Monday, August 30, 2010

Come, Reza, Ama por Elizabeth Gilbert

Te as sentido que estas en una situacion donde no encuentras salida? Donde no hay solucion?
En el libro no-ficcion escrito por Elizabeth Gilbert. Nos relata su historia donde es infeliz en su matrimonio. Cada mes que pasa da gracias por no estar embarazada, ya que no quiere y no se siente lista para tomar el paso de ser madre. Nos cuenta con gran detalle como ella y su marido, deciden divorsiarse. Despues de una larga espera, esperando que el proceso de el divorcio llegase a un acuerdo. Elizabeth decide embarcar en una vacacion por todo un año, en tres diferentes paises; Italia, India y Indonesia. Segun ella para darse tiempo asi misma, y al igual conoserse mas a fondo.
En Italia, le da gusto a su paladar! Descubrindo comidas Italianas. En la India, ella misma tratandose de ayudar a encontrar la paz interior mediante la meditacion. Por ultimo el deseado equilibrio entre el espiritu y el cuerpo.
Al final vuelve al encontrar el amor!
En lo personal, me encanta este libro! Ya que lo relata con gran detalle, es mejor dicho, descubrimos que Elizabeth se tomo su tiempo para contarnos su experiencia. En lo personal cuan do estaba sentada leyendo su libro, yo sentia que estaba ahi en Roma a su lado, como en algunos dias se sentia triste, y en algunos alegre. Al igual me encanto como organizo su libro. Al principio de su libro, Elizabeth explica que decidio escribir su libro como un japa malas. Al igual explica que es un japa mala. No se los explicare que es lo que es un japa mala, pero si les recomiendo, levantar este libro y empezarlo a leer. Como les dije previamente, creo en lo personal que es un libro yeno de experiencias y creecimiento en si mismo.

Monday, August 23, 2010

After School Charisma

This is one of the latest stories of Kumiko Suekane. Not only is it a great story line but it contains Kumiko's great art, with much detail and even more character developing.

Kamiya Shiro it's regular student but different from his classmates, reason? He isn't a clone. Yes Shiro assist to a clone school and takes classes with clones of many well known people through out history. How would you like to have physics with Napoleon? Or your artistic classes along side Mozart? Even having lunch with Hitler! For many a honour, but much to his liking, Kamiya finds himself hated by some for the simple fact that he has freedom unlike the rest of the students. All clones are meant to surpass their originals. But many want to take a different path from their originals. Everything was going as plan until clone Kennedy, had the exact same death as his original. The news got the school owners worried, and increasing the security of the grounds, protecting the 'future' outstanding clones that will soon complete yet another chapter in History. Now all clones worried that they might experience the exact same death as their originals. But Shiro and the rest of his classmates are willing to find out what's going and why the school had covered up the incident with clone Kennedy. But all might go downhill as they found clone Mozart dead in his room.

So far three volumes had been publish in english with the fourth on its way. But this is a very interesting story worth of reading.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Dying Breath by Alane Ferguson

This is the fourth book of a series that I have always been skeptical about. While it has been a few years since the last book and this one continues with the previous cliffhanger, I was pleasantly surprised with how the book connected everything and how it turned out.

Kyle O'Neil from the previous book, The Circle of Blood, wants Cameryn. However, he's a psychotic killer, so Cameryn doesn't really want him. As she deals with the stress of a stalker (thankfully the FBI is helping and she's in tight with the local police department) Cameryn is also helping explain the deaths of Leather Ed and a celebrity who all died in their town with an odd substance in their lungs. Why a seventeen year old is able to solve these crimes and not the professionals I still don't understand, but she figures it all out and just has to survive O'Neil's deadly plans for her. It's not all bad, though, since Justin - the local deputy - admits his feelings for Cameryn and their relationship blossoms - much to O'Neil's displeasure.

I have always been on the fence about these books but this one wasn't too terrible. I liked how the author threw in a romance (that's right, I'm a girl and I've always enjoyed a little romance with my murder mysteries). True, it was a little unsettling that he's 22 and she's barely 18, but what are you going to do when the spark happens? This book had a steady pace and it all worked - even the science lessons. The climax/resolution was a little lacking, however, because I really didn't think a psychotic killer would act like he did when he already knew she'd tricked him once before and then to finish it like he didn't wasn't much of the blaze he wanted. Then again, I'm very critical and maybe I just want to have a reason not to like this book.

