20 June 2013

Book Review No. 74 ~ Geography Club


















Geography Club by Brent Hartinger

Summary:  Russel Middlebrook is convinced he's the only gay kid at Robert L. Goodkind High School.  Then his online gay-chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted start of the school's baseball team.  Soon Russel meets other gay students too.  There's his best friend, Min, who reveals that she's bisexual, and her soccer-playing girlfriend, Terese.  And there's Terese's politically active friend, Ike.  But how can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves?  "We just choose a club that's so boring, nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it.  We could call it Geography Club!"  Brent Hartinger's debut novel is fast-paced, funny, and trenchant portrait of contemporary teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest school club, but who learn plenty about the treacherous social terrain of a typical American high school and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart.  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "I was deep behind enemy lines, in the very heart of the opposing camp."

My Critique:  Here's the deal...I love a coming of age story as much as the next guy but this one seemed at once both a bit too tidy and a bit too messy.  It's so cliché with the plot and characters.  There's the token school outcast and the token school jock bullies.  And then the star baseball player (who is the total heart throb of the entire school) just so happens to be gay and is also interested in the protagonist of the story?  I mean really?  That kind of stuff doesn't happen.  That would be like high school me finding out that Jimmy McClung (Jimmy McClung!) had a thing for chubby girls and, guess what!!, he liked me.  Just doesn't happen.  I thought the idea behind the book was a good one...an in depth look at teens struggling with their sexuality and coming to terms with that within their own selves and also with their families and friends....good thing the main character's best friend not only accepted him for being gay but...now here's a shocker...she's gay too!  How about that?!  I mean really?  Really?  It was just not believable from the get go.  But it only took me about 4 hours to read it so really, what did I lose?  Nothing.  Anyway, take that advice as you will.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Geography Club, 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.......

17 June 2013

Book Review No. 73 ~ I Hunt Killers



















I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Summary:  It was a beautiful day.  It was a beautiful field.  Except for the body.  Jazz is a likable teenager.  A charmer, some might say.  But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round.  Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.  And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod.  Again.  In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer.  But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "By the time Jazz got to the field outside town, yellow police tape was everywhere, strung from stake to stake in a sort of drunken, off-kilter hexagon."


My Critique:  OK fine, I'll admit it...I'm fascinated by serial killers (and all criminal psychology really) so this book is right up my alley.  I loved it.  BUT I will say that I personally found it to be a bit much for young adult.  It's dark and grotesque and intense and gruesome and everything in between.  Again, I loved it, but I'm also 34 years old...can't imagine reading this is a teen.  But that's a matter of personal opinion.  If you like thrillers, mysteries, crime novels, or criminal psychology, this book is full of it and is captivating.  Definitely recommend it.  There's a sequel:  Game which I will begin as soon as I possibly can.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, I Hunt Killers, 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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