It's one of those rare kids books (at least I haven't read many) that make STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) approachable and fun, no doubt piquIt's one of those rare kids books (at least I haven't read many) that make STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) approachable and fun, no doubt piquing the interest of even those who have their nose buried way deep in a fantasy novel. The introduction to coding is subtle in the form of a game and a puzzle, and even gives the readers a chance to solve a couple. I was scrabbling for a pencil for sure. Sorry I can't do simple additions in my head! A fun tidbit from the author: he named the main character, Hopper, after Grace Hopper - one of the first woman programmers. He even mentioned Ada Lovelace, who is one of the most intriguing people of all time for being the first ever programmer, being the daughter of Lord Byron, and having an amazing name.
But I digress. A little. This book is super short, cute and fun and undoubtedly inspiring to some kids. I wouldn't call it magical, but I definitely can't wait for the next installment. ...more
This book is heavy as hell, very funny, realistic, romantic a little, and a damn good read. It seamlessly mixes a realistic YA with a gay protagonistThis book is heavy as hell, very funny, realistic, romantic a little, and a damn good read. It seamlessly mixes a realistic YA with a gay protagonist with near-futuristic technology and comes out as something completely unique.
It starts with Aaron Soto, a 17-year old kid who's recovering from his dad's suicide, and a subsequent suicide attempt of his own. He has a supportive artist-girlfriend Genevieve (who actually manages to be fleshed out), a job at the bodega, a harried but loving mother, a video-game addicted brother, and a group of neighborhood friends (Skinny Dave, Fat Dave, Baby Freddy, Nolan, and Brendan). His life is bad but good, and it gets better when he meets Thomas, a kid from a nearby neighborhood. They start hanging out, realizations occur, and then things get broken. Overwhelmed, even as his life spins more out of control, Aaron seriously considers getting Leteo, a new procedure that erases memories.
The book sounds depressing, but it manages to be real instead of mopey. Aaron is not whiny, even when horrible things are happening - even when he's pressing the razor blade into his wrist - but he's not unrealistically upbeat either. I felt for him without pitying him. Adam Silvera knows how to bring out your empathy with this silly, angry, love-struck, kind, messed-up teenager. A different kind of kid got to tell his story in this one, and there need to be more. ...more
It's about the Chechen wars, so the setting is 1994-2004 or so. We follow the residents of a village by a large foHoly hell, this book is incredible.
It's about the Chechen wars, so the setting is 1994-2004 or so. We follow the residents of a village by a large forest in Chechnya, mainly the most incapable doctor in history and a girl whose father was dragged away in the middle of the night. Plus there's an ice cold surgeon, a Russian native, who is the head of a staff of three at Hospital No. 6, a hospital normally staffed with 500 people. But you know what she has a lot of? Creativity with the limited supplies and patients who've had close encounters with land mines. It sounds bleak, and it is pretty difficult to read. The timeline skips around as well, so it took me a second to get into the book. But 40% or so in I was completely hooked, and the payoff is fantastic. There is a lot of heart, gallows humor, and hope. And a chance to consider the things that don't give you an easy answer to live with. Very appropriate that I was reading 1984 around the same time.
