Sunday, May 30, 2010

Book Review #999
Spring Breakdown by Melody Carlson
Rating: two stars (out of four)

It's interesting to see the dynamics between all the characters and what sort of trouble they will get themselves into next. Eventually things work out and the girls learn a lesson or two. I found myself liking certain characters because I saw more of their past and realized why they acted out. I enjoyed this series and would probably recommend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review #998
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I kept expecting this story to get better, but it never did. I did not see the point of this book or why I should feel overly sorry for this boy and his family. The story just stretched out in a listless manner that made me want to give up, and I would have, but the book was so short I thought I'd keep reading (plus it was a Newbery Medal). I didn't love the characters and though it portrayed history in a different light I didn't feel like I was learning anything from the novel or characters. The ending was abrupt and I didn't care for how things turned out. I would not recommend this book.

Book Review #997
A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I thought the premise of this book sounded interesting and I wanted to see how the author would handle the story. I was disappointed with the characters and felt like a lot of them fell flat. I didn't see how this summer changed the life of Hattie in such a drastic way that her whole outlook was different. I also didn't care for the ending at all. I didn't enjoy this book and felt like it didn't deserve the Newbery Honor. I would not recommend.

Book Review #996
Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White
Rating: four stars (out of four)

The language and writing of this story was what pulled me in. I loved how the characters talked and the way the author wove her sentences to tell a tale rich filled with southern culture. The characters were likable and I especially wanted to take Woodrow home. I fell in love with this boy and loved seeing how he helped Gypsy understand things in life and taught her a lesson by how he treated others.

The story was intriguing and I wanted to see how things would turn out. There were even a couple of surprises at the ending that I didn't see coming. Even though this story was simplistic and didn't have much of a plot the real enjoyment came through the way it was told and how it's laid-back style felt like an afternoon spent on the back porch sipping a glass of ice-filled lemonade. I'd totally recommend. It is one of my new favorites.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review #995
What Hearts by Bruce Brooks
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I have no clue why this won the Newbery Honor. It did not have a point and I read the whole thing waiting for something substantial or magnificent to happen. When I finally reached the end I felt like I had just wasted my time. I didn't understand the main character and I wanted him to stop being such a jerk. I could see how his home life was affecting his character and I waited until the very end to see some sort of change take place - but he didn't seem to learn anything and I had no hope that he would grow up and become a better person. The title of the book bothered me because it didn't make sense until the very last few pages of the book. I think the author was trying to wrap everything up at the end, but I was just left saying, "so what?" This book is definitely skippable and one of the least worthy Newbery's I've read in a while.

Book Review #994
Getting Near to Baby by Audrey Couloumbis
Rating: four stars (out of four)

The emotions and struggles of the characters felt so real. I could see the town and its inhabitants so clearly while I was reading the story. My heart yearned for them to heal. I thought it was a poignant story and I cried while reading it. I loved the setting and the voices of the characters. Each person felt unique and I couldn't help but feel for Aunt Patty as she tried to take care of these girls. I would definitely recommend this book.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Review #993
One-Eyed Cat by Paula Fox
Rating: one star (out of four)

I didn't really see the point to this book and felt like it was a flop. I didn't feel for any of the characters and wanted more development in the plot and personalities. I wasn't depressed by the content even though it was not a cheerful story. After I finished reading this book I sat there for a few moments wondering if maybe I had missed something. I was not impressed with this Newbery.

Book Review #992
Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly
Rating: one star (out of four)

I think this was supposed to be a brief look at how one person can change another person's life for the better - but it didn't pull it off. I thought the characters were shallow and I didn't see the main character as having a fully-fleshed out personality. I didn't like him or care what he did with his life. The ending was really what got me riled up. I hated the ending. It just dropped you like a hot potato and left you in the sun to rot. I have no clue why the author thought that would be a good way to handle things. I thought that maybe there were a couple of pages missing from my library book, that someone had ripped them out. But no, it was supposed to end like that. I would not recommend this book at all.

