Monday, November 18, 2013

All Our Yesterdays - Cristin Terrill

Em and Finn are being held captive in a military facility run by their former friend James.   Em uses a spoon to dig around the drain in her cell.  She finds a piece of paper written in her handwriting telling her "you have to kill him".  One night Connor, a guard at the facility, helps Em and Finn escape.  They head to the control room for Cassandra, the time travel machine built by James.  Em and Finn travel back four years to January 4th.  Marina, Em's past self, has been waiting for James and his brother Congressman Nate to get back from Connecticut.  After they are back home Nate asks Marina to keep an eye on James.  He asks her to look out for anything out of the ordinary.  Marina agrees but doesn't understand why.  Not to far away Em and Finn appear where the military facility will be.  They convince a younger version of Connor, the guard who helped them escape in the future, they aren't crazy and the future needs to be changed. Connor helps get Em and Finn to where the banquet Nate is speaking at is taking place.  When they get ready to find and kill James shots ring out as Nate has been shot.  Nate is taken to the hospital and James rides with him.  Finn and Marina head to the hospital to be with James.  When James wants to be alone he heads outside and Em attempts to kill him.  Everyone regroups as Finn, James, and Marina head to Finn's house since James and Marina's are swarmed with reporters.  Em and Finn follow them and Em has a another chance to take out James, but she can't do it.  Finn, James, and Marina head back to the hospital the next morning where Nate briefly regains consciousness.  He uses sign language to tell Marina they should head to Connecticut to find answers about why he was shot.  In Connecticut they find evidence of the government experimenting in time travel.  They also find evidence the government is also interested in James.  As they leave the house James gets the news that Nate has died.  Em and Finn decide that even though James is at his weakest now, this is the best time to kill him.  They are hopeful with the death of James the horrible future they come from will be prevented. 

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a good time travel book that didn't confuse you when the future Em and Finn came back to the past to try and kill James.  The ending played out differently in my mind, but I liked the way the story ended.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Reality Boy by A.S. King

If ever a pair of teens deserved do overs, the stars of this book do.  Gerald and Hannah have both had very punishing lives, in some ways abusive.  They are almost finished with high school, the hold jobs at a sports stadium concession stand.   They dream of escaping their lives and starting fresh.  Gerald's family is famously dysfunctional having been subject of a reality show that supposedly aimed to fix their problems.  In fact it helped nothing.  It did give Gerald a crude nickname and a bad history that makes it impossible for him to attend regular classes.  Hannah's family has its own problems, they just aren't public.  The pair are attracted to each other but jittery about dating because of their backgrounds.  When eventually they do connect, they talk about running away.  So, when things fall apart at Gerald's when his psycho older sister throws an out of control party, they run.  This is just the start of their coming to terms with their childhoods and teen years but this is where it ends.  Truly, I want more!  It was tough to get into but once I was hooked, I raced through this title.  Highly recommended.  JDW 11/15/13

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Until It Hurts to Stop

Maybe you were teased, made fun of, bullied in grade school or middle school and maybe your tormentor changed schools.  Maybe you had begun to believe all that was over, that you could have friends, talents, succeed.  Then that person reappears and you are on red alert sensing that the worst could start all over again, thinking, feeling you could lose everything you have.  So you start acting towards and thinking about everything that is going on as if it means something different than it does and you really do almost lose the most important people and stuff in your life.  That's exactly what happens to Maggie.  It takes her a while to see that it isn't all about her and that all is not lost and that her one time tormentors have issues too, aren't so perfect.  Twice I had nemeses while in elementary and middle schools.  Twice they kept popping up other places when I least expected it.  Twice, I got to see these people for the flawed pathetic people they really were.  Having gone through some of what Maggie experienced, I really appreciated this book about trying to move on and being too insecure to do it.  Others may see themselves here too.  Its quite a good read.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Infects - Sean Beaudoin

Nick works for Rebozzo AviraCulture, a chicken factory that supplies Fresh Bukket.  When he comes into work one night the boss wants a talk with him.  Nick thinks he is getting fired, but it turns out he is getting offered a promotion.  He is to be the head butcher of the Blue Room, which processes a new breed of chicken they have been testing.  The work days begin to take their toll on Nick, and one day he cuts himself with a knife.  Nick isn't able to stop the conveyor belt before he passes out.  The chickens plop off the conveyor belts covered in his blood.  When Nick comes to he is fired and then arrested.  At his trial he is charged with gross negligence, vandalism, destruction of fifty thousand dollars of poultry, and possible collusion with animal rights activists.  Since Nick can't pay the fifty thousand dollars, he's sentenced to three months in juvie camp.  Everyone heading to the juvie camp is given a new name and Nick's is Nero.  On their way to the camp they come in contact with a group of girls going to the same juvie camp.  Nero is shocked to see Petal, who used to work with him, among the girls.  He thinks it is his fault for her being there.  As they arrive at the trail they are to walk to the camp the boys go one way and the girls go another.  They camp for the night and most everyone chows down on Fresh Bukket food.  In the middle of the night Nero wakes up and sees one of the counselors eating another counselor.  Nero, War Pig, and Yeltsin make a run for it and encounter a few others who haven't turned to zombies.  They head for the girls camp, and when they get there no one is in sight.  They find two kids in a port-a-potty who are zombies.  They attack one of the counselors and turn him into a zombie.  With a hoard closing in on them they find refuge in a lodge where one of the girls, Joanjet, is in charge.  As they get settled, or as settled as your going to be with a group of zombies wanting to eat your flesh, Joanjet reveals that she has taken prisoners.  They are hunters who already turned into zombies.  When one of the other survivors says that they aren't zombies, the chicken they ate was poisoned, everything starts to make sense.  Everyone who has eaten the chicken from Fresh Bukket has turned into zombies.  After the connection between the chicken and the zombies Joanjet says she has one more thing to show them.  The third person who she's captured is Petal, and she is infected. 

I liked the book.  It was a different take on the zombie apocalypse by having the chicken infected with the zombie virus. In most of the zombie books I have read it is a virus that causes the zombie apocalypse, not chicken. I really liked the ending.  I'm not going to spoil anything, but it gave the feeling that maybe the zombie apocalypse isn't as bad as all the other stories make it out to be.