It was just... okay. The first half was really interesting, and made me appreciate Joey Graceffa in a new light. But it derailed into retellings of hiIt was just... okay. The first half was really interesting, and made me appreciate Joey Graceffa in a new light. But it derailed into retellings of his dating life and it was just kinda boring. I listened to this on audio so it was fun to hear it in his voice, but, pretty badly written. 'She said, with a laugh in her voice.'...more
I won't do it. I won't compare it to Ready Player One! I refuse, sir! I will review it real soon though.
I found giving this a rating trI won't do it. I won't compare it to Ready Player One! I refuse, sir! I will review it real soon though.
I found giving this a rating tricky! I'm still umming and ahhing between 3.5 and 4. And that 0.5 of a star is important!
I don't think it needs to be mentioned how much I loved Ready Player One. I buy people copies of that book left, right and centre. What I'm not going to do though is compare this novel to that one. They are two stand alone worlds that have no link to one another. There are enough reviews already that highlight to comparison between the nerdiness of the two, so I don't need to go there.
No, I want to talk about this novel for what it is. And why that all important .5 of a star is still bothering me!
This is, for all intents and purposes, a cheesy, 80's sci-fi flick. I believe that is what it is supposed to be, don't get me wrong. It does what it's supposed to do really well, but my issue? My issue is I don't really enjoy... space. I know! I know! 'But you love Mass Effect' I hear you say. 'You love firefly with a passion!' Sure. Sure. But... I just don't enjoy reading about space. I don't know why! I never have. So here is a list of the reasons I would give this 4 stars, followed by a list of reasons I would give this 3.5. All under a spoiler cut because I need to discuss details, people.
* I enjoyed it. It was an action packed read, that got better and better as it went on. * I thought there actually was some sensitive character development in terms of Zach. He moved from angry, directionless teenager, to a character that was able to describe his father's killer as a 'good man' by the end of the novel. * It dealt with some really dark, quite tragic themes. This novel pulled on the heartstrings at times, and I don't think I've read a single review that actually acknowledges this. It was sad. You have a family that were completely altered. You have a group of people essentially imprisoned within an organisation that refused to allow them contact with their families. There was death in this novel. There was hard stuff here! And for the most part I think Cline handled it well. * It was nerdy, and I think fans of Cline got what they wanted out of it. * There is an actual playlist included at the end of this novel, THANK YOU. Do you know how long I spent going through Ready Player One and writing down all the songs that are mentioned in that narrative?
However, 3.5 stars because:
*WTF? A character was essentially KILLED by another, yet they killer was referred to as a 'good man' at the end. There's character development, and then there's justice. I was not pleased with the conclusion of Vance's character! * I know this is supposed to be a cheesy pastiche of 80s sci-fi. But there were literally ageing (if nearing 40s is ageing) gamers banished to the moon and forced to live alone. But don't worry. They've formed a band and play D&D every night! It's okay! There was a level of silliness here that I just couldn't get over. * We are never really given good explanations for things. WHY were 3 men living on their own on the moon? WHY did the government think it was a good idea to send 5 other people up there with them with a pretty shitty escape plan? They were their best 'fighters' yet they sent them up there to be picked off first? It was dumb tactics. * I'll say nothing more than: Lex. Underwhelming female character, which is a shame because Cline did gender discussions SO well in RPO. (hide spoiler)]
It's a read that gets better as it goes on. I'd say it's better for lovers of space and detailed retellings of gaming scenes, but you'll be able to keep up even if you don't like that stuff. I'm sure there are deeper messages about war, and humanity, and violence that can be pulled from it, but I found the overall conclusions kind of unsatisfying which is why it can't be full marks from me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I think it's beautifully curated, as ever, but I feel as though it's missing quite a lot of what makes Austin Austin. Keep Austin Weird is the affectiI think it's beautifully curated, as ever, but I feel as though it's missing quite a lot of what makes Austin Austin. Keep Austin Weird is the affectionate motto given to the city, but you wouldn't know if from reading this guide. ...more
A very quick read. Dare I say this might be too clever? All the pop culture/literature/fashion shout outs. I'd be surprised if my Year 7s would get thA very quick read. Dare I say this might be too clever? All the pop culture/literature/fashion shout outs. I'd be surprised if my Year 7s would get them. ...more
I laughed out loud a few times during this little book of wonders! Penelope Jones is quite a character, and her adventures make for really entertaininI laughed out loud a few times during this little book of wonders! Penelope Jones is quite a character, and her adventures make for really entertaining tales. Definitely recommend for weaker readers in Years 7 and 8. I'll definitely be throwing this in as a Guided Reading option. ...more
Not sure how any of the Carnegie short list books are supposed to top this. As far as I am concerned this is a work of genius.
It's hard. And brutal. ANot sure how any of the Carnegie short list books are supposed to top this. As far as I am concerned this is a work of genius.