Book Review #991
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I fell in love with the imagery of this book. I also enjoyed the simplistic and yet poignant descriptions of the characters and setting. I liked the main character a lot and wanted her to finally find a home. Throughout the whole course of the book I was yearning for things to be made right and I was worried that I might not be satisfied with the ending. But it ended well and I didn't expect the slight twist with how things came to be. I liked the quirkiness of the characters and how they were fleshed out and alive. I loved the writing style of this novel and felt like I was lying in a hammock hearing a story from a master story-teller. I would recommend this book.

Book Review #990
Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was an educational book that wasn't boring or tediously laden with facts. I was interested in seeing how Eleanor Roosevelt conducted her life and this book offered a broad outlook on her experiences and personality. I liked the fusion of photographs throughout the book. I also liked how the book did not focus on her relationship as a First Lady, but on what she believed was right and how she strived to live her life.

Book Review #989
Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I thought this book was well put together and featured a nice mixture of photographs and illustrations to go along with the text. I wasn't overly impressed with the story and how it progressed through Lincoln's life, I think I had expected it to be more humorous. It seemed more fact-based then fictionalized. I did enjoy learning more about this past president and I would probably still recommend. It just wasn't one of my favorite Newbery Medals.

Book Review #988
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Rating: four stars (out of four)

Brain washing is an amazing tool. This book literally gave me chills. I found it hard to fathom how these children and teens had grown up under the influence of Hitler and that they didn't think to question his judgment until it was almost too late. I thought the author did an excellent job of using stories of children who were Hitler Youth from the very beginning and stayed that way, to children who had always rebelled against the cause. There were also accounts of teenagers who had started out as Hitler Youth and then realized what they were fighting for. It was shocking to see things from the point of view of people my age or younger who were so invested in this cause. I couldn't even imagine fighting for my life and distributing secret pamphlets that spoke about the evils of Hitler at time like that. It's mind-boggling. I would definitely recommend this book, it opened my eyes to a part of history I hadn't known much about.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book Review #987
The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I kept waiting to read a scary story. From what I had read on the front and back flaps, this book was supposed to give me goosebumps and chills, but I found most of the stories a little tame. It almost seemed as if they were all historical legends that just featured ghosts or other slightly spooky themes. There was one of two stories that were on the verge of being a little haunting, but I never felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end or anything. I read this book in one sitting, but I wasn't terribly interested in it. I might still recommend if you liked this genre and were interested in African American historical fiction.

Book Review #986
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Rating: two stars (out of four)

Since I am very goal-oriented and driven by checking things off and charts I found this book refreshing. I admired Gretchen for setting off on a year-long task and I derived a certain amount of satisfaction seeing how she decided to make her life better. There were a lot of good suggestions and I while I would like to implement them I don't think I would be able to tackle all of them like Gretchen did. I don't think that I am disciplined enough to do that drastic of a lifestyle change. I still found this book inspiring and I felt like I should set up some goals for my life after reading it. I would recommend.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book Review #985
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I found parts of this book fascinating and other parts a little boring. It was almost hard to believe what people did in the past because they thought it would cure them. It was interesting to see the different angles of this period of history. I especially liked seeing how there were two vastly different approaches to this disease and how it was to be treated. I didn't realize the political complications of this wide-spread fever either. I liked reading this book, but I wouldn't say it was the most engaging book. I'd probably still recommend though.

Book Review #984
The Great Fire by Jim Murphy
Rating: two stars (out of four)

Even though this was a non-fiction book I read it like a work of fiction and couldn't really tell the difference. I liked how the author fused real life stories of the people who had been involved in the fire and showed the progress of the flames from the very beginning to the drastic end. I also enjoyed looking at the maps to see how much the fire had spread with each passing day. While I enjoyed reading this book and felt like I learned a bit about Chicago's history, it wasn't a fantastic book. I'd probably still recommend though.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review #983
Nothing But the Truth by Avi
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I'm not entirely sure what the point of this book was. Sure, it was showing how corrupt a system could get and how one event can sadly lead to a chain of events that disrupts an entire community, but I felt like most of this was common knowledge. Or maybe it's just the homeschooler in me saying, "Of course this would happen, it's a public school institution, what would you expect?" Still, for people who might not believe these kind of events, this might be a real eye-opener. It was also told in an interesting format, if not a little annoying at times. I didn't like the main character at all, but I think that was part of the point. The ending was disrupting, but in a good way and it showed you how far all of the characters had fallen. I didn't enjoy reading this book though, so I wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #982
A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos
Rating: one star (out of four)

The main problem I had with this book was that I wasn't interested in the story. It was a diary but I didn't care about what was happening. When drastic things happened I felt like the author didn't put enough emotion into her characters or descriptions. I almost gave up on this book, but it was short enough that I just pulled through and read it. I wouldn't recommend though.

