Saturday, January 31, 2009

Book Review #524
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This is an extremely cute little book.  I love the twist in it, and I think children would find it entertaining.  The illustrations were pretty sweet, I liked how the peas interacted and their facial expression, they were endearing little characters.  I would recommend this book.

Book Review #523
Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Stephen Savage
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The illustrations for this book are really unlike anything I've ever seen.  I thought they were cool and imaginative.  Very modern graphic design.  The story was a simple one, but still sweet.  I would recommend this book.

Book Review #522
A Couple Of Boys Have The Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked the general feel of the book, the illustrations made it seem almost whimsical in a cartoony way.  I didn't think the pictures near the beginning of the book were all the wonderful, but there were a couple near the end that I thought were especially great.  I didn't care for the two young children learning some new vocabulary words, I thought that was a little unnecessary to add into a children's picture book.  I was a little confused with the storyline, and how it was progressing, I'm not sure small children would get it.  But it had a really sweet ending, and that made up for a lot of things.

Book Review #521
Are You Ready To Play Outside? by Mo Willems
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was a cute book.  I liked Elephant and Piggie's reactions, and just when I thought it I knew what was going to happen next, Mo Willems completely surprised me.  I lovedthe expressions on their little faces, they cracked me up.  I would definitely recommend this book.

Book Review #520
Panda Whispers by Mary Beth Owens
Rating: four stars (out of four)

The illustrations for this book are just beautiful!  I loved the hues of colors that went with each different animal and their landscape.  I could look through this book again and again, the pictures are just so inviting and peaceful.  I thought the story was very sweet, definitely something that I would recommend as a bedtime story book.  I really liked this book!

Book Review #519
The House In The Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I enjoyed reading this book, but I didn't find anything remarkably amazing about the story, it was nice, but it wasn't astounding or anything.  I did like the illustrations, they were pretty cool, and very detailed, I liked the white lines on the black surface. I liked this book, but it wasn't one of my favorites as far as Caldecott's go.  I would still recommend though.

Book Review #518
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book is delivered in Mo Willem's typical style, with humor and a touch of sweetness.  I loved the title, it is funny and catches your eye.  The illustrations are comical and endearing.  A couple of the lines in this book were absolutely hysterical.  I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

Book Review #517
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Rating: four stars (out of four)

Oh. Wow.  That was my thought while reading this book.  I was absolutely enthralled with this totally new world that Suzanne Collins had created.  I had read her Underland Chronicles and had thought that world was amazingly well done.  Needless to say, I loved this book.  When I first heard that it was coming out, I was so excited.  And then my college life got a hold of me and this book somehow got shoved to the backburner.  I only remembered it a couple weeks ago and was shocked and dismayed that I hadn't immediately read it the day it came out.  I put it on hold at my library and waited as the 28 people before got copies of it first.  When it finally arrived I knew that I would not be able to start reading it until the weekend.  I didn't want anything to spoil my story.  So I waited a few more precious days til I knew that I would not be interrupted.  Before then, I had only given myself a short teaser of the first couple pages.  Finally!  I had finished all my pressing schoolwork and could sit down and read the book.  I read it in one sitting.  I stayed up until 2:30am in the morning to finish this book.  The world of The Hunger Games is intensely detailed.  Even though I didn't feel like Suzanne Collins had made a huge effort to provide the reader with brilliant imagery, I still had a marvelous image in my head of the story, what each person looked like, as well as the landscapes and cities.  This is a place that I have never experienced before, a whole new world that is teeming with life, intrigue and adventure!  I was totally sucked into this crazy sci-fi world and forgot that I was just a person sitting in bed at the wee hours of the morning reading only a story.  I was so drawn in that I didn't notice the hours go by as I sat and read through Katniss and Peeta's trials and triumphs.  I would whole-heartedly recommend this book.  If you have not checked it out, you should do that today.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Book Review #516
500 Handmade Books
Rating: two stars (out of four)

There were all sorts of imaginative books in this collection.  I was pretty impressed with the variety of textures, colors, and techniques that were used.  I really enjoyed looking through all the different books.  Granted, there were a few books that I thought were a little disturbing or unnaturally dark.  I would probably recommend this book to people who like art or crafts.

