Saturday, October 22, 2011

The premise of this title is that it is the winning selection from a Freshmen English assignment.  It's a combination of text and drawings (ala Wimpy Kid) and it's really funny.  Larkin Pace just wants a good camcorder so he can become the director he dreams of being.  He goes through a variety of jobs and schemes to try and earn money, and has the usual family drama of being a 14 year old boy.  I really enjoyed this book and it was a very quick read.  If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid, try this one!

Midnight Palace is a creepy ghost of a tale set in 1930s Calcutta, India.  Two orphans are saved from a creepy character at the beginning of the novel and readers are left wondering what happened and why they are being hunted.  When the story picks up 16 years later (what is their predetermined age of majority) everything moves at the pace of a runaway railroad car.  I can't say too much or I'll give away the story twists, but there is a lot going on, with lots of suspense and ghostly activity.  This is a perfect title for middle schoolers looking for a creepy story to read on a dark and stormy night.

I heard all the press about this title, and was skeptical........but WOW!!!  The writer did an amazing job with this story.  There is irony, snarkiness, and just plain a talking dismembered was awesome, and am kinda hoping they turn this into a tv series....I would LOVE it much more than any vampire tale (of which there are a ton).  Story synopsis:  Sam is leading a pretty bland life, having dropped out of college to flip burgers until he figures out what he wants out of life.  Then he meets Douglas, who calls himself a Necromancer, and tells Sam he considers him a threat. Sam has one week to figure out how his small, sad life of being nobody has changed into an exciting, magical, dangerous life where he is a target....and how to fix it.....or things will get ugly.   Can't wait for the next one.....and yeah, there BETTER be a next one!   =)

Friday, October 07, 2011

Adios Nirvana was a very compelling read.  I thought sure it was all about the band (because of the guitar in the imagery).....but no (thank goodness, as I'm not a huge Nirvana fan).  It's about recovery and family and so much more.  Jonathan is mourning the death of his brother...his twin brother......and really isn't sure that he has much to live for.  Then he is assigned to write a biography of a local man who fought in WWII as a way to pass English (and really to not flunk his entire Junior year of high school).  He reluctantly agrees, and in discussing the events of David's life, Jonathan finds meaning in his.......This sounds like a shmaltzy book, but it is gritty and real and the character of Jonathan is whiny and annoying and feels like someone you know.  I couldn't put this down, see how you feel about it.

Sam is a skater (the board not the ice) and idolizes Tony Hawk.  He is also a product of a teen pregnancy, and is well aware of the consequences of not being careful when having sex.  He is therefore caught completely by surprise when he too becomes a teen father.  Sam's dilemma and his way of dealing with it are unique to him and are a realistic portrayal of all the drama a boy also goes through when he finds he's about to become a father.  The only problem I had with the book was the few instances of "time travel" when he skips ahead to see things that will happen......they are kind of jarring in a realistically set novel and the reader is left wondering, are they real or dream?  Why are they there?  I don't know, but I did enjoy meeting Sam.....perhaps you can read the book and tell me what you think?

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, review by Nina Soukhanovskii

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.  A Quote to Consider: “With a shiver of foreboding he saw his marriage becoming what most of...