I did enjoy this book. I will try to post the review with little spoilers because there are some major plot points that need to be kept hidden, so tha...moreI did enjoy this book. I will try to post the review with little spoilers because there are some major plot points that need to be kept hidden, so that they will surprise the reader when they get to them.
This is the story of Evan Weiss, who has an interesting "friendship" with a childhood boy named Davis. They go to high school together, are both gay, and have the unfortunate condition of getting beaten up by the local high school jocks. Evan's home life is interesting, he has a sister who is constantly praised and talked about and his parents remain indifferent to him. This really is not explored in the novel, and Evan's parents are not clearly defined, so it is hard to imagine the reason for their feelings. They live above their parents grocery store. Davis has a distant father and his mother has been taken into psychiatric care. Davis has what Evan calls "Boing" moments, that appear to be manic episodes, followed by depression, but that is never clearly stated. Evan feels that he must protect Davis and help him get out of Madiscon Wisconsin, and they plan to move to Chicago together. Plans chagne when Evan meets Erik, a college nursing student who is also a volleyball player and a sculptor. (though I like Erik as a character, he is really too good to be true. He could have been toned down just a take to make him a bit more realistic.) Evan is terrified to let Erik know about his parents, his sister, Davis, so basically shuts Erik entirely out of his life until Erik becomes more persistent. Davis on the other hand begins to make new "friends" and starts to go down another path entirely and this puts Evan in the middle and leads you to the major plotline of the novel.
I do like Evan, but I find that in many cases, teen novels fall into the "I am unsure of who to tell about my problems so I am not going to tell anyone and fix them myself." I unserstand that some teens may use this strategy but it seems like it is almost a constant in novels as of late, and you want to smack the main character and get them to open up. Here, Evan has had a boyfriend for a year, and refuses to tell him anything. He refuses to talk to the woman who runs the gay and lesbian youth center. I would think you would open up to someone, but alas, no. And some of his decisions are unfortunate, and you really see this weakness of character, that makes you like him a little bit less than you once did. At least that was the case for me. There was also the case of something happening that goes unpunished that left a sour taste in my mouth after reading the novel.
I do like the descriptions of the characters and Evan's growth as an artist. I also like the character of Erik, and even his sister Shan becomes a little more realistic when she arrives on the scene. And there is a sense of catharsis for Evan, so there is emotional movement in the novel. And it does tackle issues that young people need to know about , so I will give it that.
All in all a good read. Defnitely for an older teen, though, as some of the content is pretty serious. (less)
This one is quite fun, almost an "Ocean's 11" for teens, as our heroine discovers her father is being accused of an art heist that he did not commit,...moreThis one is quite fun, almost an "Ocean's 11" for teens, as our heroine discovers her father is being accused of an art heist that he did not commit, and she is really worried about him. He apparently feels that nothing will happen to him but she knows that he is in danger, so she takes it upon herself to steal back the paintings that were taken. She tracks them down to an impenitrable gallery, hidden behind some current works of art, and gathers a team of teen burglars and they set to work.
Good for younger teens, it is a fun romp, easy to read and sure to please.(less)
I cannot believe the number of four and five star reviews for this book! It is horrible! And I am only halfway through it. If you read the dust jacket...moreI cannot believe the number of four and five star reviews for this book! It is horrible! And I am only halfway through it. If you read the dust jacket and look at the cover, you will not get what the book seems to promise.
I assumed (and wrongly I might add) that the book was realistic fiction about a teen girl who either witnesses a murder, or knows something about a murder and because she is a liar, no one believes her.
The book does have a murder (or does it? They mention the fact here and there, and then wander away from that plotline like it is unimportant.) Unfortunately, when you think you are reading a book about a murder, you are curious to know about the murder, and not the family history of the main character who seems to keep going off on tangents (and uniteresting tangents.)
Then the writer seems to have run out of ideas and lost track of where the book was heading so she then decides to take the book in a new direction that is totally ridiculous. It is so bad, it is almost funny and makes the book an unitentional comedy. I don't want to tell the twist because that would be a spoiler, but as I mentioned before, the person that reads the dust jacket and expects one thing will be quite suprised, and not pleasantly so.
Unfortunately, I don't like Micah very much as a main character. She just is rather bland and uninteresting and then the book keeps trying to convince you that she is a liar, and even now she is lying. But if you have a character like this, you end up just not caring. I sort of have a "yeah, whatever" feeling towards here, and that is never good in a protagonist.
