This volume is a collection of a Korean Manhwa Webcomic. A couple notes:
All the characters are amazing. The setups of the world, fighting system, etc.This volume is a collection of a Korean Manhwa Webcomic. A couple notes:
All the characters are amazing. The setups of the world, fighting system, etc. are interesting The plot is very reminiscent of the 1984 movie The Karate Kid. Actually, the story is almost completely the same with manhwa differences and additions. There is a bit of a harem, which I usually find really irritating, but this one is somehow not as annoying. In fact, it can be hilarious. This fact is probably due to the hilarious and amazing characters. The art is absolutely GORGEOUS. Full color, clean work, great designs of everything. Including the occasional parts where the comic goes to a more blue-print/infographic exposition style. So. AMAZING. Don't know why that one lady has cat ears, but I don't care. This manhwa is great....more
Finally, since I reread Little Brother, I got around to reading its sequel. It was... fine I guess. Unlike the first book though, there were quite a fFinally, since I reread Little Brother, I got around to reading its sequel. It was... fine I guess. Unlike the first book though, there were quite a few bits that I found were going too fast, or slogging because I've either seen it before, or didn't find them that interesting.
Marcus is back, and life isn't going so well. Both his parents are laid off, costing him his college education, and he is still sort of in a state where he doesn't really know how to feel about and handle his droves of M1k3y fans. It's kind of refreshing to read. Just because he became a hacker hero whose work sort of saved San Francisco from its unconstitutional-police state, doesn't mean he's elevated in society and everything results in an unglamorous, real-life... life.
I'm trying to figure out what I had issues with, and it's kind of tricky to point out exactly what the problems were. Other than the pacing issues, maybe that's the problem: there's too much happening. However, Marcus has A LOT to handle in his life, and the books is told first person by him.
The book starts out with Marcus and Angie chilling at the Burning Man's festival (kind of like a pyromaniac desert festival). He runs into cool people, strange people, then Marsha and Zeb. They give him a flash drive containing over 800,000 files about the corruption of America and instruct him to release it to the public if anything happens to them. It names names, and is altogether very dangerous to have. First off, Marcus is scared. Another element I liked about this book. Again, Marcus was the hacker-hero of book one, but, unlike most book protagonists, he isn't some SUPER-BADASS who handles everything in his life with ease; he's an ordinary guy (ordinary, meaning outside of him being a computer programmer, hacker, mechanic and machines-in-general TECH SUPER GENIUS).
That is the main plot thread, Marcus and company trying to figure out what to do about this particular volatile trove of terrible terrible secrets and conspiracies. On top of that, he is worried about a new job (webmaster for an Independent running for Californian Senator), the effect his actions have on his relationship with Angie, the tension with his old friends when they get together, the stress of his parents' financial situation, spying, Carrie Johnstone, the government, riots, more kidnappings, and just a bazillion other things. I felt stressed out just reading the book.
The main problem is that, with so much happening, inevitably, a lot of plot threads seem to get crushed in the periphery. For example, we don't see much beyond the interview when he's hired webmaster. Hundreds of pages later, when someone expresses disappointment in him for not performing as expected, I was thinking "I'm surprised he was performing at all, considering how little he refers to that seemingly very-important part of his life. He talks more about cold coffee and sleep-deprivation". That might have been the point, but it gets bad when almost ALL the plot threads and lots of characters seemed crushed at one point or another.
Speaking of sleep-deprivation and cold coffee, those pacing issues I mentioned earlier? A lot of the book is technical explanation. Now I usually don't have a problem with them, as the simplified terms about web-security and analogies make them very interesting (for me) to read. However, Marcus's inner monologue does focus a lot on technical explanations for a lot of, frankly unnecessary stuff. He goes into great detail about the Burning Man Festival. Then he rambles for ages about his special chilled-coffee: about how he makes it (in detail), the chemistry about coffee taste, how it's underrated, and how he's been converting anyone and everyone to its awesomeness. Then he goes off explaining the concept of "random" That's nice (and admittedly interesting), but did it really add to the plot? With the novel being nearly 500 pages was all that detail necessary?
I understand that the first book has about the same length and also had a few in depth explanations of unnecessary but interesting tidbits. The first one, however, had one major plot point (San Francisco's police state and X-Net fighters trying to take it down), and stuck with it. Yes, it too was gloriously messy and complicated, but that was the main conflict; it's sheer size and difficulty was enough. Everything the characters did, came up with, programmed, hacked, etcetera was to address the huge, very complicated problem. There were no easy answers, and they were very clever in figuring out exactly what to do. There was also great character establishing moments and development, making the whole fight from the perspective of real people.
