I was so pleasantly delighted at the humor and sage advice that Sundquist doled out in a simple and elegant story that is as much lighthearted as it iI was so pleasantly delighted at the humor and sage advice that Sundquist doled out in a simple and elegant story that is as much lighthearted as it is a serious exploration of self and family and relationships.
The organization makes it unique and slightly OCD in breaking it up by the relationships with the background and investigation, while bits and pieces of Sundquist are revealed rather than outright explained which is both smart and not heavy-handed. His message is simple-- everything that he did wrong was because he didn't know himself first and that's a great foil to his inspirational speeches, Paralympic events in skiing, and his general outlook.
Students looking for a humorous read or books like Heaven is for Real or The Last Lecture would find something in this book while engaging in some great conversations like The Fault in Our Stars or overcoming adversity. Sundquist is just an average guy telling his story and THAT is so necessary. ...more
I didn't realize this was the second book in the series until I got halfway through, but realized that any good book, regardless of which order it wasI didn't realize this was the second book in the series until I got halfway through, but realized that any good book, regardless of which order it was published, should give you enough information. That it did. I felt like I knew enough of the story but was disappointed that while things were happening, it didn't seem like things were happening all at the same time. Does that sound right? It does. And knowing that it's number two in the Blackcoat Rebellion series, makes me think a reason for disliking it goes back to my long list of not liking many second books because there's too much world building to set up for a third and not enough concentration on developing what's at the core of the plot.
So, while I find the cover (and the first likewise) fascinating and the premise of treachery, espionage, blackmail, impersonation, with some great power struggles, this fell flat. ...more
The second book in the Hearts of Dread series, I wasn't thrilled by the density of this dystopian adventure story as the two characters from Frozen arThe second book in the Hearts of Dread series, I wasn't thrilled by the density of this dystopian adventure story as the two characters from Frozen are still on quests, Nat to unlock her powers as a drakonryder and Wes to find his sister, Eliza.
Teens who enjoy the worlds that are created by dystopian thrillers will enjoy it, I think. And I appreciate certain scenes and settings and that this book is truly after another ice age, which is fascinating. What survival is like, what certain historical landmarks and places became, etc.
Not thrilled with the second (though my track record is in line with this) and only if the book falls in to my lap will I read the next THOUGH I will purchase the series for the library because there are readers for it. ...more
A second installment where the foibles and follies of historical figures are front and center as Bragg highlights the downfall of famous people. TheyA second installment where the foibles and follies of historical figures are front and center as Bragg highlights the downfall of famous people. They include explorers, scientists, and cocky sailors who sank the Titanic with their titanic egos. Not only does it give you the story and some juicy tidbits, but like Choked, they have two pages of factoids on top of it before going in to the next person.
Though, my absolutely favorite is the last chapter, "One More Thing" that includes "Sal fail the best you can: try something new, be brave, make mistakes. Just don't hurt anyone, don't get greedy, and don't act like you're perfect, because you're not." ...more
A fantasy that every teen dreams of is to be free from parental control and when six teenagers get the opportunity what happens is turned in to a noveA fantasy that every teen dreams of is to be free from parental control and when six teenagers get the opportunity what happens is turned in to a novel and possibly a series, where mystery, murder, and hormones collide. With the numerous complications of a Chris Crutcher novel and the shallowness of any scandalous reality television show, there may be an audience for this spring break story. The teenagers come to the house for reasons ranging from Hollywood stardom to family convenience but with baggage like one girl writing to a death row inmate while one boy has a dead father.
The secrets unfold and the motivations of the teenagers are revealed in dated chapters alternating between them all spanning almost a year, which is the only way the book moves forward. In a series of parties, principal’s office visits at a catholic school, and band drama, the combination of plot, character development, and dialogue are lackluster. So while students would be drawn to the sunset beach and surfboards on the cover and the tag line “No parents, No limits, No alibis”, many might abandon it for something with more substance or suspense. ...more
I can compare Major Pettrigrew to All the Light We Cannot See in the sense that I enjoyed it because it slowly unrolled all of the characters and situI can compare Major Pettrigrew to All the Light We Cannot See in the sense that I enjoyed it because it slowly unrolled all of the characters and situations without dragging. Everything had a place and moment and Simonson was great at creating hateful characters-- find me one person who wouldn't slap Roger upside the head? The son of Major Pettrigrew is entitled, power-hungry, and narcissistic
Mrs. Ali and the Major's companionship and budding romance was rich and having a window into Mrs. Ali's world was fascinating as we watched everyone respond to the world around them as things changed but some of the old-school mentality hasn't.