Book Review #515
500 Handmade Dolls
Rating: two stars (out of four)

There are some dolls in here that are absolutely amazing!  I cannot believe how much detail has been put into them, or how life-like they look.  There are also dolls that frankly, give me the creeps.  I really don't think that dolls should be made to look "disturbing" because doesn't that defeat the whole purpose?  And then there were other dolls that I felt were improperly lacking clothing in inappropriate areas.  There were lots of different reactions I had while reading this book, from in awe - to horrified.  There are all sorts of dolls in this book: sweet, scared, random, beaded, contemporary, abstract, scary, ugly, beautiful, fanciful and whimsical.  I would recommend this book to people who like dolls or are interested in seeing someone's artistic rendition of one.

Book Review #514
Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I really enjoy looking at Jon J. Muth's illustrations.  They seem to flow in such tranquil and soothing ways.  I also love the soft color style.  As far as the story, I didn't like it as much as Zen Shorts but I still found myself entertained.  I would recommend this book.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Review #513
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

The whole plot for this book was unbelievably implausible.  I picked it up because of its eye-catching cover, but I was sorely disappointed.  I think the thing that got on my nerves the most was the overuse of obscene language.  The f-word was littered throughout the book and worked itself into the everyday speech of the characters.  If someone can't think of more descriptive words than f-this, f-that how intelligent can they be?  I thought that Audrey did a lot of things that were morally corrupt and I wouldn't want other teens to read this book because of her bad image and influence.  I also didn't believe that this "song" could be so amazingly popular, or that people would stalk Audrey because she was the reason for the song.  That was not very believable.  I did not like this book and was sorry that I had read it.  Do not read.  I would never recommend.

Book Review #512
Bee Frog by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book had me smiling as I read through little Bee Frog's mini-adventure/rebellion.  I thought the story very cute, with endearing elements and sweet illustrations.  I especially liked the expressions on the faces of the frogs, they were comically amusing and fun.  I would definitely recommend this book.

Book Review #511
I Love My New Toy by Mo Willems
Rating: three stars (out of four)

Mo Willem's simplistic drawings capture the mood's of Elephant and Piggie as they go through a variety of emotions, each taking turns to be passionately upset or happy.  I thought this book was a delight to read, if not a little predictable at certain points, but the illustrations more then make up for this.  I would definitely recommend this book to children, I think they would find it amusing and entertaining.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book Review #510
Good-bye Curtis by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Marisabina Russo
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book had a nice sentiment, but it really didn't have that much of an affect on me.  I liked the premise, but I wasn't moved.  The illustrations were nice, but nothing astounding.  I might recommend this book.

Book Review #509
John Lennon by Elizabeth Partridge
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

A cautious note to readers: if you are a Beatles' fan, don't read this review.

I have never listened to the Beatles. I don't know any of their songs and I'm not an occult fan.  I had mainly ignored them because they were so popular and I automatically distrust what the masses uphold.  I was right in this case.  Reading through this biography, I determined that the Beatles were a bunch of drunk, drug-addict, adultering, sleaze bags.  I have heard so many people go on about the legendary Beatles.  This biography about John Lennon depicts how he lied, cheated, stole, smoke, drank, had sex whenever, was unfaithful to his wife - all in the name of music.  Why are the Beatles held up in honor and esteem?  From the first pages of this book, I saw what kind of person John Lennon was and immediately took a dislike to his obscene habits.  I couldn't believe what he got away with and how people were still in love with him.  
I was also deeply enraged with how the author portrayed some of the stories, they seemed fabricated or enhanced to make the story seem more interesting.  There were added elements of sexual activity and a lot of the direct quotes from John Lennon included the f-word.  I was disgusted.  

