Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

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That Was Then, This Is Now by S.E Hinton

December 16, 2008

Title: That Was Then, This is Now

Author: S.E Hinton

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 160

Grade: B+

Contains: Relationships, Drama, Coming-of-age, Romance.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 10

Plot: 9

Writing: 8

Wow Factor: 9

Summary: This book was set in the Hippie-era of the 60’s when people were getting drafted for the Vietnam War. The narrator is Bryon Douglas, a 16 year old who’s smart and smart-aleck. He lives in a low-income white neighborhood. Here tensions between blacks and whites are still high during the Civil Rights Movement. Bryon’s best friend and basically brother is Mark. Bryon and Mark have always been like brothers after Bryon’s mom took Mark under her wing. Bryon and Mark hustle to get by and they do other illegal things. Mark is very sneaky and likes fighting, and Bryon had always liked it until…

He meets this girl named Cathy. She changes him completely. Cathy makes Bryon think a lot. Cathy doesn’t really like Mark and Mark doesn’t really like Cathy. Bryon starts to drift from Mark because he is starting to grow up as a result of his first love, Cathy. M&M is Cathy’s brother and Mark and Bryon’s friend. He gets in trouble with a powerful drug after running away and Mark has to do partly with some of that. Will Bryon and Mark stay brothers? Will Cathy and Bryon last?

Review: This novel is burning a hole inside of me. I am really the type of person who likes happy endings. Part of me is content on how it ended but part of me isn’t. It is real life, but why can’t real life have a happy ending? I loved the characters, the action, everything. I enjoyed this book so much more than The Outsiders. I felt that it was more organized and in total a better story to tell. I think I may have liked this one more because of the romance added to the brothership involved. The point of view it is given in, a low-income society is something very rarely found in YA books. Overall, this is a straight forward, easy read that will get you thinking.

 

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you want to read this book?

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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

December 14, 2008

Title: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 256

Year: 2006

Grade: B-

 

Contains: Drama, Humor, Coming-of-Age, Relationships, Romance.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 9

Plot: 7

Writing: 9

Wow Factor: 8

 

 

 

Summary 

(from Amazon): Colin Singleton believes he is a washed-up child prodigy. A graduating valedictorian with a talent for creating anagrams, he fears he’ll never do anything to classify him as a genius. To make matters worse, he has just been dumped by his most recent girlfriend (all of them have been named Katherine), and he’s inconsolable. What better time for a road trip! He and his buddy Hassan load up the gray Olds (Satan’s Hearse) and leave Chicago. They make it as far as Gutshot, Tennessee, where they stop to tour the gravesite of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and meet a girl who isn’t named Katherine. It’s this girl, Lindsey, who helps Colin work on a mathematical theorem to predict the duration of romantic relationships. The laugh-out-loud humor ranges from delightfully sophomoric to subtly intellectual, and the boys’ sarcastic repartee will help readers navigate the slower parts of the story, which involve local history interviews. The idea behind the book is that everyone’s story counts, and what Colin’s contributes to the world, no matter how small it may seem to him, will, indeed, matter. 

 

Review

: Coming into this book I had a lot of expectations. I have heard so many great things about John Green, I have seen so many Brotherhood 2.0 videos and made an account on nerdfighters. I was both happy and disappointed. Truthfully, I just liked the book. I expected it to be this story that just stayed with me forever….

I loved the characters: Colin, Hassan, Hollis. Lindsey got a little annoying for me, what with her boyfriend and how she was different with different people. I really enjoyed the whole “let’s get into Satan’s Hearse and drive the country” kind of plot. I thought that the footnotes were amazing. It just made it that much better with the history, the foreign words, the pop culture references. John did put a lot of work into it and I can see that. I think Hassan and Colin’s relationship was the most interesting. To reiterate, I thought it was a very good book. It just didn’t blow me away like I thought it would. I think this is because it’s a summer book more than a thinking book like Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska seem to be. Don’t be discouraged from reading the book by my review. And BTW- the book is going to be a movie!

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Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

December 9, 2008

Hi guys. 

 

This is a new idea I’m working with. This is a review for Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List… in a video!

Watch out for the spoilers (I warn you in the video).

 

I hope you like this and tell me your thoughts in the comments! 

 

 

What are your thoughts on the book? Did you like it? Dislike it? Why?