The second book too had the main problem, but it was scaled down. Instead of "how to make people interested in fighting back against this totalitarian state and the corruption without ending up dead-or-missing-by-government" it was "to leak or not to leak" and how? Once that is figured out, what to do about the results? Marcus sort of becomes a bit of a pin-ball hero, not really affecting the plot anymore, but just being bounced around by it. There we go. That's the problem.
Did I like the book? Yes. There were some really awesome parts in it too that stuck out (MIC CHECK!) Was it as tight and as well done as the first one? Unfortunately, no.
I realize this review is all over the place and rambling in places. Kind of like the book. I'll edit it later. ...more
OOOOOHHHH... (view spoiler)[ Zuko is Ozai's son, not Ikem's. (hide spoiler)] Well, that's fine. I was initially shocked that such a revelation was revOOOOOHHHH... (view spoiler)[ Zuko is Ozai's son, not Ikem's. (hide spoiler)] Well, that's fine. I was initially shocked that such a revelation was revealed in the comics, comics that I guess about 1/3 of the original viewers of the show know about/actually read. But the explanation was well done.
I suppose the reason why I love this series so much is because it's about Zuko and Azula. The main heroes from the show almost take a back seat in this arc, as the story focuses so much about this particular pair of dysfunctional siblings. They are both such interesting and complex people. I love how Zuko hasn't turned bland in turning to the good side. (view spoiler)[ Likewise, I love how Azula ran away halfway through. She has gone crazy, yes, but her mom admitted to her and apologized for not loving her as she should have. I really want to know what happens to Azula. She's probably at the start of some sort of long torturous turn to the good side like Zuko or ends up a poor soul who refuses to be redeemed and ultimately has a tragic end. But it's a kid show. Of course they wouldn't go down that route. But it's Avatar, a show famous for not dumbing down major themes and epic stories... maybe... I don't know. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, we find out about Zuko's mom. It was pretty darn good. I love the design of the face spirit (view spoiler)[ and her relationship with KOH, and Zuko's initial "not wanting to tell new-face mom about himself because of her happiness. (hide spoiler)] This final installment of THE SEARCH won't disappoint....more
What can I say about this book? It's beautiful, both in story and in illustration. Conor has to deal with his mother’s vague terminal illness, and oneWhat can I say about this book? It's beautiful, both in story and in illustration. Conor has to deal with his mother’s vague terminal illness, and one night he is approached by a monster. A monster that, surprisingly, Conor has no fear of. It is there to help him, make him listen, make himself look at the truth. The tales of the monster are fascinating, Conor's reactions realistic. The way it weaves the stages of grief in and throughout the book are evident, but not shoved into your face. This is what I feel like The Book Thief should have been. Conor is very likable and his emotions very real. Well, maybe not. I can't really say for sure because I am lucky enough never to have lost a very very close person to a terminal illness before. But they were relatable all the same.
