Wednesday, May 6, 2009

trio of book reviews

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I liked this book, but not as much as I wanted to. Mostly because (a) it feels like a set up for the next book [which it most certainly is] and (b) I really wished it had been told in multiple POVs. Because I really, really wanted to know what some of the other characters were thinking, and it frustrated me that I couldn't! Also, in that way, the outcome becomes kind of predictable with the first person narration and all. Anyway, I am interested in reading the next book [out in September!]. Plus, shipper alert! As you do.

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure: "Revenge is living well, without you." -- Joyce Carol Oates. As you can guess, the memoirs range from the supremely awesome, like the Oates' one there, or kind of lame. It made me think about how I would describe myself/life in six words (it's hard), and I think I'll use that as a revision/writing concisely assignment. Oh, and it also made me think of using Twitter in the classroom. EDIT, STUDENTS. EDIT LIKE THE WIND.

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison: Hey, so I liked this one way more than I thought I would! It is really kind of awesome because it surprised me by doing some unexpected things with the story. There are two main threads to the story: (a) Be careful what you wish for and (b) Don't underestimate yourself. LOVE. It features a surprisingly strong heroine--okay, three strong female characters, actually--and is kind of fun. Great for the beach. I had started it, set it aside, and then picked up again and read it in two days. I would've finished it in one except I was tired. Good times. It also seems like there could be another book featuring the same fair godmother, so it'd be interesting if the author did that. The book also offers a unique way of looking at/rewriting/retelling fairy tales, which would also make an awesome assignment and give students a different way to think about it.


Fairy's side note: Adults are constantly telling teenagers that it's what's on the inside that matters. It's always painful to find out that adults have lied to you.

Fairy's side note: Guys can smell desperation. It triggers an instinct in them to run far and fast so they aren't around when a woman starts peeling apart her heart. They know she'll ask for help in putting it back together the right way--intact and beating correctly--and they dread the thought of puzzling over layers that they can't understand, let alone rebuild. They'd rather just not get blood on their hands.

But sharks are different. They smell the blood of desperation and circle in. They whisper into a girl's ear, "I'll make it better. I'll make you forget all about your pain."

Sharks do this by eating your heart, but they never mention this beforehand. That is the thing about sharks.


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