Compared to the other books in this series which I didn't really buy into, I could swallow this one a little more. It was decent and makes me wonder if there will be any more.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

After reading multiple adult fiction books in a row, it took me by surprise to return to young adult fiction just because of how simplistic some of the writing is. This novel is an interesting idea but it's just so basic in terms of storyline with minimal conflict. Just the same, it's a nice quick read and sometimes you need a break from the heavy books.

Jane Turner works at a coffeehouse and believes she can define people based on the drink they order. She takes this belief one step further and tries to hook up people based on compatible drinks. After a few great connections, her boss gets wind of it and turns Jane into a promo for the holidays were you can get a drink and a love connection. In the meantime, Jane has connected her best friend Em with a friend from college - Cam - and has a tiny tinge of jealousy that they're hitting it off so well. At the same time, she can't exactly figure out what's going on with Will, the really hot guy who always comes in and flirts with her. Then she gets featured on a hit TV show and her little hobby might be more than she can handle.

This book was cute. It is an interesting idea that our drink choices might define us, but it's all too easy - especially when all of her connections work out so wonderfully. Can she really be that dead on based on people's coffee choices? Come on! Then there's only about ten pages of actual conflict at the end of the novel because Cam seems to have more feelings for Jane than he does for his girlfriend and there goes Jane and Em's bff status. It's too typical and everything ends up happily ever after - even the mean girl starts to sing a different tune. Maybe my expectations are too high and I'm looking for more than just a quick summer read, but this book could have stepped it up a little. Just because it's a fun romance doesn't mean it can't have depth or a lot of conflict. True there was the "what's up with Will" conflict and the "this is too much for me to handle" but it was all so simple and easy. Clearly I'm expecting too much but why not? Teenagers can handle it and if you pass it off as so easy, you risk misleading them.

Was the book good? Yeah, it was a nice quick read. Could it have been better? Yeah, I think so. Should I read it? If you like fun chick lit you'll enjoy this book.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Bradley

This is on a list of recommended adult books for teens. Its set in England in fairly recent times. It's protagonist is an extremely intelligent 11 year old. She makes tons of references to Shakespeare as well as to lots of obscure (at least to me) literature. Its hard for me to believe that teens could care about, know about, relate to all that stuff. It certainly did not send me off to read any of it. In addition to being extremely well read, she is a genius chemist with a huge well stocked lab and library. Its impossible for me to believe an eleven year old could be that well read AND that good a chemist. The story revolves around an apparent suicide many years earlier witnessed by her father and around extremely rare, valuable missing stamps. One of which went missing at the time of the suicide, another rather later. Flavia becomes involved when one of the gentlemen involved in the earlier incident visits her father then shows up dead in the garden. Its an interesting, twisty story and for a brief time a nail biter as Flavia is captured by the killer. It just seemed too improbable to me. Sorry to all those out there that made this book and others by this author a bestseller. JDW 8/12/10

Monday, August 09, 2010

NUM8ERS by Rachel Ward

I wrote about THE MARK earlier. Its another teen novel in which a teen can tell when someone is going to die. In that book an aura appears around people 24 hours before their deaths. This book explores whether or not to tell someone they are about to die, what one would do if they knew, if death could be prevented then what might happen. In num8ers Jem sees the date of death for each individual when she looks for the numbers. She has seen such numbers all her life and only recently understood them to be the date of death. She has been in foster care a long time as her parents are dead. Her current home is pretty stable but she is accustomed to skipping school and otherwise being a misfit. Another misfit who has recently started selling drugs for another student and using a little.Spider, becomes friends with Jem. He also frequently skips school and they often spent those days together. Its on one such day that Jem sees a cluster of deaths about to happen that same day, all of the people are near the London Eye Ferris wheel. In panic she runs taking Spider with her. The kids are seen running just as there is an explosion resulting in numerous deaths. They become persons of interest. Believing that no one will believe them innocent of causing the explosion they go on the lam, trying to escape the man-hunt, the law. While fleeing they have a number of harrowing experiences and recognize their true love for each other. Spider is captured, Jem goes into asylum in a church. They are reunited temporarily but tragedy strikes, partly because the reunion occurs on the date Jem sees as Spider's death and she is desperate to stop it. What follows is Jem coming to terms with things and a fairly common resolution - a new life replaces that of Spider's. This is mostly adventure story. I preferred Marked but Numbers is the more popular. JDW 8/9/10

