Archive

5 stars

 

Reviewer: Rebekah

Title:  The Book Thief
Author:  Markus Zusak
Source: Library
Pages: 550 Pages
Genre: YA Fiction/ Historical Fiction/ Experimental
Publication Date: March 14, 2006
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5/5

 It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

This might just be one of my new favorite books, ever.

It took me a while to finish it. I think most people (or at least the people who are on Goodreads) couldn’t finish it quickly either because it’s not a quick read. It’s heavy.

The main character, Liesel, isn’t your average girl. She’s poor and alone, but she’s also tougher than she looks. It’s hard not to feel what she feels. Her misfit friends and family are some of the best characters I’ve read in a while. Who couldn’t love the boy with lemon hair? Or the gentle, accordion-playing Papa?

Her love and fear of words and books drives the story. You see power and destruction, love and hate, death and life. All by words.

I should also talk about the narrator, huh? I don’t want to give anything away, but if you pick up this book and start to read…it’s probably not going to be what you expect at first. But keep reading, because the narrator keeps an open perspective. You learn about Life through Death.

Like I said, it’s a heavy book. But it is also beautiful. You can’t go into a book set during Holocaust time during Germany expecting happy endings all around. But you’ll gain much more, I think.

Advertisements

Reviewer: Taylor

 Title: Grave Mercy
 Author: Robin LaFevers
 Source: Bought
 Pages: 549 Pages
 Genre: YA Historical/Action Adventure
 Publication Date: April 3, 2012
 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
 Rating: 5/5

 Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Main Idea: AHHHHHH! That is the only way I can think to put my excitement into words as I sit down to try to write a quick review.

First of all, freaking historical fiction for the win! I think we as an entire YA community do not read enough/have enough historical fiction. I absolutely loved being transported into a completely different time and place- one that was very real at one time in history!

Our main character, Ismae (love that name), has dealt with some MEAN, rugged men in her life, namely her father and her “betrothed.” So, when she mysteriously gets swooped away to a convent involved with the dealings of death one night, she is not opposed. In fact, Ismae learns that her dance with death in her mother’s womb (her mother drank poison when she was pregnant with Ismae to try to “expel her from her womb.” yuck.) was not just a coincidence. Apparently, death would not allow her to die and “sired” her in order to do his work. It is revealed to her that she has special abilities in order to help her deal death more efficiently. Example: she is immune to all poison.

Towards the beginning of the book, Ismae literally JUMPS at any chance to do st. mortain’s work by killing one he has marqued. However, quickly after her first kills, Ismae is assigned a job that will change her life forever.

The romance is amazing. The love she gains for unexpected people is touching. And the mystery, action, and excitement is amazing. Even the longer parts in the middle did not bore me. I was glued to the book the entire time I was reading it and just LOVED it.

Go read it. Now.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Reviewer: Taylor

5 Stars




Miles “Pudge” Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.


Summary from Goodreads . 


HOLY COW. This was my first encounter with John Green. I NEED MORE. 


Going into this book, I had really no idea what to expect. Except that every single review i have read just raves about this story. Miles, or as he quickly gets nicknamed, Pudge, decides to change it up and head to boarding school in birmingham, AL. He meets friends quickly, and some crazy adventures spiral on from there.  This book also deals with some really tough issues, but i don’t want to give anything away. 


Things I loved about this book:


I loved the realness of the characters. I only got to spend time with them for about 225 pages, but i felt like i truly knew them. I never really had any kind of experiences that they had in high school, but then again, i was a total goodie two shoes. (is that how that phrase goes?) These kids were crazy! Their pranks were outrageous. I loved living through their experiences with them. However, the characters get very, very real after tragedy strikes. They became raw and vulnerable. I couldn’t believe how connected i felt to them.


Male point of view! Yay! Don’t get me wrong, i love a good female heroine, but it was really nice to actually read something from a guys point of view. It’s interesting to get into a guy’s mind and try to scratch the surface of figuring out how they think!


BOARDING SCHOOL! seriously. do i even need to explain? who doesn’t love boarding school books?!


Things I didn’t love:


uhh.. this is like not really relevant. because i freaking loved this book. I would say i could do without so much language, but the characters and the story just wouldn’t be the same. honestly, i wouldn’t change a thing. 


okay, so basically, John Green is the bomb and you should go read this book right now! please!?


happy reading!


Taylor