Aidan Donovan is a sophomore at very prestiges private school. His parents are distant and his housekeeper/nanny is who feels closest to, until she pu...moreAidan Donovan is a sophomore at very prestiges private school. His parents are distant and his housekeeper/nanny is who feels closest to, until she pushes him to start volunteering at the local Catholic Church and he meets Father Greg. Father Greg seems to understand his pain. Father Greg understands him. Father Greg is a predator.
Over winter break Aidan makes friends with Josie, who he has a crush on, Sophie, who is fun and outgoing and Mark, who seems like the perfect jock but is covering up a pain just as awful as Aidan's. Aidan is trying to keep what happened to him buried but it is hard when everything he does drives it to the surface. After one of his friends gets seriously injured and Aidan witness another young boy fall victim he is unable stay quite.
This one of the first books I have seen that deals with the Catholic Priest sexual abuse problem from a teens point of view just after the abuse. I think Kiely does a wonderful job of capturing the anguish and confusion that Aidan is feeling. It is heartbreaking to me jjust how many adults knew or suspected what kind of man Father Greg was and said or did nothing. (less)
Astrid lives in small town U.S.A., her dad has disconnected from the family by being stoned, her mom has unhealthy, more friend than parent, relations...moreAstrid lives in small town U.S.A., her dad has disconnected from the family by being stoned, her mom has unhealthy, more friend than parent, relationship with her sister, and her sister seems to just follow everyone else. Her best friends are pretending to be a couple to cover up that they are both gay and are in same-sex relationships. Astrid may be in love with girl but isn't sure if that defines her. She has a lot of love that she doesn't feel she deserves so she sends to the passengers on passing airplanes. These passengers are Astrid's confidants the only ones she can open up to and ask the questions she is unable to answer for herself.
As a whole I enjoyed the book. There were parts I thought were lacking, there times the characters drove me mad, often I wanted to shake them. This was not my story so it is hard to know if that is why it was annoying sometimes. I was never a in-the-closet teen, so maybe even if my friends and family seemed like they would have been supportive I might have still hid it. I get, Astrid fighting against being put in a box and needing a definition for herself, I think it is normal at any age to not want that. I just got annoyed with so much being her internal dialog and her not saying those things out loud to who needed to hear them.
I would have liked more development on her family, why they were so shitty. I thought not having that really took away from how they played such a large role in the book. It just seemed that other than Astrid there was little to no character development. Everyone else was superficial and so didn't really add to Astrid's character development.
What I did like were the passengers. I like the glimpses into there lives, hell they had more character development than the supporting cast. I liked those moments when they seemed to feel Astrid's love and questions. More than anything else in the book, these passengers illustrated that life isn't always easy, knowing who you are is in constant flux, feeling lost and questioning where you belong is truly universal.(less)
Panic is so very different then Oliver's Delirium series. To me, since I listened to it as an audiobook and it has the same reader as the Delirium ser...morePanic is so very different then Oliver's Delirium series. To me, since I listened to it as an audiobook and it has the same reader as the Delirium series there was a continuity for me.
I liked Heather, even when she made me angry, when I wanted to yell at her stop being stupid, stop being dense. I felt she was like a lot of teenage girls feeling like she was never good enough, seeing herself in a way that those that loved her would have never conceived of seeing her, feeling like having hope and seeking happiness were only ways to hurt more, and like many of those teenage girls she came to realize that hope and happiness belong to them. I like happy endings, I am glad Heather and got one in Panic.(less)
I really liked this, it felt like mix of Jacky Faber and the Gallagher girls, throw in a little of Libby Bray's Victorian "A Great and Terrible Beauty...moreI really liked this, it felt like mix of Jacky Faber and the Gallagher girls, throw in a little of Libby Bray's Victorian "A Great and Terrible Beauty". I enjoyed Sophronia's no nonsense nature.(less)
At the beginning of this I wasn't liking it. I found Benny to be whiny. As the story goes on and Benny grows some and is exposed to new horrors and be...moreAt the beginning of this I wasn't liking it. I found Benny to be whiny. As the story goes on and Benny grows some and is exposed to new horrors and begins to understand his world better, I started to enjoy it more. I listened to thus as an audiobook but through my library consortium I am unable to find the rest of the series as audiobooks.(less)
This was a beautiful story told in verse. Walker and his mother are mourning the loss of his older, and very troubled, brother. Walker prays to god to...moreThis was a beautiful story told in verse. Walker and his mother are mourning the loss of his older, and very troubled, brother. Walker prays to god to help ease his mother pain. What he gets is the answer to his prayers in a humorous, touching, uplifting way that is not what he thinks he asked for but what he needs to heal his pain and began to help his mother.