I think this book is utterly forgettable, and eventually will end up on the discount racks, forgotten.
The Hollow is a very nice character study, with a bit of the supernatural thrown in. It isn't heavily supernatural, so readers that want just a touch...moreThe Hollow is a very nice character study, with a bit of the supernatural thrown in. It isn't heavily supernatural, so readers that want just a touch should really like the novel. It centers around Abbey, who has lost her friend Kristen in a tragic accident. Abbey and Kristen were best friends, and because they were always together, Abbey did not have much of a chance to cultivate other friends at school. Now with Kristen gone, Abbey is alone with her grief. Abbey loves living in the town of Sleepy Hollow, of Headless Horseman fame, and often visits the grave of Washington Irving. One day in the cemetary, she meets the mysterious Caspian, and they begin a relationship, even though Caspian seems hesitant to enter into anything deeper than friendship. She also befriends Nicholoas and his sister Katy, the caretakers of the cemetary and they also aid in her ability to deal with her grief. Abbey is a strong character and her tale is interesting and should appeal to young women. There is a sequel in the works, so even though this book does have an ending of sorts, Abbey will return and the story will get to continue. (less)
This is a fantastic and moving novel. It follows the lives of five teens who all end up in the world of prostitution, one way or another.
Eden's paren...moreThis is a fantastic and moving novel. It follows the lives of five teens who all end up in the world of prostitution, one way or another.
Eden's parents are very strict and very religious. When she falls for a boy, this could lead to disaster.
Seth is a young man discovering that he is gay. But is becoming a trophy for an older man the way to get out of his hometown? He hooks up with a man named Carl who sweeps him off to Vegas. But the life in Vegas might not be all it is cracked up to be.
Whitney is wealthy and popular, but her mother favors her sister and her father is absent, always at work. When she breaks up with her boyfriend Lucas, she is at a loss. But a handsome stranger named Bryn lures her away from friends and family, but into what?
Ginger knows about prostitution, after all her mother is working the streets. Soon she finds out that her mother is selling Ginger to her many boyfriends and she has to get out. She falls in love with a woman named Alex and together they decide to run. But can they outrun their pasts?
Cody is suffering the fallout from his stepfathers losing battle with cancer. His mother is finding the bills to be overwhelming so Cody thinks that gambling might be the answer. If only his luck will change. But luck doesn't usually change with gambling, and he must find a solution to his problem some other way.
Terrific story with wonderful characters and even though the language is sparse, (it is told in verse) you really care for these teens and hope that somehow they can survive. It also shows how somebody could fall so low as to sell their own bodies. Definitely one for good discussion. (less)
Set in a futuristic world where a plague has wiped out all the animals on earth, the people of London hide behind a huge wall to stay away from the de...moreSet in a futuristic world where a plague has wiped out all the animals on earth, the people of London hide behind a huge wall to stay away from the deadly gasses that killed the animals. The poor live in the damp lower levels of the city while the rich enjoy life in golden apartments atop high pillars. Ellie has been kidnapped and at the start of the novel she is racing back to her family in a pod racer with a capuchin monkey at her side. Apparently she knows a secret that they will stop at all costs from getting out. Her twin brother Mika can sense that Ellie is still alive and he begins a quest that will reunite him with his sister and change the course of the world forever.
Clayton creates a wonderful futuristic world and brings it to life. There is a wonderful set of tasks that Mika needs to complete in order to make it closer to his sister. These are in the form of arcade games, but is the purpose of the games a bit more sinister? The book is long, 480 pages, but it really reads quickly and although the book is long I had it finished in one day. I could not put it down. The book does come to a conclusion but it makes me wonder if a sequel is in the works?