And what's even worse, this book is categorized as Juvenile Non-fiction!!  I would never let a young child read this book.  It has language, immoral figures, and sexual content.  
I do not see why society thinks these people were so great.  Even any "causes" the author mentioned that John Lennon became actively involved in lacked substance.  He seemed to think himself better then anyone else and considered himself so intellectual  that he had trouble communicating his thoughts to us lower beings.  I could hardly stand reading the pompous way the author made John Lennon into this heroic, amazing man that we should all look up to.  No, I do not look up too and admire men who lie, cheat, do drugs on a continous basis, leave their wives because someone who "really understood them" comes along, use obscene language, and act like possessive jerks all the time.  Reading this biography made me the complete opposite of a fan of the Beatles.  Now that I've seen a peek into their personal and professional lives, I can truly say that I do not like them.  I would never recommend this book.  I wouldn't recommend listening to the Beatles.  What has the world come to that we would look up to these people as idols - who have crossed so many boundaries and don't deserve our respect.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Review #508
Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This is a really nice book to look through.  The cover is very appealing, and the photographs inside the book are relevant and crystal clear.  Very modern page layout, making it completely reader-friendly.  Even though I didn't find any patterns that I wanted to knit, there was still an assortment of patterns that I thought were lovely and had a unique design.  I would recommend this book.

Book Review #507
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I was severely unimpressed with this book.  The main character was really rather worthless.  Throughout the whole book I kept waiting for her to realize what was going on, or at least do something and take charge, you know, find her inner strength?  But she just did whatever she was told and continued to get herself deeper and deeper into the mess.  I won't reveal the plot or ending, but it was completely unrealistic.  I was amazed that the author thought she could pull us along with her crazy nonsense.  The cover of the book looks pretty cool and I was expecting the book to match, but it did not.  I thought the presence of the "imaginary friend" to be annoying and I wondered why this teenage girl had not grown up enough to know she was too old for those kinds of tricks.  I pretty much figured that she had some mental issues.  When I finally got to the ending, I was TOTALLY disturbed.  I couldn't believe that I had just wasted all my time to get to that.  It was a loop that did not go anywhere.  I would never recommend this book.  The plot was unbelievable, the characters were useless and the Uncle was a complete nut.  Avoid this book.

Book Review #506
Domino Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This technique of knitting is very interesting.  I would like to try it out someday, and I would probably use this little book as a reference.  The patterns in here were nice, none looked outdated and they used an assortment of colors.  I would probably recommend this book.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Book Review #505
Vintage Knits by Vogue Knitting
Rating: two stars (out of four)

While I thought that it was an interesting concept for a knitting book, about half of the patterns I saw in this book I would never dream of knitting.  The other half I thought were "cute" but still not something that I would knit.  I don't know if these patterns just weren't my taste or they are a little outdated.  Either way, I probably won't be recommending this book anytime soon.  There's tons of other great knitting books out there.

Book Review #504
The Sign Painter by Allen Say
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I love Allen Say's illustrations, they are beautifully drawn, with a richness that seems to come alive off the page.  Normally I enjoy his stories and am pulled into their world, but this book was a little different.  I wasn't moved while reading it. And I'm not sure if  child would get it, I think they would enjoy looking at the pictures and the reader would enjoy telling the story.  I would probably recommend.

Book Review #503
Daisy-head Mayzie by Dr. Seuss
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This story wasn't nearly as whimsical and crazy as other Dr. Seuss books, but it was still enjoyable.  I like the rhyming style.  He seems to have such a way of finding ordinary words that you wouldn't think to use in a rhyme and he puts five of them in a sentence together.  I might recommend this book, but wasn't a favorite.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Book Review #502
Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill
Rating: one star (out of four)

I think the author of this book was attempting to write a moving, poetic tribute to an author she greatly admired.  If only I had seen it as such when I read this book.  The poetry was fairly nice, but I was not impressed with the format of the poems, or who's perspective they were told from.  I also thought that the way they were told was slightly belittling to Sylvia Plath and I was almost deterred from liking her character.  I would have rather read a biography about her that was more straightforward.  I had to stop reading this book after 60 pages because I was getting tired of the story.  I am not sure that I want to read more about Sylvia Plath.  I do not think that I would have agreed with her on things.  If I get around to it, I might read a poem or two, but this book has certainly not instilled in me a desire to read Sylvia Plath.  I would not recommend this book.

