I just finished this very touching account of Michael J. Fox's diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and the way he initially tried to deny and hide it andI just finished this very touching account of Michael J. Fox's diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and the way he initially tried to deny and hide it and eventually came to terms with not only the disease, but the way he can help others.
I always enjoy learning about the lives and paths of other people, particularly celebrities, politicians, or artists. The conversational style of the book immediately made me feel like I was an old friend. He speaks candidly of his struggles and fears and I found him very relateable.
There were a few things I really liked about this book. I enjoyed the premise of a girl able to talk to death and Death as a character rather than anThere were a few things I really liked about this book. I enjoyed the premise of a girl able to talk to death and Death as a character rather than an abstract concept. I also liked the way that this book deal with issues around death, like sorrow and grief of those left behind and the relationships that we all, as humans, have with death. At times the prose was inspired and elevated the book.
There were a few things that I didn't really like about the book, including the use of first person. Many YA novels tend to use first person, but I've never been a fan of it. I feel like it places a lot of limitations on the story, especially when the character is an adolescent. I always feel like first person holds the story back from really blossoming. I felt the same way with The Hunger Games, and actually really enjoyed the way the movie was able to expand the world because it was no longer in that first person confines.
I also found that the virtue of this book was in the language and thoughts around death, but not in the outcome. The story was good, but somewhat predictable and there were moments that felt contrived. Overall, as measured against other books in the genre, I would give it a 3.5, since Goodreads won't let me I've given it a 3. Definitely above average, and worth a read (it's a short one)....more
For what the purpose of this text is, this book was good. It is a decent overview of some fundamental sociological theories that inform educational reFor what the purpose of this text is, this book was good. It is a decent overview of some fundamental sociological theories that inform educational research. The book is not particularly engaging, but it is also not boring. It gives good fundamentals and the context and history of these theories is solid....more
Marvin isn’t your typical kid. In fact, he’s a real smart-ass. His antics finally force his parents to send him away – For His Own Good. Plot Summary
Marvin isn’t your typical kid. In fact, he’s a real smart-ass. His antics finally force his parents to send him away – For His Own Good. That’s how he arrives at the Sandy Rivers Hilltop Ranch for Wayward Youths, Juveniles, and Young Adults, along with a bunch of other trouble making kids.
However, Marvin finds out pretty quickly that the ranch isn’t at all what it seems and it’s up to him and the friends – yes, friends for the first time in his life – to find out what’s going on and then get them out of what seems to be a hopeless predicament involving aliens, time-travel, and almost certain death.
This isn’t a book for everyone, but if you enjoy some humor in with your science fiction then you are in for a treat from D. S. Thornton. In a similar stylistic-vein as Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, this book is witty and at times laugh-out-loud funny. In many ways it is a coming of age story. Marvin goes from being an outcast and a misfit that no one understands to finding a place where he belongs, where he is not only understood, but also appreciated. I think people of any age can relate to that struggle to find your way, especially if you were one of those kids who didn’t exactly fit in.
I also generally enjoy sci-fi, particularly when the concepts involve space and time travel. I liked the way the book portrayed those concepts. The world of the book is easy to enter, mostly because it is just like our own at first. By the time the sci-fi elements come in, you’ve already gotten to know the characters and as they discover the reality of their situation so do you, easing you into it rather than plunging you into the universe.
As a writer I enjoyed the unique literary conventions the author plays with through the choice of the narrator and the excessive use of parenthetical interjections and massive footnotes. To some, following tangential footnotes might feel like an interruption, but to me they gave the book a unique flavor that made it stand out from other other YA fare. I always think it’s fun when authors experiment with technique and write playing with literary conventions. I read a lot, and I’ll read just about anything, so this variety is noticed and appreciated. Because of the footnotes, I think the book is better enjoyed using the print version, though the Kindle version does a fine job of getting you where you need to be and then back again. I enjoyed the unexpected choice of narrator, but I won’t give anything away. Perhaps you’ll figure it out sooner than I did.
All in all, I would recommend this book for lovers of sci-fi, humor, YA, and adventure. If you were a smart-ass kid you’ll probably enjoy it even more....more