This book popped up on the "New" shelf at the library and I was surprised that I had not heard anything about it. Targeted at young adults, it is a gr...moreThis book popped up on the "New" shelf at the library and I was surprised that I had not heard anything about it. Targeted at young adults, it is a great springboard into biological sciences. Kurlansky writes in a sophisticated style that will be appreciated by teen readers. The book is heavily illustrated with intermittent "comics" following a ocean scientist and his daughter, but there is also quality science writing here. With Kurlansky's own background in commercial fishing, he brings an historical, economic and cultural side to conversation about ocean conservation. He discusses the history of commercial fishing and how inventions and practices like "trawling" got us to where we are today.
The book is a call to arms on protecting the oceans, and specifically practicing sustainable fishing. He clearly states that in 50 years, the oceans will look very different than they do today (like the title says a "world without fish").
This book would be a classroom hit with lots of details to cover and bring in larger scientific themes, and it would engage young adults.
I need to come up with a more descriptive word than "powerful" for Halse Anderson's books. The word just doesn't get to the heart of it. This one was...moreI need to come up with a more descriptive word than "powerful" for Halse Anderson's books. The word just doesn't get to the heart of it. This one was great. There was a scene in the book where Melinda describes her English class and their reading of _The Scarlet Letter_ in 9th grade (I remember exactly that in my freshmen year!) and she says that she thinks that Hester Prynn would have been her friend, and they could have lived together, Hester with her "A" and Melinda with her "S" (for "stupid", she says)... for some reason, that scene just really stayed with me. I liked that literary allusion.
I listened to the book, and the narrator was very good. She had a young voice, and the first-person narrative seemed like a true oral history of freshmen year of high school.
Riveting and heart-breaking story of Lia, an 18-year old high school student with anorexia, who also cuts herself. In the opening pages of the book, h...moreRiveting and heart-breaking story of Lia, an 18-year old high school student with anorexia, who also cuts herself. In the opening pages of the book, her life is irrevocably changed when her best friend dies (due in part to this "game" they have about who can be the skinniest girl in the school). The book is told in first-person narrative with some stream of consciousness passages - the language is so vivid and so heart-wrenchingly descriptive.
Very memorable piece of work - Anderson's book left a mark. (less)
Not a plot synopsis but a review to say that I enjoyed this one, and I kept on reading late into the night. While the "mystery" subset was a little sl...moreNot a plot synopsis but a review to say that I enjoyed this one, and I kept on reading late into the night. While the "mystery" subset was a little slap-dash, I really liked the sci-fi bits with the ship and the world created. Wish the author would just make this a stand-alone book though - disappointed to see #1 after title... just have a feeling that sequel(s) will kill it.(less)
It's one big game and in your 17th year, you get your "match" - eHarmony-like - matched up with all the components for the best mate. Most of the time...moreIt's one big game and in your 17th year, you get your "match" - eHarmony-like - matched up with all the components for the best mate. Most of the time, your mate is someone on the other side of the world - but for Cassia, her mate is actually her best friend... except... there's a glitch... and then...
The beginning was a little "pat", but it gained steam, and then I liked it. There were some areas of the book that I would have appreciated more development and explanation, but I thought the story moved well. With the popularity of this genre, it is easy to point to Condie's many influences, but she still has her own story to tell. While other books focus on the larger establishment and the structure of the dystopian world, this book delved right into the human relationships (drug-induced and simulated as they were) and that was the focus of the book. Mentions of "The Society" and "The Officials" were common, but it wasn't really clear what those things even meant. And there was little to no explanation of the caste system and how one becomes an "Aberration" or an "Anomaly". Since this book is labeled as #1 of the series, I assume this means that this world is going to be fleshed out more in the following books. I look forward to that.
3 stars on the Good Reads system - "I liked it" is a true statement.