Book Review #981
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I know this book was set out to prove a point, but I felt like some of the underlying principles were crossed. I know you'd want to help a dog that had obviously been abused, but because of the actions of the boy, the dog was put in a lot of drastic situations that would not have happened if he had taken the dog back in the first place. I felt like this book was trying to show the dilemma between a moral and ethnical decision, but at the end of the book I wasn't sure I was completely agreed with how everything turned out. I was just disappointed in this book and felt like it didn't have enough substance to prove its point.

Book Review #980
Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I loved the language of this book and how the author crafted poignant sentences and paragraphs that acurately described the character's mood or feelings. What disappointed me the most with this book was how short and simplistic the plot was. I liked the characters and wanted to get to know them better, but the book ended. There were a couple of parts where I had tears in my eyes. I almost gave this book the next rating up, but it was just missing a crucial "something" that would have made it better. I might recommend this book.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review #979
What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman
Rating: one star (out of four)

I thought this book dealt with a heavy subject matter in a realistic and engaging way. But it didn't overwhelm the reader with dark or scary images. It simply showed the perspective from a young boy's view and illustrated how abuse affects a family. I didn't like this book because I felt like it was too simplistic, it only offered a snapshot of the boy's life and his realization of that one moment. I liked the writing style of the book, but I wanted the author to go deeper with the plot and character development. I just wasn't impressed with this book and wished that it had been more poignant. I wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #978
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Rating: one star (out of four)

I've been meaning to read this book for a long time and when I finally checked it out of the library I was disappointed. It was entirely too predictable and the plot was under-developed and lackluster. I wanted the characters to be more dimensional and I felt like everybody gave up too quickly. I wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #977
The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
Rating: four stars (out of four)

This book was inspiring. I thought it gave a distinct and broad picture of an amazing lady I had never heard about. After I read the book I immediately went online to find samples of Marian Anderson's singing. The book covered her entire lifespan and I enjoyed the vast amount of photographs that accompanied the story. While equal rights was not the major theme of the book, it did have a significant part in the life of Marian and I thought it was interesting to see how she stood up for her rights. I would recommend this book.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Review #976
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I had expected something really different from the story from reading the back cover. I thought this book was likeable, but I didn't feel like the development of the characters was done well because I wasn't in love with any of them or wanting to get inside their heads. The cover was intriguing and I liked it. I'm not sure I really like the whole "cat as your one and only sibling" idea because it just seemed a little off and weird. There's a sequel to this story, but I'm not sure I will read it. I was disappointed with this book, even though it had an original concept and involved fairy tales. I thought the follow-through could have been better.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book Review #975
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I could not finish this book. The adult content in this book was despicable. Foul language was tossed around on every page and served no purpose and there was so much infidelity and sexual content that I was completely disgusted with the characters and wanted to throw them off a bridge.

The first chapter/viewpoint that I read was from a man who was having an affair and just hearing his thoughts and seeing how he viewed people made me want to throw up. His manners and his thoughts about his children, his wife, and his lover were full of filth, violence, hatred and resentment. I could not believe he felt that way about his children. This guy needs to grow up. I just wanted him to be hit by a car or something so that I wouldn't have to deal with his completely inappropriate behavior towards his family. I thought his family would be better off if he was dead. I hated him.

This novel is probably one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life and I didn't even get to the sixtieth page. It was filled with pornography, language, adult content, adulterers, violence, hatred, liars, cheats, immature losers and vile characters. There is absolutely NOTHING REDEEMING about this book WHATSOEVER. I cannot believe that someone published this. This is utterly repulsive and debasing. I would never recommend this book, and if it were up to me, I'd have all the copies in the world rounded up and burned.