Katy's New World By: Kim Vogel Sawyer

This is a novel about a Mennonite family, and how a teen girl Katy finally adjusts, to being allowed to attend a Public High School. Katy had to get permission from her Dad. Katy's Mother walked out on her Dad and Katy with no explanation. Both the daughter, and the Father never heard from the Mother. Mennonites are a religious group with high morals and peacemakers. Kate wore old fashion clothing with a cap on her head, that made her stand out from other teens.
Whenever katy was invited to a school party, or some one's house for a sleepover she had to ask her father's permission to attend. Katy had to be very persuasive, and usually the Father had to meet the family. Katy's Dad wore a flat brimmed hat that all Mennonites wore. Women had to keep their heads covered. It was part of the tradition, and culture of all the Mennonites.
Katy had to make all the meals for her Dad and herself. Katy also had to help with farm chores.
For example, milking the cows, and anything else that had to be done. Katy's father,drove her to a certain point where Katy caught her school bus full of teens . The teens on the bus made fun of Katy , and would not sure the school bus seats. Katy had to sit on the school bus way in the back of the bus.
This novel was very informative to me, and also interesting. I did not know so much about Mennonites people as a group. Read the novel to find out more.


The Devil's Paintbox By: Victoria McKernan

This is a Historical novel that takes place on the Oregon Trail in about the 1860's . This novel captures the beauty of the Western Frontier.
At the beginning of the novel we see two orphans in Kansas called Aiden, and Maddy, who are barely surviving on their farm. They eat mud pies, and not to much potable water. They are brother and sister, so they try to encourage themselves. Aiden and Maddy hardly see people.
One day a man comes riding on a horse, and offers Aiden, and Maddy to join his wagon trail to the Oregon Trail. The trek of 2000 miles, is dangerous, and many physical hardships to encounter. The wagons must cross a ragging river that sweeps away wagons, and people .
In fact, Maddy, who made friends with the wagon Doctor called Dr. Carlos, was swept away, and the body never was recovered.
Aiden made friends with the native American Indian tribe who taught him how to fight and survive. This is a trilling novel based on one of the greatest survival stories of all times. Remember the teens are only sixteen when they start the journey on the wagon.
Aideen the teen male in the novel has his good friend who is called Tupic. This is an American native Indian. After the wagons are destroyed on the River, Aideen becomes a lumber jack for another job. Aideen learns plenty, and makes some money.
There are many events, but read the novel, and you will find out. Aideen matures, and we find he has killed two me3n in self defense.
Read the novel for lots of action.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Gentlemen By Michael Northrup

This is a novel that keeps you anxiously waiting for answers . Three teen boys Trever, Bones, & Mixer are on to the English Teacher at the high School. Their good friend Tommy is missing. In fact, he does not answer his cell phone, which bothers the teens. The teen who calls Tommy leaves a message each time on his cell phone. Tommy never answers back to his friends. One day, Mr. Haberman the English teacher, who calls the three teens "gentleman" , (Trevor, Bones, and Mixer) asks them to help him take a green container to his car outside. The three teens think it a particular, or an odd shape. They believe that Mr. Haberman is hiding a carcass of a deer found by the roadside. This made the 3 teens think that Mr Haberman was harbouring, or maybe Haberman was the killer of Tommy.
The three teens go to their English teacher's home, and knock on the door, and pretend they are selling cookies. The English teacher lets them in, and they marvel at the house the teacher lives in. The three teens started asking questions. The teens roughed up the teacher, and knocked him around. The teacher went to the Hospital.
The three teens went to juvenile hall for what they did to the English teacher. This novel shows the reader what keeps friends together, and what breaks them apart.
I liked this novel.


All the Broken Pieces By: Ann E. Burg

This novel was written in verse. this is not a typical of a young adult novel to my knowledge. I believe Shakespeare ' s plays were, but that is a long time ago when I read them. Basically, the novel was written about a Vietnamese boy, who in his country saw many terrible atrocities during the Vietnam War. Fortunately, Matt was helicoptered out of Vietnam, by U.S. forces , because Matt was adopted by an American family in the United States. Matt lost his birth Mother in Vietnam , and his younger brother too.
Matt had recurring dreams at night that were vivid, and terrifying for Matt. He relives his past in Vietnam. His new adoptive Mother loves Matt very much, so she tries to help him get through his new life in the United States. Matt has a step brother called Tommy, who excels in baseball, and plays the piano. Tommy is an inspiration to Matt. Matt begins to play on the baseball team, and becomes quite good.
The title of the novel "All the Broken Pieces" is an exercise the baseball coach gave the team to pull apart a baseball, and see how it is made.
This novel shows the lasting effect War can have on a teen like Matt. I feel the reader can learn plenty from this novel. I liked the novel.
LRD- 8/8/10

