Friday, July 31, 2009

July Mini-Reviews

At the end of each month I like to include a post with mini-reviews, focusing on books I've read that I don't have all that much to say about. Either they've already been written up a million times and I want to spare my readers another synopsis on plot or I wasn't overly impressed with the book and therefore, don't have a whole lot to say about the book in general. Enjoy!

A Certain Strain of Peculiar by Gigi Amateau is a young adult book that I just could not seem to get into. I tried, I really did, but the main character and the supporting characters didn't grab me and the whole plot was just slow, slow, slow.

After being bullied and harassed at her new school, 13 year old Mary steals her mother's truck and drives back home to Alabama to live with her grandmother. Over time, Mary learns the right way to deal with her issues, with some help from the older woman and a few unconventional supporting characters.

I was a bit bored by the slowness of the plot, but the other reviews I've read have been fairly good.

A Certain Strain of Peculiar
Gigi Amateau
272 pages
Young Adult
April 2009

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo, is definitely one of those titles that's been written up a million times, all with raving reviews. Well, I'm not going to bore you with another plot description, but I will say I absolutely loved the charming story and could probably read it over and over again, without getting bored. I can't believe I hadn't read it until now!

Edward, though an unconventional main character, is brilliant, lovely, and heartwarming, and each of his stops on the long journey of his life adds something to the character. An absolutely wonderful book for a read aloud with your children. Grab jammies, hot cocoa, and blankets and get ready for a beautiful story.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Kate DiCamillo
228 pages
Middle Grade
February 2006

Gone by Michael Grant reminded me of something, though I can't quite put my finger on it. Lord of the Flies, yes...and something else I can't pinpoint. Everyone over the age of 15 disappears, leaving kids to fend for themselves, along with weird, mutating animals (and some pretty freaky powers for the kids as well).

A good read for both young adult boys and girls, filled with action and adventure, extremely thrilling in some parts, though quite a bit of violence is involved, as well as some death. Definitely for the young adults, but I can see this being a very popular book. I would have liked it to be about 100 pages shorter though, there was quite a few scenes I thought slightly unnecessary to the overall plot.

The sequel, Hunger, came out in May.

Michael Grant
576 pages
Young Adult
Katherine Tegan Books
June 2008

To learn more about any of these titles, or to purchase, click on the book covers above to link to Amazon.


Jennifer said...

Gone reminded me of The Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson. Always get a lot of stumpers for that...

carolinestarr said...

I didn't enjoy Edward Tulane. I tried but couldn't muster up any affection for him.

Amanda said...

Yeah, I don't think I've heard of that one Jennifer. I'll have to check it out.

CarolineStarr, I must say, you're the first I've heard say they didn't like that book, but I'm often the one that doesn't like something everyone else loves!