Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Perfect Chemistry Review

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Genre: Fiction

Summary:When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel
before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

My Review:
I finished this book the day I got it! My friend told me to read it and the second it got in my
hands I wouldn't let it go. I love the Latino attitude in the story and life of it. I liked that it opened my eyes to what really is going on in a Latino family living basically on the streets. Alex Fuentes has such an awesome sense of humor. I was laughing the whole time. The point of view with Brittany also opened my eyes that not all stuck up cheerleaders at high school are all evil. Most of them have a reason to it! I loved the chemistry and flirtatiousness in the book. Although there are many vulgar words in the book, all in all I really liked it. I do not recommend to the guys to ever speak to a young lady the way the Latinos were hitting on the girls, keep in mind that if you do, then you wont get girls! Hahaha, this book really caught my attention and I cant wait to read the sequel!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Book Thief Review

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Pages: 549 (paperback)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary from Goodreads: It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

My Reaction:

Liesel Meminger’s life was never quite the same, after her mother leaves her, and her brother dies. She seeks refuge, though she finds it in the most peculiar of places: books.

She resorts to anything and everything to get her hands on a book—though only books that she feels fair to steal. There is honor among thieves. Doing everything from snatching a burning book from a fire, to reading the waterlogged pages of a book retrieved from a river, she reads. Words come quickly to her, as she practices with her foster father, Hans Hubberman nightly, to chase away the nightmares of her past.

One of the best things about this book is the highly unusual narrator, Death. Now, many people don’t often think of death as a person, more of an event, that we like to avoid. But the author, Markus Zusak, puts an omnipresent face and voice to this event, giving it life. It was a daring move, undoubtedly, to make Death your narrator in 1942 Germany, but he pulled it off spectacularly.

My favorite thing about this book is how the author never watered things down, or made the tragic events that took place sound not-so-bad. He tells it just how it was. He shows you, with words, just how awful it was, though his dark, oftentimes tragic, humor carries you through to the haunting end. He also shows you, just how powerful a book can be.

The Book Thief is a great read for anyone of the young adult age and up. I would suggest it to anyone and everyone with a passion for reading. I won’t lie to you though, I cried. So, may this recommendation come with a warning, you will laugh, and you will cry. You will feel the burden, and the relief. You will be haunted, and amazed.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Born Wicked

Born Wicked
by Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: February 7, 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
Cate Cahill and her sisters are considered eccentric bluestockings—a little odd, a little unfashionable, and far too educated for their own good. The truth is more complicated; they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it could mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. Before their mother died, she entrusted Cate with keeping them safe and keeping everyone, including their father, in the dark about their powers. When her father employs a governess and Cate begins to receive notes from her missing, presumed-mad godmother, her task becomes much more difficult. As Cate searches for answers in banned books and rebellious new friends, she must juggle unwanted proposals, tea parties, and an illicit attraction to the new gardener. Cate will do anything to protect her sisters, but at what cost to herself?

Why I'm Excited:
Um, did you see the cover? No, seriously. Look at how GORGEOUS it is! I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's The summary looks pretty interesting too--hopefully it won't be a super dark/creepy book (since I have a very low tolerance for scary things.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vaccine Review

Title: Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver
Author: Arthur Allen
Pages: 554
Genre: Historical Nonfiction
Published: 2008
From Amazon:

Vaccines are one of the most important and controversial achievements in public health. Washington-based journalist Allen explores in depth this dark horse of medicine from the first instances of doctors saving patients from smallpox by infecting them with it to the current controversy over vaccinating preteen girls against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. One thing becomes very clear: fear of vaccination is not a recent problem. In colonial America, inoculations against smallpox were seen by many as a means of deflecting the will of God. In the 20th century, the triumphs of the Salk polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox may actually have led to current antivaccination movements: "as infe ctious diseases disappeared, in part thanks to vaccines, the risks of vaccination itself were thrown into relief." Allen's comprehensive, often unexpected and intelligently told history illuminates the complexity of a public health policy that may put the individual at risk but will save the community. This book leaves the reader with a sense of awe at all that vaccination has accomplished and trepidation over the future of the vaccine industry.

My Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed it’s enthralling description of the development of vaccines, the straightforward and unpretentious manner it put forward the information and the neutral manner that it told of the misguided attempts to ban vaccines as a public health risk. The only problem with this book was that the author was, rather unfortunately, too neutral in his approach. I apologize, but if an individual claims that the smallpox vaccine causes more deaths than smallpox itself, I am going to voice my opinion that this individual never reproduce and be locked up in a mental asylum for the remainder of their days. Individuals who oppose vaccination are threats to public health, pure and simple. These individuals fail to understand that Public Health will always regard the needs of the many over the needs of the few, if a highly virulent disease is set to kill thousands of people and a dozen or so have a bad reaction to the vaccine and die, then that is life and to do otherwise would be highly irresponsible. At the same time however, I admire Mr. Allen for keeping his opinions to himself on a topic I would be hopelessly enraged over. I highly recommend this book, for its entertainment value just as much for its informative value.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Son of Neptune*

Title: Son Of Neptune

Author: Rick Riordan

Release Date: October 4, 2011

Goodreads Summary:

In The Lost Hero, three demigods named Jason, Piper, and Leo made their first visit to Camp Half-Blood, where they inherited a quest:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,

To storm or fire the world must fall.

An oath to keep with a final breath,

And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Who are the other four mentioned in the prophesy? The answer may lie in another camp miles away, where a new camper has shown up and appears to be the son of Neptune, god of the sea. . .

Why I’m Excited

Student #1: I absolutely love Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This series picks up where they left off, and when the first one came out I was ecstatic. It was easy to get into and hard to put down. The plot was thick and entertaining and the characters likable. I can’t wait to read this next installment in the series. The Lost Hero left us with a pretty big cliffhanger and I can’t wait to hear what happens next. If it is half as good as The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune will be well worth the wait.

Student #2: I am so excited for this book to come out! The other book, which was amazing, left off at a cliffhanger. I want to know what is going to happen! It has been driving me insane this entire time. I do not want to wait until October 11. It is going to be amazing. The plot is mind twisting, and the entire time I was wanting to know what happened to my favorite character, and when I find out what happened to him it is the very last sentence of the book! Rick Riordan is so cruel to leave the reader hanging on a thread. I want the next book!

Student #3: I am so excited for this book to come out! I read the first one in this new series, thinking that it would be awful because it’s a continuation of the Percy Jackson series but with different characters. Those types of books usually turn out to be a disaster, but that was not the case with The Lost Hero. I loved it! I could barely put it down! I could only take breaks from it when I was too tired to keep my eyes open any longer...other than that, the book was pretty much glued to my hand. Needless to say, the same will be happening with this book...if I can survive the long and seemingly endless months until it’s released.