I don't normally read young adult books but this was selected for me. I started it around dinner time, stayed up to read it in one sitting and then stI don't normally read young adult books but this was selected for me. I started it around dinner time, stayed up to read it in one sitting and then stayed up another hour to stop thinking about it. It's a great read.
Being YA, it's not a difficult read but it draws strong images of NYC 100 years ago - the extreme poverty, the extreme wealth and how foreign everything is when the two worlds interact. Some may object to the strong socialist message in this book, but it would be difficult to write about the formation of unions and the foundations of basic worker rights without exploring the socialist message that drove the labor unions of the day.
The ending is a little 'and they all lived happily ever after' but I chalk that up to the YA genre than to the book itself....more
I found this book listed under 'Comics & Graphic Novels' and was disappointed at first when they sample had no illustrations but was instead proseI found this book listed under 'Comics & Graphic Novels' and was disappointed at first when they sample had no illustrations but was instead prose. I started reading it anyway and bought the book halfway through reading the sample. Its well written, well edited and immediately sucked me in. the pacing is good so the book kept moving without feeling rushed.
The premise for the emergence of superpowers - the Event - was a little Flashforward but I liked the idea of 'breakthroughs' in times of crisis and I like the way homage is paid to superhero comics of old while still integrating the current crop into society in interesting ways. Other pluses include a complex plot, a good ending point that allows for the next book in the series without a cheesy cliffhanger and characters that can be injured and can die.
The only minus I had with the book is Astra doesn't read as an inbound college freshman. She reads more like a slightly older woman - 28 or so - who has some real world experience under her belt. But, beyond that, I can't fault the book.
I'm looking forward to the release of he full sequal....more
I'm not sure what to say about this book. I enjoyed it - it's a cute little historical fiction - but it wasn't fantastic. just a few random thoughts oI'm not sure what to say about this book. I enjoyed it - it's a cute little historical fiction - but it wasn't fantastic. just a few random thoughts on the book: * The most interesting character was Walter the dwarf clown and he had a very limited role. * Jacob, the narrator I liked more as a 93yo than as a 23yo, and I never really felt the connection between him and Marlena. * The grime of the circus itself was part of what kept me sucked in - that was brilliantly described. * In the end, I felt a great deal of sympathy for August - he wasn't a good man by any means, but he also was fighting some serious demons.
Like I said, I liked the book but I don't feel I need to run out and watch the movie now .......more
Disclaimer: This is the third Polito book I've read and the third reviewed. I received this one as an advance copy from the author but I would have boDisclaimer: This is the third Polito book I've read and the third reviewed. I received this one as an advance copy from the author but I would have bought it anyways.
Like with Band Fags! and Drama Queers!, this book deals with teen sexuality and coming of age. Unlike the first two, this one has a more fantastic spin to it in that it involves time travel. The story revolves around Kurt Peregrin who is 17 in 2012, a senior and just found out his girlfriend in pregnant. He falls at a school dance, hits his head and wakes up in the past where he meets his parents when they were seniors in his same school.
Chapters are written in first person and rotates between Kurt and his parents. For the most part, the three voices are distinct and believable. There are a couple places where the slang doesn't feel completely natural and correct for the two different time periods but overall it reads well. The backdrop for the story, Hazel Park, MI, reads well; Polito successfully takes his own knowledge and opinions of the area and translates that into the book so the reader feels at home.
As a time travel story, this one is a well known tale and the author alludes to that in one or two places by referencing 'Back to the Future' and 'Hot Tub Time Machine'. It's not an innovated re-conceptualization of an existing story but it's not just a stale retelling of what we've already read or watched.
It's entertaining. It's a comfortable Young Adult book with a clear message without being preachy. My only real complaint with the book is that it wraps of quickly. The story develops and develops, reaches the climax and then is wrapped up a few pages later. A longer conclusion was needed. ...more
This is my second book by Danny King and it didn't disappoint. It starts as a light comedy about a married, 35yo guy, Andrew, and his fantasizing abouThis is my second book by Danny King and it didn't disappoint. It starts as a light comedy about a married, 35yo guy, Andrew, and his fantasizing about having a little something on the side. He's just clueless and more than a bit foolish as he bumbles his way into flirting with a secretary at work with his single, best friend trying to run interference. It was fun but I wasn't sure how King could keep it up for an entire book.
Then, at about half-way through the book, suddenly everything changed. Life happens and Andrew is forced to man up. He's still clueless and foolish as he learns how to be a man - and it's still fun - but it's suddenly much more serious. By the end, he's someone a guy can respect and not just some grown kid going through the motions.
Over the past year, I've various novels with coming of age themes with men in their 30's and 40's instead of teens and 20's and this fits in nicely on the humorous end of the spectrum. If you like lad lit, British humor and/or coming of age books, give this one a try - it's worth it....more
This isn't my normal genre by any means - but I have to say I really enjoyed it. The book is written from many perspectives and you see snippets fromThis isn't my normal genre by any means - but I have to say I really enjoyed it. The book is written from many perspectives and you see snippets from the lives of many different people - an actor between jobs, a transgendered child, a widowed professor - all woven together into a single story.
Most of the book is written from the perspective of these secondary characters as they tell different pieces of a main story of a family torn apart by separation and divorce. Everyone in the book feel like complete characters and each has a distinct voice.
It was a quick read but I as completely involved with the story from the first scene. It's a great book and you should read it....more