Book Review #501
True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolfe
Rating: one star (out of four)

I was not really impressed with this book.  The main character was pretty interesting, but sometimes I just got sick of how she was acting.  I didn't care for some of her thoughts and wondered why this book had so many stickers on the front when it really wasn't all that amazing.  I wasn't too happy with some of the other characters in the book, they didn't seem real, or they were undeveloped and flawed.  I liked the poetic format, but thought it could have been done better.  And I don't know why they always have to put in certain elements, but this book did it just because they could.  They wanted to fit in and thought they might get some brownie points if they did.  I was just annoyed and thought less of the author.  I had to read the first book in this trilogy so that I could read the second, (this one,) which was a Printz Honor, but I won't be reading the third.  I would not recommend this book.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Book Review #500
A Heart Full Of Hope by Robin Jones Gunn
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book somehow didn't get a review back in August.  I read all eleven of the other books in this series and I completely forgot this book.  How odd.  Anyway, my review:

I've enjoyed reading this series and going through the ups and downs of Christy Miller as she tries to steer through life.  This book had a slight damper though, I did not like Rick.  I've actually never thought much of him.  Some of his actions in this book were a little underhanded, and very possessive.  I probably would have dropped him like a plate of hot coals if he had tried those stunts on me. I wouldn't have had him be my boyfriend, no sirreebob.  Aside from that detail, I still liked the book and would probably recommend it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Book Review #499
Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolfe
Rating: one star (out of four)

Well, I actually made it through this book.  It seems that most of the books I've been reading lately have all been rather disappointing and I've not even finished them.  I think that the reason I finished this book was because it seemed short, because it was written through poems.  I can't really say that I cared for the story very much.  I didn't find anything poignant or terribly amazing in it at all.  I thought that the point of the book was nice, but it was done in such a way that it left the reader unfulfilled and slightly annoyed at the end.  I wouldn't recommend this book.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Book Review #498
Surrender by Sonya Hartnett
Rating: one star (out of four)

I got through 78 pages of this book before I dropped it.  It was supposed to be this thrilling, exciting novel filled with mystery, but I just found it uncommonly not worth reading.  I thought that the bouncing between present and past was disjointed and annoying.  The characters were weird, and I never found myself believing in any of them or caring for their well-being.  I also thought it was a tad bit gruesome, there were parts that I thought should have been left with not quite so many details.  I really didn't care for this book and would definitely not recommend it.

Book Review #497
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
Rating: one star (out of four)

I read the first short story in this book, looking forward to seeing how it would turn out.  It only took me a couple pages before my smile turned into a frown and I started to dislike the way things were going.  The first story was dark and depressing, not to mention a little barbaric.  I did not like the ending at all, it was totally different then I would have liked.  I guess I didn't read the front flap very well, because they said right off the bat what it was about.  Still, it wasn't a happy story at all, nor did it seem to serve any purpose, it was sad for no reason at all.  I thought maybe that the first story was just a flop and that the second story would be better.  It was not.  I found myself confused and wondering why I was even having to read it and what the point would be.  I didn't like the second story any better then the first.  I sighed and then started the third story.  Well!  I made it through a couple pages of that one before I put it down.  That story was immensely disjointed and I could have cared less about what happened to the characters.  I would not recommend this book, it was dark, weird and totally not worth it.