I need to repeat how amazing the illustrations are. They are the greatest monochromatic I’ve seen since Shaun Tan's The Arrival. Very well done. ...more
Poor, poor Jamie. I bought this book on a whim for a buck at the library because I saw the immortal name S.E. Hintonadorning the cover. This has got tPoor, poor Jamie. I bought this book on a whim for a buck at the library because I saw the immortal name S.E. Hintonadorning the cover. This has got to be good! Then I read some reviews on goodreads and got disillusioned. Not as good The Outsiders, Hinton really fell off her game. About a vampire? Seriously? Well, anyway, I read it. And loved it. And, if I'm being completely honest, it's probably because I love Jamie (view spoiler)[ Hard childhood, rogue sailor, abused vampire slave. How much more woobish can a character get? Especially after Grenville steps into the picture, he reminded me very much of Smike from Nicholas Nickleby. Anyway (hide spoiler)]. He's is a charismatic, handsome, young man with the tough, raunchy personality of a sailor. Which makes sense considering that he is. Ex navy, spends time smuggling and feels most at home at sea. One day, when he's at a small town of Hawkes Harbor, he hears of the legend of Hawkes Island. It's haunted, they say. Don't go there, they say. So what does our hero do? Guess. (view spoiler)[ There, he accidently lets loose a vampire and his life changes forever. Grenville Hawkes bites him, but lets him live as a servant. Well, not really a servant, but a poor abused slave. Jamie's very biology gets rewritten as his very high pain tolerance is gone forever, and his nerves and free-spirit are broken. Grenville goes to a Doctor Louisa Kahn to see about reversing the curse that makes him a vampire as Louisa takes advantage of the situation to observe (conduct research or whatever) a vampire and his slave. Jamie, on the other hand, gets shot on a kidnapping charge, ends up in a mental hospital, etcetera etcetera etcetera. His life becomes hell. Read the book if you want more. (hide spoiler)]
Stylistically, this book is a little choppy. Well, very choppy. It's one of those that jumps around timelines. I bothered to read it through and figure out the chronologic timeline, and I think she actually made a mistake in one of the dates. I can see how that would turn readers off, as the brain wants chronologic order dammit! Even after I put them in order, they still feel choppy. One day, Jamie's freaking out about candles, thinking about that one time he didn't understand language or whatever. One day, out of the blue, Grenville (view spoiler)[ is interested in Katie to transport the soul of his long dead beloved wife into. What the heck? Where did that come from!? (hide spoiler)] There are a lot of mini-plots that are super under-developed. Too bad this isn't popular. S.E. Hinton could have made this book twice as long easily is only she'd explain more things. How did Grenville become a vampire? What the heck with the ghost? When exactly did Louisa start making progress with the cure? What happened between the time Jamie was hospitalized and Terrace Hall? There are so many blanks that could have been filled by zealous fan fic writers if not the actual author. Plus, there is the bad rap that vampires get because of it's highly popular romanticization lately. You know what I'm talking about. Now everything even remotely vampiric BEGS to be compared to Twilight. I just want to say that this was written BEFORE it. Yes, literature that had vampires living in modern society existed before that immortal piece of shlop was written. And this vampire, Grenville Hawkes, isn't nice. He's abusive, cold, can turn into a bat, doesn't freaking sparkle, bites people, is strong, fast, intelligent. In the end, (view spoiler)[ I like Grenville. Sure I don't know how, when exactly, or why he suddenly became human and nice and guilty for the way he treated Jamie, but when he does, it feels genuine, and their bond is very nice to read. (hide spoiler)] Maybe I'm giving Jamie too much credit. Grenville along with several other characters combined made this book interesting. This book is definitely flawed, but I liked it anyway.
Final notes: My major complaint is that (view spoiler)[ I hated Louisa Kahn. The bitch feels bad for Jamie but takes advantage of him as much as Grenville does? Blackmailing him with sending him back to Terrace Hall (even though she took him out of it too early... he was definitely not cured what the hell) thinking that Jamie doesn't really believe it? What? If he didn't actually take your threats seriously, lady, then he wouldn't be so compliant! Why did you bother blackmailing him like that if you thought he didn't really believe it? Then of course Jamie somehow shakes her grip but he still thinks she and Grenville should get together? Yeah right. That subplot got absolutely NO development and irritated the hell out of me. Lousia Kahn is the reason for 4 stars. Yeah. She's a bitch. And we're supposed to like her? NO. I liked the cold-hearted abusive vampire better. >:( Anyway. (hide spoiler)]...more
I hated this. The Clutters were murdered, and so Capote shows up on the scene with an apparent crush on one of the murderers and writes a book about hI hated this. The Clutters were murdered, and so Capote shows up on the scene with an apparent crush on one of the murderers and writes a book about how innocent and kind and abused he was. Yes, Perry is a woobie. But he was a MURDURER of AN ENTIRE FAMILY. Kind of disrespectful to their memory much? The stylistic prose, making it seem fiction was just stomach churning. I remember reading a newspaper article and told my friend OMG THEY GOT THE DEATH PENALTY! and he goes "geez! spoilers!" Seriously? IT HAPPENED. IT WAS REAL. SIX PEOPLE DIED. And Capote turned it into "omg spoilers they die at the end!" He wrote a fanfic about a freaking quadruple murder and the resulting death penalty. I can hardly believe it was classified as non-fiction. It may have been "based off a true story", but it's NOT NON-FICTION. It just makes me angry. Two stars for the prose....more
