This was an extremely interesting book, the way it was written and played out. After listening to Walter Dean Myers speak about his childhood and whatThis was an extremely interesting book, the way it was written and played out. After listening to Walter Dean Myers speak about his childhood and what he wants his readership to be, this book hits home even further. This is someone's true story. The millions of children who live in poverty and get caught up with bad people and situations. Or get accused of doing things due to their lifestyle, where they live, and the color of their skin. It's the reason Walter Dean Myers writes these books, because he asks himself how he got to where he is today in life. Having the amazing J-O-B as an author, and it's because he had books in his life. He read constantly. So, he wrote this book for truth for the millions of children that face these same trials every day.
Aside from the ability to connect with Steve Harmon, the main protagonist, the story is written in a unique way. Steve tries to leave his mind and his "life" while he waits behind bars to get his verdict and turns his life into a movie. So, the way that he views being in jail and on trial plays out like a screenplay, a movie. I think in a way, anyone who has gone through tough times can relate to this. You don't want to face the fact that this IS your life, and it's easier to play it out as a book or a movie.
I really enjoyed this book and I highly applaud Walter Dean Myers for his conviction to write a story no matter how "edgy" or judged it might be by others. Whether it's banned or blacklisted, he writes for his audience. He doesn't mind the consequences of whether everyone reads it or not. Just that if he can impact a child to read, no matter what they read, he knows it will make a difference. ...more
First of all, Georges' voice is powerful. He is such a solid character that I feel like he is a student of mine, mI really, really enjoyed this book.
First of all, Georges' voice is powerful. He is such a solid character that I feel like he is a student of mine, maybe even part me, or a friend of mine.
I love Rebecca Stead's work because of her interesting way of weaving story lines with character development and the element of surprise and intrigue. When I read When You Reach Me I was so caught up in what was going on that I finished it in one sitting.
Same with this book. She has a way that keeps your interest, and the way she ties her ending together leaves me in awe.
This is another MG story that I definitely want to use as a read aloud. I really think my kids will connect to their characters and it also touches on the bullying aspect of what these kids go through all the time. I think authors who choose to write about this avenue whether it is the major plot line or sub plot line is a brilliant move. If we can get these kids to empathize and sympathize with fictional characters that face the same dilemnas and issues they face, then we can create a more understanding society. ...more
It pains me to give this 2 stars. I am a huge fan of The Maze Runner series, but this was a letdown for me. I didn't find myself caring about the char
It pains me to give this 2 stars. I am a huge fan of The Maze Runner series, but this was a letdown for me. I didn't find myself caring about the characters or the story because I already knew how it was going to end for them. The nonstop action left my head spinning and the ending left me angry that I had read the whole thing - I had hope that maybe just maybe it would turn out differently than I had expected from page 20. So very disappointed. ...more
Man, I don't even know where to begin with this book. I can't tell you how many times my heart squeezed in pain for Auggie. But not only him. BecauseMan, I don't even know where to begin with this book. I can't tell you how many times my heart squeezed in pain for Auggie. But not only him. Because this book is so character driven (with 6 or 7 character POVs - which I thought would be annoying but proved otherwise), you can relate to each person. You see how everyone has their roles, and everyone thinks they are doing what's best, whether it is or isn't. And how when you are in a family with a child that has a disability or deformity it puts strain on the whole family. And the friends of the family. Everyone is affected. It tells the true story of how in schools all over the country kids are being bullied for much less than having a disability of some form or another. How sticking up for or defending or befriending someone could guarantee you bullying. But I think the biggest story behind it all is to do what's right. We've all been there before. No matter how low or high you are on the totem pole of popularity - we've made fun of someone "lower" than us. But all it is, is a ploy to make ourselves feel better about our own lives. This is about sticking together and lifting eachother up no matter what the circumstances are. This book will be a read aloud I do this coming school year, and I'll probably wait to read it until after the holiday break, right around when bullying and ugliness starts to spread like wildfire around the room, and I hope it hits my furture students in a sensitive spot that will change the way they treat people forever. ...more
This book was a short, easy read, but honestly it has never taken me so long to finish a book. It just kept losing my interest and reminded me in my oThis book was a short, easy read, but honestly it has never taken me so long to finish a book. It just kept losing my interest and reminded me in my own writing that an idea is not a plot. Too much plot is a bad thing. Too little plot is a bad thing. And even though I didn't dislike the characters, I just never connected with them. I'm disappointed in that because the opening chapter was great and the writing was actually very good. ...more
So, first off, it appears that you either LOVE this book or dislike it. I don't consider myself to be a fan ofI loved this book. For so many reasons.
