Tuesday, January 19, 2010

unwind by neal shusterman

my lovely cousin mindy told me about this book last year when we were camping. what can i say about it? it is amazing and horrible and thought provoking and tear inducing and a little bit it made me want to throw up. so of course, i love it.

this is not your happy day at the beach read. it's a commentary on abortion. it has an agenda. it has a point. at times, it breaks your heart, which it should.

the story takes place after a long civil war over the issue of abortion. the two sides come up with a compromise. medical technology has made it possible to use all parts of the human body for transplant, so abortion is outlawed. instead, people who do not want their children are allowed to leave them at state homes or on other peoples doorsteps. once any child reaches the age of 14 (i think) there is the option to have them "unwound" or basically parted out for transplants. the argument is that they are not dead because 99% of them is being used elsewhere (the law doesn't require them to use things like the appendix). the book tells the story of three kids who have been designated for unwinding but escape on their way to the harvest camp.

i am very curious to explore mr. shusterman's other work. i was very impressed with this book.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

wizard's first rule by terry goodkind

last year mike and i found legend of the seeker on netflix. the facts were these:
- mike and i are suckers for fantasy stuff;
- mike and i are suckers for sword and knife fighting stuff;
- school was out and we had an abundance of free time;
- netflix conveniently placed the entire series in the instant play category;
- that craig horner is one pretty piece of flesh and the first time you see him in the series he looks like this and he's chopping a huge log with an axe and if you know me at all you know how much that works for me.
we watched the entire series which is based on the sword of truth series by terry goodkind. so naturally i picked up the first one. i started last summer, and i liked it very much, but school got in the way, so i had to wait to finish it when i had spare reading time. i'm finally done, and i have every intention of reading the rest of the series. perhaps not immediately, but it definitely will happen.
happily, season two of legend of the seeker is currently airing on television.

the best christmas pageant ever by barbara robinson

i remember having this book read to me as a child. we laughed and laughed. i haven't read it again since grade school. this christmas season i read it to my nephew. i think i may have enjoyed it more than he did . . .

it was still quite funny, and a wonderful little story about the power of the christmas story. i didn't remember how touching the story was. i got all teary myself when i read the part where imogene cries during the pageant performance.

my nephew kept interrupting me with interjections and questions, and when i asked him if he knew who mary was, he responded that she was the one who watched sheep (mary had a little lamb . . .). we cleared that up, but it was kind of though explaining to a 5 year old why king herod was intimidated by baby jesus. someone needs to get that kid to church, stat!

an adorable little read for the christmas season, and kid friendly!

bridge to terabithia by katherine paterson

i remember reading bridge to terabithia in grade school and bawling my eyes out. it was one of the first books to ever make me cry. when the movie came out a few years back i was really excited, but it was so different from what i remembered the book being. good, exciting, but different. i re-read the book for a book club last september, and i just haven't gotten around to posting about it.

things i love about this book:

- leslie's individuality;
- leslie's parents allowing her to be imaginative and supporting her creativity and quirks;
- jess' journey of self discovery;
- jess and leslie's friendship;
- the idea of creating an imaginary kingdom of one's own;
- the message about the importance of imagination;
- jess and leslie's revenge and then compassion toward janice the bully;
- the way jess' grief and reaction are depicted.

honestly, this book is too sad for me to read very often, but i think it is an amazing book. i consider it a must read.