What a nice change of pace - a unique story with regular people doing pretty regular things. All about relationships and how one person can make a dif...moreWhat a nice change of pace - a unique story with regular people doing pretty regular things. All about relationships and how one person can make a difference in the lives of others. The writing is smart, witty, and realistic. Very enjoyable read.(less)
Very enjoyable story - actually three stories in one - that tackle big issues of race, identity, and acculturation. Particularly liked the vivid color...moreVery enjoyable story - actually three stories in one - that tackle big issues of race, identity, and acculturation. Particularly liked the vivid colorful artwork. (less)
Series gets a resounding 5 stars - loved it. Have recommended it to many people and I will continue to do so.
This last book in the trilogy was really...moreSeries gets a resounding 5 stars - loved it. Have recommended it to many people and I will continue to do so.
This last book in the trilogy was really great, but I can't give it a full 5 stars because I felt that Collins rushed the last 1/3 of the book. She doesn't really get the whole "transition" idea as she sets the reader in one place one minute and then BOOOM (literally) days have passed and things are altered irrevocably. Not even a *** chapter break, simply a new paragraph. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out what happened and re-reading certain passages. Finally I just accepted it and kept reading, but I don't like being confused like that, as a reader.
That being said, it was a great end to the trilogy. I am very glad that I own this set as the books will definitely be read again (and possibly again) in the future.
More. like 2.5 stars, but I rounded up because it was so engrossing. So, .5 star for keeping me guessing and interested enough to care what happened i...moreMore. like 2.5 stars, but I rounded up because it was so engrossing. So, .5 star for keeping me guessing and interested enough to care what happened in the end.
The story follows a family of four and how they survive through a catastrophic/apocalyptic event - a meteor hits the moon, knocking it off balance and moving it closer to earth, thus shifting all of the tides and the gravitational pull - tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes... just about every disaster ensues. It is told in a diary format, written and narrated by 16-year old Miranda, who lives in small-town Pennsylvania.
In the beginning, I found the book quite annoying - making several jabs that I just thought were unnecessary and in poor taste. The mother of the family is constantly berating the President of the US, it felt like a waste of ink for the author to include these things, and also dated the book squarely in the mid-2000s. Future generations may get the references, but what was the point even including it? I also did not like how the author and the narrator ridiculed another character for turning to religion during the catastrophe. It seemed like the author had a major chip on her shoulder regarding religion (particularly Christianity) and decided to write about it in a YA novel. You want to stand on a platform and talk about how you feel? Use a blog or write an op-ed. Don't write it for an 11-16 year old audience. Poor editing on that part. All of the above should have gotten the red marker... it just takes away from the book.
Those points were my main criticisms of the book. I had to step outside of my "adult" mind a few times and realize that this was a teenager writing, and that the intended audience is younger than myself. Because of the diary format, there is silliness and immaturity in the early days after the catastrophe. A few too many "I hate my mom!" and "Oh my god, he is so cute!" for my taste... It was because of these outbursts in the diary that made me picture Miranda as even younger than her expressed 16 years. She seemed much more like a 12 or 13 year old in her narrative voice.
In the end, the story was one of love, courage, strength, and endurance. The family of four (mother, two sons, and Miranda, the daughter) struggles to live through these terrible events as they watch the world crumble around them. It definitely had a very eerie element about it - so much so that as I was listening on the audiobook, it was almost like these things were actually happening. So, the author definitely set the tone and the landscape for the readers.
I hesitate to fully recommend the book because it can be pretty depressing, sad, and annoying, but in the end, I am glad I read it. It inevitably leaves you with the question of "How would I handle this type of situation? would I make it?"
A little gem of a book - a unique storyline that is wonderfully crafted and executed. Miranda's character is this encapsulation of what it is to be 12...moreA little gem of a book - a unique storyline that is wonderfully crafted and executed. Miranda's character is this encapsulation of what it is to be 12 years old - going back and forth between this world of childhood and adulthood. I wouldn't really characterize this as a coming-of-age story though... more like a day-in-the-life with a twinge of mystery and sci-fi thrown into the mix. I really liked the setting in 1979... it was a lot like my childhood, so there was a nostalgic element there... Loved the little bits of fantasty woven throughout, as well as the musings and the references to late 1970s/early 1980s pop culture - the whole bit with the $20,000 Pyramid was pretty great!