Book Review #496
Wittington by Alan Armstrong
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I can maybe see a youngish child liking this book, especially if they are fond of animals that talk and that sort of thing.  But as for me, I found it a little dumbed-down and slightly repetitive.  Even though it was set in modern times, I couldn't help but feel that parts of this book were complete fantasy.  (Animals talking and the children understanding?  Yeah...)  But there were parts in this story where I just thought it was entirely too easy for them to overcome their predicament.  I also found it a little annoying how they had to tell the story of Wittington inside the story you are reading, as well as another story that was happening outside the barn, at times I just wanted to hear the rest of Wittington's story.  Still, this book kept me fairly entertained, if not having a couple spots where I rolled my eyes.  I might recommend it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Book Review #495
Freewill by Chris Lynch
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I did not get this story.  I read the whole thing and was not impressed at all.  I didn't like how the story progressed, and I also thought that it was a little dark.  The story was told in a really different format, and I thought it was confusing and hard to get used to.  I almost couldn't wrap my mind around it.  There was some language in it as well, which was annoying.  I am really not liking the pattern that is developing around the Printz books I have been reading lately...I don't think that I've read one that I've liked yet.  Needless to say, I would not recommend this book.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Review #494
Stuck In Neutral by Terry Trueman
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

This book was totally disturbing.  And the ending was what set me off.  From all the hints that I had been receiving while reading the book, how could I not expect that to happen?  Of course I can't tell you what happened, because I don't want to give away anything, but I was aghast!  I was completely horrified because there were so many similarities between the fictional story and the real life author.  I was seriously troubled while reading this book and I probably would have stopped reading if not for the fact that it was such a short book.  I did not like this story, it was sad, depressing, scary, and I feared for several people at the end.  I would never recommend this book.

Book Review #493
A Giant Problem by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I was quite interested to see what would happen next in this series.  I liked seeing the two worlds mesh together, how the characters in the novel interacted with characters from other novels and even the authors!  The ending was great, as far as cliff-hanger-I-have-no-clue-what-is-going-to-happen-next-ahh!-where-is-the-next-book way.  I would recommend.

Book Review #492
Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger
Rating: one star (out of four)

This book just didn't cut it for me.  I felt that several parts of the story were completely unrealistic.  There was no way that I could believe that it would happen like that and everyone would act that way.  I didn't care for the main character, he bugged me and I just wanted him to grow up.  I was also a little annoyed with how he was living his life, he didn't seem to be doing anything worthwhile.  Because of the pathetic story line and adult content, I would never recommend this book.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Book Review #491
Repossessed by A. M. Jenkins
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I was incredibly disgusted with this book.  The author was trying to make something good out of bad, and that just does not work.  The "fallen angel" was a complete slime who didn't deserve to go around "fixing" things in the human world.  What right did he think he had in trying to patch up the things in his human body?  And I was completely repulsed by his obsession with sex and all things related to it.  I was angry when I saw how the author tried to brush it off as no big deal.  I would never recommend this book.  It is filled with lies, vulgarity, adult content and an immoral message.  This book can burn for all I care.

Book Review #490
Heart To Heart edited by Jan Greenberg
Rating: one star (out of four)

I am really confused as to why this won a Printz Honor.  I found nothing remarkable about this book.  In fact, I was a little bored while reading it.  The artwork was not very impressive, I didn't feel moved by the pieces.  I was also unfascinated with the poetry.  I did not feel as if they added to the artwork and vice versa.  The reason this book doesn't have the lowest rating is because it just was not absolutely horrible.  I would not recommend.

Book Review #489
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

Why do such sleazy books win awards?  I mean, come on people, the whole point of reading books is to escape reality.  I don't want to read some depressing, adult content-filled book about a kid who made mistakes and now thinks he can live with them.  I think that some of the things that happened in this book were a little drastic.  I wasn't impressed with the writing style or the way the plot unfolded.  And at the end, I was just annoyed that I had wasted my time reading this book.  I never felt connected with the main character or wanted him to succeed.  The only good thing that came out of this book was that it was so harsh and depressing about the realty of sex that maybe people will think twice before doing it.  I would not recommend.

