Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review: THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


I was hearing so much about this book (mostly from Janine!) before I read it. To be honest, though, it was this book trailer that finally got to me:
Cassie is on the run from “Them,” who are destroying all of humanity to make room for their own colonization of our planet.  They are carrying out their attack in waves.  The first wave, an electromagnetic pulse, makes the machines, upon which we rely so heavily, useless. The second wave consists of tsunamis that destroy all coastal lands. The third wave is a fatal disease spread by birds. With the fourth wave come the “Silencers,” alien consciousness that have been implanted into humans at their conception.  Cassie and her brother Sam have managed to survive all of these waves, and she is determined to reunite with him after he is taken from her during an attack. “Zombie” is also a survivor, one who, after his training in boot camp designed to turn him into an alien killer, has nearly forgotten who he was was before the first wave.  Their paths come to a surprising collision.

This book, if nothing else, was definitely a page-turner!  The suspense and twists and turns of the plot made me ignore mundane things like dishes and proper bedtimes in order to get to the next part.  It’s one of those novels that is just destined to become a movie… not just because of the current dystopian trend, but also because, with Yancey’s detail, you can visualize everything as you read.  This is another nice cross-over for YA and adult reading.  I’m not sure why it hasn’t caught on more than it has. I would expect that this might be the next “Hunger Games” phenomenon.  In my honest opinion, The 5th Wave certainly would merit the attention that the Hunger Games trilogy has, and I am itching to read the sequel, The Infinite Sea.

Book Review: A REALLY AWESOME MESS by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin


I had high hopes for this novel.  I mean, when the summary says that it is a little Recovery Road, a little Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, and a bit of Juno, my expectations are going to be high.

I liked the idea of the two authors writing in alternating points of view.  Both narrators have both landed themselves in Heartland Academy, a somewhat swanky mental hospital for teens.  Justin, still dealing with his parents’ divorce, gets caught in a compromising position with a girl, and takes a handful of Tylenol.  Emmy, adopted from China, has a hard time fitting in with her “perfect” family.  She is struggling with an eating disorder after a rather personal photo of her gets spread among classmates and Emmy threatens the boy who shared the photo.  Along with a diverse group of motley characters, they form an unlikely friendship that gives them support and leads to one fateful night of freedom.

Here is what preventing me from enjoying this book: the dialog.  One thing that drives me crazy is when young adult authors use a lot of slang or “dumb down” the language of teenagers.  I spend all day with teenagers, and they do not talk like this!  They are more intelligent and well-spoken than they are given credit.  I don’t think Justin or Emmy or any of the other characters were unintelligent, but they were written in such a way that made me cringe.




This was a display that I repeated from last year at the high school.  It takes a while for the kids to "get it," but it usually generates a few laughs, and this year, I had to replace 4 of the titles from the display due to check-outs, so that's always a good sign!

Post by Nicky

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Use in Case of Feels" Display

November 2014

Inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest, this display has earned the most comments from my students!  They love it, and it's been difficult to keep the display counter full.