le book review number seventy-nine~ Empty

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Title: Empty
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Pages: 183 pages
Personal Star Rating: 4/5 stars

From the Inside Cover:
Civilization has just run out.
It's the future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.
Nobody has expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Sage Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - but there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a society that needs to be rethought. Niki, Tom, and Gwen may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

Cover Comments:
I think the cover is very intriguing. It was definitely a factor in why I wanted to read it. I love the colours and texture and the font used was really perfect.

Title Thoughts:
The title is fitting, relevant and simple but impacting.

First Sentence:
"Gwen Jones squeezed out of her bedroom window onto the sizzling roof below."

Overview/Summary of my thoughts:
Empty. In a way the title describes the book. The switching points of view made the character development seem reliant on the other characters thoughts about the person and the actions the other characters see than the actual person's thoughts. The story seems like the relevancy was in a way limited in terms of how the media was so focused on global warming and the depletion of oil a couple years ago but now the attention in mainstream media is less involved with that aspect. The characters were somewhat stereotyped. I liked the idea of the book but it seemed like the information was forced. The articles in newspaper format gave information in a different, but not well done way. I was anticipating that I would like this book but overall I wasn't too impressed or blown away.

Gwen is interesting and different, but she isn't as unique as I would have hoped.
Tom has some aspects that are confusing at times, almost like he never really knows what he wants.
Niki is very stereotyped and doesn't ever fully escape being annoying.

It was worth reading once but I wouldn't recommend buying it. My sister bought this book a couple years ago so it was something that I would have enjoyed a couple years ago more than I liked it now.

le book review number seventy-eight~ Firegirl

Monday, 18 March 2013

Title: Firegirl
Author: Tony Abbott
Series: Standalone
Pages: 145
Personal Star Rating: 4.4/5 stars

Cover Comments:
I think the cover is reflective of the book. I like the paper chain of people - it's something that I've always found really cool. The colours are very fitting.

From the back cover:
"There is. . .," Mrs. Tracy was saying quietly, "there is something you need to know about Jessica. . . ."
From this moment on, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. Despite Jessica's shocking appearance and the fear she evokes in him and most of the class, Tom slowly develops a tentative friendship with Jessica that changes his life. Firegirl is a powerful book that shows readers that even the smallest of gestures can have a profound impact on someone's life.

Title Thoughts:
I like the title. It's simple, yet impacting. Relates to the story.

I really enjoyed this book. I bought it a few weeks ago and wasn't sure if it would be worth it, but once I started reading it during my lunch break at work, it was very captivating and I didn't want to put it down.
Realism was so prevalent in this book. It was aimed at a younger audience so it didn't take me long to finish but I think that people of all ages should read this book. Maybe they will realize that people who are "different" are still human and that bullying (even if it's not blatantly obvious) still hurts and affects people. The protagonist, Tom had the right mindset for his character age. I found Tom to have a lot of untouched personality that could have had a little more development and description. I also found it to be lacking a little in detail - the only two reasons this book didn't receive a five. I'm not sure if I will read this book again, but it will sit happily on my bookshelf waiting when I need a new perspective. I'll be passing it around (especially to my sister) to read this.

le book review number seventy-seven~ Prisoner B-3087

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Title: Prisoner B-3087
Author: Alan Gratz
Personal Star Rating: 4/5 stars

From the Back Cover:
I looked out through the cracks of the crawl space. Goeth was coming closer  all shining black leather boots and crisp black uniforms. One of his dogs lifted its ears and looked right at me.
I pulled back, away from the wall."We're trapped. We have to get out of there." I was almost choking on my own fear.
"And go where?" Thomas hissed. "If we leave, they'll find us in the barrack!"
"I don't care. We can't be caught here."
I pushed my way up and out of the crawl space. I gasped, filling my lungs. I had to move quickly. My heart was thumping, but it made me feel alive, and feeling alive made me want to stay alive.

Thoughts on the Title:
I think the title is really representative and part of the reason why I picked this book up.

Comments on the Cover:
The cover was what really drew me towards the book. I had the option of buying this book for a reasonable price but decided to read it from the library instead. The cover is what really made me want to read it.

I found this book to be really good. The book is based on the true story of a young Jewish boy and his transportation throughout concentration camps during World War II. In the beginning of reading this book, I was unsure how the book was going to progress. I found the pace was really quick and almost hard to keep up to as Yanek was moved from one camp to the next. This made the description seem hurried and rushed. I don't like rating books when they are true/ based on truth because it makes me feel like i'm rating a person's life. I found that the book seemed to be aimed at a younger audience (which was fine) but as a result seemed to lack in terms of some of the horrors that were experienced in concentration camps. Overall, I thought this book was worth reading once. I don't see myself buying this book because there are a lot of really good war books out there that I personally have enjoyed or found more meaning for me, but I do think this was a good book.

le book review number seventy-six~ when memories remain

Thursday, 7 March 2013

title: when memories remain
author: karen emilson
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
The continuing saga of David Pischke and his struggle to live a respectable life despite the difficulties he endured throughout his tormented childhood.

This is the story of a determined man whose character and strength has helped him overcome incredible odds. By telling this story, David has faced his own demons head-on and emerged triumphant.

first sentence:
"Did you kill Mike Kalanza?"

This book is a continuation of the story of the Pischke's with a focus on David Pischke's life. This added a lot more information about life after the farm and life after Domko. The way they were treated as children had a profound effect on the way they assimilated into society - expressed and incorporated into this novel. I found that with this sequel it explained in  more depth about this family and the tragedies after already enduring hell. I definitely think this is a must-read if you've read Where Children Run. The investigation aspect gave the novel a suspenseful aspect that kept you involved with the story. This book offers you a look into the lives of an abused family to learn and see what happened.

le book review number seventy-five~ where children run

Sunday, 3 March 2013

title: where children run
author: karen emilson
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
The true story of David and Dennis Pischke and how they survived more than a decade of starvation and abuse at the hands of their mentally unstable stepfather.

A frightening, heartwarming, and sometimes humorous account of the strength and adaptability of the human spirit.

first sentence:
"Quietly, Caroline slipped out of the house."

This is a nonfiction book that we were required to read in my English class. I had never heard of this book and wasn't sure what to expect since nonfiction isn't a genre that I often read. However, I found myself drawn into this novel and the story. The two boys, David and Dennis, endure such hardships that at times I found it difficult to bear. The children were treated so unfairly and Domko was so cruel. I found it hard to feel sorry for Caroline after the way she treated her children. With all the abuse from Domko, she didn't have to make them feel it was their fault. Overall, this book was really sad, but also made me angry. I think it was a really good book to expose people to the nonfiction genre and also the story  of the Pischke children.