RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Bunch More Reviews

Bring on the mini-reviews!

Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
Reason for Reading: Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge, YA reading challenge
Rating: 4.5/5
One paragraph plot summary: In this retelling of the classic story of Rapuzel, Napoli delves deeply into the psyches of Zel and her mother. Zel, who suffers many years of imprisonment in a lonely tower by herself, teeters close to the brink of madness, while her mother privately justifies to herself why she has taken such extreme measures to hide her daughter away from the world.

One paragraph review: Although this is a fantasy novel, Napoli manages to portray in a very short amount of space the helplessness, the craziness that Zel feels while she is imprisoned in the tower. Zel finds herself making friends with ticks and roaches to pass the time. The character of Mother is slyly written; although unhesitatingly evil, she is the only character who is written in first person, and we sympathize with her just a little, despite ourselves. If the romance between Zel and her suitor seems a bit thin, well, it is a fairy tale after all.

Laika by Nick Abadzis
Reason for Reading: Graphic Novel Challenge
Rating: 5/5

One paragraph summary: With the soviets having recently won the first battle of the space race with their successful launch of Sputnik One, the soviet premier had a new goal in mind: a live space traveler. Based on the true story, this graphic novel is about Laika, a dog who was the first living creature in space.

One paragraph review: Oh my. Where to start. First of all, if you know any history of the space program, you already know Laika's eventual fate. I knew it going in, but I still found myself hoping against hope for Laika to somehow survive the journey. This book is about Laika, but it is also about the true historical people who worked on the mission and the conflict they surely must have felt about sending a small dog on a one-way mission. Laika walked a delicate balance of appealing to the reader's emotions without oversentimentalizing the story, and I think precisely because of that, I was bawling by the end. (Note: I do not cry over books). Highly recommended.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky
Reason for Reading: YA Reading Challenge
Rating: 4/5

One paragraph plot summary: The book is a series of letters written by a teenager who calls himself "Charlie" to an anonymous person who he does not know personally. Each letter is like a diary entry as Charlie, a freshman in high school, talks about what's happening in his life, and reflects on trying to fit in or remaining a wallflower.

One paragraph review: Charlie is a heck of a narrator. He's shy, bookish, and a bit of an outcast, although he begins to find a place with a group of seniors at his high school. Although he feels most comfortable experiencing life from the outside, his new friends and a friendly English teacher help him to step outside his comfort zone. Chbosky takes the reader through all sorts of difficult topics that high schoolers face, and I think everyone will relate, at least a little, to Charlie.


Oh said...

I don't know if I'll read any of these but I have to give a shout out to the covers! Yup, sometimes i judge a book by its cover and I deem all 3 of these winners!

Thanks for keeping us current!

Eva said...

I remember being so creeped out by Zel! In a good way. :) So, knowing that I prefer living a vegan lifestyle and think animal testing is morally wrong, do you think I could handle Laika? I'm guessing not.

Stephanie said...

I've heard such great things about Perks. I've been wanting to read it for years. One of these days. Not sure Laika is one I can handle. Dogs and kids....bad endings/death just kill me!

Literary Feline said...

These all sound good, Kim! The Chbosky book is up for nomination in an online book group I belong to right now, and so your review is quite timely! I was wondering about that one since it seems to be getting quite a few votes.

Rhinoa said...

I really liked Zel and I must read Laika at some point as everyone seems to have raved about it.

Nymeth said...

I heart those three books. I'm glad you enjoyed them as well!

Kim L said...

oh-they all are worth the read!

eva-I think you could handle Laika. I could and I am a major dog person.

stephanie-Perks is worthwhile. I mean, there were parts that were so-so, but a great read over all.

literary feline-very interesting! I thought it had come out a while ago, but that's cool its still winning awards.

rhinoa-you'll like them!

nymeth-I probably got the recommendation from you :-)

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I liked Zel simply because it was one of the first twisted fairy tales that I ever read. I'd like to read more from this author. Thanks for the reminder.

Trish said...

You're the second person to mention this week that you cried while reading Laika! I really need to get my hands on that one. I picked up Maus the other day and am thinking about reading it this weekend.

Chelsea said...

I love your mini-reviews! :) Straight and to the point. Reaaally want to read Zel and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

samantha.1020 said...

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my all-time favorite books. I first read it when I was a teenager and I've reread it a couple times since. It just resonated with me back then and I still think that it is an amazing book!