Book Review #974
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Rating: three stars (out of four)

It's weird how you've seen a book for so long but never got around to reading it and you've already made an assumption in your mind about what it's like based on the cover you've seen repeatedly. That's what I've been doing with this book. Only I was completely wrong in my preconceived notions.

This book was nothing like what I had pictured in my head and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. It's interesting how a book can leave you muddling through your thoughts as soon as you've finished reading it. Through the entire course of this story I found myself drawn to the characters and their little island. There were parts of the book that were poignant or funny, but as soon as I finished reading I realized this was not a happy book, it had never occurred to me. It had elements of sadness traced throughout the entire story and it was only looking back on all the events that I finally realized that. This was book intriguing and I still don't know quite how I feel about it, even though I'd probably have to say that I liked it a lot. I'd recommend, it isn't a quick beach read but something you need to think about after you've finished it.

Book Review #973
Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I just didn't see the point of this book. I kept reading because I thought it would get better and there would be some grand truth at the end, but I have no clue why this got a Newbery Honor. The main character wasn't someone I liked and his thoughts were annoying and jarring. I also didn't like the relationship between his dad and I wondered how this book could end happily with all the crazy stuff that was going on. The ending was a disappointment and I felt like I had just wasted my time reading this entire book. I would not recommend.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review #972
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Rating: one star (out of four)

I read this book because I had recently seen the movie adaption and had been shocked and dismayed that I had not known was based on a book. Very loosely based I might add. There seemed to be hardly any similarities besides some of the character names and the location. And even though this rarely happens...I have to say...that I liked the movie better than the book!

I was not impressed with the character of Toothless and couldn't figure out why he played any major part in the story. He seemed to be a lazy and slightly conceited dragon who didn't harbor any feelings for his owner at all. While I understand that the pictures were purposefully drawn in a sloppy manner I didn't care for them and wished that they had chosen a different type of artwork; one that wasn't as crude looking. I wasn't impressed with the story and felt like it was seriously lacking in detail and character development.

If I had not seen the movie and fallen in love with it I might not have been so disappointed with this book, but because it had such high expectations I gave it a lower rating. I wouldn't recommend this book at all. There are far better dragon books out there.

Book Review #971
Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting book. I saw the point that author was making, but I didn't feel like it was really applicable to the whole story. I was also really annoyed with the little bird's friends. The illustrations were okay. I would only recommend if you were an avid Leo Lionni fan.

Book Review #970
Where did They Hide My Presents? by Alan Katz, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a funny book that took modern christmas tunes and gave them new lyrics about how the christmas season might really be turning out at home. I enjoyed seeing the remakes of these popular christmas classics and I sang a couple of them out loud to see how they sounded and they were funny. I would recommend if you enjoyed wacky renditions of songs.

Book Review #969
The Vanishing Pumpkin by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an amusing tale, if not a little repetitive. I liked seeing what the old man and old lady did to anyone they thought had taken their pumpkin. The ending was a bit of a letdown, but I still liked the book. I might recommend.

Book Review #968
The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I thought this was a fun book. I enjoyed looking at the cheerful illustrations and how studious the knight and dragon were. The ending wasn't predictable and yet I liked the conclusion. I would recommend, especially for fans of different knights/dragon stories.

Book Review #967
The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln by Mike Reiss, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: one star (out of four)

I just did not find this book funny. And I wasn't impressed with David Catrow's illustrations, I found most of them bulbous and unpleasant. This story was also incredibly unrealistic, which would have been fine if it had been able to pull it off - but it didn't. I would steer clear of this book because it is not worth your time.

Book Review #966
Plantzilla Goes to Camp by Jerdine Nolen, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked this book better then the first one. I think it was because I didn't see the plant in as creepy manner, but more along the lines of a crazy friend. I liked the use of colors and details, though some of the people were a little awkward looking. I'd probably recommend - it was random and fun.

Book Review #965
Doctor De Soto by William Steig
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an amusing little tale about a mouse who was a dentist. I liked seeing the interaction between the characters. The illustrations reminded me of my childhood, because we had several William Steig books and it was fun to see these pictures that brought back memories. I also liked seeing other characters from books he had written popping into this story to get their tooth fixed. It was a funny book with an interesting outcome, I would probably recommend.

