April 30, 2010

Parrotfish by Ellen Witlinger

Posted in book review tagged , at 5:06 pm by blueblazeslib

Angela Katz-McNair is the type of girl who grew up always feeling more like a boy. So when she decides to cut her hair, dress more like a boy, and change her name to Grady, she expects people to not to so surprised. Little does she know how everyone around her will act. Her mother ends up becoming upset, her sister becomes embarrassed to let people know she is related to the “freak of the town.” Grady is all alone, until she ends up making friends with the school nerd, Sebastian, who tells Grady that it is okay to be different than what people are used to. After several things happen at Grady’s school with people harassing him, he begins to make friends with a couple other people, including the girl he grew up with. I enjoyed this book because it really goes inside Grady’s head, and lets you know how he is feeling and what he is thinking. I would recommend this book to anyone who belongs to the GLBTQAI community, it is a real eye-opening book, and it teaches you a lot about how people feel.

Ayla, Class of 2010

The WHS Library owns Parrotfish.

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April 8, 2010

Bob Marley: A Lyrical Genius by Kwame Dawes

Posted in book review tagged , , , at 11:33 am by blueblazeslib

Bob Marley: A Lyrical Genius by Kwame Dawes is a unique biography about the  Reggae legend Bob Marley.  Unlike other biographies it is not just a time line of Marley’s life, the novel describes what the lyrics meant, why Marley used those lyrics, and how they affected his surroundings at that time.  Since Bob Marley’s song writing skills were so good, but he seemed like any other Jamaican Rastafarian to anyone him in person, there were rumors that said someone else wrote his songs for him.  Since his songs are sometimes hard to understand due to his accent, or seem random since they are sometimes about birds on doorsteps, it is interesting to read why he chose those certain lyrics at that time.    Bob Marley wrote songs about religion, politics, love, and black activism.  This book has a great description of his most influential songs.  One will not know why Bob Marley is considered a lyrical genius, until they read this book.  This is a must read for any fan of Reggae music!

Dylan, Class of 2012
If you want to read more about Bob Marley, try Every Little Thing Gonna be Alright by Han Bordowitz.

April 5, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Posted in book review tagged , , at 3:32 pm by blueblazeslib

Mary is not like the other girls in the village. Everyone seems like clones of one another, they don’t seem to care why, where, and who they really are.

There is a type of disease that has spread throughout the world, causing people to become a kind of monster, like a vampire. The people that have not been yet touched by the disease live in a village and are guarded by a fence from the “Unconsecrated.” No one in the village knows what these things that live in the forest are and no one really wants to find out. The Sisters of the village guard some kind of secret that no one outside their alliance knows about.

All the people know is that they have to follow tradition. No one asks questions or dares to step foot near the fence. But Mary’s curiosity takes over and she needs to question everything around her. She puts herself in such a situation that all the people in the village are at risk and you either have to run for survival or be destroyed.

Daria, Class of 2012

The WHS Library owns The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Posted in book review tagged , , at 12:23 pm by blueblazeslib

In retrospect I think spending all that time reading Lord of The Flies wasn’t such a great idea. While a nice little adventures novel by itself, it explains the basics of human psyche, as a bunch of kids are split up on the island, and go off murdering one another. While one of the children Jack, uses human fear and madness to control the rest. Sounds like something outta of a bad movie.

That’s about how the novel goes, and it’ fairly mediocre in the syntax and plot. While there’s a random burst of interest in the book itself, it’s never really gonna keep you reading for prolonged periods of time, unless you have too. While I’ve had some people argue, that the book is deep in meaning, and that nouns in this book are used as metaphors, I don’t buy it, and now a days most people won’t too. (Woot, go South Park for teaching life lessons, welcome to the modern day boys and girls.) People need to stop looking for meaning in this book that’s not there, because in the end books are reviewed by what’s written not by what the reader think is written. To conclude it’s a mediocre book, with a mediocre plot, with a few mediocre subplots, with a mediocre cast, with mediocre syntax, in an amazing setting.