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt

Early teen years is a time to begin to become the person one wants to be. Moxie decides her move to a new school where no one knows her is the perfect time to reinvent herself. She has always seen herself as a bland nobody though her name means guts and determination. With each new student she meets the first weeks of school she invents a new persona, conservationist/vegetarian or athlete etc. She maintains a journal of all the various lies she tells students to try and keep things straight. She is an accomplished concert pianist but does not view this as an acceptable persona though that is where her heart is. Throw in other girls with secrets they are trying to keep about who their notorious families and things are about to go wrong. The way things go wrong gets pretty hilarious at time. The way they sort themselves out is quite elegant, intertwined as it is with piano pieces called Bach's Goldberg Variations. I found this to be a fast enjoyable read. Its perfect for any young teen with a talent she might wish were more teen glam, less geeky like. jdw 8/16/10

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hex Hall by Hawkins

This is a fun, sometimes creepy supernatural mystery. It takes place in Hecate Hall which is a boarding/reform school for kids over aged 12 with extraordinary powers. Here there are fairies, shapeshifters, dark and white witches, vampires and the like. All have used their powers with spectacular results in front of folks without special powers. These displays draw hunters of supernatural beings out and cause slaughters. So the kids are taken to this school and kept safe by various magics until they are adults. Sophie didn't know she had such powers. She didn't know her father was a powerful member of the school's board. Then she tries a disastrous love spell on her friend which gets her sent away, fast. A murder has just taken place at the school. A vampire is blamed though she is innocent. Sophie becomes involved in a round about way. The ghost of her grandmother appears to her and begins to teach her magic saying Sophie's powers are extremely great, greater than any of those of the other witches in the school. Sophie has detention with a hunk of a young man after an altercation in front of a teacher. He eventually turns out not to be who people think him to be. There are two more attempted murders and another successful one until Sophie figures out who the bad guy is and why. She also finds out what her true powers are and those of the father she has never met. I think Ally Carter's fans would like this one. I enjoyed the humor in it and in Carter's books. jdw 8/3/10

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

By the time you read this, I'll be dead by Julie Anne Peters

Suicide is never a happy topic and this book proved rather depressing. I personally did not like this novel. With such a serious topic, I felt like there needed to be powerful message and I didn't find one. The ambiguous ending left me feeling uncertain about the whole story.

Daelyn is suicidal. For years she's been bullied for her weight and, while other suicide attempts have failed, this time she'll succeed. She's discovered a website for people to talk about suicide without being discouraged from completing the task. The website offers different chat forums for people to tell their story, as well as information on ways to commit suicide. Daelyn has 23 days to complete the task and during those days, as she "purges" her pain on the website, she also meets Santana, a neighboring boy who has a keen interest in her. She, though, has disconnected with the world, not feeling anything, and struggles when she does have those moments of connection with others.

My first complaint about this book is the actual discussion of ways to commit suicide. I personally felt that breaking down suicide methods by effectiveness, time, availability, and pain is in poor taste, especially when it gives notes on ways to be most successful. I don't want to say that this book encouraged suicide, but I as I read, I didn't see any alternatives offered. To me it almost felt like if you're bullied, things are never going to get better and the only solution is suicide. I think that's part of the reason I don't like the ambiguous ending. Maybe if it was clear that she didn't kill herself, then the book wouldn't feel so "pro-death" but that's not how I'm left feeling. I can see why the author might not have wanted a black and white ending because for her to live is too "happily ever after" but to flat out say she did the deed, is insensitive. With a topic like suicide, there is a thin line but to not choose a side even with subtle hints leaves me as the reader unsettled. True this topic is completely unsettling, but I personally needed some sort of comfort and closure for Daelyn

In terms of the book creating a suicidal character, I think the author did a great job. Since Daelyn isn't speaking in the novel, there's a lot of reflection to what she'd like to say and how she'd feeling and the disconnect is definitely there. As she explores certain incidents on the chat forum, you can really feel her pain. Santana is a good contrasting character because as much as Daelyn wants to die, he wants to live. Another character, Emily - the new fat girl in school - also proves a good contrast for Daelyn.

I don't like suicide. I don't understand it and while this book did a great job getting into the mind of a suicidal character, I don't like how it handled the actual topic of suicide. Maybe I'm just too sensitive and oblivious to the clear clues for the ending but this book left me thoroughly unsettled.