Harry Potter fans would like this book, I think. There's the magic of Potter, but most of it takes place in present day California. Lots of action mixed with a mystery about the past. The narrator's ability to create different voices is amazing!
I love a spunky, independent, female character, so of course I immediately became attached to Mary "Jacky" Faber. I enjoyed listening to the narrator's street-English (Cockney?) accent for the main character. The author explored may issues that a disguised female would have aboard a ship filled with hundreds of male sailors. Plus, there are pirates! More action, adventure, and humor than The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I plan to listen to the sequels.
I've read several books by Sarah Dessen, and this one is my favorite so far. The main character, Auden, is smart, and I love intelligent female characters. She's decided to spend the summer between graduation from high school and her first year at college with her father in a beach resort town. This new location and the people who come into her life there make this summer one of change and transition for Auden. Usually a loner, she starts to reach out and make friends, including a boyfriend. She's forming new relationships with her stepmother and step sister. Most important, she's confronting her own feelings about her parents' divorce.
This book has realistic characters and situations. It gets the reader to consider relationships among family members and friends, as well as how people can or cannot change.
Of course, I won't say how it ends, but I will say that the ending made sense and definitely finished this story. I still like the complexity of Katniss's character. Even Peeta takes on some new, surprising characteristics. I felt that there was excessive violence in the middle of the book where one horrific scene followed another. At this point the violence seemed rather pointless - like the author was writing the book for people who like Grand Theft Auto video games or slasher movies. Otherwise, I would've given it a 4th star.
I don't know which male narrator was the voice of 5-year-old Jack, but this little boy's voice was perfect for this book. I'm sure that I enjoyed the book more because of it. The author has a wonderful ear for words that kids will use to say things or think about things and an excellent sense for how young people view the world. I felt like I was truly seeing things through the eyes of a young boy. I also liked the mother's voice, but "Old Nick" didn't sound mean enough. I don't want to say much more for fear of spoiling the suspense. Don't miss this one!
This book started slowly and with a gazillion characters / names that were difficult for me to keep track of. However, after the crime occurs, the story gets increasingly interesting. This book reveals a lot of background and history behind the most interesting title character.
The best audio book I have listened to - both for the story and the narration. I couldn't put it down. I didn't want it to end. The characters will never leave me. I plan to give it as a gift to friends and family. It's that awesome!
I know this is a book for children, and some children love it. A seventh grade student of mine had recommended it to me. The characters are one dimensional - they are either good or evil. No in-between. The plot is simplistic (I know, I know - good for younger readers.) There is a lot of repetition of facts and stating the obvious. Truly, I think our young readers are smarter than this author gives them credit for.
I felt an immediate connection with the narrator, Scott Hudson. The thoughts and feelings of this young adult boy felt "true" to me. The Full Cast Family brings the book to life. There are also cool sound effects. My 11-year-old daughter has shunned audiobooks since her school experiences with textbook produced audio. I couldn't even sway her with Twilight. Ten minutes with this book and I have her hooked!
Finally, a different twist on vampire myths. Westerfeld's vampires are a result of parasites that enter people through the sharing of bodily fluids. Even though this is a fictional parasite, it still provides another caution to teens to have safe sex. Westerfeld also provides us with interesting blurbs about real parasites and their effects on humans and the ecosystem. He used the behaviors of real parasites as a foundation for his fictional one. Then the traditional vampire myths are explained by connecting them with the behaviors of parasite-carrying vampires in the story. So I find this vampire story to lean more toward science fiction than fantasy.
One thing that bothered me was that the complete absence of all parental figures is never explained to the reader. How does a college aged girl disappear for 6 months and her parents aren't looking for her?) Of course, I'm a parent. I doubt that young adult readers will miss them.
There's enough action to keep the vampire fans happy. An added bonus is that the narrator is male, so I think the story will appeal to both boys and girls (unlike Twilight - which is very much a romance and favored by girls in my classes.)
The moon has been hit by an asteroid and is now orbiting closer to earth. This causes on-going tidal waves and volcanic eruptions which wreak havoc on the earth's environment. In Life As We Knew It we see the effect on a family living in a suburban community. In this book, Pfeffer shows us her vision of what would happen in New York City. Interesting, but long. The narrator has a very deep voice that reminds me of an undertaker - appropriate with all the death. There is a hopeful ending.
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