Saturday, October 27, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Soo, it was a good book, though it felt very first-novel-y. Still, I quite liked it. It's definitely not to the raving point, but it was fairly suspenseful and kept me reading. I liked the different spin on the apocalypse/dystopian society theme; it seemed fresh and had some interesting new elements like the pregnancy laws. The science geek in me also appreciated seeing from Kira's point of view, especially as she was puzzling over the structures of RM and whatnot. I think that's an appealing point, if you're into viruses and/or science. The characters were fairly fleshed-out, though sometimes I had a hard time differentiating between the minor male characters--I dunno why, they just weren't very unique to me. Still, that wasn't a problem with the main characters. Overall, I liked the book and'll definitely read the second one when it comes out. I really recommend it--it's at Kettleson.
P.S. Check out the side bar for some info about a new library event coming up--it should be fun!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Strange things are happening...

Um, okay, so apparently the new review isn't showing up at the top. Scroll on down to below A Monster Calls and you'll see it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them. One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

Yeah, I know. I'm reviewing like one of the most well-known books ever. This probably isn't exceptionally helpful, but hey. I plead borderline insanity. I'm multitasking on about three important projects right now, and this book happened to be the one we just finished reading in English. Sorry about the shortcut. Anyway, I kind of started the book with that annoying mentality that I was being forced to read it, so I didn't completely love the first half of the book (though I have the sneaking suspicion that I would feel the same even if I had started it voluntarily). It was a lot of information and a little too much wordiness with the events. I started getting into it more in the second half, but it definitely wasn't ever to that really compelling point. It was actually pretty surprising, that I enjoyed the movie a good deal more than the book; the events were the same, but the movie made it more engaging. I think one of the hazards of the book is that it was pretty long, and that left a lot of risk to just be plodding along. Still, it turned out pretty good by the end. I would recommend reading it, but (and this is probably the only time I'm gonna suggest this) watching the movie either before, while you're reading it, or after you finish actually does help. I feel bad, but for someone who's not in the mood for absorbing the last 500 years of history and minute details of the story, it helps. You can find the book at Kettleson, KGH, BMS, SHS, MEHS, and all those other letters. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

This was a really, really good book. The voice of Charlie was straightforward and plain, but surprisingly affecting. He has this outlook that we've all experienced, but maybe not known about it until you pick up this book and start to realize that you know exactly what he's talking about. There were some parts where the writing was so amazing that it just sets you into the head-space of the book, if you know what I mean. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it really can make you feel infinite. The characters were pronouncedly imperfect, in that lovely way that we all are. The book explored our motivations and insecurities, and wasn't afraid to go into the issues that are important to us all. Now, I'll warn you that there are some awkward subjects here and there throughout the book. The voice of Charlie sets everything out so plainly, that it sets you at risk of being a little uncomfortable occasionally. The upside of his narrative of those situations is that he has this almost unassuming type of innocence that softens the situations a bit. I'd set it at an upper-level high school book or above. Anyway, if you think you'd be okay with some mature situations, I'd really recommend reading this book. It's amazingly powerful and real. It's at Mt. Edgecumbe, give it a try!