Book Review #964
Oliver Button Is a Sissy by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book didn't end the way I thought it would, but I still loved the ending because it made me smile. I could definitely see the personality of Oliver and how he was treated rudely because he was different. I would probably recommend this book.

Book Review #963
Now One Foot, Now the Other by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was kind of a depressing book. It had a sweet message and even though it had a good ending, there were a couple parts in the book where I wasn't sure how it would work out. I enjoyed the illustrations, but they weren't my favorite. I might recommend.

Book Review #962
Knitting Nature: 39 Designs Inspired by Patterns in Nature by Norah Gaughan
Rating: four stars (out of four)

This book was amazing. I loved the photography! It showcased the knitted piece but did it in such a way that the whole picture was beautiful. Even though I didn't find any pieces that I wanted to knit I would still pore over this book just to get inspiration. The pieces were beautiful and the author managed to make each piece unique without them being totally weird and something you wouldn't want to wear. I would definitely recommend this book.

Book Review #961
Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves by Nicky Epstein
Rating: three stars (out of four)

There were some gorgeous designs in this book, but I didn't see any that I absolutely fell in love with and wanted to knit. I liked the use of color and page set-up to make this a very welcoming and friendly book. There were a couple of scarves that were bizarre and I know I would never wear them, but other than that it was a neat book and I'd recommend.

Book Review #960
Lace Style by Pam Allen and Ann Budd
Rating: three stars (out of four)

There were some really cool patterns in this book. I fell in love with a couple of the pieces, especially, "The Point About Cuffs," "Tailored Scallops," and I completely loved "Never Wimpy Wimple" - that was my favorite. There was an excellent assortment of pictures for every pattern and I liked the multitude of pieces and styles. I would recommend this book.

Book Review #959
Big Plans by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This is a humorous book about a precocious boy who devotes most of his punishment time to daydreaming. I loved the illustrations, they were whimsical, humorous and fun. I also liked the added touch of the real White House phone number on the boy's cellphone. The bird who followed the boy around was pretty comical as well. I liked this book, but I wasn't in love with it or anything.

Book Review #958
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The format of this book and the illustrations were amazing. I loved the blend of collage, fabric, and beautiful drawings. The story was an engaging tale that followed a family through various generations. I liked the poetic way this story was told and how it kind of had a lilt to it. I thought it was a little strange this book got a Newbery since it is a picture-book, but I didn't feel like that really took away from it. This is a book a variety of ages can enjoy and get something out of it. I'd recommend.

Book Review #957
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The sentiments for this book were really sweet, and I found myself relating to how my family acted in some of the same mannerisms as the characters in the story. There were a couple of lines that I just loved, "You'd have to go through at least four different hugs to get from the kitchen to the front room." I liked this book, but I didn't love it. The illustrations were okay, but I would have liked them more if they weren't so messy and featured softer renditions of the people. I'd probably still recommend though.

Book Review #956
There Was an Old Witch by Howard W. Reeves, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an entertaining parody of the "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly" song. I liked the rhymes because they were amusing and fitted in with the halloween feeling of the story. I wasn't completely enthralled with this book though, so I'd only recommend if you were a big halloween fan.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book Review #955
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book had a pleasing format - I loved the simplistic illustrations and the different fonts used for the main story and the side stories. I thought it was a sweet story, but it wasn't astounding. The interaction between the main plot and how the author wove in a multitude of other stories was well done and enjoyable. I think if I had read it when I was younger it would have felt more strange and magical. This just wasn't my favorite story. I'm not sure if I would have given it the Newbery Honor, but I'd still recommend it.

Book Review #954
Wisdom On...Growing in Christ by Mark Matlock
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book had a general overview on ways that you could deepen your relationship with Christ and I appreciated how straight forward Mark was in his writing style. The scripture references were insightful and offered solid advice that Mark backed with his suggestions. I would probably recommend this book.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review #953
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Rating: four stars (out of four)

Initial thoughts: AAAHHH! Oh my goodness. How did I NOT know this was the first in a trilogy.