The characters of Mika and Ellie are twelve in the novel and my library has it classified as juvenile fiction. I would have liked it if she had made them 14 and shelved it in the teen section, I think a teen would really enjoy it, but they would need to go to the children's books and they sometimes will not do that. Good cover. Should move on a display! (less)
Amy has spent the summer in a rehab facility after an accident took the life of her best friend Julia. Amy has closed herself off from anyone trying t...moreAmy has spent the summer in a rehab facility after an accident took the life of her best friend Julia. Amy has closed herself off from anyone trying to help her, even though her parents are trying to be close after years of indifference. She spends time seeing a therapist and she makes contact with a teen that she had a relationship with a long time ago. Scott really does teen angst well and creates a sympathetic character in Amy, who is flawed and damaged and making her way in a new world, a world that does not contain alcohol. She also must come to terms with her feelings for Julia. The friend that she loved but also has some anger and resentment toward. Teens coping with serious problems in addition to the normal high school drama will be able to sympathize with Amy and follow her struggle. (less)
This is a teen novel set in 1973 and would be rather daunting for teens because it is a massive 532 pages. But sticking with it you will find some mem...moreThis is a teen novel set in 1973 and would be rather daunting for teens because it is a massive 532 pages. But sticking with it you will find some memorable, if not damaged characters struggling to find their identity. The Narrator is Karl Shoemaker who lives with his mother. His mother is a hippie and an alcoholic, thinking about astrology and Nixon conspiracies and not above stealing Karl's money that he earns from working five jobs including night clean up at McDonald's, working a pharmacy diner counter and moving furniture. His friends are all madmen, a group of damaged teenagers called out of glass to attend a therapy group. But Karl wants to end this realationship to spend one year being normal. It is not as easy as it sounds. The novel takes place over the space of five days but Karl will learn a lifetime of lessons about himself, his friends and his family. Definately recommended.(less)
This book was tremendous. The characters are so life like and it really makes clear the angst of being a teenager. The story centers around Dade Hamil...moreThis book was tremendous. The characters are so life like and it really makes clear the angst of being a teenager. The story centers around Dade Hamilton who is secretly having sex with Pablo, one of the stars of the high school football team. Pablo also has a girlfriend and does not recognize any relationship with Dade other than that of clandestine sex partner, and Dade begins to question whether that is what he really wants. Dade is also having problems with his parents, his mother is drifting away to a world of pills and booze, and his father seems to have found a girlfriend he met at a poetry class. Dade's saving grace comes in the form of Lucy, a lesbian from California who comes to Iowa to live because her parents think the city is changing her for the worse. At a party, Dade meets Alex who drops by to sell pot. Alex is handsome and charming, and Dade discovers that he works at the Taco Taco and stops by to say hello. This begins a summer of love for Dade, but Pablo is still waiting in the wings. Is he willing to let Dade go for good?
Nick Burd creates memorable characters and places them in a world where there are no easy answers. Added to this is a mystery of a young autistic girl who has gone missing from her home. Dade is someone you grow to care about deeply over the course of the novel and Burd's talent for writing is evident. This would be a wonderful novel to give to older teens who are struggling to find their own identity. (less)
This novel tells the tale of Beatrice Shakespeare Smith (called Bertie) who was found and taken in by the Theatre Illuminata. The theatre is a magical...moreThis novel tells the tale of Beatrice Shakespeare Smith (called Bertie) who was found and taken in by the Theatre Illuminata. The theatre is a magical place where the characters of the plays live and perform and are bound to the theatre by the pages in a large book. Bertie's friends are the fairies from 'Midsummer Night's Dream' and Nate the pirate from 'The Little Mermaid.' One day, Bertie is called to the office of the Theater Manager and is asked to leave the theater because her shenanigans are starting to become destructive. Bertie begs to stay and only if she can find a way to become invaluable to the company will she be allowed to remain. She has some roadblocks ahead of her in the form of the fairy Ariel from the Tempest and Sedna the sea witch who arrives when salt water hits a piece of scrimshaw that Bertie wears around her neck. Ariel also thinks that there is a way to leave the trap that is the Theatre, and only Bertie holds the key to his escape. This was definitely creative and the main character is interesting. It also opens the door for the next book, because although most of the story ties up nicely, there is still a bit of a cliff hanger that is left unresolved.
Daniel, better known as Sprout, has moved with his father from Long Island to Kansas after the death of his mother. Sprout's father has not taken the...moreDaniel, better known as Sprout, has moved with his father from Long Island to Kansas after the death of his mother. Sprout's father has not taken the death well, and refuses to get a job and has taken to drink, collecting stumps and allowing vines to cover the trailer that they live in. Sprout started dying his hair green and constantly gets green dye on his clothing, and his schoolwork. Sprout is a good writer, and the English teacher wants him to enter into a state wide essay contest, and while Sprout practices his writing he takes up with school sports star Ian in a clandestine affair. His head is eventually turned by Ty, a lost soul with an abusive father who reaches out to Sprout like a life raft. But is this clinging love, or is Ty looking for something that Sprout cannot give him? Full of emotion and connection, dysfunction and longing, this novel is about growing up and finding out who you are. (less)