Dmitri R, 2012

The WHS Library owns Lord of the Flies in print, audiobook, and video.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Posted in book review tagged , , at 12:20 pm by blueblazeslib

Now, it’s time to use this book as some good ol’ scrap paper, and I’ll gladly take the role of the shredder. The book is based on the realistic fictional adventures, or in this case lives, of Johnny Wheelwright and Owen Meany. A Prayer For Owen Meany is told trough first person perspective looking through memory of  Johnny. He describes his life growing up, and how his vertically challenged (That’s the politically correct term nowadays, right?) friend Owen, has changed his life and made him into a believer. The major plot develops in about the third chapter when Owen learns when and how he will die, and how he is destined from greatness. The book also features several subplots like a super horny fat cousin of Johnny’s whom eventually marries Owen, and Owen’s fallout with his school, and Johnny’s father, and several others. The language in the book is intermediate and won’t make you have to find a dictionary, it’s also not as simplified so understanding the tone becomes the equivalent of breaking a wall with your head. The writing in general is also really nice, and is at almost a perfect equilibrium, to whom where entire hours of important events pass in a single sentence but, not as far as John Irving takes three paragraphs to say, “A cat walked down the street.” This perfect equilibrium makes certain scene quite moving, as brief as they may or may not be. Now, that I got the good stuff out of the way, I can tear it apart about the bad stuff, I mean, what kind of critic would I be if I didn’t? The biggest problem is the main plot itself, and the best way metaphor to use, is that it’s like a calm river leading to a 300-foot drop. Nothing major really happens between the people getting on the river, and them plunging to their deaths. There are some moments that relate to the main plot but, they’re too far in between and nothing really happens with them either. The entire book is just one giant foreshadow, it’s actually worse then what Shakespeare did, when he came out threw the ending right out there in the beginning. This book just drags the same basic foreshadow  on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. You see what I did with my previous sentence there? Well that’s kinda of like reading the book. Another major downside of the book, is character just acting and or John giving his opinion on something without any form explanation as too why, I won’t get into details, because of these are mostly spoilers which just makes everything so much more annoying when you don’t understand why. My last giant bone to pick with this book, is that while there is a style of writing when the author jumps around from event to event at a completely random pace, enough is enough, John Irving completely abused that because, after the the fifth time, I’m reading something and we suddenly jump 20 years into the future, I’m already tempted to put down the book but, then John decides he should do it again, about another 20 times. There are a few other nagging issues with this book but, it’s nothing that you don’t see in most forms of writing these days and nothing that will make you wanna use it for firewood.

Dmitri R 2012

The library owns A Prayer for Owen Meany and many other books by John Irving.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted in book review tagged , , at 12:08 pm by blueblazeslib

Shiver is one of my most favorite books ever. The book is based on a girl named Grace Brisbane who lives a quiet town of Mercy Falls. When she was younger she had a traumatic experience; she was attacked by wolves when she was a child. However, during the attack, she remembers one wolf, a wolf with yellow eyes that stopped it all, that saved her life. But that wolf’s not really a wolf, he’s a werewolf apart of a pack that can become human once a year after a period of time. Possibly as his last time as a person, Sam finally approaches Grace  after all those years. They have been inseparable ever since and an undeniable connection is established between the two. But his time as a human is growing shorter, and winter is drawing nearer, and Grace and Sam must fight to find a way to be with each other. I loved this book, and would definitely recommend this book, especially to those who like the Twilight Saga.

Jennifer, Class of 2012

April 2, 2010

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

Posted in book review tagged , , at 2:47 pm by blueblazeslib

I really like this book because it’s about a teenage boy and how he trains and how is acts over in Iraq. He tells you how to train for fighting over in Iraq and he tells us his life story when over there. I really recommend this book to the men and women who want to know how it feels like fighting over in Iraq and how they train you to do so. Once again I think it’s an amazing book and I couldn’t stop reading it!!!

Josh R., Class of 2010

The WHS Library owns Sunrise Over Fallujah, and many other books by Walter Dean Myers

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Posted in book review tagged , , , at 2:33 pm by blueblazeslib

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles is about Brittany Ellis who seems to have just about everything in life, she is a senior at  Fair Field high school and too all the students who attend Fair Field she is completely flawless, and thats just what she wants them to think. Until she  is forced to be lab partners with a South Sider Alex Fuentes, a Mexican bad boy who turns her world upside down. Brittany starts to break every rule she has every set for herself to hide the things she deals with at home with her mother expecting her to always be better then she is and wanting the perfect daughter, and trying to help her sister when her parents won’t. Brittany eventually realizes the more important things in life and soon enough gives Alex a chance that was well worth it. Alex can never be tied down after he’s past relationship but he falls hard for Brittany, scared of what could happen when they both live such different lives she is from the North side of Fair Field and him being from the South side Alex. The stereotyping can becomes to much to handle with both futures at risk, and Alex’s blood gang tearing them apart.

I loved this book, it kept me interested throughout the whole thing. It shows the exact stereotyping that kids really do at high school, and how it can completely effect who you hang out with and who you will be seen with. I highly recommend it!

Sam K, class of 2012

Watch a book trailer for Perfect Chemistry: