Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: Restart

Restart Restart by Gordon Korman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I wasn't completely convinced about the MC's amnesia, the book is still interesting and worth reading. The thing that I most question is whether someone's personality could change like that, but if you accept that premise, the rest of the book makes good reading.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Review: Train I Ride

Train I Ride Train I Ride by Paul Mosier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For some reason, the tone and the arc of this book remind me a lot of Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. It is a touching, sometimes painful, sometimes resigned book. You sort of know what has happened and is going to happen, but the journey is worthwhile, anyway.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: The Cat Ate My Gymsuit

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is actually a.re-read, too. I read it many, many years ago. It belongs to a group of books that I think of as realistic fiction / learning to deal with the world.

One of the things that was of particular interest to me in this re-read is the attitude toward the issues of the day. I took a college class that was big on talking about and doing the types of things the students did in "Smedley". This seems to be very out-of-date now. The issue about saying the pledge has been resolved in many cases (though certainly not all). It is interesting to see the focus on dress.

Two things are of particular interest. The attitude of the father - a sort of don't rock the boat - and his way of treating his wife and children seemed very negative to me. I wonder if books like this would even appear in the current culture. The father is a bully. And his wife and children suffer from it. Though there is a hint that the father will back off a bit towards the end of the book, it is an uneasy resolution - perhaps a foreshadowing of the rise (again) of feminism.

The other thing that is of particular interest to me is the attitude of everyone about the MC weight problem. I have a weight problem, so this particularly needles me. In this book, the mother does some of the same things that annoy me so in people who try to "help" me lose weight. Offering to buy new clothes. Smiling or extending approval when you pass up a dessert. Telling you that people don't care about your weight. These, and other things, were not helpful for me. It made me feel like others felt they owned my problem. That they felt that weight was something I needed help with. They felt that it was their right to give suggestions about how to deal with it. Weight, before shyness, before reaction to being bullied, before normal problems of growing up (dating). Weight tied into everything.

Positives: I liked seeing the kids deal with their situations. I liked the obvious emotional volatility of that age of children.

All in all: a bit dated, but still interesting.

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Review: Surviving the Applewhites

Surviving the Applewhites Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have just re-read this book. I was looking for another story to base a musical on, and this is not it, but I did find that I enjoyed the book again. It is a bit wacky and over the top, but it is good hearted and speaks to my interest in stories where kids find their way through some adolescent confusion to discover more about themselves.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: The Sisters Impossible

The Sisters Impossible The Sisters Impossible by J.D. Landis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this one. It is a quick read, but there is a decent amount of substance. I liked the family interactions, especially, of course, the sisters, but also the father and the younger daughter. It might have bordered on the didactic a bit at the end, but that was OK.

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Review: A Murder for Her Majesty

A Murder for Her Majesty A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book and read it quickly. The characters are interesting. I got some of the Father WhatsHisNames mixed up, but that didn't seem to matter that much. Good story.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Review: Footrot Flats Collector's Edition 1

Footrot Flats Collector's Edition 1 Footrot Flats Collector's Edition 1 by Murray Ball
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book a lot. I especially like the pictures that have baby animals in them - baby sheep, baby pigs, puppies. I probably don't get all the nuances of the sports references, or even some of the flora and fauna mentions, but it is fun, nevertheless.

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