A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Perfect Ruin
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Pages: 356
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
AR Levels: Book Level - 4.9, Interest Level - 6th and up, Points - 13.0
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17339241-perfect-ruin

In a nutshell: Morgan lives on Internment, a floating city that seems perfect, but when a girl turns up murdered, she finds herself wondering if there's a better world out there. Yet, even contemplating such things could brand her a traitor in a place where change is frowned upon and leaving is impossible.

I'd recommend it to grades: 8 and up

I'd recommend it to: fans of The Giver, The Hunger Games, the Matched series, the Lunar Chronicles, and the Delirium series

What I liked most about this book: This is a sci-fi fairytale in which everything is beautifully dark - the characters, the plot, the language, THE GORGEOUS COVER! It nods to The Giver and other recent books featuring strictly planned societies, but it's fresh enough that it's not a copy. It's this wonderful roller coaster of light airiness and dark underbelly, and I loved it. Give me book 2! ;)

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): On Internment, marriages are planned before babies are even born, and young children are given clear betrothal bands to wear on necklaces around their necks. When becoming teens, they begin to wear their bands on their hands, and when they get married, they fill their bands with the blood of their spouses, forever bonding them to one another, which is just another telling example of how this book is both beautiful and dark...and creepy in a good way.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 4 stars. I'd have given this 5 stars, but the cliffhanger at the end left me wanting more, and something about the pacing of this one was a bit off. It was rushed in places and slow in others, but overall, it's definitely a page-turner.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Heroes Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

Title:  The Heroes Guide to Storming the Castle
Author: Christopher Healy
Pages: 477
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
AR Levels: Book Level--4.9 , Interest Level--4th-8th, Points -13.0
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16248123-the-hero-s-guide-to-storming-the-castle?from_search=true

In a nutshell:  Everyone's favorite band of misfit princes is back for another series of sordid events.  This time, they're trying to save Prince Liam from his not-so-nice bride-to-be, but that escapade turns into a quest for the Sword of Erinthia, which is being held in the Bandit King's castle.  This journey involves trolls, giants, snakes, Darians, and much much more!  Can they be successful again?  Can they overcome their own blunders to get the job done?

I'd recommend it for:  Grades 5+.  Adults would love this one, too!

I'd recommend it to:  Anyone who loves fairy tales and new spins on them.  Also, anyone who appreciates a little bit of "cheesy" every now and then.

What I liked most about this book:  Healy makes sure you never know what might happen next.  The events of this book are so random and hilarious that you never want to put it down!  Once you've started reading a book in this series, you're hooked must find out what the princes will do next.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y):  There are a few interactions between a geriatric giant and a tenacious troll that make you laugh until you cry.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 stars!  Hands down!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt

Title: Jane, the Fox & Me
Author: Fanny Britt (translated by Christine Morelli and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault)
Pages: 104
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
AR Levels: Book Level - 4.1, Interest Level - K to 3rd (although I disagree), Points - 0.5
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17214302-jane-the-fox-and-me

In a nutshell: When Helene's friends turn their backs on her and begin to ruthlessly make fun of her, she escapes into Jane Eyre and finds hope and solace in its tale of an outcast like herself.

I'd recommend it for grades: 3 to 7

I'd recommend it to: tween girls, anyone who's ever used literature as an escape, and anyone who's ever felt like an outcast

What I liked most about this book: It's hard to find a book that deals with bullying, low self-esteem, and weight issues that's realistic and doesn't shy away from the issues while still being uplifting in a creative way. From page one, I could relate to Helene, and I enjoyed this immensely. The use of black and white and color is genius. In Helene's world, everything is black and white, and everything in Jane's world is in color, but as Helene begins to come out of her fog, color begins to bleed into her world, ushered in by a new friendship. It's beautiful.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): In one scene, Helene goes swimsuit shopping with her mother and sees herself as a sausage in a cute suit; the illustration is of a personified sausage in a bathing suit and not of Helene looking plump in any way, and by illustrating it that way, it shows what Helene is seeing and not what's really reflected in the mirror. It's an incredibly realistic scene that I completely related to, and I'm sure many other girls will too.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 stars