Thursday, September 30, 2010
With her mother, Mary, Garbrielle “Gabry” tends the shore of a seatown of Vista. They live in the lighthouse, which sends out a strong beacon every night. Tending this shore is quite different than you would imagine. Tending the shore involves keeping it free of the Mudo which wash up on the shore after high tides. They need to be decapitated and dispatched, keeping the village clean and free.
The lighthouse has always stood for safety to Gabry. When her friends decide to sneak to the abandoned forbidden amusement park Gabry is terrified. She has never broken the rules and does not wish to go out of her comfort zone, especially where danger could be lurking. Peer pressure wins and out she goes. It is in the midst of this danger, she shares her first kiss with her friend, Catcher. All of a sudden a Breaker rushes to the group and infects and kills many of her friends. This is the turning point of Gabry’s life. Everything changes and there is no safety after this.
Gabry is able to escape the attack but the others who survive are sentenced to serve with the Recruiters for the rest of their lives, a group that patrols and protects the villages from the Mudo’s. Her boyfriend, Catcher, is not so lucky and is bitten, sending Gabry into more turmoil.
This book answers many of the questions raised in the sequel The Forest of Hands and Teeth. We find the origins of the villages, what happened in the outside world, how the government works and how the living need to survive. There are many philosophical messages in this book as well as the angst felt by Gabry over being human and able to make mistakes.
This book was a page turner, as you couldn’t wait to get to the end and find out what was happening. It is a fun read for any teen.
Reading Next: Ship Breaker by Bacigalupi
Posted by Ms. V at 12:14 PM
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This is a must read for anyone who enjoys action packed reading.
“Truancy” was written by Fukui when he was 15. It is hard to believe that such a creative, insightful book could by written by one so young.
‘Truancy” is another dystopia. It is a future world which is completely different from how we live, but not hard to imagine in the world in which we live. The book combines social commentary, philosophy and entertainment into an action packed narrative of rebellion. As with many young adult books, it would be enjoyed by any age..
Tack, the main character lives in a city which is controlled by its education system and the Mayor, both who inflict tyrannical control. Parents can be best described as apathetic but seem to be mostly non-existent or at least non-influential. Teachers seem to derive great pleasure in making their students uncomfortable. The Truancy, which has already been formed in this book, is a group of former students ready to incite a rebellion against the Educators. The book begins when Tack’s sister, is taken from the school after volunteering for punishment which should have been doled out to her best friend. She is killed when the Truancy bombs the car of the Educator taking her away. The book describes what follows as Tack seeks revenge.
The book is fast paced with bombs, fighting, missle attacks and murder on the Educators and the schools.
Reading Level: Young Adult (Grades 8 - 12)
Reading Next: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Posted by Ms. V at 10:13 AM
Monday, September 20, 2010
The Maze Runner is an exciting tale of survival for young adults. Of course, another dystopia, this book will keep you guessing to the very end.
The book follows a group of young teenaged boys living in “the Glade,” a large area enclosed by tall stone walls surrounded by an ivy-covered stone maze. They remember nothing from their lives before they got to the Glade except their first names. Each month, a large elevator-type box brings up another boy. The book starts as Thomas first arrives in the Glade, totally lost.
In the first part of The Maze Runner, we are introduced to the other boys, how they exist by themselves, and how to interpret their slang, which has evolved into a language of its own. We learn which boys are the leaders, which are the bullies, and which are children who need parental love and guidance more than anything else.
Thomas discovers that every day, “runners” go out and try to solve the maze; they are all desperate to escape, even though they have no memory of the world they want to return to so ardently. (What kind of world, after all, would tear boys from their families and subject them to the Glade?) At sunset, the walls to the maze seal up, and in the morning they open again. “Grievers,” who seem to be a combination of living and machine, patrol the maze at night; the runners must get back inside the Glade each day before dark or they will never return. Thomas knows almost from the start that he is meant to be a runnr.
Thomas’s arrival, however, disrupts the order that has guided life in the Glade for the past two years. Some of the boys think they know Thomas, but don’t know any specifics.. Then, the box comes back after just one day, bringing a girl, Teresa. She is the first and only girl, ever. Thomas recognizes her, but doesn’t know why. All of this change causes suspicion and the choosing of sides for and against Thomas.*
They all sense that things are changing, and fear and unease permeate the Glade. Thomas and Teresa are either their only hope, or a sure sign of their imminent destruction.
I can’t wait to read the sequel to this intriguing book. The Scorch Trials, which comes out in October.
Reading Next: Truancy by Fukami
Posted by Ms. V at 12:57 PM