Book Review #488
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I did not see why this book won the Newbery Honor.  I was almost completely horrified when I read this story.  Tragic stories can be good and all, if they have a point.  My copy of the book also had the entire story synopsis on the inside cover flap, which I read to get an overall feel for the book.  And then when I finished the book, I felt like I had been ripped-off.  I had thought the book would develop some of the ideas the synopsis didn't cover, but it just repeated everything.  I was not impressed with this book, and I was sorry I had read it; not a good combo.  I would definitely Not recommend this book.

Book Review #487
My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I actually got through this Printz book, but in the end, I really wished I hadn't read it.  I kind of saw what the author was going for, but I was not impressed with the story line and how the plot progressed.  I was largely disappointed with the climax.  There were elements of this story that I did not agree with in the least and I thought it was disturbing of the author to act like they were everyday things.  There were definitely some inappropriate things in here that I wish had been left out.  I would not recommend this book, it was a complete waste of time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Book Review #486
Knitting Never Felt Better by Nicky Epstein
Rating: four stars (out of four)

This book is amazing!  I didn't know that you could do all these things with felting!  I had never thought of using marbles, acorns, or objects to make my felted knitting come out in different shapes.  The tips and techniques in this book are phenomenal.  It has lots of patterns of what a knitted item will look like after it is felted.  I thought it was astounding how many examples they had in this book.  This book is definitely something that I would recommend.  I had such a great time looking through it and marveling at all the things I could do with felting.  Awesome book!

Book Review #485
Knit Couture by Gail Downey and Henry Conway
Rating: two stars (out of four)

There are some interesting patterns in this book.  I skimmed through the beginning of the book, just kind of looking through the pictures.  The first part of the book talks about knitting; how it started, what it has evolved to, what it is today, and that sort of thing.  There are a couple risque photos in here, but nothing totally inappropriate.  I liked some of the patterns, especially the skirts, they looked interesting and like something I might want to knit in the future.  I'd probably recommend this book, but it wouldn't be at the top of my list.

Book Review #484
Greetings From Knit Cafe by Suzan Mischer
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book is very inviting.  I love all the funky, bright colors that seem to explode from the pages of this book.  They have an excellent assortment of colors on every page.  The patterns in this book were pretty cool, but I didn't see anything that caught my eye.  I would recommend this book, even if you just want to look through it and get inspired.

Book Review #483
The Knitted Rug by Donna Druchunas
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a pretty cool book.  I thought that the patterns were nice, they seemed to have a nice selection to choose from.  I didn't find anything that I loved, but I enjoyed looking through the pictures.  I did find a couple helpful tips in their technique sections.  I would probably recommend this book.

Book Review #482
Glamour Knits by Erika Knight
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked the way this book was put together, with pages and pages of full color illustrations in the very beginning, just showing off all the knitted items.  I saw a couple patterns that I thought were cool and might want to knit someday.  Generally, I thought that all the patterns in this book were pretty ingenious.  It was some of the pictures that I found a little off, meaning I felt the model who was wearing the knitted item was not covering up nearly as much as she should have.  After you've browsed through all the pictures you get to the middle of the book where the patterns are.  I liked the way they were done, with a faded pink picture of what the pattern looked like from the front of the book.  I would probably recommend this book, but with a word of caution about some of the photographs.

Book Review #481
Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick
Rating: three stars (out of four)

Even though I only found one or two patterns that I would want to knit in this book, I still really enjoyed looking through it.  I thought that the whole layout of the book was done very nicely and the photographs were definitely a highlight.  I think this is a book that any knitter could pick up and find something interesting in.  I would recommend it.

Book Review #480
Dan's Angel by Alexander Sturgis, illustrated by Lauren Child
Rating: one star (out of four)

I thought the concept of this book was a really interesting idea, but the author just didn't pull it off.  I was even a little disappointed with Lauren Child's illustrations (shocker).  I didn't enjoy this book, and would have put it down except that it was a children's book and is only about 32 pages long.  I wouldn't recommend this book.