It did speed up a bit uncharacteristically toward the end as things came to a head with Abdul Whasid, Amina, and George, and Major had to literally take the last stand in helping solve issues between the family after "saving" Mrs. Ali. And while the ending is happy, there was enough tragedy to satisfy my need to not have things tied up so neatly. ...more
I'm going to pretend that the author of the Razorland series didn't write this book and that the editor and publisher's were all sleeping to let thisI'm going to pretend that the author of the Razorland series didn't write this book and that the editor and publisher's were all sleeping to let this cliched book through.
And I was a fan right up until Edie asked Kian to kiss her right before she left for science camp. An angsty, ugly teenager who was ignored by everyone, including her parents, enough to create an entire suicide plan only to be met by a mysterious man ready to make a deal with her. I was in to it, then there had to be a romance and girly-cliched revenge all focused on looks.
I can see the appeal for fans of: The Hunger Games because of the survivalism and violence, Lockdown for it's criminality and sci-fi elements, and LorI can see the appeal for fans of: The Hunger Games because of the survivalism and violence, Lockdown for it's criminality and sci-fi elements, and Lord of the Flies with it's world of kids rather than adults trying to make a go of what they've been handed.
I can't believe I've waited so long to read this! What a fun ride of craziness as Thomas lands in the maze world without real memories with a day later, Teresa arriving-- the first girl ever in the maze. One of my favorite elements is that Dashner doesn't wait for a sequel to share some pertinent information that to me, allows for a better understanding of what's going on-- everything from the goal of the runners in the maze, to the Grievers and their spiny, murderous ways, how the boys operate the farm and slaughterhouse, feed themselves, try to unlock the mysteries of the maze, and everyone's jobs in order to survive.
But there's something about Thomas that is different than the other boys and quickly it's understood that Thomas doesn't need a learning curve and is willing to sacrifice himself as they all still try to figure out how to escape. Though things are starting to change, the walls do not shut, the sky is now gray, and there seems to be little time.
A very detailed and extensively researched book that I wished was more easily digestible. I wanted to engage with the book so much more but Rappaport'A very detailed and extensively researched book that I wished was more easily digestible. I wanted to engage with the book so much more but Rappaport's want and need to add in very specific details to paint the portraits of the daughters and their world was bogged down. Because I don't know much about the topic, I think I needed to start with a shorter, more broad book about them and if still interested, reinvest my time in Rappaport's story. ...more
While I would have preferred a shorter book and possible a shorter series (two books or even a very tightly would singleton), I did enjoy the pace ofWhile I would have preferred a shorter book and possible a shorter series (two books or even a very tightly would singleton), I did enjoy the pace of the first two books while I felt a little bored by the unfolding of this last one. There are some tangents that are taken in this one that distracted from the true mysteries of who the crows are and Ugly J. There are some twists and turns and fans of the newly popular serial killer stories will enjoy it with enough blood, guts, gore, backstabbing, and intrigue to follow it through.
But again, I was more distracted by it's lengthy descriptions of seemingly insignificant pieces of the story that I skimmed a bit, which I didn't want to do, but had to to keep my sanity (hard enough with a storyline like this) that is so creative, original, and with a great cover and title for the final book!
With one of the most beautiful covers for the series but also in YA in general, there's so much that a teen reader would love about the series, aboutWith one of the most beautiful covers for the series but also in YA in general, there's so much that a teen reader would love about the series, about America and Maxon's relationship with Aspen thrown in for good measure, the dystopic world with some governmental control, war, and of course, some beautiful imagery.
The time has come for Maxon to select 'the one' from The Selection. The woman that will become the future queen in front of the cameras that have followed the girls through the whole selection process. America is from one of the lowest castes but the bond that Maxon and her had from the start was what most girls would root for. Yet, there's mysterious Aspen who would be willing to risk anything to win her back once he realized she might actually be falling for Maxon from the first books. But Maxon and America's relationship gets rocky and on-and-off, which I was a bit annoyed about. Some elements seemed a bit like filler (the meetings with the Illea tribe) in not getting to the point about who should be married.