Boring. Depressing. John's an asshole, Lorraine's not much better, always going along with his schemes. Good job you two. (view spoiler)[ Way to takeBoring. Depressing. John's an asshole, Lorraine's not much better, always going along with his schemes. Good job you two. (view spoiler)[ Way to take advantage of an old guy. Did you really think it was a good idea to throw a party in an old guy's house when he's away at the hospital recovering from a heart attack? You both are terrible people. Thus, even though it's not that rational, I blame both of them for Pigman's death. Just trample all over his kindness and soul why don't ya?! In John's words, 3@#$$*$@# 3!@^&@* #%^^&@*#, and GO TO #&$^#& (hide spoiler)]...more
Steven Crashinsky saved his school from blowing up at the hands of a super psychotic kid. And he's a complete asshole. Told from his point of view, heSteven Crashinsky saved his school from blowing up at the hands of a super psychotic kid. And he's a complete asshole. Told from his point of view, he is working on writing a book based on his life and what actually happened that fateful day, and the narrative goes back and forth. It's bizarre. And pointless. It's boring. And repetitive, and HE'S SO UNLIKEABLE. Plus, Burn (I forgot his full name), is also TERRIBLE. I mean, sure he's the one who threatened to blow up the place, but SERIOUSLY. I hated him so much. Every time he appeared, I was put on edge. I have no sympathy at all for him despite (view spoiler)[ the fact that his ENTIRE FAMILY DIED (hide spoiler)] That may have messed him up, but he’s EVIL. I hated Lindsey; I even hated Jamie. Yep, so completely freaking normal to sit around watching Nickelodeon all day. And his mother was on board with this? What IS Jamie's character? She simply doesn't give a shit about anything other than television? For crying out loud there isn't a single likable character in this book. Steven's dad? The worst father ever to be conceived of in fiction (well, maybe not the worst in terms of actions; he didn’t beat his kids or anything, but seriously) He is such a BASTARD. Felicia (the absolutely perfect perfect woman ever who always says the right things, super nice, "super-hot" etcetera etcetera)? I hated her because she's freaking marrying him. WHY? WHY WHY WHY? When Crash isn't hooking up with girls he's planning cheat on and/or break up with as soon as the affair is over, he's getting high, complaining how scarily psychotic Burn is (and he IS), or gushing about how amazing Roxanne was (view spoiler)[ Burn’s collage sister who tutored him once and hooked up with several times who committed suicide (hide spoiler)]. Hell. Even the last line was about freaking (view spoiler)[ hooking up with a rich-ho who’s totally into him for some reason. One who he’s cheated on some other girl with that was mad at him for a time and then got over it. The last line went something like “She asked me over and her parents aren’t home!” (hide spoiler)] I hated Steven so much. All he can talk about is how he’s fantasizing about girls, hooking up with girls while thinking about others, etcetera. The last part of the book when the narrative finally goes into exactly what went down that fateful day was fine. But the 500 pages of sheer idiocy I had to slog through was NOT WORTH IT. ...more
This did a magnificant job of juggling the many different issues in the book. Terminal illness, grief, spirituality, interpersonal relationships, etceThis did a magnificant job of juggling the many different issues in the book. Terminal illness, grief, spirituality, interpersonal relationships, etcetera etcetera etcetera. More later...more
Quick read. Basically Cruise Control from Shawn's point of view. Shawn, in fact, actually is aware of the world, and this book goes into detail what hQuick read. Basically Cruise Control from Shawn's point of view. Shawn, in fact, actually is aware of the world, and this book goes into detail what he is going through while being physically unable to communicate any of his thoughts or have any control over any part of his body. He is surprisingly not bitter about it, and it was interesting to read. (view spoiler)[ And no. He doesn't magically get better in the end. In fact, it's a bit of a depressing cliffhanger sort of. But it was well done because an ending with a magical cure would be a cop-out. Considering the source material, that was one of the things that kept me reading. How on earth could the author end this book? (hide spoiler)]
Also, did anyone else notice that, hey! Terry Trueman, Pulitzer Prize winner for writing books about dealing with a family member with severe cerebral palsy and father of a child with such a disorder, writes a jerk pulitzer prize winning dad of Shawn? That was just weird to think about the entire time I read it. Especially with all of Shawn's dad's thoughts about so-called "mercy killing" his kid. May technology advance enough for us to be able to figure out new ways for people struck with this disorder to be able to communicate one day....more
Leo's sister was brutally murdered four years ago, and since then, his dad left and his mom went crazy (scary abusive psycho crazy). He's the one withLeo's sister was brutally murdered four years ago, and since then, his dad left and his mom went crazy (scary abusive psycho crazy). He's the one with the job, taking care of basic necessities such as food, and one night, when it get to be too much, he goes for a drive.
