Short takes

Shamelessly stolen from my goodreads reviews, roughly in the order I read them. 🙂

Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
I’m deeply impressed that someone can write both this book and Antsy Does Time, with their very different voices. The thing that struck me most was how the story’s adults handled the notion of their children being “unwound” (disassembled so their parts can be given to others): with the exact same “don’t make a fuss” and “don’t be so difficult” attitude that adults give teens now whenever they act in ways the adults don’t like–as if, to the adults this is a small thing, not a matter of life and death at all, any more than anything else their children complain about could possibly be a matter of life or death. Creepy, that. I’m not sure I actually accept that unwinding became law in the first place. But the world that followed from this premise was so disturbing and thought provoking that I was willing to go with it to see where the story lead.

Bloodhound, by Tamora Pierce
More Tortall, more Beka Cooper … life is good. 🙂

The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson
Hard to talk about it without spoilers, but I loved this intensely personal story that dealt with much larger issues at the same time.

The Heart of a Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry
This gentle, beautifully written story of a boy determined to keep his family’s Oregon ranch running when his father goes off to serve in Iraq gets under your skin in all the best ways.

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Not a perfect book, but I didn’t care, because I was enjoying the ride and Katsa’s character (I love getting her thoughts and perspectives on things, and love that she keeps her rough edges) so much. A fun and absorbing read. And my, Katsa does not fall in love gently, does she? Loved that, too.

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson
An intense, powerful book that resists coming to any easy or quick answers in the end, and that brings out just how stubborn and distorting eating disorders are. I don’t know that I ever liked Lia, but I definitely understood her. And the depth of her obsessiveness felt as creepy to me as it did realistic.

Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks, by Lauren Myracle
I was a little worried about this one at first, because for much of the story I remained sympathetic with the protagonist–and unsympathetic toward nearly everyone else–even when the story was signaling to me that I was supposed to be a little more in-between about everyone. But in the end I think the story pulled it off. And, more to the point, this book has one of the realer portrayals of sibling relationships that I’ve seen in fiction, and that alone made the book worth reading for me.

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