Basically I had seen a lot of hype around this book on goodreads and various book blogs and I decided to check it out. I had no clue what I was in for and was utterly spell-bound after the first sentence.

This book was horrifying.
It was scary.
It was amazing.
It was crazy.
It was wonderful.
It was intoxicating.

After finishing this, I couldn't walk straight. And because I had finished around dusk there were shadows all over and I kept glancing over my shoulder convinced I had just seen one of the unconsecrated dead. It felt like a cross between The Giver, The Hunger Games, Uglies, The City of Ember, mixed with zombies. But it didn't feel exactly like any of those books at all, but it had elements and pieces of them woven in.

And yet was a completely original story.
I was captivated.

I read it all in one 2 1/2 hour time span and didn't even get up from the couch because I was so tied into the story. But for those of you wondering, there was a definite ending to the story, it didn't leave you completely hanging. But it still brought up some very unanswered questions during the final pages. I was livid with curiosity. I wanted to know what would happen next, what would happen to the WHOLE WORLD. Man, I've put the second book on hold a the library, but I'm really kind of depressed that the last book isn't coming out til spring 2011. Gee whiz.

The story completely pulled you in and gripped you until the very last page. I felt like the characters were real and I wanted to know how they were going to survive in this world full of ZOMBIES. I also thought the author did an Excellent job of creating a scary environment that was realistic without being incredibly gory or terrifying. I mean, I was always scared that zombies were going to attack, but not so terrified that I couldn't keep reading because the suspense was going to kill me. This book definitely isn't for the faint of heart, and especially not late at night. But Carrie Ryan did a swell job of incorporating scary images with a writing style that portrayed them in a realistic light but didn't make it overwhelmingly bloody or gruesome.

This book stayed in my head for several days after I was done reading it. I couldn't seem to get a firm grasp on reality. My head was in a zombie induced fog. I kept replaying the images my mind had created over and over, trying to figure out what was going to happen to the world. The author wrote in such a way that I had exact images of the forest and the world she had created in my head, almost as if I had seen a movie. Man, if they ever made this into a movie I don't know if I would be able to handle it, I can't even begin to image all the terrifying scenes jumping out at me from the big screen. But I don't think I'd be able to help myself and I'd be first in line to see it at the theater.

I loved this book. The characters, the setting, the dystopian theme and how it left me turning each page in a rapid succession. I would totally recommend, but make sure you have the second book handy. Because you will be hard-pressed to sit still until you've read more of the story.

Book Review #952
Street Boners: 1,764 Hipster Fashion Jokes by Gavin McInnes
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

All I did was skim this book, but that was more than enough. If I had paid more attention to the beginning of the title I would not have even put in for this book on the giveaway page, but all I saw was "hipster fashion jokes" and I assumed it would be appropriate. The introduction was the first clue to the foul content with its excessive use of the f-word and graphic picture of the author.

The rest of the book was filled with low-quality pictures that supposedly had witty hipster fashion jokes, but I thought they were vile and completely disgusting. The mannerisms of this book and its portrayal of people was just downright nasty and full of filth. There was nothing in this book that I could find worthwhile and the whole premise lacked original thought and intelligence. I felt dirty and gross after browsing this book and I only briefly skimmed through it! I would never in a million years recommend this book because of the filthy content, graphic pictures, foul language and adult content. I almost feel like burning this book because it is so repugnant and despicable.

Book Review #951
Homesick by Jean Fritz, illustrated by Margot Tomes
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I liked hearing the thoughts of this sometimes-spunky little girl who was growing up on the other side of the world. I was interested in how things were managed and I felt like it was a good book because I had never seen things from that perspective before. I enjoyed this life snapshot and would probably recommend.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Review #950
Zlateh the Goat by Isaac Bashevis Singer, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Rating: two stars (out of four)

Some of the stories in this book were kind of random, but because they were translated from Yiddish there might be some cultural differences. Most of the stories were enjoyable, but a little strange. A couple of them seemed pointless and I thought the characters had behaved very strangely. I might recommend, if you were interested in folklore from different cultures.