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Anthem by Ayn Rand

November 8, 2008

Title: Anthem

Author: Ayn Rand

Grade: A

Number of Pages: 105

Edition: Paperback

Year: 1938

 

 

Contains: Drama, Romance, Coming-of-age.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 10

Plot: 10

Writing: 9

Wow Factor: 9

 

Summary (from noblesoul.com): Anthem is written as the diary of Equality 7-2521, a young man living in a future in which people have lost all knowledge of individualism, to the point of not even knowing words like ‘I’ or ‘mine.’ Everyone lives and works in collective groups, with all aspects of daily life dictated by councils — the Council of Vocations, the Council of Scholars, etc. When he is assigned to a menial job cleaning the streets, Equality 7-2521 rebels against collectivism by conducting secret scientific research, which eventually leads him to re-create electric light. When he presents his discovery to the Council of Scholars, they condemn him for daring to act as an individual and threaten to destroy his creation. He is joined there by his love, a girl called Liberty 5-3000. They come across an ancient house, a relic of the Unmentionable Times before collectivism. There they rediscover the lost language of the self. 

My Review : Go out and read it now! I loved this book very much. In the beginning it is hard to get used to because as you learned in the summary the main character says “we” when he means “I”, and “ours” when he means “mine”. Just replace those and you will understand what Equality is trying to say. I really adored this book because it was a tale of adventure, romance, and being your own person. I think I liked this book this much because Equality is so different from the other people in this society. I can relate to him because of this. He likes to think and he doesn’t like being told how things are. I also liked how he didn’t feel guilty of what he was doing because it made him feel peaceful. Equality has emotions and loves Liberty very much and that always made me happy throughout the story. I learned to never let people tell me what to do because it would be really sad to have this happen to society. Please, please read this book. It will teach you and it surely was enjoyable.

I’d love to hear your comments/thoughts if you have or haven’t read this book. 🙂

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Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn

October 24, 2008

Title: Gingerbread

Author: Rachel Cohn

Grade: C 

Number of Pages: 205

Edition: Paperback

Year: 2002

Extra Info: First book in the Gingerbread series… the next two books are Shrimp and Cupcake.

Contains: Drama, coming-of-age, romance, relationships. 

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 9

Plot: 5

Writing: 8

Wow Factor: 6

 

Summary (from rachelcohn.com): After being kicked out of a fancy New England boarding school, Cyd Charisse is back home in San Francisco with her parents, Sid and Nancy, in a household that drives her crazy. Lucky for Cyd, she’s always had Gingerbread, her childhood rag doll and confidante. 

After Cyd tests her parents’ permissiveness, she is grounded in Alcatraz (as Cyd calls her room). But when her incarceration proves too painful for the whole family, Cyd’s parents decide to send her to New York to meet her biological father and his family, whom Cyd has always longed to know. 
Summer in the city is not what Cyd Charisse expects – and Cyd isn’t what her newfound family expects, either. 

My Review : It was good, charming, and fast. The plot isn’t really all that special, but Cyd Charisse definitely is. I loved Cyd and her spontaneity towards anything and everything. She just really does what goes through her mind and sometimes I wish I could do that. I really liked the characters in this book, especially Wallace (hopefully there’s more of him in the next books), and Cyd’s half-sib from her dad’s side Danny. I loved how the chapters were short, so you always have a good stopping point if you’re on the go. The thing with this book is that it was fair overall as in anyone can write from this plot. I expected a lot more coming from Rachel Cohn (having already read Nick & Norah’s). I guess this can be defended by the fact that it’s her first book and she’s gotten better since. Give it a shot, you’ll love the quirky writing, the crazily amazing Cyd, the support characters, and the fact that there’s two more books in the series!

 

Have you read this book? What did you think? Would you like to read this book? Why?

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

October 13, 2008

Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Rating: ★★★ ½

Number of Pages: 167

Edition: Hardcover

Year: 1953

 

Contains: Science Fiction, Drama, Relationships, and a little Suspense.

 

 

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 7

Plot: 9

Writing: 6

Wow Factor: 8

Summary : Guy Montag is a fireman of an unset future. In this future firemen don’t extinguish fires, they start them… to burn books. The government is controlling of the people, banning books forever. This future makes everyone happy, because without books people don’t think too hard about about their government. That way they can be fair and keeps out controversy in books… the “bright” readers will no longer shadow the “dumb” non-readers. Montag’s wife Mildred is all about her TV parlor “family” (the walls in this future interact with you and act like your family), even though on the inside she may not be as happy as she seems. Montag meets Clarisse. She is a young girl who likes to touch, smell, and see the world unlike everyone else who is just stuck to their TV parlors. Clarisse opens Montag’s eyes to how interesting ideas in books are. However, for Montag, who is going through a mid-life enlightenment because of books, changing a world adapted to having no such “nonsense” around is a difficult task to overcome. 

