Books4Hearts – Book Reviews: November 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Write Naked by Peter Gould

She has to think for a minute, whether to tell me or not. Then she does. “You’re in it.”
“In what?”
“In my tracking journal. You’re an entry.”
Oh, great. She was stalking me.
Victor is a pretty regular sixteen year old, just trying to live “under the radar.” He doesn’t even really consider writing, until one day, biking past this old man’s house, he sees an old ROYAL typewriter for sale. He gets it, free of charge, and takes it to his uncle’s house in the woods. And that’s where the story really starts.
“You have to be naked to write.” He wonders what the phrase means. Whether it’s symbolic- if you have to take away all distractions, everything that ties you to the world- or whether you have to literally be naked to write.
On his day of trying it, Rose Anna comes into the picture.
Rose Anna is free spirited homeschool girl, who’s constantly outside. She sees things other people don’t, and she has a passion for saving the planet.
The two start a little writing agreement- they write together, without being together. They write on separate sides of the table, and read- ONLY read, no comments- the work of the other person, when they complete a page. Victor with his typewriter, Rose Anna with her vintage fountain pen and her magical witch ink from her grandma.
Through the book, they fall in love, and find signs of all kinds.
Yes I’m here by myself. Yes Dash is guarding the fort. Yes, I’m dot dot dot
There’s something about this machine, I can’t keep away from it. Help stop it’s calling me to its evil den in the woods.
Little girl come in, I’m over here in the bed, no need to knock, come in, take off your red cap. And your shawl. And your little shoes. And and and and– Grandma, what Big Typing Keys you have!
This was an EXTREMELY odd book. Let me say that right from the beginning. Let me also say, right away, that it contains nudity, and a LOT of wiccan magic, and all that.
Now we can continue:
This book has a homeschooler in it. When I picked up the book and saw that, two things went through my mind. “Cool!” and “I wonder which stereotype they use to portray her!” Because there are two stereotypes. The frumpy, conservative, ultra religious one, and the (quote my mother here), Rainbow Wiccan Space Elf one.
This one is the Rainbow Wiccan Space Elf one.
Because of that, I’m still not sure how I think about her. Rose Anna. Because, on one hand, she’s awesome! She’s really smart, she’s outdoorsy, she wants to save the planet, etc., etc., etc. But I didn’t like her, too. Note: I am Catholic, so that might have changed my answer.
But besides the religion in it, it was a pretty good book. I’d recommend it ONLY to people over thirteen, however, because of the nudity and teen-adult themes present in it. I’d give it three stars.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gentlemen by Michael Northrop

It was the way it moved under the blankets, the way it shifted around. It seemed to have, I don’t know, joints or something. I mean, furniture can have joints, like a lawn chair or whatever, but that was no frickin’ lawn chair.”
Mixer, Tommy, Bones, and Micheal (yes, it’s spelled incorrectly. Blame his parents) are close friends. They’re also not the type of people you mess with. Bones has been held back a year, and routinely beats up people for no apparent reason. Micheal’s dad permanently damaged his, Micheal,’s face. Mixer gets in trouble for talking back to teachers. Tommy is… well, Tommy’s nicer than the others, but still tough. Tommy, Mixer, and Micheal all have to go to another year of school. That’s how they know Bones.
Everyone’s scared of them.
Except for their English teacher. Their very weird English teacher. Who calls people like them “gentlemen” or the girls “ladies”?
And when Tommy mysteriously disappears one day after making trouble in math class (Darn that lisp of his), it looks suspiciously to Micheal, Bones, and Mixer, that their teacher knocked him off.
After all, what else could be in the bag?
As he goes along, Micheal learns what makes a friend, and what tears friends apart. He learns secrets about things he used to take for granted. He learns things aren’t always as they seem.
First of all, was there a sale on commas? Second, that’s a long way to go to say that the dude was broke and decided to duck his landlady. After an hour of that I needed a break and maybe an aspirin.
I got this book because, well, it has an interesting premise. An English teacher knocking off a student? A thing about friends? Mysterious circumstances? AWESOME! So I read it. And it was pretty good. Um… the ending is bizarre though. Just warning you. And there’s swearing, violence, drinking, and smoking. So it’s not the best role model book, either. But besides that, I really liked it. I’d give it about… three and a half stars.

The Straits by Jeremy Craig

“How much?”
“A grand.” He looked at me, his eyes full of skepticism. I pulled out a wad of cash and handed it to him.
“You mind if I count it?”
“Go ahead.”
Jim’s life was completely changed with the hurricane that went through Florida. In one blow, he lost his sister and his mother. And he could have saved them. He could have helped them.
Several years later, he now lives in a “temporary” trailer park with his aunt. The previously unknown problem with “temporary” is now making itself heard:
they have to get out.
But when Jim loses his job at the construction firm, the only thing besides his aunt’s construction of dog toys, it’s going to be tricky. He doesn’t want to end up being that homeless guy on the street.
So when the offer to join a high stakes gambling ring comes to him, he finds he has no choice to accept.
“So what you’re saying is, after we do all this, we’re still not going to know for certain how many sparrows there are?”
She thought about it for a second and then smiled. “Basically.”
I liked this book a lot. It was an interesting book, with a plot that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I’ve never been a big card player fan, and definitely not a fan of gambling (I’m still not), but this book was definitely interesting. It showed the struggles that Jim has to face to get him and his aunt out of the trailer. oh, and get revenge on his nemesis, AND get the girl, Kathy. Who happens to be his nemesis’s friend.
I’d give this book around four stars.
Oh, and warning here: it has swearing. (I know that puts some people off, so I figured I’d warn you.) Swearing and smoking and underage drinking.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear readers of this blog

(IF we have any)

I, Cat, am completely aware that we have not had that many posts lately. I apologize sincerely for the fact that I have not posted a review in some time. I thank Angela GREATLY *pokes Angela* because she’s awesome and has somehow found the time to post at least sometimes!

If you want a reason for this, I completely understand. In my case, and I’m pretty sure everyone else’s case too, school has TAKEN OVER MY LIFE. I’m a freshman. I guess. Homeschooling=blurred line when it comes to grade level.  I have a LOT of homework and most of the things I’ve had time to read lately have been boring and unremarkable- for school purposes only. I really haven’t had time to write a review, and most of the reviews I could have written would have been of no interest to you.

SO. Readers: Thanks for sticking around and reading this blog if you have, which I know some people are ending up here because, our page views haven’t just stopped or anything. I’m going to try to post a review as soon as I can! (because I personally have not in a long time). Also, when summer comes or over Christmas break or something I’m going to try and increase my posting a lot!

LOVE, Cat, and probably the rest of the AMAZING people behind Books4hearts.

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