I wasn't too excited to read this book, but when you walk by it at Fred Meyer and it's only eight dollars you get to thinking, wouldn't it complementI wasn't too excited to read this book, but when you walk by it at Fred Meyer and it's only eight dollars you get to thinking, wouldn't it complement my collection of Twilight paraphernalia (autographed posters, action figures, board games, candy bars...) and, isn't it my professional duty to read it, and, I guess I really want it after all - and all in the two seconds it takes to snatch it off the display stand.
Bree Tanner was a minor character in Eclipse who was a member of the vampire army Victoria created in her attempt to kill Bella and defeat the Cullens. Spoiler alert: she dies.
In the introduction to the novella, Stephanie Meyer writes that it was difficult to write from the perspective of a newborn, who lacks self-control and thinks of humans only as weak and tasty. And yet, when the story begins, Bree is three months old and thus the crazy newborn pain and thirst that we didn't get out of Bella in Breaking Dawn, we don't get out of Bree either.
Instead, Bree is one of the smartest of Victoria's newborn vampires, in that she keeps her head down and follows the rules. Then she meets Diego, who has been around long enough to start asking questions. Their figuring out what being a vampire means was, to me, Meyer's response to the people who abuse her mythology. In a sense, the whole story was a kind of response to criticisms, particularly that she couldn't create a character she liked and then let her be violent, suffer, or die.
I enjoyed the book and read it the night I bought it. For me, the most interesting part was the end when the Cullens make their appearance. It's been a while since I read the series, and since then my personal imaginings of what the characters look like has been completely lost to the actors who play them in the movies. I don't remember if there was a perfect red-haired man (*cough*Conan*cough*) I thought of when I first read about Edward; when I came to the description of him in Bree Tanner all I could think was, "Edward had red hair?"...more
Quentin 'Q' Jacobsen considers growing up next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman the miracle of his life. Though they were friends as children, now in higQuentin 'Q' Jacobsen considers growing up next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman the miracle of his life. Though they were friends as children, now in high school Q and Margo move in different social circles. Margo is adventurous, popular, idolized; nerdy Q is in the school band crowd, though he himself is not musical. Through the years since their friendship, Q has loved Margo from afar, so when she comes tapping on his window in the night, only a few weeks before graduation, to ensnare Q in one of her wild plans, he can't say no. In the morning, Margo is gone. While many other people in her life believe this is just another one of Margo's awesome adventures, Q can't stop thinking about her cryptic words, clues she seems to have left just for him, and a disturbing event from their childhood. What does Margo mean that she is 'never coming back?' Paper Towns is a funny and thoughtful mix of teenage introspection and antics. John Green seems well aware of the tropes of young adult literature (the road trip, the party, the unattainable girl) and plays off them to say something really important about what it means to know another person. ...more
Maniac Magee was the 1991 Newbery Award Winner. In a tall tale style, this short novel tells the story of Jeffery "Maniac" Magee, an orphan and runawaManiac Magee was the 1991 Newbery Award Winner. In a tall tale style, this short novel tells the story of Jeffery "Maniac" Magee, an orphan and runaway, whose interesting feats and quest for a home make him a legend to children in one town. In a large sense Maniac Magee is a didactic story about post-civil rights movement racial segregation, but it also has strong themes of family and home. While the tall tale style naturally lends itself to generalizations and stereotypes, I was a bit concerned about a few of them that came across in this story that is, I think, purposefully trying to combat them. I noticed, for example, that all the racist people in the story are poor males, that all the women are kind and nurturing, and that the sweet, welcoming people on both sides of the tracks are large nuclear families, and that the ignorant people are, on top of being poor and male, from broken homes. These characteristics might be a sign of them time the book was written or an effect of the writing style....more
Fourteen year old Jamie, or Punkzilla, as he's come to be known, has been living the past few months in a Portland halfway house when a letter from hiFourteen year old Jamie, or Punkzilla, as he's come to be known, has been living the past few months in a Portland halfway house when a letter from his older brother sends him busing and hitch-hiking across the country. In Memphis, his 27-year old brother Peter has cancer, and Punkzilla wants to see him before he dies. Punkzilla tells his story through unsent letters to Peter written in a notebook - where he's also tucked some letters from his brothers, parents, and friends. Punkzilla introduces us to a host of unusual and memorable characters, and its honest portrayal of life on the street and its inherent reliance on strangers, makes for a sometimes disturbing, sometimes hopeful, always compulsive read....more
I heard someone at the library refer to this book as Alexie's best, but though it's only the second book of his that I have read, I did not like it asI heard someone at the library refer to this book as Alexie's best, but though it's only the second book of his that I have read, I did not like it as I liked The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The book read like it was rushed when written and the characters weren't very developed. Maybe it should have been a draft of a much more fleshed out story. Also, and I'm not sure how much say an author has about this aspect, but I found the discussion questions at the end condescending at best. A question like, "How could Zits have made his foster care situations better for himself?" quite frankly disgusted me. ...more