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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brief reviews

Another round of brief reviews.  This might become a regular thing.  Being out of practice, I'm not sure if I can write full reviews anymore ... scary!!

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, YA, 1995, c1967, 188p, rating=3.5
read:  10/23/10

Impressive book written by a 16yo.  That said, the language had that affect of a young, unpolished, budding, storyteller.  Even so, she was able to capture the inside track to the psyche of rivaling teenage 'gangs' ... or better yet, just plain ol' teenagers ...duh, 'cause she's a teenager.

Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch, AF, 2010, 279p, rating=2
read: 10/27/10

Beautiful cover (hold on.. something mysterious, fearful is coming) that had me snatching the book!   But that's about the best part of the book!  The plot sounded intriguing... Hannah, girl at 11yo looses her dad (declared dead but no body), 24yrs later she still believes her dad's alive and seeks to find out the truth, and in-between she lead a messed up life.  Hence, the rated PG13 language and content.  She was wishy-washy protagonist and I think she was suppose to get it all together in the end but I don't think she did.  The book didn't give me the Southern kind of book feel at all either.  I do like the side story of her gay brother Palmer and his lover Tom ...a more substantial story there.

Blockade Billy, by Stephen King, AF, 2010, 112p, rating=4
read:  10/28/10

What a fun find.  I'm no sports freak so I'm surprised I picked this up even though it's a short book.  OK, maybe that's why I picked it up'd be a quick read, something to make me feel accomplished at finishing a book!  Anyway, this novella got me asking, Holy s*it was there really a Blockade Billy who played for the New Jersey Titans and the baseball community really erased that team in history because ...?  Wow, what a story!  ~I've been avoiding Stephen King books because he equates scary stories to me and I don't do scary well.  Although this had a gory ending, it was not the scary gory kind at all and might have eased me into looking into King's other books.

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, YR, 2001, 212p, rating=5
read:  10/19/10

A memorable, charming book.  I enjoyed the story of the down-to-earth characters of Juli and Bryce.  Van Draanen brought back to life the wonderful feeling of young innocence, love, friendship, and family.  I love a book that showcase the perspective of flight as well.  The warmth of being up high enough to see the beauty of the earth, demonstrated by what Juli sees and feels while up on her sycamore tree.  A metaphor of inviting us to lift ourselves up and enjoy the greatness of life around us.  More than becoming aware of physical wonderment that surrounds us, this book also captures the beauty and ugliness in people.  All the supporting characters where fabulous in validating this.  Overall, just chuck-full of warm fuzzy feeling of a read.


  1. Having no interest in sports, I've never attempted Blockade Billy, but am always interested in knowing what people thought of it. Thanks for that!

  2. I was amazed at The Outsiders, which is a Grade 8 reading staple in my area, and not only did I read at that point, but have taught at that point as well. It's great to see how many teens like reading it as it's so difficult to find books they like. Have a great Hallowe'en weekend :)

  3. I love these short reviews! I might have to check out Blockade Billy. I'd never even heard of it before, but it sounds really interesting, and it's been a long time since I've read Steven King.


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