Friday, October 21, 2011

Another Triple Threat book review

Who knows why I keep posting these book reviews, since it seems hardly anyone reads them now except for me. Because I'm too lazy to write a separate post for each book review, I'm putting them all into one post. I liked reading each of them very much in their own right. Here's what I thought after reading them:

1~ Daniel X: Game Over, by James Patterson
This is book 4 in the Daniel X series. All the way back in April (whoa, does time fly or what?!), I read the first 3 books plus the graphic novel and liked them all well enough (see the review here). Game Over was a pretty good continuation of the series, and does quite well on it's own, I think. I mean, if I had forgotten any of the characters and adventures from the previous books (which I didn't), this does a good job of reminding me and bringing me up to speed.

Basically, the new mission of our titular hero, Daniel, is to take down these 2 aliens who are trying to destroy Earth by brainwashing our video game addicted youth into becoming violent and wiping out the human species. The story takes place in Japan, which in itself is quite awesome, and the evil duo disguise themselves as Japanese video game tycoons. Things are kept interesting when Daniel makes friends with the aliens' son, who doesn't seem to have inherited his parents' vicious ways.

A fast and satisfying read. What do you expect? It's James Patterson. ^_^

2~ Anatomy of a Boyfriend, by Daria Snadowski
Now this was an amazing romance novel, a refreshingly simple girl meets boy story that felt... real. Think Twilght, only there are no vampires and werewolves, and the heroine is a more likable, relatable and strong character. Yes, she has her faults, but she doesn't act stupid. The guy is really sweet, too. When you get to the bottom of it, it's a pure example of first love and how it (unfortunately) crumbles.

Really, in a nutshell, the story goes like this (sorry for the spoilers!):
  • Girl embarrasses herself in front of Boy

  • Girl and Boy hang out at a couple of parties

  • Girl finds herself thinking about Boy all the time

  • Girl and Boy kiss

  • Girl and Boy officially become a couple (dating and making out)

  • Girl goes to separate college than Boy and tries to keep a long distance relationship

  • Boy breaks up with Girl, because it's not working, and Girl takes it badly (VERY badly. It was actually kind of scary how she lost her temper like she did)

  • Girl moves on
For those hopeless romantics, like myself, this is a great read that I highly recommend.

3~ Boyfriends with Girlfriends, by Alex Sanchez
This book was extremely interesting to get into. I was browsing the shelves in my library and happened to come across this author, Alex Sanchez, who seems to have written a lot of stories about gay teenagers and their own romances. After reading this book, I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy the rest of Sanchez's works. This has a much more complicated story than Anatomy of a Boyfriend, which made for a half slighlty confusing, half incredibly intriguing read.

See, there are two pairs of friends, and all four of them gets a little of the story told from their point of view. There's the gay guy and his friend the straight girl, and then there's the bi-sexual guy and his friend the lesbian girl. Gay and Bi try to become a couple, though Gay finds it hard to accept that Bi really is bi, since he can't relate. Bi only recently broke up with his girlfriend, and he hasn't tried having a real relationship with a guy yet. Meanwhile, Straight girl and Lesbian become really good friends. Lesbian develops a crush on Straight girl, but she already has a boyfriend, so she's off-limits. However, Straight girl is questioning her relationship with her boyfriend and keeps thinking about Lesbian. She even dreams about kissing her! So maybe she's bi too?

I loved reading this book, because I got to read about interesting bisexual characters, in addition to gay and lesbian. I don't believe I've encountered a lot of bi characters in books or movies, so it was really educational for me. In the end, you really don't care what sexual orientation the characters are, because they are truly all unique personalities and have their own hopes and dreams besides who they are attracted to. (btw, I'm hoping that my referring to the characters just by their preference and not their names doesn't offend anyone. Their names were that forgettable. It's like my referring to Girl and Boy in Anatomy of a Boyfriend. It's just an easier way to identify the characters.)

I am definitely going to try and read more books like these.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Room, by Emma Donoghue

It sure looks as though I haven't been reading many books these days. Well, I did finish reading the old classic "Wuthering Heights", which took me weeks to read. But now I've finally got a fantastic book that is worth posting about. My favorite aunt, Lisa, recommended it to me. As soon as she told me about it, I looked it up on the iPad and downloaded a sample from the iBooks app. (I have discovered that reading samples is even better than borrowing from the library, because this lets me know whether a book is really worth reading or not! For example, I got to read a sample of "The Death Cure", by James Dashner, and it's not even out yet! It was just a few chapters, but it is awesome! I can't wait to read it for real!) After getting my first taste of "Room", I knew it was gold, so I reserved it from the library, and it came in surprisingly quick. Now I'm done with it.

What a great story! Told from the point of view of five-year-old Jack, it's the tale of a boy and his mother who have lived in the same small room all of his life. It's where he was born, and he has never been Outside, so all he knows are the things in Room. He addresses all the objects in the room as if they are his friends, like Bed, Wardrobe, Rocker, and TV. When he watches TV and sees all the wonderful shows, he believes that none of it is real, and everything outside of Room is Outer Space. The only real people in the entire world are him and his Ma. Except, perhaps, the mysterious and scary Old Nick, who brings them food and other important things and comes in at night sometimes...

It wasn't always like that. When Ma was nineteen, she got kidnapped by Old Nick and became trapped in Room. Seven years later, she is still in that room, and Jack has gotten so big that it is even more important that they find some way to escape. When she tells her son the entire truth, that there is a world out there, that all things from TV are actually real (except for Dora and Spongebob, of course), it is almost too much for young Jack to comprehend. Even scarier is when she proposes their escape plan, where he has to pretend that he's sick, so that Old Nick will take him Outside and Jack can run to a police and rescue Ma. It is the biggest thing Jack has ever had to do in his young life, but he does it, and the pages turn themselves as you race to find out what happens next.

I loved reading this, because it was so wildly original. The childish narration is incredibly charming with it's many grammatical errors, but you totally accept it, because after all, this is a kid telling the story. Also, this book started out with such a unique idea that really makes the reader stop and think, and look at the world a little differently. You don't come across books like that all the time. I say get your hands on this book right away and get ready to sink your teeth into an awesome story.