I tried reading this years ago. It was not the right time. I recommend this for any Christian woman. If you start it and find yourself irritated, argu...moreI tried reading this years ago. It was not the right time. I recommend this for any Christian woman. If you start it and find yourself irritated, argumentative, or offended by it, put it aside and try later when the time is right. You'll know because it will speak to you. (less)
I really don't know how to write a review that will do this book justice. All I know is that I laughed, I cried, then I laughed some more. And this re...moreI really don't know how to write a review that will do this book justice. All I know is that I laughed, I cried, then I laughed some more. And this review will be my feeble attempt to convey the genius of Sherman Alexie's writing. While this is my first Alexie book, it most certainly will not be my last.
Junior is a Spokane Indian living on a reservation who takes a huge risk by transferring to the white high school twenty-two miles away from the "rez." This takes a lot of courage for a boy, who is already known around the rez as a "retard" and a "faggot". Most of that has to do with the brain damage that he endured as a child, the subsequent seizures that would often plague him, and his general awkwardness. So already he's an outcast. When he transfers to the new school he isolates himself even further because his tribe views him as a traitor. Add to that alcoholic parents and a best friend turned frienemy and Junior is about the loneliest soul you could imagine. But he keeps trucking on.
Through it all, the good and the bad, Junior never loses his sense of humor. I find that heartening and hopeful. When faced with poverty, death, prejudice, and bullying Junior still manages to find humor in such tragic circumstances. Junior even verbalizes this saying:
". . . I realized that, sure, Indians were drunk and sad and displaced and crazy and mean, but dang, we knew how to laugh. When it comes to death, we know that laughter and tears are pretty much the same thing." As a white person, I cannot say whether or not The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian accurately portrays the Native American experience however, Debbie Reese, a Nambe Pueblo Indian woman and assistant professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose blog discusses "Critical perspectives of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society-at-large", praises the book stating:
"There's a lot in the book that I really like because I connect with the character, the setting, the experiences... It is real and brutally honest."
If Debbie finds it a valid representation of the Native American experience, I'm certainly going to believe her considering her heritage and her educational background. I encourage you to check out Debbie's blog if you're at all interested in the representation of Native Americans in YA (or Children's) lit. Her blog is a wonderful place to get recommendations for accurate portrayals of Native Americans.
A lot of the tragedy that befalls Junior is, in some way, related to one of the harsh realities of life on the rez: alcoholism. As I understand, this is a huge problem among Native Americans. It was interesting the way Junior described having an alcoholic father and how that compared to his white classmates' fathers:
"I mean, yeah, my dad would sometimes go on a drinking binge and be gone for a week, but those white dads can completely disappear without ever leaving the living room. They can just BLEND into their chairs. They become their chairs. . . There are white parents, especially fathers, who never come to school. They don't come for their kids' games, concerts, plays, or carnivals." " I realize my parents are pretty good. . . they make sacrifices for me. They worry about me. They talk to me. And best of all, they listen to me."
So while his parent's aren't perfect and as much as Junior may envy some of the advantages of his white classmates, he still understands, appreciates, and values his family and his community.
It's really difficult for me to articulate how amazing this book is. On one hand it's heartbreakingly sad, on the other it is humorous and uplifting. It just goes to show that we're not all just one thing. Junior, isn't just an Indian, this isn't just another YA book. This is something special. (less)
This third installment of Ware's post-apocalyptic series is, I'm sad to say, my least favorite so far. Which is a shame because I really loved the int...moreThis third installment of Ware's post-apocalyptic series is, I'm sad to say, my least favorite so far. Which is a shame because I really loved the interactions between Quent and Zoe in the previous books. Quent's frustration with Zoe's actions mirrored my own. I like that she's such a strong kick ass heroine but her constant abandonment of Quent grated on my nerves.
I felt really bad for Quent in this book. Zoe bolted every chance she could get, even when she was doing what she thought was right, she really showed a lack of trust and faith in Quent and I felt it got pretty old. However, I continue to enjoy the series for Ware's world building. This series reminds me a lot of The Walking Dead, which I'm also loving! All in all a good addition to the series, even if it wasn't my favorite.(less)
I really enjoyed the first installment of this series and immensely enjoyed this book. I still think the romance aspect is a little lacking but I love...moreI really enjoyed the first installment of this series and immensely enjoyed this book. I still think the romance aspect is a little lacking but I love, love the world Ware has built.
This book is about Simon Japp who is truly an outsider. He was an outsider in his life before the global disaster all but obliterated the Earth, and when he awakes 50 years later to this post-apocalyptic world he is the outsider among the other men who also experienced this mysterious Rip Van Winkle number. I'm always a sucker for tortured heroes and Simon has quite a past. I think he really made this book for me. Although, I kinda felt like we didn't quite get all his past. We learn about his violent past, as the right hand man for one of Vegas' biggest mobsters, but we never really learned how he got into that position. At least, I don't remember if this was explained. I read this a few weeks ago and am just now getting to review it.
So anyone else who's read this series did we find out how Simon ended up entangled with the mob? When reading I kept thinking, there's something more to this story. Something about his childhood or upbringing that we're missing. So, Kristie(j), you're the one who turned me on to this series. Do you remember? I'm pretty sure we didn't get that info. In any case, I felt like if I had just a little bit more about his background it would have made it a little more satisfying.
I really liked the heroine Sage who, because of her heritage, is also an outsider. Judged because of where she comes from. I thought she and Simon made a good pair.
I was a little miffed with Theo in this one. I was really intrigued by him in the first book and he was kind of a dope to Sage in this book. But I'm still looking forward to his book.
All in all, a good second book. I'm impressed by the world building but still wish for a pinch more smexy lovin'.(less)
So thankful to Kristie(J) and Nath for bringing this series to my attention. I've been getting into the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre for awhile no...moreSo thankful to Kristie(J) and Nath for bringing this series to my attention. I've been getting into the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre for awhile now. However, most of what I've read has been of the YA variety, aside from a few adult titles, like The Road by Cormac McCarthy. So I was uberexcited to hear that this series combined both post-apocalyptic AND romance.
Part Resident Evil, part I Am Legend, throw in a little Atlantis conspiracy theory and add romance and you've got yourself the beginning of a fabulous new series! I really enjoyed this book, not necessarily for the romance but mostly for Ware's world building. As readers we're being introduced to this new version of our world after a catastrophic geological phenomena that remains a mystery. I'm really anxious to learn more about what, or who, caused this catastrophe that basically wiped out the planet. This bit of mystery and intrigue extends to both the Rip Van Winkle clan ( Why were they zonked out for 50 years? Why do they have new-found powers?) and to the Strangers (Who are they? Are they responsible for the apocalypse? What do they have planned next?) So many questions! I can't wait to find out the answers in the following books!
I rarely find the first book in a series to be my favorite (the exception being Outlander by Diana Gabaldon), especially in sci-fi/fantsay/UF mostly because the first book is usually setting up the entire world for the reader. I usually find the romance to be a little lacking in the first of a series. This was the case with Beyond the Night. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the romance between Jade and Elliot but one of the reasons I love reading a series is because authors often give characters a story arc that span several books. Some readers don't like this. I love it. I feel like I'm invested in these characters and usually enjoy their stories the most. Unfortunately, I lacked this connection with Elliot and Jade. The sexy bits are hot but I'm more interested in find the answers to the above mentioned questions and learning more about Elliot's companions.
All in all this book lived up to my expectations. I'm so glad there's a post-apocalyptic romance series! I can't wait to pick up the next book!
The Envy Chronicles in order:
1. Beyond the Night 2. Embrace the Night Eternal 3. Abandon the Night(less)