So, first off, it appears that you either LOVE this book or dislike it. I don't consider myself to be a fan of historical fiction, but just about every historical fiction I've read has been amazing. All the way from adult novel, The Pillars of the Earth, to middle grade books such as Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now to science fiction time-travel books like 11-22-63. Something about history fascinates me, and it's truly strange because I am by no means a history buff, nor did I do well in any history classes.
Anyway, everything about this book had me in awe. The writing was great, the characters were fleshed out and not your typical YA-cookie-cut-out-character, and the plot was refreshing and suspenseful. I've seen a few reviews that talk about how this isn't a YA book, but you know, it truly didn't bother me one way or another. I know that some parts were watered down because it was a YA book, but I was so mesmerized by everything else the book had going that it didn't matter one tiny bit to me.
First of all, the concept: a convent of nuns training to be assassins. Gah! Unique, interesting, and so right up my alley. I felt that one of the best parts of this book was the fact that LaFevers didn't try to rush this huge story/concept into a short amount of time (another one of my YA pet peeves). The total time that it takes to develop the characters, the relationships, and the plot felt true and real and not rushed at all. I was even sad when I reached the 450 page mark, knowing that it would be over soon. I tried my best to savor the last pages, but instead I tore through them.
The characters felt real to me as well. And not just the main characters, but ALL of the characters, even secondary ones that only appeared in a small portion of the book. I could picture them all in my head, and I felt invested in what was to come for them. LaFevers did a great job allowing me to not only connect with the characters as they were presently, but even when she gave information about the past it was done in such a skillful way that it was not an info dump, nor did I ever feel like I was distracted from the story. Another HUGE pet peeve of mine in YA is the extremely rushed-I-went-on-one-date-and-kissed-him-once-and-now-I'm-in-love type relationships. Ismae and Duval move at a rational pace and stayed true to their characters all the while.
Which brings up my next point: the writing. I truly enjoyed her style. She pulled me in from page 1 and kept me flipping the pages at an unimaginable rate. I don't even know how to explain the writing other than the fact that nothing distracted me, instead all her words ebbed and flowed beautifully whether she was delving into some of the politics or looking into Gavriel and Ismae's relataionship. In so many books I read, I feel like the writing is either trying too hard, or clunky, or distracted, or too prosy at times. Not this one. A perfect blend of words and rythym. Plus, 1st person present normally gets on my nerves a bit, but I didn't even notice it at all reading this.
I was completely enamored reading this, and I do believe that it will be one that I will end up re-reading in the future. I will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out, although, I may die of impatience in the meantime. ...more
I don't know if I'm in a reading slump right now or what, but I've been super picky recently about what I'm reading.
I absolutely LOVED the unique conI don't know if I'm in a reading slump right now or what, but I've been super picky recently about what I'm reading.
I absolutely LOVED the unique concept behind sliding - a reminder of Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy, which I completely devoured. This held that same kind of intrigue and suspense.
The writing was done well, with some areas completely pulling me in and other parts leaving me underwhelmed. Overall though, the writing is good - not too flowery, not overdone, but there were a lot of areas that I felt like I was being told what was happening versus being shown. One scene was done extremely well, where I felt as if I were in the moment truly witnessing what was going on and feeling the intensity of it: (view spoiler)[ Sophie's murder. (hide spoiler)]
My frustrations came in with the characters - some things just felt very unnatural. Like, for instance, Vee's hair color. I don't know -it just seemed so off, and then to be told why it was that color instead of letting the reader figure it out.
Also, Vee has been sliding for a while now, and so you'd think she would know that she can't touch certain things. I know it was told that she "had OCD" but everytime she'd slide it was as if it was a big shock to her, like, oh man, I forgot that I touched that, put that in my pocket, so-and-so gave that to me... It's something I noticed she did quite a bit of - "I forgot..."