Bree is just a rich girl who wants to get out from under the controlling thumb of her mother and boyfriend. And one night, in a fit of rebellion, she goes for a walk on the “bad” side of town…
Told from alternate views, this is the story of how they met and came to know each other…
There's a name for this type of situation: (view spoiler)[ Stockholm syndrome. I can't believe I saw the words "love story" on the back cover. That is not what this is. Leo, who thinks he might be going crazy, kidnaps Bree, upset and thinking that it should be that “slut wandering around” that should’ve died instead of his sister (she was dressed provocatively as part of her rebellion). In order to save her life, she tries to talk with him, let him know that she’s a person, a lesson she learned in a self-defense class. He is initially doesn’t engage but eventually lets down his barriers and Bree finds out that he is human too. Here’s what made this pretty good, despite the squicky feelings that come with Stockholm syndrome cases: the Leo and Bree, despite being stereotypically “troubled”, are not annoying. They are not complaining to the reader, and this isn’t a story of a “shallow rich girl” who learns a valuable lesson during a time of duress. While Leo has had a very hard life that makes Bree’s problems seem juvenile in comparison, her problems aren’t limited to friendship drama or nail polish. The problem I have with those sort of stories is that they preach the whole moral about “the crime of being wealthy” while ignoring the actual crime of kidnapping and other various terrible things. One top of that, they tend to side with the criminal. Leo and Bree aren’t like that. Another thing that this book addresses is that Bree finds out everything that I, the reader, finds out. Every single thing. So her character isn’t just another teenage girl falling for a messed up kidnapping teenage boy with a hinted-at vague troubled past on the grounds that she could “fix him”. What I know about Leo make me symphonize for him, and it makes perfect sense that Bree, despite being a kidnapping victim, feels at least a little sympathy for his situation. It’s what makes her a human being. The main problem that I have about this story is the ending. Leo (sort of obviously), lets Bree go, and she makes up her mind not to tell the police, and, after doing a little digging, she finds out who he is in more detail, and the last line, I’m not kidding, says something about how she’s glad because she could find him again. SERIOUSLY? Leo is seriously messed up, and although he sort of gets over it, you should probably get him a nice psychiatrist to talk to. For CRYING OUT LOUD. He held a knife up to your throat several times, tied you up, kept you against your will, and, although you left, you still are thinking about getting together with him? What? When the kids ask how you guys met, are you going to say “we first met when he kidnapped me and threatened to kill me. It was the most romantic time of my life wasn’t it honey”? NO NO NO NO NO!!! Yes, Leo is a woobie, but that doesn’t quite excuse the fact that he kidnapped and almost killed you! Sure, Leo is seriously messed up, is genuinely sorry, and is adorable on top of that (evidently), but this is NOT AN EXCUSE. It’s like Beauty and the Beast. Belle seems to completely forget that the Beast blackmailed her into staying with him forever, never to see her father again. Sure that movie was about “not judging appearances”, but for crying out loud, the beast sure had a good long laundry list of terrible ACTIONS to judge him by. Anyway, this was pretty good, with an interesting commentary about how people tend to be more complex than “he’s evil, she’s shallow”, and first impressions and human tendency to need to BLAME someone, even when no one is really at fault. (hide spoiler)] ...more
This was ok. It was interesting because it was one of the first books about life on the streets as narrated by a girl. Not that it's really obvious, hThis was ok. It was interesting because it was one of the first books about life on the streets as narrated by a girl. Not that it's really obvious, however, it was different. Much of the book was comprised of "I'm hungry and cold because I don't have food and it's cold". Strasser is very good at packing a punch with all of his books about difficult issues (school shootings, street life), and I think the most influential part was the reports about the death of several street kids that the main character knew (her street name is Maybe). The one thing that irritated me was how long it took Maybe to figure out that a warm bed and food was better than being "hungry and cold" as she complains about daily. But I'm not a street kid. I never was a street kid. I am, what they all would call, "a high ended middle class person who gets everything" et cetera. Yeah, this book made me a sense of survivor’s guilt somehow, like how come they get nothing and I get everything? Well, then comes the realization. What would I have done about her if I came across her? Take her home? The mistrust that all the street kids have with everyone NOT in their little tribe (their word) was