This one starts off being about sports, two young twin brothers the stars of their middle school basketball team... but it ends up being sooooo much m...moreThis one starts off being about sports, two young twin brothers the stars of their middle school basketball team... but it ends up being sooooo much more. What a brilliant way to tell this story! This one had me hooked from the get go, so much so that I also checked out the audio version, which was just as good. Josh and JB are fantastic characters, the parents aren't just chuckleheads who hold a place so that the protagonists can do whatever it is they are gonna do, and the setting brought a wave of nostalgia - remembering the speed on the court, the arc of the ball, the agony of loss...
I will definitely be recommending this one to some of the teen boys around here and sell it as a sports book with a great twist!(less)
I received this as and ARC on preview from Netgalley.com.
Danny Wright is a member of the Idaho National Guard unit that is called up to help disperse...moreI received this as and ARC on preview from Netgalley.com.
Danny Wright is a member of the Idaho National Guard unit that is called up to help disperse/contain a demonstration at the state capital regarding a "National ID" card. He accidentally discharges his weapon when he is hit in the face by a rock, and tragedy soon follows as his fellow unit members open fire, leaving many dead.
What follows is a crash course in bad events that bring the country closer to a new Civil War, with pretty much everyone involved, from Wright up to the President, making about the most bone headed choices that could possibly be made with the worst possible outcomes. So, naturally, this could very well take place given the current state of politics in the United States!
Initially, I thought Danny was a fairly sympathetic character, but as the book progressed, I had a hard time getting behind him. While I understand the motivation for his decisions to some degree, I think that most seventeen-year-old's would be able to pick up on situations far faster than Danny does, especially when presented with information by people he supposedly admires.
One thing that got me was the way that Danny looked negatively towards people who were authority figures he didn't agree with. Danny has issues with his high school principal (who, even though he is a "total jerkwad", is attempting to help him out at every turn) or his belief that his father's business partner, Schmiddy, is basically an old man yelling at clouds when he tells him to prepare for the worst.
Most of the problems that arise in this book stem from the irrational demonizing of people on opposite sides of the political aisle, which is very timely and relevant to teens who follow national news.
Overall, this is a fast paced book filled with one-liners that you would find in any action movie today. The thing that sets it apart is that it does realistically portray what a state defying the national government would go through, as well as how that would affect normal citizens.
I'd recommend this book to young men who like action movies, or anybody who is into politics or the military.(less)
Holy hells, this just jumped into the running as one of my favorite books of this past year. It was absurd, hilarious, demented, and fear inducing (so...moreHoly hells, this just jumped into the running as one of my favorite books of this past year. It was absurd, hilarious, demented, and fear inducing (sometimes all at once)!
Henry is your prototypical dork... few friends, afraid of everything (including seahorses!), and basically a wreck, so his parents send him to Strongwood's Survival Camp, where under the tutelage of head counselor Max, he will become a "man". But, of course, there are a few hurdles along the path to virility for young Henry!
If you have kids that are moving beyond Diary of a Wimpy Kid but aren't quite ready for Grasshopper Jungle, this is gonna be right up there alley!(less)
After reading Winger and the Marbury Lens, I was of the opinion that Andrew Smith was one of my favorite authors. Both were really great reads and I r...moreAfter reading Winger and the Marbury Lens, I was of the opinion that Andrew Smith was one of my favorite authors. Both were really great reads and I really felt a connection with the story being told.
After reading this book, he's in my top 5 all-time. This book was brilliant... it gets the characters right, the setting is perfect Midwestern small town blah, the story is awesome, and he pulls no punches in the telling.
It makes you laugh and remember your own adolescence while wondering what you would do if a giant praying mantis was trying to beat it's way through the windshield of your car and eat you.
I received this ARC on preview from Netgalley.com.
I have been recommending this one to any one who will listen to me. I thought it was a fascinating l...moreI received this ARC on preview from Netgalley.com.
I have been recommending this one to any one who will listen to me. I thought it was a fascinating look at society in the early 20th century, and I really liked the fact that the main character, at the end of the book, decided to follow her dreams and not stick around waiting for a guy. I've talked this book up at two conferences so far, that's how much I liked it.
I'd recommend this one to people who are into history, Downton Abbey, or just like a little mystery without having to sprain their brains!(less)