21 March 2012

Book Review No. 55




Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story edited by Kelly Milner Halls


Summary: What do guys and girls REALLY think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of he said/she said stories--he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. Stories of love and heartbreak, like the good-looking jock who falls for a dangeroud girl and the flipside of the toxic girl who never learns to be loved; a basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; and a gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen, teach us that relationships become complicated because there are two sides to every story. (taken from book jacket)


Contributing Authors: Chris Crutcher, Kelly Milner Halls, Joseph Bruchac, Cynthia Leitich Smith, James Howe, Ellen Wittlinger, Rita Williams-Garcia, Terry Trueman, Terry Davis, Rebecca Fjelland Davis, Sara Ryan, and Randy Powell


My Critique: I'm not going to put a first line in the book section because that would be rather futile. This book is a compilation of six short-stories, written by twelve authors...each story told from the guy's perspective and from the girl's. Sounds like a really interesting concept and riviting read right? That's what I thought too...but unfortunately this book failed to deliver. It fell short. All of the stories were a bit thin. I felt like there was no character development...that the story was only there to bring up a hot topic...like a hit list of sexual/relationship issues. They covered all the bases--homosexuality, trans-gender, lost girl looking for love and so does so by using her body to get her way, interracial, inter-religional, etc. It just seemed like the stories were there for the sole purpose of trying to bring these topics to light...and not because the authors truly had something to say about them but simply because they are "hot button" issues so why not? There was no depth of characters...I felt like the authors didn't really care about the characters and they were only there to serve as a catalyst for this controversial issue they wanted to bring up. Yes, I know it is comprised of short stories but evenstill, plenty of short stories fully develop a character (The Lottery, The Most Dangerous Game, The Storm, etc.). I didn't really enjoy this book and I don't think I'd recommend it. I had such high hopes for this book because the concept is really fresh and different but it was a gigantic let down.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Girl Meets Boy, are the sole views and opinions of the authors/editor and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

14 March 2012

Book Review No. 54




the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky






Summary: Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky's haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, and grown into a cult sensation with over one million copies in print. It is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charilie'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, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. (taken from back of book)




First Line: "Dear friend...I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have."




My Critique: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those books I've always heard about and wondered about but promptly forgot and never actually got around to reading. It's always controversial and the target of many book bannings...which of course, makes me want to read it. It's a young adult book and I'm finding more and more I enjoy reading these types of books--I find the characters to be a bit more complex as they are struggling with all the puberty-infused turmoil that comes with the teen years. Is this book controversial? Yes. It discusses suicide, sex, drugs, abortion, homosexuality, underage drinking and smoking, rape, and even molestation. If it doesn't discuss these topics outright, they are alluded to or mentioned at least in passing. Nothing is glamourized--it's just a raw and real depiction of Charlie and how he is dealing with being fifteen/sixteen. It was fascinating and I am so glad I read it. I heard it's being made into a movie...find the IMDB page here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1659337/



The movie is rated R and I'd say that's along par with the book...so if that offends you, you'll probably be offended by the book as well. At any rate, I do recommend it. It's not written the way you normally find books...it's all first person narrated by Charlie (think Cullen Witter in The Catcher in the Rye) and it's in the form of letters. Charlie writes letters revealing events of his life, his emotions, himself to an annoymous source but I get the feeling it's to us...the reader. Very interesting.






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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

09 March 2012

Book Review No. 53





Bossypants by Tina Fey


Summary: Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon--from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy. (taken from book jacket)


First Line: "Congratulations on your purchase of this American-made genuine book."


My Critique: Not usually one for non-fiction, I picked this up after watching the Oscars red carpet...strange, I know. But somebody from one of the fashion shows was interviewing Tina Fey and mentioned how much they liked this book and how they kept laughing literally out loud while reading it. I've always thought Tina Fey was funny so I decided I'd give it a go...and I'm glad I did. This book comes with a heavy dose of sarcasm--which is just the way I like it. Purely entertaining but it also gives a glimpse behind the curtain of the world of Hollywood executives. It was entertaining and interesting and I felt as if I were on a long road trip with Tina swapping stories about things we've experienced in life. I definitely recommend you read it but it's not for those who might take themselves or life too seriously. And if you're easily offended, you might want to pass this one over and the author does share some of her opinions on everything from gay rights to religion to breastfeeding...BUT...if you're a fan of Tina Fey at all you'd expect nothing less.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Bossypants, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

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