Wednesday, April 06, 2011

(Spring) Break-ing Book Reviews

So my Spring Break has come and gone, thankfully without illness or injury (for some reason I am usually not feeling well during Spring Break!). And with that break, I have had time to read for pleasure a couple of books from the Young Adult section of the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

First is Virals by Kathy Reichs. Yes, that Kathy Reichs who created the character of Temperance Brennan in many books and recently turned the characters into the cast of Bones. I have read many of her Temperance Brennan books, but for some reason quit reading them a few years back. This foray into young adult fiction is one of Kathy Reichs’ best novels, I think. The novel focuses on her niece, Tory, and her friends Hi, Shelton, and Ben and their attempt to solve a mystery (or two) they find on Morris Island, SC, where they live with their parents. This novel had great descriptions of Charleston and the surrounding environs. Also, the dialogue of the smart kids (they are all the offspring of scientists that work at Charleston University) is both enjoyable to read and believable. There is a biological mystery intertwined with a decades-old murder mystery and a bit of teenage angst thrown in. This book would appeal to junior high and high school students who like mystery and science.

I think one of the quotes on the back of the next book I read, Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, was what made me want to to read it--”It was kind of like a car crash I couldn’t stop looking at”. I was intrigued by the premise of what could happen to Earth’s environment if a meteor hit the moon. I really liked the movies, Deep Impact and Armageddon, from the late 90s so I thought I would give this book a try. WOW! is all I can say. The book is written as a journal from the point of view of Miranda, a 15-year old girl, who’s world will really never be the same. I liked the writing style and the frankness of the author about how difficult things could be even in America if a true MEGA-sized natural disaster struck Earth. It really made me think about how interconnected we are and how fast that could be gone if electricity is no longer available. I recommend this novel to junior high and high school students especially if they are interested in the environment. It may be a good read for Earth Day.

So there are my piddly little book reviews, but it got me back in the writing groove at least for one day this week. What books have you read recently or are planning to read on your Spring Break?


Kay said...

I thought THE DEAD AND GONE (companinon to (LIFE AS WE KNEW IT) is even better. It focuses on three siblings in NYC duing the same disaster. Miranda and her family had it lucky in comparison. I'm looking forward to the third book that brings the two sets of characters together.
I went on a reading binge over spring break--among my favorites: Carrie Ryan's series beginning with THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH) and Julia Karr's XVI.

Laurie said...

I am planning on reading The Dead and Gone,too. I have got to get The Forest of Hands and Teeth also. I love reading YA books!

Thanks for the comment.

brenda said...

Wow! I have enjoyed looking at your blog! It is bright and has lots of information. I am one of your students in your 505 class. I have done many new things in your class. It has been a learning experience!! I am glad you were able to read over spring break. I enjoy reading. Have a good day!

Shannon said...

I enjoyed reading your book reviews. I love to read and enjoy reading things that my teenage students recommend to me. I had one student get me interested in the Phillipa Gregory books. I find that some of my students have great taste in books. They also like to read things that I recommend to them. The librarian at our school says that some of the students will come into the library and check the cards in the book to see if I have read the book. They tell her that I always pick the best books. How funny is that? By the way, I am a student in your ED505 online class. I just wanted to say that you have definitely challenged my tech skills, but I have learned so much in the process. Thanks, Shannon