Sunday, April 17, 2011

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis

In the very near future, the economy is bad and things on Earth aren't looking so good.*  Amy's scientist parents have been recruited to go on a mission to a far distant planet, but it will take a while to get there, so they will be cryogenically frozen for 350 years.  Amy's dad gives her the option to back out and live out her life on earth with other family members, her boyfriend, etc.  But Amy decides to be frozen, too, because she is a daddy's girl.

And then she wakes up.  And guess what?  They're not at the new planet yet!  Turns out, there is a whole weird civilization onboard this giant ship, and somebody is going around unplugging (and killing) the frozen scientists--and also Amy (but she doesn't die).  She meets a boy named Elder, and surprise suprise, a romance is born.

Pros:  Murder mystery in space is good.  And so booktalk-able.

Cons:  Even I figured out who the murderer was, and I'm terrible at stuff like that.  Also, the Amy-Elder romance didn't work for me AT ALL.  I think mainly because I didn't really buy Elder as a character.

Recommended for:  I'm not really sure who this book is for.  I think romance and mystery fans would both be disappointed. It does have certain elements of dystopian sci fi (what doesn't these days?), so I guess this is really for the sci fi fans.  Though I doubt a boy would read it with that cover.  Which is misleading, because believe me, the romance is so not the highlight of this book.

*Linked to Amazon because the Powell's site is down right now.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recent rejects

The Cruisers, by Walter Dean Myers

The deal:  I wanted so much to like this book. It's the first in what will apparently be a series, and it's about smart African American kids in Harlem.  There aren't enough books about African American kids who are really succeeding, especially for this age level.

How far I got: p. 46 (of 126)

Why rejected: The narrator--a black kid living in Harlem--doesn't have a believable voice.  He says things like, "I simply had to do my homework."  Who says that?  Even I don't say that and I'm lame. 

I often wonder if kids notice that stuff as much as I do, though.  It's a dealbreaker for me, and yet I can imagine recommending this book to some middle school kids.

Room, by Emma Donoghue

The deal: Boy is raised entirely in a single room because his mother is the captive and slave of a horrible, horrible man.

How far I got: Maybe about ten pages.

Why rejected: I didn't really reject this book, I just couldn't take it.  Sometimes I over-identify with book characters. I skipped to the end and read the last few chapters, then asked a friend what happened in the middle.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This is so awesome.

Books make you feel less dead inside

Teenagers!  Science demands that you put away your iPod and pick up a book.
Those who read most were one-tenth as likely to get down as those who read least. (No word on whether the young respondents were reading the Twilight series.)
Haha, Globe & Mail.  Good one.

They cast Peeta and Gale

And, ew.  Right?

Via Bookshelves of Doom