Sunday, April 19, 2009

5 Mini Reviews I figured I'd just review the 5 books that I read for the Read-a-Thon all together as mini's not like I'd remember details about all of them :p 141. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix - This book was AWESOME! I wish I would've gotten the whole series to read during the Read-a-Thon...I didn't know how much I would enjoy it. The book is set in some alternative modern day earth...the time is never really mentioned. The government has put restrictions on how many children families can have, but Luke's family has broken that rule. He is a third child. He lives his life in constant hiding as he has to be non-existent as far as the rest of the world goes. But one day, while hiding in the house, he notices that one of his new neighbors seems to have a third child as well. He risks it all by going to see for himself...and he meets Jen, also a third child. Jen has big plans for fighting for third childrens' rights, but are they too big? This was a really engaging book and a short read as well! Just perfect for the read-a-thon. Great way to start things off. 2. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood - Another really good one. This was my first experience 21with Atwood and it certainly won't be my last. Anyone who's read The Odyssey knows who Penelope is. She is Odysseus' wife, the ever patient wife who waits for her husband to come home. And her 12 maids have made legend as well. Well in this installment of the Canongate Myth Series, Atwood explores Penelope's life in further death from her point of view and also shows us the 12 maids point of view. The story is told from the afterlife. This likely will not be in my favorite reads of the year, though it was really good and will have me reading more Atwood and more of the Myth series. Another great one for the read-a-thon. 313. Skim by Mariko Tamaki illustrated by Jillian Tamaki - So freaking good! This was the first graphic novel that I decided to read for the read-a-thon and boy am I glad that I read this one. First of all, I love that cover...isn't it great? The illustrations inside are just as good. Skim is the story of a young girl that's confused about life. She comes from a family where her mother is of Asian descent, her father white, and they are divorced. Her name is Kimberly and she's Wiccan. Though she's somewhat confused about what that means. She takes her religion seriously, though the others in her circle don't seem to so much. And her best friend can be a little wrapped up in herself sometimes. Kim has also found that she has feelings for her female drama teacher and has a hard time figuring those feelings out. It's obvious that Kim is confused. A suicide happens at the school which puts the whole school on suicide alert and people start worrying about her during a time that she doesn't need the added stress. This was a really touching story and one that actually reminded me a LOT of my own adolescent years. Really loved this book and I'd recommend it to everyone! 4. Silk by Alessandro Baricco - I had mixed feelings about this one. I loved the style of the novel. It's written in very short41 chapters, some of them only taking up 1/4 of the page. It's the tale of a married silk worm importer who travels to Japan for his business. While there, his eyes connect with a young woman who's very mysterious. And while they never speak a word to each other, the chemistry is there from the beginning. He goes back to Japan throughout the years desperate for more contact with her, but in doing so estranges his own wife who loves him so. The end of this book was awesome. It really gave me a good impression of the story overall. But there were times when my mind just strayed from the story and I couldn't even remember what I read in the last 4 pages. Still a recommended read though! 515. Marcello in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork - I REALLY liked this story. I didn't know how I would feel about it at the beginning. But I liked it. It's the story of a young boy named Marcelo who has Asperger's Syndrome, a disorder that's found on the autism spectrum. He's lived his life in a tree house that his father built for him and has attended a special school for people with disabilities. And he's always been happy doing that. Over the summers, he works at a therapeutic horse camp for people with disabilities. But his father wants something different from him this summer. He wants him to go to school with "normal" kids in the fall and wants him to work at his law firm in the mail room. My fear with this book was that it was going to spread the message that in the end, Marcelo learned that he shouldn't have Asperger's, that there was something wrong with him and that he needed to be normal like everyone else. I would've been SO angry if the story was like that, because it was set up to where it could be at the beginning. But it wasn't and I was SO thrilled. Marcelo was such a wonderful character. I really loved him. He reminded me of a kid I see at the hospital who has Asperger's and he's one of my favorites (shhh, we're not supposed to have favorites). Some of Marcelo's characteristics change throughout the novel, but he never loses who he is. He remains an individual. He just adapts some to his surroundings. In the end, he's still Marcello and for that, I would recommend this one highly! Phew!! Feels good to have those little reviews out of the way!

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