Then the whole deal with Zane. *sigh* It just didn't feel real. (view spoiler)[ There are weird murders/suicides going on around town and in the meantime (only a couple of days) this new mysterious hot guy comes in town and Vee (who's an outcast) falls in love. I just didn't buy it. And then to find out that he knew that his mom was trying to kill her and Mattie...I don't know, it was just weird. (hide spoiler)]
As for the ending, I in some ways saw it coming WAY before the main character. In other ways it just didn't make sense to me. (view spoiler)[ Why did Evelyn kill Sophie? Did she kill Amber? Why did she want to kill everyone in the house when she made it such an intimate kill with Sophie? I don't know that I fully understood that. (hide spoiler)]
Plus the epilogue was unneeded IMO.
Finally, Rollins. I wanted him to be my favorite character, but he totally irritated me. It was like he was mysterious just to be mysterious. It didn't completely make sense. I understand that there are private people out there. I have close friends that are VERY private. But once again, it didn't feel natural. (view spoiler)[ When Vee finally tells him what she's really going through, he's all good-natured about it until he finds out that she slid into him. At that point he didn't know that she intentionally slid into him. And he flipped his lid. I don't get it! I mean, once again, I understand that he was embarrassed that he was bathing his mom. I get that he didn't want her to know what his family life was like so that she didn't think less of him. I get all that. But what I don't get is the fact that they are best friends, she confides a huge secret with him, and he flips out and storms out on her. It just doesn't make sense. (hide spoiler)]
I think that some of the recent paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi YAs I've been reading have been good. The writing is good. The concept is good. The idea and heart behind it is good. But for some reason they feel too rushed. The characters aren't completely flushed out. The plots have some holes. There is more telling than showing. Just because something is paranormal doesn't mean that you can just forget about it making sense. It takes place in a completely realistic setting and it has to ring true. Plus I've realized that characters are SO the heart of the story. If they aren't real or if they don't feel real and are true to what real humans do, the stories fall flat for me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Oddly enough, this morning my husband and I were watching a show on Robert Hanson, the serial killer that hunted and murdered women in Alaska as if thOddly enough, this morning my husband and I were watching a show on Robert Hanson, the serial killer that hunted and murdered women in Alaska as if they were prey. That led to a discussion about a book that he remembered reading (I use that term loosely, since he is not a big reader, but more of a skimmer) back in high school. He couldn't remember the name of the book, but he swore it had something to do with games (he even suggested The Hunger Games at one point - lol) and there was a picture on the inside that had a scope and a deer. It was bothering him so much that he couldn't figure out what the name of the book was, so I googled "book where man hunts people" and found this, and to my excitement, I was able to download and read it for free.
This was written way back in 1924 and the topic of humans hunting humans (which I wonder if it was any inspiration for Suzanne Collins) is one that has been brought up in many different books, movies, and tv shows, so the storyline was obviously predictable. Even so, it was extremely eerie because of the man hunting. He was such a calm, calculating individual which makes his hunting human sport that much more creepy.
The setting, the characters, the writing, and the subtlety of the ending is one that more authors might want to look in to. I enjoyed reading this because it reminded me yet again how so many authors choose to declare their readers too stupid to figure out what is going on and spell every little detail out instead of hinting at it and letting the readers figure it out on their own.
This is one of those scholastic reader books that is leveled for grades 1-3, but I read it aloud to my kindergartner and preschooler. Even though I knThis is one of those scholastic reader books that is leveled for grades 1-3, but I read it aloud to my kindergartner and preschooler. Even though I know it's not meant to be a read aloud, and it's meant for emerging readers, it was a cute story. Although I do have to say that the first person present tense and repetion of so-and-so says was extremely awkward for this type of story. Overall, it was an interesting mystery that involved a pony and a kitten, and what little girl can resist those two things? ...more
Sloppy, predictable, poorly written, and in my opinion, done by an author who tried WAY too hard to make a spooky tale out of this story. Definitely aSloppy, predictable, poorly written, and in my opinion, done by an author who tried WAY too hard to make a spooky tale out of this story. Definitely a disappointment, and I would not reccomend this one to anyone....more
Cute book that would be super handy for days when the whole family is home sick. My kindergartner adores all the llama llama books and of course enjoyCute book that would be super handy for days when the whole family is home sick. My kindergartner adores all the llama llama books and of course enjoys the rhyming and illustrations....more