Not allowed to play video games as a kid, Gene starts playing at a high level during college. That is until his dad passes away and the angels from a...moreNot allowed to play video games as a kid, Gene starts playing at a high level during college. That is until his dad passes away and the angels from a card he gave his father appear to put him back on track. He gives up games and goes to medical school.
I truthfully found the angels really, excessively creepy. I also can't imagine a world where my father's mindset would make me change mine. Or one where he would want me to change my dreams in favor of his. Luckily, Gene figures things out and finds a balance that he can be happy with after he comes to truly understand his father. The story as a whole isn't as funny as I was expecting, but it is something that will definitely touch certain people.
No violence, except some minor cartoon violence. Some romance, but it isn't really explored. There isn't any cursing or even any rude language.(less)
I have to admit that this book read a bit like it had a health agenda and a grudge against overweight people and current lifestyles (fast food, soda a...moreI have to admit that this book read a bit like it had a health agenda and a grudge against overweight people and current lifestyles (fast food, soda and less exercise than we probably should). Cat is determined to be a scientist when she grows up. The first step towards that is to get a good grade in this class with this project which she also hopes to win the science fair with. She got a picture of hominids around a dead animal. Insects she would have great ideas, but this she was initially stumped.
Then she comes up with the idea to use herself as a test subject for determining whether modern lifestyles are worse for our health than hominid life styles. She cuts out all technology, processed foods and Diet Coke (her salvation). This means she prepares all her food, walks everywhere and spends less time getting ready for school.
As her project continues, she loses weight, her skin improves and boys start to notice her. She's still stuck on the guy who used to be her best friend though. Something happened at a science fair that changed their relationship and she still hasn't forgiven him.
With all the eat healthier and you will feel so much better. If you walked more, you would lose weight and your peers would be interested. At least the author finishes with the important people having liked her before and after her project. If that hadn't happened, this whole book would have been a wash rather than an after school special. It was mostly an entertaining one, but it definitely lost points for the agenda.
There was some cursing, but no f-bomb that I remember and very little cursing otherwise. The sex factor was pretty low although as she loses weight Cat does attract more attention from guys. There was absolutely no violence aside from scientific talk about how hominids got meat.(less)
I couldn't get into this book. I can't tell if the problem was that Emmy's language skills distracted me from the story or if the narrative from Sophi...moreI couldn't get into this book. I can't tell if the problem was that Emmy's language skills distracted me from the story or if the narrative from Sophia's side just rang too young. Either way, I stopped reading after about 50 or so pages because the characters just weren't clicking with me and I wasn't interested enough in seeing what happened to them.
In those fifty pages, I don't remember any cursing although Emmy's husband is definitely abusive. There really wasn't anything sexual like kissing or innuendo or even romantic feelings like a crush. (less)
I always feel uncomfortable when I am hoping that a serial killer is going to have a happy ending. Archer doesn't feel completely like the serial kill...moreI always feel uncomfortable when I am hoping that a serial killer is going to have a happy ending. Archer doesn't feel completely like the serial killers I get a peak at on Criminal Minds, but his interactions with Vivian definitely reveal a deep seeded set of flaws in his personality. I don't know if growing up in an abusive family and with a trauma like the rape of your best friend will automatically cause those kinds of fractures, but I feel sorrier for him than anything. He went through so much and was still focused on trying to make it better for someone else (even if his reasons for doing it might have been more selfish than that). I think the real tipping point for me is that I don't really feel sorry for Vivian. She had her mother, who believed her and tried to help her, and Archer, who tried to be there for her; but she blamed everyone else for her problems. In a lot of ways, I felt like she ruined Archer's chances at happiness because she never let him go, even before he started killing.
As for the book itself, I didn't really care for the third person point-of-view. We were mostly seeing Archer's viewpoint until the last chapter anyway, so I felt it would have had more impact in first person. I can understand choosing third person, but I just don't like having so little insight into other characters' thoughts if the point-of-view isn't narrower. Also, while I appreciate that the older sister called him a fairy instead of another f-word, I still thought it was a bit odd after she rescued them at the table with a fake story.
If this is for YA, it is definitely for ages 16/17 and up (if not more targeted towards college students). Especially in my small town, the homosexual relationship would automatically offend many parents (I was actually drawn to the book because I wanted to see how it was portrayed). The sex wasn't terribly graphic (in that there was no penetration), but there was definitely stuff going on and some parents would object to that as well. There was some language as well including I believe the f-bomb. There was quite a bit of gun violence as well as other murders made to look like suicides. Archer also writes a rather graphic story for his creative writing class part of which he reads. He does have a point about completing the assignment as instructed though. (less)
There is a sex scene in this volume. It isn't porn, but it isn't under the covers/fade-to-black either. I couldn't put it in my YA section, but other,...moreThere is a sex scene in this volume. It isn't porn, but it isn't under the covers/fade-to-black either. I couldn't put it in my YA section, but other, larger libraries might be able to get away with more.