Long story short, all is well with the world
For as neatly this book ended, there's was just something about the writing or the creativity of the journey through the three books that I appreciated and stuck with. Kudos.
And how can you not love Cass's dedication knowing about Aspen and America's relationship in the first book and the love story that unfolds? "For Callaway, the by who climbed into the tree house in my heart and let me be the crown on his."...more
Just as funny as Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers but not as interesting as that one. I guess I was expecting something different anJust as funny as Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers but not as interesting as that one. I guess I was expecting something different and more akin to a Discovery channel documentary that obviously includes historical facts about Masters and Johnson's groundbreaking and controversial research mixed in with modern science of things like pheromones and attraction. Instead, I felt it fell flat with too much of Roach's wit and not enough fact that informed rather than entertained.
I still love her voice and will try her others, I just wasn't as impressed with this one since I felt she almost poked fun and found the most remote of topics related to the science of sex rather than the basics. ...more
So intoxicating, Arnold interweaves the darkest mythological stories into the contemporary life of Sephora in a way that can only be compared to booksSo intoxicating, Arnold interweaves the darkest mythological stories into the contemporary life of Sephora in a way that can only be compared to books like Jackie Morse Kessler in their creativity and imagination.
Sephora is an artist with an unbreakable but mysterious relationship with her model mother, Rebecca--in part because of their closeness in age, but also in Rebecca's own upbringing and life after Sephora's birth. There's also a question of Sephora's father, though Sephora has never really asked but as the story unfolds and mythological chapters are peppered in as Arnold moves Sephora's story forward
The myths are not whitewashed, sanitized, nor Disney-fied making the content provocative, highly sexualized, and violent though perfectly stitched within Arnold's tapestry of situations and characters. And the realistic elements as Sephora surfs, attends summer school, tries to please her mother are starkly contrasted by the antiquity of the interspersed chapters.
Perfect for research about family life on the frontier, this book is chock full of information to a degree that is mind boggling. It's certainly not aPerfect for research about family life on the frontier, this book is chock full of information to a degree that is mind boggling. It's certainly not a fast or easy read because of the amount of information that flows through the pages. It is evident that Luchetti did her homework in painting a comprehensive picture of this lifestyle from clothing and food to parenting choices, supervision, and letters from the frontier of both men and women discussing the hardships and triumphs associated with taming the frontier beast.
I wished it was almost simpler so that I could stuff more of the information into my brain, but it is heady and not something you can do with half of your attention paid to something else but so useful for research....more
I always enjoy a good story where there are both subplots moving underneath the current of characters and story at the surface as well as having multiI always enjoy a good story where there are both subplots moving underneath the current of characters and story at the surface as well as having multiple narrators (in this case sisters). Any book that moves non-linearly is a challenge to keep up with and Oliver illustrates her craft well using these features to build suspense and understanding of the dysfunctionality of the Warren family and relating to the tragic events that unfold, but I was distracted by the annoyance of our two characters instead of delving in to the mystery as with something like Plum-Ucci, Giles, or Strasser.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the ride as the sisters battled and Nick (Nicole) works to figure out what's happened to outward and extroverted Dara, who of course, is always acting out unexpectedly-- it's the quiet ones that you must worry about. And with the seriousness of the drinking, drugs, and sexuality, Oliver is stepping up her messages (much like Sharon Draper did).
Fans of Oliver will enjoy it and there is a vein of YA literature that have these dark undertones that capture audiences and then try to knock some sense into teen behavior that I appreciate. It also doesn't hurt to have a great cover and a smattering of boys thrown in for good measure. ...more
I realized I just don't like Andrew Smith's writing style, or maybe it's his ideas, because I certainly am not on the "in love with" Winger bandwagonI realized I just don't like Andrew Smith's writing style, or maybe it's his ideas, because I certainly am not on the "in love with" Winger bandwagon and the same goes for this science fiction/GLBT book either.
I was overall annoyed with Austin's character because he never moved on from his points. He's like an annoying friend who won't shut up and I get it, this is his story, his narration, but I just couldn't.
And then it gets weird with preying mantis' and floating double-heads in jars. No thank you, did not like though I could have gotten behind a boy questioning his sexuality being boxed in by a Catholic school education and liking both his best friend and his girlfriend, Shann. If he re-writes a realistic book, I may be on board. ...more