Saturday, January 15, 2011

Th1rteen R3asons Why

Review on: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher     13 reasons why
Appropriate for: 12+
Overall Starred Rating:              
5 stars 

Back Cover Synopsis: (from GoodReads.com)
Jay Asher's brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative -- alternating between the girl’s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening -- this honest, poignant story reveals how other people's actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual's faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind.

 

Critical Review:
This book is tremendously overpowering. It’s riveting, it’s just… awesome.

I heard from this book while checking some book reviewer’s blogger site for books, and I stumbled upon this little book. I was completely intrigued by the idea, so I gave it a shot.

I bought this book today, and finished it in four hours. I couldn’t stop reading! I loved the development and separation of the chapters. The thing I liked the most was the double-narrative and first-person-present tense.

CC Comments:

Just one. At first, I thought Hannah Baker didn’t have enough reasons to kill herself, and her voice in the tapes sounded mocking, in a way. But, guys, don’t judge it at first- later on in the story everything will begin to piece together, don’t worry. An awesome book. Going into my favorites bookshelf (a.k.a my nightstand)

Recommend it to all of you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Book 1: Eighth Grade Bites

Review on: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod- Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer    vald tod 8
Appropriate for: Ages 11 & up
Overall Starred Rating:  

3 and a half3 1/2 stars
Critical Review:

Back Cover review [from GoodReads]

“Junior high really stinks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers and no one to teach him, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a strange substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he realizes he has a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer who is closing in . . . fast!'”

Meh. so-so. I liked it, I bought it, I finished it, but I don’t think I’ll be buying the sequel. I’m not intrigued to see what happens in the near future. Not very.

Criticism:
The book was mediocre at best, considering the overuse of the vampire realm. It engulfed certain action-packed pages, but sometimes it got tiresome and just boring. It was amusing, to see if this book actually went somewhere, but all hopes were crushed, sadly.

Cliché plots of a wanted girl preferring a best friend is very likely, and for this girl to have this social status makes it more of a pain in my eyes.

Amateur-ly written, cliché packed.

Not highly recommended. Read if you like vampires with a passion. 

The Hunger Games

First of all, I want to welcome you to A Book Addict’s Pastime. That’s what I do. Read, read, read, read... though I do have a life. You can call me M, MC, or whatever you want. This is for you!

Review on: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collinshunger gaems
Appropriate for: Ages 12 & up
Overall Starred Review: 
4 and a  half

Critical Review:

[Back cover]
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them to all send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her sister in the Games- almost a certain death sentence. But Katniss has survived before- and she plans to again”

I had to shorten that up a bit. But that’s basically what it’s about.
Now, my initial perception of this books was, This is crap. This is crap. This is crap. I said, no, I’m not gonna buy this, but then, as a joke between my friends and I, I said, “Hey, Pao, I got the Catnip book!” [That’s what Katniss’ name sounded like to me] and then I read it. And I fell in love with it. I read all three books in a two-week span.

The thing about the Hunger Games is that it’s really unique, forceful… just wonderful. Suzanne Collins, author of this series has exceeded my expectations. I would definitely recommend it to everyone I know.

I loved that the book is is the present tense. First person is nice, but my favorite is third person. It was flawlessly paced throughout.

But, then there’s the negatives.

Katniss, to me, is kind of, sort of, a Mary Sue. Her name, first. Katniss? Makes you question it, almost. She’s like, an archery legend. She provides for her family. She takes her sister’s place in the Games. Should I tell you what happens? In the Games, it’s an arena, undefined and unknown to people other than the Gamemakers, the controllers of the Games. The teens have to kill one another in order to, of course, survive. At first, I thought it was hand-to-hand combat, in between two people, and they were going in turns and such, but I was wrong. They’re all supposed to kill each other. And, only one victor must emerge. But, oh, wait. Katniss’ district partner, the boy, Peeta Mellark, is elected to participate. Can you figure this one out?
Also, Katniss’s best friend, Gale, a highly coveted Seam guy by other girls, who is, needless to say, two years older, has a thing for Katniss. So does Peeta.

I’m not gonna tell you any more things, because you’ll just figure it out for yourself.

And I’m not just talking about Katniss. All of the characters have some type of Mary-Sue moment.

Overall, except that one slight Mary Sue issue, the novels are exquisite. I loved them! I was so sad when I turned the last page of Mockingjay. I almost shed a tear.

Despite my semi-critical review above, you must buy and read the HG. NOW! I never find enough fans to share my craze with.

Leave your feedback. Here always,
-M

P.S- If you have a book you’d like me to review, let me know!