I can't remember other exact details, but the earlier volumes were definitely better in my opinion even though the later volumes had more depth of story.(less)
This volume hits hard. It talks about issues with intimacy as a result of (view spoiler)[sexual abuse by a step parent (hide spoiler)] which of course...moreThis volume hits hard. It talks about issues with intimacy as a result of (view spoiler)[sexual abuse by a step parent (hide spoiler)] which of course means that there is sex in the volume. It isn't quite fade to black, but it definitely isn't porn. I wouldn't put it in the YA section here, but I can understand some libraries being able to do so. The actual sex scene isn't until volume 10, but there are scenes in other books that are a bit heavy for YA...
Kira runs away from home either in this volume or the next because of her step father. She does so after nearly killing him because she thought he was going to touch her again. This wouldn't be a problem for most parents if she had run to Harumi's house, but she goes to Rei's which means she runs to live at her boyfriend's. It's good that she was escaping the abuse; not so good that she was going to live with her equally underage boyfriend. In Japan, they are actually both considered adults capable of living by themselves as long as they can afford apartments, but for Americans it isn't as easy to understand.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was definitely excited to read this one and to continue reading the next one even though this one wasn't as good as some of the others. I think the...moreI was definitely excited to read this one and to continue reading the next one even though this one wasn't as good as some of the others. I think the big thing is that Masao is incapable of being at a sympathetic for me and he drags the other characters down in my eyes.
This volume has people getting beaten to a pulp, someone threatening to kill someone else and make it look like suicide, someone almost killing someone else, and hints at a previous sexual assault.(less)
I could have done without the Masao storyline. I think the series had enough to deal with with Sei, Rei's dream of being a motorcyclist, Kira's home l...moreI could have done without the Masao storyline. I think the series had enough to deal with with Sei, Rei's dream of being a motorcyclist, Kira's home life and their romance. Of course the series would have been shorter without him around to muck things up but Masao also just creates some problems with the authors story telling for me.
A derogatory term for a homosexual man was used within the first several pages. I really can't stand that term even though the character it was used on is a bit weird. It took down Rei in my eyes. There are people getting beaten up fairly badly in this volume as well as mention of someone getting murdered (manslaughter/self-defense). There is quite a bit of talk about Rei and Kira not having done it yet as well as Harumi and Tatsuya having done it.(less)
I think this book could definitely cause some people to experience negative psychological effects. It is that well researched and written. It can also...moreI think this book could definitely cause some people to experience negative psychological effects. It is that well researched and written. It can also have a positive impact on someone that needs to read it. I think a teen that needs it will know that they will help rather than hurt them.
Watching calories like that and seeing your body like that despite counseling and drugs; her thoughts were too familiar about certain things in some instances. I think a lot of people will recognize themselves in Lia at one point or another. I saw myself when she wondered what the point in getting up and getting good grades and getting a job was. I saw myself when she asked whether the therapist was a quack because the therapist actually believed life was worth living. At that age, I didn't see the point either. It seemed like I was gearing up for an endless grind with no relief. At least I wasn't cutting and anorexic along with it. Her parents were one of the worst parts for me. They kept fighting with each other about Lia and never acknowledging that they were making things worse. It soured their realization that she needed to be hospitalized again for me because it felt like it was their fault for not noticing her tricking them about her weight and eating. Granted she should have been trying to get better or at least telling the psychiatrist why she didn't want to get better.
There was at least one f-bomb, but not much other cursing and the f-bomb really fit the context if it is where I remember it. There was cutting, anorexia, bulimia, drug use (mostly for weight loss) and gambling. There isn't really any violence, though the descriptions of Lia's cutting and her body's condition is pretty gruesome to someone who has never been exposed to the idea of anorexia or cutting.(less)
Unfortunately, this is the last book that the English publisher Viz Media chose to release. It ends on a cliff hanger on both the volleyball aspect an...moreUnfortunately, this is the last book that the English publisher Viz Media chose to release. It ends on a cliff hanger on both the volleyball aspect and the romance aspect. Depending on whether Wikipedia is correct, there are at least four more volumes (possibly six). I really thought that I had the whole series in hand only to get to this book and realize there was no way to wrap it up in one volume. The series does teach a lot about the difference between sportsmanship and gamesmanship in team sports especially in competitive high school settings. It is also a fascinating look at the way the Japanese run their schools in comparison with ours (not that differently when it comes to athletes who excel). There are some unwanted advances by several guys including one that could have gone very poorly had others not stepped in and stopped it (I can't remember which volume, but it was the guy with the creepy crush on her). There is more people getting hurt for volleyball and some fights over girls, but other than that there isn't really any violence. I don't remember much if any language although there are quite a few mean words traded for various reasons throughout the series.(less)