certainly justified, as they spent most of their lives building it up in order to survive, however, they refuse shelter because of "rules that would take away their freedom" like curfews? Right. Freedom to do what? Be hungry and cold? I mean, (view spoiler)[ she realizes it in the end, after all of her buddies are dead but why not before? (hide spoiler)] Again, I really shouldn't judge. I've been fortunate enough never to have to deal with that sort of situation. I'm sure there may have been several reasons. Pride, need for independence (meaning like, "my mom sucked, so I don't need her. I don't need anyone! I'll show her." sort of thing), and maybe even slight commitment to the tribe. Plus, as said before, the blatant mistrust of any "non-street kid". This book was fine. (view spoiler)[ and I love a *semi*-happy ending. (hide spoiler)] ...more
Well this is one of those mood whiplash books. And it does it perfectly. (view spoiler)[ Lily, the titular killer's cousin, is the nastiest little witWell this is one of those mood whiplash books. And it does it perfectly. (view spoiler)[ Lily, the titular killer's cousin, is the nastiest little witch ever. And not in the "I'm so much better than you mean little girl" sort of way, but in the literally terrifying "what is she going to do next?" sort of way. She's clever, scheming, and downright evil at times towards David, the main character who was just acquitted for murder of his girlfriend (I think it ended up being a manslaughter case, it was never made clear), and just moved in with his Aunt Julia and Uncle Vic. Vic apparently let David stay because "he knows how it feels" or something... it has to do with their eldest daughters (view spoiler)["suicide" (hide spoiler)] though I'm not sure how this would cause him to sympathize with David. Anyway, the Aunt Julia, who has never really liked David or his mother, is cold toward him, and Lily, as mentioned before, is incredibly hostile. It's rare that any character can actually keep me on edge without me knowing anything about them, but seriously, this girl is messed up. On top of that, David is (view spoiler)[literally (hide spoiler)] haunted by Kathy's (his other cousin) ghost telling him to "helplily helplily helplily". Every time Lily came up in the narrative, I was on edge. She acted like she literally wanted to kill David. Her first uttered sentence to him was “did it feel powerful when she went down?” And from then on it gets worse and worse. Her parents have a strained relationship because of Kathy’s death, and they use Lily as a go-between like “Lily, ask your father if he would like seconds” (they’re just across each other at the table). A few things David says and does sort of repairs some of the strain of their relationship, and though he has repaired her parents’ feud, Lily is outraged. David is often uncomfortable, and because this is narrated first person by him, there are many long stretches of awkward silence and tension. Werlin did an excellent job of making me feel exactly what the main character was feeling. The disgust for his aunt and uncle for not listening to his concern for Lily’s mental health, the anxiety of starting a new school after his face had been tabloid headlines for the past few months… the unsettling atmosphere every time Lily showed up. In the end, we realize with David that (view spoiler)[ “guilt attracts guilt”, and that Lily actually killed Kathy… it was never a suicide. Lily may be a terrible character throughout the book, but it was made infinitely worse knowing exactly how and why she killed her sister (when she was seven, nonetheless). Shortly after confronting Lily, David he tells her that she won; she has succeeded in making him leave, and he moves out. Shortly after that, however, he sees Kathy’s ghost again, “helplily helplily helplily”, and he eventually runs back to the house just in time to see it on fire. Lily is nowhere to be found, and he knows exactly where Lily would be. He charges into the burning house and rescues her from not only the fire, but herself. Lily has felt immense guilt at her sister’s death (big shock), and because she was only seven when it happened, no one actually believes that she killed her. They think that it was a hallucination of the stress of “being there when her sister ‘committed suicide’”. Lily was trying to die in the same way Kathy died, and she struggles for a while to keep David from saving her, but David tells her that her punishment is not to die, but to learn to live, like him. From then Lily hangs on to him, he charges though the house and passes out. David learns later that they had to sedate Lily in order to get her away from him. Thus, the mood whiplash. Lily is an evil demon. Lily is even worse because she’s a hypocritical murderer. Lily is just confused and not getting the help she needs, and genuinely feels remorse for what she has done (and, like David, it was an accident). All the disgust aimed at her immediately goes to Aunt Julia and Uncle Vic, who have made it their policy to never talk about Kathy, never be real parents to Lily. They are caught up in their own selfish little world of pretending that everything is always fine yet being incredibly hypocritical and mean towards people who they blame for everything wrong in their lives. This book managed to make me feel genuine sympathy for two manslaughterers, and it was an emotional roller-coaster the whole way. (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]...more