As I said in book club, it's dark and sad and stupid and funny. Just when you think it's too difficult to read about this endless war, you start laughing like a crazy person. Or, I do. So, come get on this intensely well-written emotional ride. It's not exactly tested for safety but you'll like it. YOU WILL....more
Maybe it's not the greatest piece of literature, but the moments of humor and honesty at the price of pride made this an enjoyable, quick read that'sMaybe it's not the greatest piece of literature, but the moments of humor and honesty at the price of pride made this an enjoyable, quick read that's been lingering with me pleasantly for a couple of days. Bonus points for dazzling descriptions of Paris and its people, especially since I'm usually left cold on stories that romanticize it. And even more points for a believable male POV, the empathy and the poking fun. Read this for a good story on marriage, its mistakes and grace and stupidity and intimacy and tenacity and vulnerability. ...more
A well-told story of a very special family, so you should read this if you like to read about interesting family dynamics, to say the very least. As aA well-told story of a very special family, so you should read this if you like to read about interesting family dynamics, to say the very least. As a reader, I'm really into beginnings and the middles, tending to forget details of an ending - but that won't happen this time around. An ending that was evocative in every sense of the word brought all the strands together in a way that is completely unshakable. A hard copy is available for lending :)...more
Wow. I finished this last night on the metro, fighting a surprise-attack of carsickness exacerbated by creepily flickering lights and an intense smellWow. I finished this last night on the metro, fighting a surprise-attack of carsickness exacerbated by creepily flickering lights and an intense smell of patchouli, but then slightly eased by the happy chatter of an enthusiastic Italian tourist family. Their youngest kid, about 10, fell asleep in the seat next to me, and that was cute until the mom started freaking out a little when he wouldn't respond to her shaking him by the shoulder. I legit thought a kid died next to me on the Metro and I was ready to lose it. But then they carried him out at Bethesda station and his eyes were open and everything was beautiful again. Except for what this book did to me emotionally. That was a bit too much and I was super relieved to hit the 100% mark on my kindle while breathing in the not yet horribly chilly air at Shady Grave.
So this book is crazy! I've read Ashes and the sequel, so I was aware of what Ilsa was capable of, emotional wreckage- and gore-wise. I had to idea how to feel about the ratings, since they're pretty low but with some stellar reviews from trusted sources. I was surprised to see that this was a rather fast read, and if you hold out, all the confusing stuff in the beginning starts to come together. I'm also a good target for this book, since my favorite type of horror is fear of the unknown and creepy stuff happening without a satisfying explanation, instead building in intensity into a fever pitch. This book for certainly wound up tight and never let go. Damn.
So the story: we follow two main characters, Lizzie and Emma. Lizzie is a little girl whose daddy, a famous horror novelist, has been messing with things beyond this reality, getting in a bit too deep. To put it mildly. Emma is a girl who had some trauma in the past, but is trying to live normally despite frequent seizure-like blinks that interfere with time and reality. Lizzie's story weaves together with Emma's, as she meets some other kids who each have their own histories and realities. AND THEN SHIT GOES DOWN SO HARD. It's visceral violence (thanks for several lost-appetite lunches, Ms. Bick), actual goose-bump inducing creepiness, a big mess of emotions, and a giant dollop of not knowing what's happening but loving it. I don't want to say any more, but if you're the kind of person who gets excited with not knowing why scary shit is happening, and/or if you like a great payoff 3/4 into a 600-page book, or just like to see some people torn apart from the inside, this is for you.
It's a fast, exciting, nauseating ride into hell and I loved it. The pacing was slightly off sometimes, and I have way too many questions left unanswered, but I loved this one. MOAR!
P.S. The cranial-facial plate obsession, plus the sprawling nature of the work, was a bit reminiscent of Infinite Jest. Anyone else? Just me? Ok.
-I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review-...more
I liked this. Cliche scenes like the one in the pool and the rink, and over the top insanity were balanced by a very clear-eyed look at a family. VeryI liked this. Cliche scenes like the one in the pool and the rink, and over the top insanity were balanced by a very clear-eyed look at a family. Very good scenes involving the three brothers, and very touching words about siblings and why we drift apart. Can't wait for the movie!...more
It was okay. 3 stars for being a pioneer vampire writer. Probably super thrilling and scary for the time, but it left me lukewarm. Also, 3 stars for QIt was okay. 3 stars for being a pioneer vampire writer. Probably super thrilling and scary for the time, but it left me lukewarm. Also, 3 stars for Quicy Morris, the only worthy character of the whole book. The book was boring in the beginning, good in the middle, and slow and disappointing in the end. Womp womp....more