Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mini Reviews: Part Two

So I didn't feel like writing full reviews for all of these. Instead, it's return of the mini-reviews!

After by Amy Efaw
In short: Devon's life changes drastically when a baby is found in the trash and all signs point to her as the mother. The big question though, is why. Why would someone like Devon, who's a star soccer player, a good student, etc. throw her baby away? After follows Devon as she goes from court to jail to court and what goes on through her mind, slowly revealing her reasons.

My thoughts: To be honest, at first After did not do anything for me. It's written in third person, present tense, and that threw me off and didn't work for me.

For a large portion of the book, I couldn't understand how Devon could do something like that, and I didn't like her as a character, nor anyone else, for that matter. The part that saved After though, is the last quarter, where Devon goes to court on whether or not she should be tried as an adult or a child, being 15 going on 16. After actually made law seem interesting to me, which is something that my dad has never been able to do- and he's a lawyer. So kudos to Amy Efaw.

The conclusion: Brings a new perspective to law and Dumpster babies, and the desperation and seeming insanity one will go to. But also a little dull and annoying at times. 3.5/6.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
from Goodreads: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.

My thoughts: The Chosen One is haunting for its topic. To have it viewed through the eyes of a mere 13 year old girl makes the brutality of her world significantly worse. It's a well written novel that goes by really quickly, partly because of the short length and partly because it's written not in chapters but as snippets and blocks with no chapters to divide it.

It's short, but powerful for the view of a polygamous community that The Chosen One gives us. It's certainly unusual for a YA novel and shows a completely different world that most readers have. I don't know what else to say but that the relationships are all deftly done and the characters, especially Kyra, are particularily heartbreakingly beautiful.

The conclusion: Surely a must-read for those wanting to get a glimpse of what it would be like to live a polygamous lifestyle, and a wake up call to many others. Certainly it was to me. 5/6 stars.

Feed by M.T. Anderson
From Goodreads: Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires.

My thoughts: Feed is more of a commentary on consumerism and the way of life than anything else. As far as plot goes, there isn't much to it, which made it a little harder to get into. It's mostly about Titus and his friends and then meeting a girl who challenges the world they live in and changing his views. Toss in some love and tragedy and you've got Feed. That's not to say it's not good, because obviously it is - I mean, it did get an award - but Feed isn't a fast paced Hunger Games. So I shouldn't have expected it to be, but I did.

Regardless of my expectations, Feed makes an interesting satire. The way it's written mocks the way teenagers speak - which is to say, it's really annoying. And that's the point. But the writing isn't that hard to get used to. (Which is slightly depressing to me. If it's so easy to fall into reading it, what does that say about me?) As far as characters go, Titus seemed quite... useless, and Violet could be desperate and clingy, but that's would happen to most in a setting like they live in.

The conclusion: A good read for what is is, but my expectations for something exciting fell exceedingly short. 4/6.

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews...I've been wondering about After, and now I'm not quite sure it's worth pushing to the top of my TBR pile haha :)


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