This was a pretty good book. Charlie and Sam are (were) best friends, then suddenly, they're not. However, this isn't the main focus of the book, thouThis was a pretty good book. Charlie and Sam are (were) best friends, then suddenly, they're not. However, this isn't the main focus of the book, though it is a theme. (view spoiler)[ In fact, they don't even take to each other until the last eighth or so. (hide spoiler)] The book focuses more on each individual life, alternating perspectives (but still narrated in the third person). Sam is having problems because (view spoiler)[ his parents got separated because his dad decided that he was gay, and his mother got a new homophobe boyfriend who is constantly making cracks about them, and Sam himself is (gasp) gay as well. Meanwhile Charlie is having drug dealing problems. When the two finally meet, catch up with each other, figure out their ancient feud, and make up in the end (I mean, obviously), it's great. A little awkward, but great. (hide spoiler)]...more
Ok, I only read like, 500 pages (and maybe 40 of the footnote pages). I kind of feel bad that I didn't finish it, however, I am not THAT into the bookOk, I only read like, 500 pages (and maybe 40 of the footnote pages). I kind of feel bad that I didn't finish it, however, I am not THAT into the book to want to finish it. As my shelves indicate, this was read as an "outside reading book" for school. I had a certain deadline, and so I am pretty content with what I did read.
This is a difficult book to read. The narratives go EVERYWHERE, and there were entire thick sections of the book that just passed by without me understanding a word. The one thing that I liked the most however, was the storyline with Hal Incandoza and family. More later....more
I don't think that the caption under the title: "What does this bully have to say for himself?" really fits what this book is all about. The focus isI don't think that the caption under the title: "What does this bully have to say for himself?" really fits what this book is all about. The focus is much more on his underprivileged citizen status and general delinquency. The bullying in the book is fairly minimal compared to all of the other events about him. Granted, this is told from his point of view, and he does beat on other kids for money, and his lack of money ever doesn’t give him the right to do so. However, this was a very different type of book that I thought I was going to get. There are only a few things that I can’t believe that I want to rant about: (view spoiler)[ - Tod literally believes that a fixed sphinx statue that he broke is a miracle he feels that he needs to “pay back”? It never occurs to him that there was an extra one? I mean, the art girl is the art girl! Of course she would have an extra one at home. -The goth art girl says “hey your mom sews, she can do the costumes!” and practically forces him to do it despite the fact that Tod and his family are dirt poor and she provides NO MATERIALS FOR THE DAMN COSTUMES (admittedly, she doesn’t really know that he’s dirt poor, however, material for SEVEN COSTUMES can get a expensive. I mean, plan for expenses art girl!) She totally exploited Tod(‘s mother, she thinks) for her own selfish ego project (which ended up being a horrible play as well). I hope she realizes what Todd went through to get those damn costumes. He committed felonies! -The school administrators are prejudiced. British spelling my ass. They’re supposed to be terrible anyway, but seriously. -Gregg is EVIL. And that one bit about that girl (Hannah?) trying to “take over” Tod’s victims and exploit money because she’s a bitch? Bizarre. Very last minute plot thread that didn’t really add much. -What WAS Tod and his friends’ crime? It was a little unclear. I think something with Evil Gregg setting them up for stealing a school video camera or something. But weren’t they breaking in in the first place? That was unclear despite the fact that the entire point of Tod’s notebook was because they were caught doing it. -Tod’s poor. This doesn’t give him the excuse to go off beating on kids for money and literally trying to steal clothes for the FREAKING COSTUMES FOR THE SCHOOL PLAY. This plot thread goes over the top with him literally trying to swipe clothes from an old lady in the Laundromat. For crying out loud. Plus the backyard swiping of clothes off of clotheslines at night. It’s for a school play dammit! -School security is bizarre -Tod and art-girl relationship is sporadic and not well developed. (hide spoiler)] However, the ending was satisfactory, with (view spoiler)[ the teacher taking his notebook and using it to “prosecute” all of the kids and their wrongdoings. Yay! (hide spoiler)] Final synopsis, this is a good book. Despite how over-the-top they could get, I liked Tod’s voice and his stories.