Posts tagged with "review"
"All monsters are scared. That's why they're monsters.": A review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Gaiman’s narrator, a major bookworm, explains of his preference for myths over tales of other sorts: “They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children stories. They were better than that. They just were.” Gaiman has written books for the very young and books for adults, but all have an almost timeless and ageless quality to them, and Ocean is no different. At under 200 pages, the book is a quick read, and while it’s currently marketed for adults, it’s perfect for teens. In fact, it’s perfect for anyone who’s searching for a fantasy book filled with the requisite magic and monsters, a story where terrifying beasties intrude on the quiet English countryside, or those looking to relive their childhood while realizing that you never really can, and probably shouldn’t.
I found this book to be a thrilling read. I simply couldn’t put it down. The author does a fantastic job of making you connect to the characters. The book is told in four different parts, each part another kid, and all connected. I enjoyed reading the same progressing story line but told through the different points of views, and their own voices.I did think the book could have ended earlier, but I did like the ending the author chose.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is an expressive novel set during World War II. Verity, a secret agent, is captured by the Gestapo and “convinced” to reveal her mission. Verity explores her past, how she came to be a spy, and how she arrived in Nazi-occupied France in her written confession. Verity is battling for her life as she fills sheet after sheet followed by random scraps of paper. As her intricate story unfolds, readers are left to wonder whether her detailed confession will be enough to save her life.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a romance for people who don’t like romances. (It’s still really good if you like romances, too.) The novel boasts funny-but-realistic dialog and incredibly likeable characters. The two narrators are so three-dimensional that you feel you’ve known them for years; it’s less like reading a romance and closer to simply watching two good friends discover how cool and amazing you already know they each are. On top of that, it features some of the steamiest hand-holding scenes put to paper. Seriously, it’s like the Fifty Shades of Grey of holding hands. (If you really think about it, though, holding hands is pretty steamy if you really like the hand you’re holding.)
Clay Jannon is an unemployed marketer and web designer. His days are spent surfing the web unsuccessfully obtaining employment. That is until he comes across Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore a narrow, vertigo-inspiring bookstore packed with books on its skyscraper shelves. Mr. Penumbra hires the new night clerk on the spot. Clay didn’t know that the course of his life would change that afternoon. It only takes him a couple of days to notice peculiarities with the business and its clientele. Clay and his new love interest Kat delve into the world of a 500 year old secret society called the Unbroken Spine.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore explores the tension between new technology and old, digital versus print, working out a problem longhand instead of relying on computer assistance. Clay, his friends, and Google through employee Kat try to help Mr. Penumbra solve an age-old mystery using modern technology. Robin Sloan cleverly weaves fantasy and reality to construct an adventure tale that engages readers and makes them cheer for the ragtag bunch of codebreakers. Throughout the novel, Clay calls upon his friends, actual and virtual, to help him uncover the treasure coveted by the Unbroken Spine for centuries. This is a quick read, definitely worth checking out…AND the cover glows in the dark!
The graphic novel Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong follows a ragtag group of high schoolers on their journey to a robot rumble. Charlie is the captain of the basketball team. Nate is his best friend and the president of the school’s robotics team. Holly is head cheerleader and Charlie’s ex-girlfriend. When school funding comes up short, student council must choose whether the robotics team will attend the national robotics competition or if the cheerleaders will get new uniforms for the national cheerleading championship. Naturally, Charlie is pulled into the drama in the midst of dealing with his own problems. Eventually, the characters must set aside their differences and work together to battle in a Thanksgiving robotics competition that will get both the robotics team and cheerleading squad to nationals.
Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks present a funny, heartwarming, and realistic story about dealing with high school cliques, camaraderie, competition, and friendship. Shen’s writing is an authentic portrayal of interactions between the teenage characters. The story is quick-paced and engaging. Hicks’ illustrations capture the characters’ personalities and sense of movement throughout the book. The humor of the novel comes from characters expressions and robot demolition conveyed by the artwork.
This is a great read for anyone – it’s a perfect Thanksgiving story to pass the time while you digest your turkey dinner!
Bloodshed and chaos ensued.
It all sounds so violent and terrible and certainly at times it is. But the story is filled with humor, as the character's facial expressions are so expressive, including the young teenage protagonist, an unwanted fourth-born daughter named ... (ahem) 'Four Girl'. Four Girl is a Chinese Christian teenager who struggles with her faith. She hatches all types of odd plans to cope with the confusion and turmoil surrounding her, including my favorite plan of hers: in order to be feared and respected, she walks around endlessly with her "devil face" on. This face needs to be seen to be believed and is laugh out loud funny. Four Girl's struggles with her faith and whose side to fight for, come across as gut-wrenching, endearing and are acutely conveyed. Teens, adults should all dive into this amazing work of art.