Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 2015 Post #2 by Jason Phinney

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak-560 pages

Zusak's novel is about a girl in Nazi Germany during WWII who is dropped off to "foster parents" by her mother and her brother dies on the way to be dropped off. It is a somber story that includes much death (consider the setting of the story), but is ultimately filled with hope.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger-214 pages

This "classic" (although I did not like it, personally) is about a teen who leaves his boarding school and goes on an adventure to New York. Holden Caulfield decides he doesn't like school and doesn't really fit in. I find him to be quite odd, although it is a fairly accurate portrayal of teen psyche. 

I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier-233 pages

This novel reminded me of "Shutter Island" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Sir Ben Kingsley. A teen boy is on a trip to see his father in a mental hospital. His parents were confidential informants and a part of the witness protection program with the FBI. In the end, it turns out the boy is actually in a mental hospital recovering from the traumatic death of his parents. 

Forever...by Judy Blume-224 pages

This novel is about teen love and sex. A teenage girl who is a virgin falls in love with a boy from school and she has sex with him for the first time. She ends up breaking up with him for another guy she meets while counselor at a tennis camp. Birth Control/contraception is also considered, so it was ahead of its time (it was published in the 1970s). 

Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan-256 pages

This is an interesting, weird yet good novel about a girl (Miracle) whose mother dies as she is giving birth to her. The girl's father and grandmother raise her and her father is a writer. One day her father just "disappears" into thin air. Her grandmother is a medium and is into a lot of occult stuff. The girl ends up in therapy after trying to "melt" herself and she burns herself. The girl ends up living with her Aunt who truly loves her. It is a good (albeit sad) story of finding acceptance and love. 

Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger-224 pages

A teen boy meets, becomes friends with, and falls in love with a lesbian at a zine store over their mutual interest in writing and reading zines. The story is about falling in love (the boy thought he would never love anyone and hated prom) and "hard love" (because the girl he falls in love with ends up falling in love with another girl, since she is a lesbian but she was his first love).

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride-368 pages

A college dropout named Samhain (Sawin) who works at a fast food restaurant finds out he is a necromancer when a stranger who is a leader on the Council visits his workplace. Sam's mom is a witch (the "good" kind). She did not tell him about his father or himself being a Necromancer, though. In the end, Sam defeats Douglas (the stranger) and gets his estate as compensation for defeating him. 

 Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi-326 pages

 I found this novel rather interesting. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where large oil rigs are stripped for their parts and the parts are sold. Bosses control the "ship breaking" crews and take most of the profits. However, one day one of the crews stumbles upon an almost abandoned yacht and they strip it, but find a rich girl still alive on board. They are found out and captured, but then escape to New Orleans and are pursued. They end up escaping their boss for good and that's how the story ends.

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey-497 pages

I will start by saying I did not like this book. I did not get into the characters and found the book uninteresting. That being said, it is about aliens living among (and "as") humans attempting to exterminate humans and take over Earth. The story is creative in that the aliens are indistinguishable from humans in appearance and they recruit the children to an army to help exterminate the rest of the humans. 

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