begins, but there are 3 very different storylines going on: There’s Ariel, adopted by an American family and sent, along with his American brother, to a sadistic summer camp for boys who are obsessed with technology, which they are not. The only reason they’re there is because Dad works for a scientific research and development corporation that owns the camp, so they get to go for free. They’re the only normal ones there and even that’s kind of iffy. Then there’s the Melting Man, a guy in his 20’s suffering from terrible radiation burns that are literally causing his flesh to melt off of his body. The radiation burns are from the radioactive bomb that Joseph Stalin has told him to build. He’s also suffering from schizophrenia. Finally, there’s an arctic expedition in the 1880’s. The ship is slowly crushed in ice and the survivors find something very strange and seemingly impossible, far north of the arctic circle. These three plot lines slowly weave together, making it seem that everything that’s happened is destiny, not mere chance. ...more
A little rough to get into due to the fact that Aspen, our main character, is kind of an asshole. It's not just that he's from a monied family, it's mA little rough to get into due to the fact that Aspen, our main character, is kind of an asshole. It's not just that he's from a monied family, it's more about what he can do seemingly without consequence: steal other people's memories, feelings, personality traits. The story opens with him, for example, breaking up his two best friends by stealing one's love for the other, because he's always wanted to date her, himself. Of course, there's more going on here. Aspen doesn't just manipulate others, he's been manipulated as well by those he trusts most. If you stick with it you'll be rewarded with an exploration of free will, how memory affects personality, gaslighting and the consequences of making decisions for other people. By the end of the book I had developed a ton of respect for Lindsay Ribar, and her dig at Jonathan Franzen made me scream!...more
There was a definite feeling of tension every time she played back time and had to start over, a little like trying and trying again to get a puzzle rThere was a definite feeling of tension every time she played back time and had to start over, a little like trying and trying again to get a puzzle right in a video game. In fact there was a lot about this book that reminded me of various bits of pop culture. It was a relief when the main character finally ran out of time....more