Cute little story for tweens approaching middle school. Pretty good character development for an MG novel. What sticks with me, though, is the author'sCute little story for tweens approaching middle school. Pretty good character development for an MG novel. What sticks with me, though, is the author's mistake about Anne Frank. To emphasize the feeling of entrapment the protagonist has while she's serving out a week of detention, Mills has her read Anne Frank's diary. Eventually, the girl is saddened by Anne's death, which according to Mills, was in Auschwitz. But it wasn't; it was Bergen-Belsen. I knew that, and I haven't read Anne Frank in years. And a quick google search provides that info easily. It bugs me when authors won't even do simple research. I took off a whole star due to author's sloppiness....more
More and more often lately, YA books are being written for adults who want sexy, romantic teen charactersFinally! A YA Book That's NOT About Romance!
More and more often lately, YA books are being written for adults who want sexy, romantic teen characters -- and very recently, the trend has been that one of these characters must have a terminal disease. Vigilante Poets is a tremendously refreshing change. My favorite thing about this book is how very realistic the main characters are. The male narrator, Ethan, is not sexy, suave, or sophisticated; he's idealistic, clueless about girls, and loyal. He's also hilarious. Yes, the book is a bit heavy on Ezra Pound's poetry for most teenage readers, but it is not necessary to "get" Pound in order to understand the book. (Rhetorical question: Does anyone actually "get" Ezra Pound anyway? That question has been debated for decades.) Thus, if you want steamy teen romance, this is not your book. If you are an adult who has gotten used to reading YA wherein the "kids" act like adults, this is not your book. But if you want to read a funny, realistic book about hilarious and idealistic teenagers who see themselves as fighting injustice, this is your book. And, if you want a book wherein ...
***** MINOR SPOILER ALERT******
no one has cancer except the gerbil, then this is your book!...more
I liked the idea of the book very much -- sort of 21st century Rip Van Winkle. And the characterization of the protagonist was very good. However, theI liked the idea of the book very much -- sort of 21st century Rip Van Winkle. And the characterization of the protagonist was very good. However, the plot goes from nowhere to nowhere; Travis comes to accept that things have changed in 5 years, but he doesn't really change in the months that the plot covers. By the end, he's still trying to be the "old Travis," with no new goals or outlook on life. It's rather anti-climactic for an ending. Also, some of the supporting characters are completely unbelievable. Travis' former best friend and former girlfriend are extremely immature, given that they're supposed to be 21. They behave just as if they were 16, like Travis, who has not aged. And since the whole plot revolves around Travis' relationship with these two, it's pretty ridiculous. In fact, it's easier to go along with the sci-fi part -- that Travis has been brought back to life -- than it is to believe that his two friends have not grown up one bit during a period of life when people change immensely....more
I keep reading reviews of this where people gave the book fewer stars because they disliked Alice. Seriously? I LOVED Alice. I loved watching her getI keep reading reviews of this where people gave the book fewer stars because they disliked Alice. Seriously? I LOVED Alice. I loved watching her get back at nasty people, and I was truly sorry she didn't get the last word. :( The character development in this book was what made it; the plot was pretty predictable (which is why I only gave it 4 stars.) But it's very well worth the read....more
This was well-written, but I could not finish more than three-fourths of the book. It was so depressing. This was worse than Thomas Hardy. Every charaThis was well-written, but I could not finish more than three-fourths of the book. It was so depressing. This was worse than Thomas Hardy. Every character is stuck in a hopeless and depressing life. There is no way out. Even in love, they are corrupted and will see no salvation. Life is meaningless; go kill yourself. This sort of book is why so many adults read YA fiction; adults who read to escape this kind of depression and hopelessness do not appreciate reading it, and they will often turn to the hope and possibility themes prevalent in YA instead....more
I thought Eulberg did very well with writing from 4 different PsOV from 4 separate characters. One character -- Sophie -- was pretty stereotyped, butI thought Eulberg did very well with writing from 4 different PsOV from 4 separate characters. One character -- Sophie -- was pretty stereotyped, but the others were more layered. Emme is especially interesting. I was also impressed that although there was no real critical problem to solve in the plot (it's a character-driven plot), it kept me reading. I wanted to know what happened to each character (except Sophie, as she was too predictable). This book also showed some research. Lately, I've come across a few books about teens in the performing arts where it was obvious that the author had no first-hand knowledge of anything. Take A Bow was much better. Although the book deals with two song writers but only has one actual song in it, Eulberg captures very well what backstage looks like and what performers do before a show (wide variety of personalities covered). This gives a huge boost to the realism of the novel. I will be recommending this to my 7th graders. :)...more