Growing up in the projects leaves a person with very few options. DeShawn, an intelligent young man knows this very well as he watches the young peop
Growing up in the projects leaves a person with very few options. DeShawn, an intelligent young man knows this very well as he watches the young people around him join gangs, drop out of school, and fall between the cracks of society. The educational system fails them, and society fails them, leaving boys like DeShawn struggling to make ends meet in a world that doesn’t care if he grows up.
There is no doubting Strasser’s talent for getting a reader into the lives and minds of the characters. Strasser took a young man whose intelligence and street smarts attract the reader and shows how he develops over a period of several years. Looking closely at how a smart young man can become a gang member.
I’ll admit, this isn’t my usual type of book. It isn’t one that I would have willingly picked up on my own, but it is one that I am glad I read because it is remarkable. The characterizations are beautifully done. Gang members, who in other hands would have been superficial stereotypes, are wonderfully developed into people you can believe exist. The pacing is perfect. I literally flew through this novel in on sitting—rare for me because I am such a slow reader. Strasser hooks you with the gunshots at the beginning and propels you to the end at breakneck pace. You won’t believe where this novel will take you.
Overall this was a remarkable piece of fiction. Not a book I would have picked up on my own, but one that I am glad to have read. It is a fast, interesting read, with superb characters and remarkable writing.
Cautions for sensitive readers: Violence, drugs, sexual references, I don’t recall any explicit language, and language in the quotes at the beginning of the chapters was edited out. ...more
Sixteen year-old Finley Jayne doesn't know exactly what she is, but for your own safety, it is unwise to make her angry. When the son of her employer
Sixteen year-old Finley Jayne doesn't know exactly what she is, but for your own safety, it is unwise to make her angry. When the son of her employer attacks her, Finley protects herself, and finds herself out of a job and running for her life. While running away from the repercussions of her violent actions, Finley stumbles into Griffin King, the young Duke of Greythorne, who has some unusual abilities of his own. He and his group of unusual friends are after a man they call the Machinist who is turning automatons against their owners, and using them to commit crimes. Griff, recognizes Finley as one of their own, and tries to convince her that she can help him stop the Machinist and find out who and what she is once and for all.
This has to be one of my favorite books this year. It is so original and fun that from start to finish I didn't want to put it down. There are many things that I enjoyed about this book, but to keep this review brief I am only going to name a few.
First, the characters are wonderful--even the supporting ones. Finley Jayne is smart, strong, and even sassy at times. She has two warring personalities, and this is portrayed very well. Plus an unexpected surprise about her parentage added a bit of thrill to the story! I love Griffin, his calm reassurance that he always has a plan and his desire to save everyone. Emily is charming and it is so refreshing to see a girl that is smart and mechanically inclined. Sam was probably my least favorite character, but that is because I felt like he wallowed in his losses. The character development was outstanding. I love these characters and wanted to spend more time with them.
Secondly, the setting was exceptionally well done. The story takes place in a steampunk version of Victorian London. Although steampunk adds technology that doesn't exist in the time period of the book, it blended well into this novel. The technology and the Victorian era go well together, and it never felt forced to me. I could believe that this world existed and I wanted to go there.
Finally, the story keeps the reader engaged. It was vivid, fast paced, and action packed. I couldn't wait to keep reading this novel because I wanted to know what would happen next.
Overall, this novel is positively stunning. I loved this book, these characters, and couldn't stand to step away from it when finished. To be honest, I am already contemplating rereading it because I enjoyed it so much. This book is the first book in the Steampunk Chonicles series. My only regret is that I don't know when book #2 in the series will come out. Not soon enough for this fan!
Cautions for sensitive readers: Violence. No language and no sex, although the attack on Finley was suggestive in nature. ...more
When her parents divorced, Tansy Miller’s close relationship with her father seemed to evaporate. Living with her mother and her little sister in New
When her parents divorced, Tansy Miller’s close relationship with her father seemed to evaporate. Living with her mother and her little sister in New York, while her father moved to Arizona made their relationship impossible. Then he got remarried and seemed to have replaced her with a new stepson, Nick. When her sister is offered a part in a Broadway play that will require her sister and mother to travel, Tansy is sent to live with her distant father. Determined to rebel against him, she starts dating the town bad boy, but when she is arrested things start to fall apart for this good girl gone bad. And just when Tansy thinks things have gotten as bad as they could possibly get, in pops her fair godmother, Chrysanthemum Everstar, and things go from bad to worse as she has to deal with Robin Hood, his Merry Me, and the Middle Ages.
This book is a sequel to Rallison’s book My Fair Godmother (Walker & Co. 2009), where you see the return of the leprechaun Clover, and of Chrissy the fair godmother. Other characters are all new so this book will stand alone for readers who haven’t read the first. In fact, this one was so good that if you are interested in reading, but are concerned about not having read the first, I would whole heartedly say, skip the first and pick this one up.
Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy My Fair Godmother, but My Unfair Godmother completely outshines it. The humor is better, the situations are more extreme (and original), and the main character is much easier to connect to. I loved that she used Robin Hood and Rumpelstiltskin fairy tales this time around and showed the darker side of both. I especially loved the occasional Twilight references and humor.
Overall this book is a wild romp and a lot of fun. Highly recommended if you are looking for something light that will make you laugh. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first, this will stand on its own.
Cautions for sensitive readers: Some violence. ...more
When Ry gets off the train during an unscheduled mechanical stop in hopes of getting better cell phone reception he thought he would have more time,
When Ry gets off the train during an unscheduled mechanical stop in hopes of getting better cell phone reception he thought he would have more time, but when the train pulls off without him leaving him in the middle of nowhere Montana he realizes he may be in over his head. Thus begins a journey of thousands of miles, and many many unforeseen circumstances.
I will start out by saying this is the perfect book for summer. Ry was supposed to go to archeology camp for the summer, but when the camp is cancelled and Ry gets off the train in the middle of nowhere, he embarks on another more exciting adventure. This story meanders its way from Montana, to Wisconsin, to Indiana, to Florida, and all the way to the Caribbean. Ry's story is one of luck or lack there of and is a humorous adventure tale that attempts to get one boy to the right place at the right time.
This family has to have the worst luck. Ry's parents are on a Caribbean vacation, and Ry's grandfather is supposed to watch the house and the family dogs. When the grandfather hits his head, losing both his memory and the dogs, Ry has no one he can reach to tell of his own predicament. With the help of some lovable yet unusual characters, Ry embarks on a journey to find his parents.
This story has moments that will make you laugh out loud. As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth meanders its way across the country telling the story of a boy whose destiny seems to be determined by luck alone.
Overall, this fun rambling tale would make a great trip or summer read. I just hope the reader's trip isn't as meandering as Ry's. This is a light read that never takes itself too seriously.