Book Review #479
The Body Of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I just couldn't get into this book, it had some dark elements that I thought were unnecessary and disturbing.  As it is, I didn't like where the story was going and wasn't really interested in anything that the characters were doing.  I didn't feel like the author fleshed out the people in the story, they seemed rather lame and stereotypical.  I would not recommend.  This book had an underlining dark atmosphere and unsettling elements that made it unworthy to read.

Book Review #478
Kit's Wilderness by David Almond
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I did not like the feel of this book at all, from the first couple pages I was already starting to feel a little anxious.  I thought the dark elements in this book were rather inappropriate for a book labeled "juvenile" and was concerned with where the characters might end up in the end.  As it was, I didn't like the overall atmosphere of the book and stopped reading after 30 or 60 pages because I just didn't want to read the whole thing and be vastly disappointed.  I had already read another book by David Almond and had not liked the way it was written and I didn't feel like putting myself through that disgust again.  I would not recommend this book, it was dark, a tad bit disturbing, and too mature for younger readers.

Book Review #477
Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I was really not impressed with this story at all.  I felt that it could have been a moving tale about a girl trying to fit in with herself and how she overcomes prejudices and learns to cope with the negative views of her culture.  Instead though, the author tries to make this book hip and stylish, something that anybody could relate too.  The main character talks about how she wants to wear the traditional head scarf so that she can show her relationship with God and how she wants to be religious and all that.  But then in the next page she is watching Sex and the City with no further thought about how that will play into her relationship with God.  Really?  She also talks about how her faith is very important to her and how she strives to live with honesty and integrity.  This is basically a lie because we all know the saying, "actions speak louder then words." and I'm pretty sure that cussing people out, disobeying parents, lying, hurting people, being disrespectful to elders, challenging authority and watching sleazy television shows are all things that a deeply religious person would avoid doing.  And yet, she has managed to pull all of them off, some repeatably.  I'm sorry, but if you really confess to have faith and want to please God, you would not go around cussing people out because they did it to you first and you have the right to make a "snappy comeback."  I think one of the things that bothers me the most in reading books are that the "good" people are not good.  They are almost as bad as the "bad" people.  I know that not everyone can be perfect and agreeable all the time, but when the good people continually stoop down to the bad people's levels, it shows that there really are no good people, just people who claim to be good.  I was disgusted with how the main character acted in this book, she portrayed a "deeply religious" person who acted just as bad as the nonreligious people and got get away with doing whatever .  The ending for this book was also totally unrealistic.  Now, I don't mind unrealistic endings, sometimes they make me happy and I love how everything has worked out.  This book, however made everything so unrealistic I was rolling my eyes and just plain irked that the author thought she could pull that on me.  I would never recommend this book.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Book Review #476
The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a very interesting book.  I'm not really sure how I feel about it.  I thought the writing was pretty nice, it kept the story moving, and yet managed to make it feel personal.  The first couple switches in the story were a little random, I wasn't sure what to expect, but then once I found the pattern it started to make more sense.  There were a couple elements of the story that I thought were highly unrealistic, almost fantasy.  But this book was set in a contemporary setting and I just thought it was a little annoying to have those things take place.  This book was weird, but I probably wouldn't not-recommend it.

Book Review #475
Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos
Rating: one star (out of four)

I got to page 71 before I decided to call it quits.  I just wasn't getting into the story, I didn't really care about how Jack got into drugs and then decided to turn his life around in prison.  I wasn't impressed with the writing style, nor the way the story was told.  I was having a hard time picking it up to read, I was just not interested.  I wouldn't recommend this book, it wasn't captivating or redeeming enough to make a worthwhile read.  I don't even know why it was chosen for the Printz Honor.  I should warn you though, if you decide that you do want to read this book afterall, note that there is a lot of drug use in this book (obviously) and if that is the sort of thing you don't care to read about, you should entirely skip this book.