Koertge writes a moving story of compassion and the human spirit.(less)
Wow, wow, wow! This is the way to end a series!! I have read so many dystopian series over the last several years and have often been left feeling meh...moreWow, wow, wow! This is the way to end a series!! I have read so many dystopian series over the last several years and have often been left feeling meh or so so angry with the ending. Not with Sunrise, which is so aptly named as the final book. I closed this book feeling so much hope and that at least one world is on it's way to healing and a real future.
While Alex and Darla face many hardships, more than seem fair after two books and so much loss, they never give up. Sunrise is as fast paced and action packed as the first two. It covers a lot of time and events in it's nearly 550 pages. It never felt laborious to read as third installments sometimes can. I enjoyed the details in building a new community, even the seemingly boring task of setting up a government, work forces and logistics.(less)
Wow, creepy. Cora and Mimi's mother us not well, their father sends them to life with a distant great aunt who doesn't want them. In the small English...moreWow, creepy. Cora and Mimi's mother us not well, their father sends them to life with a distant great aunt who doesn't want them. In the small English town the children are told to stay away from the old church near the bog and the house of Ida Eastfield or else Long Lankin might drag them back to his hell.
Long Lankin unfolds slowly. Much information and a lot of truth are kept from Cora and her new friend Roger what is going. It is worth the slow telling to get to the end but it might be hard for some. I think thus would be great for young teens and older Tweens. Older teens might find it too slow without enough scare to move it along. Real dedicated older teens who like urban legend and a well told story will enjoy this as well.(less)
Hostage Three is Amy Fields this is the name the Somali pirates give her. Amy has just finished school, her mother committed suicide not too long ago...moreHostage Three is Amy Fields this is the name the Somali pirates give her. Amy has just finished school, her mother committed suicide not too long ago and her father has remarried. He thinks what Amy needs is a trip around the world by boat. It is a perfectly boring trip until they sail by Somalia and are taken by pirates. As Amy gets to know one of the pirates she gets a glimpses into a hard, hungry, painful world. The line between the good guys and the bad guys blurs, and she finds herself more in the gray zones of what is happening.
Nick Lake does for Somali pirates what he did for Haitian gangs, he humanizes them, he gives them stories, he creates complex characters that live through tragedies and wars that most of his readers will never know. He opens up a window to a world that doesn't get much coverage in the news other than the negative. The "pirates" call themselves "The Coast Guard" they feel they are doing what they have to take care of their families. They see it as a business that a robbery or attack. They do not want to hurt their hostages which is why they ask only for money, which to the mostly white and western companies and people they take, they think should be easy to come up with.
This was a moving, heart wrenching book that I am so glad I read, I now have a new perspective and understanding of a country and a people that I have only had a very narrow view of before this.(less)
Becca's father stole millions through computer fraud and ponzy schemes. Just before her freshman year of high school he is arrested and a national tri...moreBecca's father stole millions through computer fraud and ponzy schemes. Just before her freshman year of high school he is arrested and a national trial finds him guilty. After his trail she and her mother run to Ohio and cover their past. Becca does it because she is humiliated and thinks no one will like her, her mother has a darker secret reason. It isn't until her senior year when she is trying to figure out how to pay for college that her mother's secrets come out and Becca begins to fear more than just her friends finding out who her father is.
Haddix starts with a good premise, but her execution falls short ( as I think it always does in her books). I really want to like her writing since it is so popular in with the kids who use my library but I just always feel like it lacks a punch. She takes so long setting up the suspense that she must rush through the climax and aftermath too quickly to be satisfying. With Full Ride I just didn't buy the suspenseful or thriller part of this novel. Also, I didn't find it very thriller like. I think Haddix really wants to write an edgy thriller it just isn't in her and her novels feel too safe and tidy.(less)