Monday, May 13, 2013
Lexi's world is turned upside down after her father dies and she's left homeless, penniless, and betrayed by her friends. With nowhere to go, she tries to find her mother who abandoned her as a child. She's led to the Europa circus, only to learn that her mother had come and gone with no forwarding address. Now that she's stranded in a new state, she pleads for a job with the circus and soon finds herself bonding with the cast and crew, from the trapeze sisters Lina and Liska to falling in love with two of the workers. Just as she finds her spot in the circus, her former best friend Eli suddenly appears, forcing her to confront the things she was avoiding surrounding her father's death. She knows that life in the circus is not her destiny, but does she have the strength to face reality?
I really enjoyed this novel. While life at the circus seems a bit cliché or stereotypical, there's nothing to say that's not how it really is. For the first half of the novel the chapters switch between now and the days leading up to her father's death. The transitions are relatively flawless and help build Lexi's inner-conflict without coming flat out and saying the problem. Each chapter started with a lyric from a song. This was interesting but the most of the songs were a little too obscure for me to make any connection with.
This book was a quick and enjoyable read. It seems a bit like a fluff book, but it has a lot of depth in terms of what you think you know about people and letting go of the things that will hold you back. This is well worth the read.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
This anthology focuses on the world of alibis after the murder of editor Herman Mildew. A number of well-known young adult and children's fiction authors were invited to a party thrown by Mildew, except the host was shortly found murdered and everyone is a suspect. Every entry in the anthology, then, is the author's alibi as to why he or she did not murder Mildew, even though everyone had motive. The man was cruel, insensitive, obsessed with stinky cheese, pickles, and toenail clippings, and an all-around jerk. Yet all eighty-plus authors claim they did not murder the man.
The book was put together with the support of an organization called 826NYC which helps support students and their writing. It seems as though this organization does a similar anthology with these students where they brainstorm an idea and then each individually write stories around that idea. I love the concept, but I didn't really feel like it worked with this book. To be exact, there are 84 stories or alibis in this collection. After a while, they all blend together. There are only so many things that can be said about someone who in an insensitive editor and has a thing for cheese and pickles. At the same time, these are alibis, not necessarily fully developed stories, so most entries are only three or four pages. Personally I've never been a fan of short stories to begin with, but these being only alibis felt exceptionally short and too underdeveloped to amount to anything really memorable. That's not to say, though, that none of these entries were good - there were a number that made me chuckle - but there simply too many.
Maybe my prejudice against short stories doomed this anthology from the beginning. I really did like the concept of this book, though. The number of authors that I recognized definitely adds to the allure of this collection. I really liked the collaboration of so many well known writers. That being said, the overall total of entries might leave a reader feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I enjoyed this book. It has a nice mix of science fiction along with action and adventure that all comes together nicely. It seems like there will be a sequel down the road just with the way the book ended. I think there is more to the rebellion of the bots than what is widely known to humanity.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
This was a very good book and the story was well told. I liked the reflective nature of it too. We as humans question decisions all the time, and ask ourselves if anything could have been done differently. Sometimes things can't be changed and we live with the consequences for the rest of our lives. Other times amends can be made even if a few years have gone by. Don't let the title and cover fool you. I thought it was a zombie book when I first saw the title before I read the inside cover.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
So Lovecraft Middle School is a brand new school made of all recycled materials. Unfortunately some of that recycled material cam from a recently demolished haunted mansion. And, when the school was built the ghosts and monsters from the former mansion came along. Now if you are an exceptionally discerning student you might just see the staircase, the library or other parts of the original mansion, that no longer exist. And, because you can see the old mansion, and its unreal beings you may be called upon to rid the school of the malevolent beings. And, there is that friendly ghost to get to know better. Plus, who is that creepy substitute teacher anyway? This is short, fast, not R.L. Stine but not bad either if you like your reading on the spooky side. JDW 4/25/13
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Aprendemos en el libro un poco sobre los papas de el señor King Jr., sus padres, eran humildes su señor padre era pastor baptista, pero tenían muy claro que era lo que querían para su familia. En esta época era muy difícil para los Americanos raza negra porque para ellos el gobierno trabajaba contra ellos. Les negaban oportunidades y esto se significaba que no podían ser parte de una sociedad apropiadamente.
RPA and LD 4/23/2013