Thursday, April 27, 2006

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Craig worked hard and got into a hard highschool, he deserved it. He would get into a top ranked college too. Only, there is a wrongness about his being there, he can't eat, he can't sleep, his stomach hurts. He finds himself in a major depression and on pills. Once he starts feeling better, he goes off his pills and spirals way down hill. He is suicidal and goes the suicide hot-line. At their recommendation he checks himself in to a nearby psych hospital. Back on his pills he begins to feel better but still must find a way to deal with the nasty tentacles that reach out and make his stomach hurt and steal his sleep. In art therapy with the wonderful, troubled people he meets, he finds an anchor and a way out. The characters he meets are truly colorful gems. I wish them success. This story was written just after Vizzini was released from a psych hospital and is loosely based on his own experience. It is kind of a funny (think odd) story. But it did hold my attention.
JDW 4/28

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Totally Joe by James Howe

Howe wrote the Bunnicula Series so maybe you already know him. This book a sequel to a book called MISFITS in which the four kids in the "gang of five" run for student council on the No Name Party Ticket. They don't win but as a result of their campaign against name calling by students there will be a no name calling day at school.

Joe is totally Joe. He knows who he is and is comfortable with that...most of the time. But, like the other misfits he has endured much name calling and out right bullying especially by one Kevin Hennessey. He along with the other members of the "Gang of Five" except Skeezie have their first romantic experiences in this book. But while Joe is out, everyone knew anyway, his first date is not and would rather not be who he is. This strains their relationship and causes both to do some hard thinking. Joe decides he can wait awhile for the dating thing. On No Name day Bully Kevin gets caught. And, it looks like the gang of five may now have more than five members. Look forward to more books in this series featuring each one of the "gang" members.
A lot more than just this goes on in this short easy to read book - like White girl Addie dating DuShawn a black guy. Its a fun book. JDW 4/26

Thursday, April 20, 2006

GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka vol.1 by Tohru Fujisawa

Eikichi Onizuka is 22 years old, hopes to have a high profile job at a high class business firm earning 6 million yen a year and having supermodels party at his house every weekend. The only problem is that he’s some street punk, with no credentials and only managed to graduate from a fifth rate college. How can a lowly, former biker gang leader ever achieve his dream job? In comes a high school girl that wasn't bothered by Onizuka's perverted antics. Has Onizuka found the love of his life in some young school girl? As the two get very intimate at some cheap motel, in comes some old man apologizing for acting rudely to the school girl and then they leave together. Who was this old man, the girl's teacher! Now Onizuka has found his calling and will become the greatest teacher in Japan.... while getting a chance to look at all the hot girls in the school uniforms. GTO is a great and funny manga that many older teen readers will enjoy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

This is the sequel to Odd Thomas.
Odd is able to see ghosts and some other quite evil supernatural creatures as well. He cannot talk with them but he does manage to communicate. In addition he has the gift of psychological magnetism which draws him to people he wishes to find - or sometimes in reverse those people are drawn to him.

Odd is grieving for his lost soul mate/fiance who died in the first book. He has a terrible time sleeping and hasn't worked since her death. While tossing and turning early one morning he discovers he is not alone. The father of a close friend is standing in the room looking very worried and Odd assumes dead. Following the man back to his home draws Odd into a very weird murder mystery involving the kidnapping of his handicapped friend and attempts on his own life. The adventure takes him through the storm tunnels under the town of Pico Mundo, as thunder and lightning crash outside, in the Mojave Desert and into the burned out shell of a failed Casino/Resort. He is in pursuit of a woman he doesn't know but talked with briefly by cell phone before batteries went dead. With her are three thugs and Danny, his friend. The woman believes in voodoo and an assortment of other black magic and wants Odd to give her a big thrill by showing her the dead he sees. He does manage to get her to rile a poltergeist to a rage she finds quite satisfying. In the end she and the thugs want Odd and Danny dead. The thugs are well armed and not afraid to die themselves.

Odd does prevail but not without damage to his psyche. Great reading for fans of Ghost Whisperer and Supernatural. Its a wild ride.
jdw 4/19/06

Monday, April 10, 2006

Curse of the Blue Tattoo By: L.A. Meyer

This is a novel that demonstrates how a female character can take the male role throughout the book, and keep the reader interested. Jacky Faber is the main personality. She was an orphan who makes out in life with many misadventures. Jacky disguises herself to be a boy on board the HMS Dolphin and lands a position on the ship. She eventually is found out her true identity and forced to leave the ship. Next, Jacky is enrolled in the elite Laisson Peabody School for young girls in Boston. This change for Jacky was very hard being that she grew up in the streets of London , and fought pirates. The school prepared young girls to become fine ladies when Jacky had no clue about these matters.

At the School, everything was wrong about Jacky. Her French was atrocious in class, and her table manners were nil. To top it off Jacky had a blue anchor tatoo . Jacky had some friends at the School that were close, and would cover for her when she went out at night to play her whistle, and sing with Gulley in sailor pubsl

This novel is full of adventure, and vey historical I believe. Read the novel and see.

LRD 4/10/06

Boss Lady By: Omar Tyree

Tracy Ellison is the main character in this urban literature novel. She has grown up in Philadelphia, and has many unique ideas. This novel through trials, is the story of Tracy Ellison's life. In this novel Flyy Girl is becoming a major motion picture, and Tracy is ready to do anything, and everything to tell her story, and make sure it's done right. Tracy lives a full, and busy life. Tracy is deeply in love with her man. For the moment, Tracy is involved with the movie, and her love of her life comes in second place.

I recommend the novel to anyone who has to deal with Hollywood, and has a busy lifestyle. Most people are caught up with their own live style and very busy with their own business. This novel turns out to be a gem in my opinion.

LRD 4/10/06

Friday, April 07, 2006

Duckling Ugly by Neal Shusterman

Everyone knows the story of the ugly duckling who turns into a beautiful swan. Well Shusterman takes this story and puts his own twist on the tale. Cara De Fido is the ugliest person in Flock's Rest. She is so ugly that mirrors break whenever she looks into them. Even though she is really smart and her family loves her, it is her ugliness that everyone sees. Then one day she receives a note with 3 words on it: find the answers. A few weeks later the most poplar guy in school, Marshall Astor, asks her to the homecoming dance and she agrees to go. Toward the end of the dance Cara kisses Marshall, and he is so disgusted that Cara runs away from the dance. She then runs down the road and lies down behind one of her fathers car dealership signs. She wakes up in a beautiful place where she is accepted even though she is ugly. After a few weeks she is taken to the Cauldron of Life by Aaron, where she sheds her ugliness and becomes beautiful. About two weeks after her unveiling Cara decides to return to her old life to say good-bye to her family. She is warned that if she returns things will not be the same as the were, and beauty has its price.

Tom Burnham 4/7/06