It's hard. And brutal. And difficult to get through, but boy oh boy has a book ever been more necessary to read?
We don't get taught much, if anything, about the Indian Wars in America at school. We get told a bunch about the abolishment of slavery, but I doubt it involves any of the information presented in this piece of historical fiction.
The main protagonist in this novel is so real, so alive, that I dare anyone not to love her from the first pages. Charley O'hara is grit and guts and a surviver. Her voice is both naive and wise, and Landman crafts her beautifully from the get-go.
I can't recommend it enough. This is as much an adult novel as it is YA. Never has there been a more perfect example of why YA is groundbreaking and challenging and full of thoughtful, smart readers....more
Really great little novel. It's dyslexic friendly, has the reading age of a 7 year old but the interest age of a teen. I'm looking forward to readingReally great little novel. It's dyslexic friendly, has the reading age of a 7 year old but the interest age of a teen. I'm looking forward to reading this with my lower ability Year 9s. There are some great themes running through it. Namely; peer pressure, conscientious objectors, prison camps. Looking forward to creating a Guided Reading Scheme of Work for this!...more
I have been searching for a new Frankie Landau-Banks for years. It seems I will keep on searching. If any of you have recommendations for me in the veI have been searching for a new Frankie Landau-Banks for years. It seems I will keep on searching. If any of you have recommendations for me in the vein of The Disreputable History, please, comment below.
I have a lot of issues I would like to discuss. But first and foremost, let me state: If you take a picture of a minor, whether or not she has given her consent for it, and then you pass that picture around, you will be charged as a sex offender. It is illegal for that to happen. NOTHING frustrates me more than the girls who have this done to them being blamed. I just recently had to stand through a school assembly aimed at my Form Classes year (Year 8, aged 12-13), where they were played this video. Only not even all the way to the end, just to the point where the girl was incredibly guilty and ashamed of what she had done. You can be sure I followed up the next morning with this video for my Form Class, and made it explicitly clear that it is not the person who has their photo spread around that has committed a crime here. I'm glad to say my school does take that situation a little more seriously than the school in this novel. I'm glad to say the person who has their photo spread around without their consent is not suspended for a week, and if a boy four years a girls senior was to participate in this act they would be passed on to the police immediately. Sadly, that is not what happened in this novel. In fact, blame was placed on a 14 year old girl. For 'behaving' in a certain way that led to her photo being sent around to a whole school body.
Please, by all means let's have the discussion about teenage sexuality, about the expectations put on boys and girls, about the different implications those expectations have and whether it is fair. Please, let's talk about what society says about sexually active women, how powerful women are portrayed in the media. Let's have a really frank discussion about what factors lead to make young girls' feel they have to act and behave in a certain way to 'fit in', or impress, or please. Because this book certainly didn't.
You had a lead character who thought she was better than everyone else because she managed to avoid boys. She liked to frequently remind her best friend of that one time she made a silly mistake for liking a boy and how he spread nasty rumours about her. Heck, the whole novel STARTS with a retelling of that story.
You have a best friend who was clearly changed and altered by an event that happened to her at 14, and who had never felt enough courage to get justice for it.
You had my favourite character, a 14 year old girl aware of the power her body can unleash and very outspoken in her beliefs.
You have a teacher, full of all the knowledge of a literary based feminism, but the first to judge the actions of her female pupils and decide what 'type' of girl they were.
There was a lot of confusion in this novel. I'm not entirely sure what the over arching message is supposed to be. The male characters were two dimensional, the female characters were more problematic than clear. I just don't know what rating I'm supposed to give it. Maybe it's unbelievably clever in it's portrayal of a complex view of gender roles and double standards?
But I can't help but feel, for a novel with a teenage readership, the messages need to be far clearer.
I will say, the one thing I think this novel did do well, was the strain of self questioning that ran through it. Natalie didn't like herself, Autumn didn't like her self, Spencer put a good show on but also didn't like herself. It did a really good job of showing the insecurities that teenage girls deal with daily, and showed that, actually, everyone wants to be liked....more
The art is a delight. The storyline a little more confusing. It's a snapshot of a summer, dealing with friendship, teen pregnancy, parental arguments,The art is a delight. The storyline a little more confusing. It's a snapshot of a summer, dealing with friendship, teen pregnancy, parental arguments, and summer crushes, amongst other things. And this is where it got a little confusing. The main character was kind of unlikeable, her summer friend was easier to warm to, but their friendship in general felt forced. But maybe that was the point? Because how many summer friendships are really a meeting of the minds? They are more about convenience, surely.
Perhaps the thing that was most confusing is the character development. Namely; there was none. There is a whole argument centring around slut shaming that never really went anywhere, and it SHOULD have.
What it did well was create the atmosphere of long summer days and evenings spent by fires and watching movies. I liked the feeling of nostalgia that ran through the whole thing. I was just a bit disappointed with the overall plot.