My Review (no spoilers): I enjoyed this book. It was really interesting and mind-blowing scary to think into this idea of a world with no books. The science fiction is really light, so people who don’t like science fiction much (like me) won’t detest this book. Fahrenheit 451 is one of those books that makes you think and leaves an impact. At first it may be hard to get into, Bradbury has a tendency to write what he is thinking in his brain, like if he thinks AHHH! he will write AHHH! instead of “Montag yelled”, but give it a little more time and you’ll be liking it a lot more. Montag is an amazing character, risking it all to try to help the people in this mindless world who only care about their TV parlors and have no true democracy see the magic that is in books. Mildred is a slightly annoying character, but you’ll see why if you read the book. Clarisse is kind of like us book-lovers. She sees the great that is brought in books and isn’t shy to tell everyone she meets about it. She’s proud of it, and she’s courageous to show it. The last 3/4 of the book is really the best part. I couldn’t stop reading it and to know what would happen to Montag. The ending isn’t as impacting as I expected it to be, but this is still a great book nonetheless. 

My Thoughts (contains spoilers): First off, there is really a lot of spoilers here so please don’t read it if you haven’t read the book. I really couldn’t believe a lot of the parts in this book. Like for example, I really didn’t like the fact that everyone was so brainwashed… I wanted to yell at them. I expected Beatty to be on Montag’s side! And then when Montag killed him, wow I was in total shock. When Mildred turned Montag in and ran away never to see him again I felt bad for Montag because all his marriage he had been with a woman who did not care for him. He was living a lie all his life and when you are enlightened at an age that is older than 20, it is a shock and hard to come by. Faber was a really important part of the story, but I didn’t like that he was such a coward about everything he did. If you’re going to try to save humanity, at least do it and not back off as a coward. 

 

Would you like to read this book? Why? Have you read this book? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!

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Angus, Thongs, And Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

October 9, 2008

Title: Angus, Thongs, & Full-Frontal Snogging

Author: Louise Rennison

Rating: ★★★★★

Number of Pages: 234.

Edition: Paperback

Extra info: First book in Georgia Nicolson Series

 

Contains: Drama, Humor, Relationships, Romance.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 10

Plot: 8

Writing: 9

Wow Factor: 7

 Summary: Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging follows the journal of a teenage girl named Georgia Nicolson who battles with love, life and her crazy cat named Angus.

Georgia is growing up in England with her best friend Jas (Jasmine) and the rest of the Ace Gang. Living with her family: Connie Nicolson (Mother), Bob Nicolson (Father), her little sister Libby (Liberty) and her half Scottish half Wild cat Angus is not easy. Georgia falls for a ‘gorgey’ boy named Robbie, referred to by Georgia as The Sex God or SG. After taking snogging lessons, Georgia finally wins Robbie over, although a web of affairs means that not everything goes to plan.

My Review(spoiler-free!): Hello mates. This book and/or diary thingy is the first in the series about Georgia Nicolson; it was fabbity fab fab to read. Seriously, my family looked at me weird more than five times while reading this book. This being the about third time I read Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging I didn’t expect to burst out like I did. On the contrary, I had forgotten how incredible it was. The book is about an English girl going through life. She has problems with friends, family, neighbors, teachers, and boys. Most of the book is sarcastically funny. It ties down where Georgia is almost Robbie (the sex god she’s in love with)’s girlfriend. I can relate to Georgia, she is NOT beautiful, popular, and perfect and is rather completely on a mood roller coaster. One moment she hates her life and doesn’t want to get out her bed and then the next she’s ecstatic about the most silliest things. Awarded a Printz Award, Mrs. Rennison is one truly realistic writer. The whole Brit chick thing makes it even better in my opinion, having to go into the glossary in the back of the book to understand what she is saying at times. It’s easy to read and easy to follow, yet very unpredictable. From Angus (her cat), to Jas (her best friend), to Robbie (the sex god), this is sure to be a very recommended read. Don’t forget there’s eight more books to read after this one!