Time For More Mini Reviews!

Thursday April 22, 2010

I had some of these a few weeks ago and I received a lot of positive feedback from readers so I think I 'll do it on a more regular basis!

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
By Francisco X. Stork
March 1, 2010
Scholastic
Summary: When Pancho arrives at St. Anthony's Home, he knows his time there will be short: If his plans succeed, he'll soon be arrested for the murder of his sister's killer. But then he's assigned to help D.Q., whose brain cancer has slowed neither his spirit nor his mouth. D.Q. tells Pancho all about his "Death Warrior's Manifesto," which will help him to live out his last days fully--ideally, he says, with the love of the beautiful Marisol. As Pancho tracks down his sister's murderer, he finds himself falling under the influence of D.Q. and Marisol, who is everything D.Q. said she would be; and he is inexorably drawn to a decision: to honor his sister and her death, or embrace the way of the Death Warrior and choose life. 

Mini Review: A beautiful thought provoking and intense story that deals with how revenge can consume a person and basically take over their life. When something horrible happens do we focus on getting revenge or focus on moving past it to acceptance and forgiveness? Is acceptance the same as giving up? Pancho must ask  himself these questions because his future depends on it. This book really packs a punch but ultimately leaves you thinking about just how precious life is. Highly recommended!

The Lonely Hearts Club
by Elizabeth Eulberg
December 29, 2009
Scholastic
Summary: Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .

Mini Review: Penny Lane Bloom (yes, her parents are Beatles fans) has been hurt for the last time. After being crushed by her last boyfriend Penny swears off the opposite sex and quietly starts the The Lonely Hearts Club (the name is of course inspired by her fav band)...when other girls notice her new lease on life they decide join too...I mean who needs all the heartache and drama associated with high school dating? Of course fate has other plans for Penny and she meets Ryan....then the school principal threatens to shut down the club when the poor boys in her class find themselves dateless :) Overall a very cute story with a lot of Beatlemania infused through out. If you want an empowering book all about girl-power and girlfriends before boyfriends, you've got it all right here! A Fun Read!

Some Girls Are
by Courtney Summers
January 5, 2010
St. Martin's Griffin
Summary: Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first. 

Mini Review: An especially impacting story in light of the recent suicide of a high school girl who was bullied due to jealousy and hate. This book takes an unflinching look at the insidious nature of bullying and the devastating impact it can have on teens...it definitely takes the term "Mean Girls" to a whole new level. The excruciating twist to this story is that a former bully is now being bullied and Regina now has to face what she has done to others, especially when some classmates feel she deserves a taste of her own medicine. This is a powerful story that is one of those books I want all teens to read. Words CAN and DO hurt people and bullying can happen when adults least suspect it. Subject matter makes this book more appropriate for ages 14 and up. A Powerfully Good Read! 

2 comments:

katie said...

Great mini reviews. I loved The Lonely Hearts Club and I really want to read Some Girls Are. This is the first time I have heard about The Last Summer Of The Death Warriors but I will have to add it to my to-read list.

Beverly said...

Great mini reviews. I just heard great things about The Last Summer of the Death Warriors at a BER reading seminar yesterday! It's nice to hear good things two days in a row about a book!