Although I had already read (and loved) this book last fall, I am so glad I listened to the audiobook! Libba Bray's storytelling brought each characteAlthough I had already read (and loved) this book last fall, I am so glad I listened to the audiobook! Libba Bray's storytelling brought each character vividly to life. The 13 teen beauty pageant contestants, stranded on a tropical island after a plane crash that killed the rest of the girls along with chaperones and flight crew, each had their own unique personality and accent. (Texas accent? Check. Valley Girl? Check. Indian/British accent? Check. Nebraska accent? Delightfully, check.) And the Palin-esque portrayal of presidential candidate and Teen Dream Pageant sponsor LadyBird Hope was hilarious!!
Thank you, Libba, for making my second visit to the island populated by Sparkle Ponies, Lost Girls, secret agents, and bodacious pirates even better than the first! ...more
I listened to the audiobook version of this title as part of a challenge to read/listen to YALSA's Best of the Best during the next three months. I raI listened to the audiobook version of this title as part of a challenge to read/listen to YALSA's Best of the Best during the next three months. I rarely listen to audiobooks, but I am so glad I found this one! It was hilarious!
The warning on the case is indeed true: "This book is intended for immature audiences. If you find teen guys annoying and/or disgusting, this may not be the book for you." The main character, Carter, is a high school freshman, and he and his "boys" are stereotypical in mind and mouth. But his summer vacation takes an unexpected turn when he finds himself starring in a movie filmed in his town, opposite the pop star of the century. Carter's snide remarks and observations about Hollywood life are delightful.
I don't know if I would have enjoyed reading the book, but narrator Nick Podehl is fabulous in this audiobook to the point where I stopped everything to just sit and listen to him. He captures the right tone for every character, from teen boys trying to be cool, to a stressed out movie producer, to a jaded young starlet who has already been to rehab multiple times in her sixteen years.
If you feel comfortable with the sometimes crass but harmless teen boy conversations, I recommend you listen to this fun production. ...more
Wow, the sparse cover art did not prepare me for the range of emotions I experienced while listening to this audiobook. I laughed, I cried, I cheered,Wow, the sparse cover art did not prepare me for the range of emotions I experienced while listening to this audiobook. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I sobbed (really) as I was swept up in Doug's life in Stupid Marysville. I loved the subtle changes in his outlook on life (for instance, pay attention to how he refers to his brother as the plot progresses.) I rejoiced as his family made discoveries about themselves that were life-changing.
Just like Doug and Lil, I was in 8th grade during the 1968-69 school year. It was an unsettling time, as we all felt the promise of the Apollo missions (and, yes, teachers really did talk to us about it just like Mr. Ferris) while at the same time spitting on our young men returning from Vietnam. Doug's narrative captured the popular culture of the time, and it delighted me.
This is a clean read, so I can heartily recommend this for younger teens as well as those who find the frequent bad language in many teen books unsettling. I loved, loved, loved this book. If you can, have a James Auduban book by your side as you read this!...more
When I first picked up this book I thought it was ironic that a radio journalist would write a graphic novel. NPR's Brooke Gladstone usually communicaWhen I first picked up this book I thought it was ironic that a radio journalist would write a graphic novel. NPR's Brooke Gladstone usually communicates with us through sound. Why would she choose a visual format for her book?
It only took a few pages for me to realize the brilliance of using the graphic novel format for this book. There was Brooke on every page talking to me about the evolution of the media and its effects throughout history. The illustrations, Brooke's wardrobe changes, the graphic design, all took what could have been a dry subject and transformed it into an enlightening and thoughtful experience.
I recommend this as a must-read to help us get through another presidential election year. My conclusion about the media after reading this book? You can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em! ...more
I am feeling rather hard-hearted because this book did not move me. My friends who have read A Monster Calls talk about the deep emotions it invoked.I am feeling rather hard-hearted because this book did not move me. My friends who have read A Monster Calls talk about the deep emotions it invoked. I didn't feel it, even though this was a heart-wrenching subject. I didn't even shed a tear.
The illustrations were unique and added to the mood of the story. A lot was portrayed within this short book. Perhaps I will try reading it again sometime to see if I can capture the sorrows and frustrations and anger and deep love described in this story. I hope I can, because I love books that make me feel. ...more
I rate this two stars for the main portion of the book and three stars for the supplementary portion in the back. I was somewhat bored with the historI rate this two stars for the main portion of the book and three stars for the supplementary portion in the back. I was somewhat bored with the history of sugar, although the graphic design of the book was pleasing to the eye.
I was fascinated by the authors' description of how they conducted research for this book, along with their notes and sources. It was a good lesson on research techniques.
Did sugar change the world? Well, it had quite an influence, but my conclusion is it was just one factor. Interesting read....more
I would not have finished this book if it weren't for the reading challenge I am involved in right now. I found this book confusing and unsatisfying.I would not have finished this book if it weren't for the reading challenge I am involved in right now. I found this book confusing and unsatisfying. I kept referring back to earlier chapters to see if I had missed an important part of the plot, but couldn't sort things out. I also often checked the list of characters and their family relationships found on a back page. That didn't help either. I just didn't like this book! It's a Printz Honor book, so I must be missing something special, but oh well! ...more
Why oh why can't more history books be this fun! I listened to the fabulous audiobook, but now I want to read the book as well! I heard fascinating deWhy oh why can't more history books be this fun! I listened to the fabulous audiobook, but now I want to read the book as well! I heard fascinating details about the deaths of such well-known folks as Cleopatra (an Egyptian Romeo & Juliet tale) Beethoven (who was bald by the time they held his funeral--find out why!) and President James Garfield, (who would have survived the assassination if his doctors had just left him alone!)
As I learned about some of the terrifying medical practices of past centuries I was reminded of that scene in the movie Star Trek IV when Dr. McCoy is horrified by the barbarian surgeries of the 1980s. I'm certainly grateful for more enlightened health care in my lifetime!! Leeches and cupping and holes drilled into the stomach without anesthesia? No, thank you!!!
This was a relatively short audiobook (3 discs) and the tone of the narrator was very entertaining. This is a fun book for tweens and teens, especially boys -- just the right touch of gross!!...more