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text 2018-03-21 03:17
Reading progress update: I've read 339 out of 396 pages.
The Wrong Stars (Axiom) - Tim Pratt

can't quite finish it tonight, because I'm too tired after a long day. but there's tomorrow morning, to tackle the finale and clear the decks for Agatha Christie! overall I have enjoyed The Wrong Stars all the way through up to page 339, and hopefully I'm in for a rousing last bit...though I'm braced for a cliffhanger ending. shall keep my eyes open for Book Two.

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review 2018-03-20 23:48
Dear Martin -- my best YA read in recent memory
Dear Martin - Nic Stone





This is what I imagine Justyce, the MC, would do if asked to hold a sign about race early on.


There has been a stream of books about race and police brutality in the last few years. One could read nothing but books on the topic and still not keep up with the books available. What a great problem to have: too many books on important topics. Now if only these books were useless because the problem had been solved.


If one can "enjoy" a book like this, then I enjoyed Nic Stone's telling of tragedy story more than I've enjoyed almost any other. There are obvious comparisons both in other recent books but also to real cases in real America. Nic Stone writes for the young reader in a simple way that never is dumbed down or too basic. She has all the nuances and difficulties of her subject matter under command as she writes the story of Justyce and his friend Manny, two black kids at a liberal, elite school and the ways they handle casual, subtle, daily racialization, microaggressions, as well as the more obvious and deadly type.


The POV shifts between third person storytelling to Justyce's interior life to second-person letters/journaling to "Dear Martin" (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) Nic Stone makes excellent use of the "safe place" classroom, where the white students do all the talking on race while the black students sit uncomfortably or angrily by, but certainly don't feel "safe" on the topic of race, despite having a black teacher. There is confusion by the bundle for our protagonist, in the way his friends behave, the racial issues involved in dating, the always-difficult world of being a teenager. He takes refuge in writing honest letters to MLK, and it's here that he feels safe enough to say what he thinks. But can even Dr. King help Justyce when the world caves in?


This is, ultimately, an uplifting story with characters who grow in the face of extreme circumstances and stereotypes that threaten to keep them stuck. Well worth anyone's time.


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review 2018-03-20 18:46
The Celebration by Wanda E. Brunstetter
The Celebration - Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Celebration is enjoyable. I like that you get to meet all the families and it rotational. It not with only one family and I like that. I like how Wanda does that with this book and series.


I like Hedi Toyer and how we see how she has struggled. We alway see how she reaches out to other children and their parents along the way as she is trying to help her foster children adjust and get to know other children.


We meet the Velma and her family. We also see the other families and meet them. Will they all heal over this Amish food and cooking class. Then gain they may form friendships they did not know will happen.


The one thing I noticed that I wish was different was that it gave us more of the children point of view more. It was a cooking class for children. I was hoping that would let see the children point of view along with the parents point of view.


The plot is done well. Wanda Brunstetter as done herself well with this book. I know this is the third book in the series. I want to read the other two hopefully soon. I would recommend any of Wanda’s books to read. This is good. This one is unique to me and have yet to see and Amish author do it the way she as.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-celebration-by-wanda-e-brunstetter.html
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review 2018-03-20 17:45
Saga, Volumes 3 & 4 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga, Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples
Saga Volume 4 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples


These volumes are simply fabulous! They're fun, they're full of surprises, they're heartbreaking and they're timely. They may be taking place on different planets with different races of people, (and robots!) but the issues dealt with are all too real right here and right now on earth. 


Lastly, there's a creature called a Lying Cat. He basically goes around with you and tells you when anyone around you is lying. How helpful is that? VERY! I want one. 




I was able to request these copies from my local library. LIBRARIES RULE! 

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review 2018-03-20 17:25
Stephen King’s first book, a true classic: read the book where it all started!
Carrie (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) - Stephen King

I have FINALLY read ‘Carrie’, Stephen King’s first book. Yes, it was his FIRST book!
Reading a book when you already know the story so well (from the movie) is such a different experience than reading the book and then watching the movie, but it’s even more different when it’s one like this. I’ve seen ‘Carrie’ so many times because it’s one of my favorite horror films (not talking about any stupid remake, despite the fact I happen to have the book copy that is the remake movie tie-in. Remakes of good films are blasphemy). The original movie is perfection with Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek and when reading the book, is was VERY hard for me not to get their images out of my mind. It was brilliant casting, for a brilliant story.
When reading this pretty short book (it comes in at basically 300 pages, which is so short, when you compare it to the behemoths of IT and The Stand), you are transported to 1979 immediately by the language, the descriptions of the clothing, and even the comparative style of King’s writing. It’s kind of a treat and a bit of a time warp you are pulled into. It took a bit of getting used to, along with the way King uses different narrative styles; the reader is given reports of the main ‘incident’, as well as character accounts, and intersperses them into the main story. If you didn’t know the ending from seeing the movie, you would have a good idea about a lot of it from these accounts as you go through.
As for the dynamic between Carrie and her hellacious (sorry, have to say it) mother, the interactions are horrific and they make your blood boil and King has given all he can to make the dread and tension so vivid. By writing in Carrie’s ‘thoughts’ we get little peeks into what’s going on in her mind as her powers are getting stronger; you start rooting for the girl who is being bullied, dominated, threatened all her life. You just know that there is no other way for this story to end.
What is most interesting to me now is the contrast with what what acceptable in terms of what kids could get away with (in terms of bullying and hazing) at school, compared to now. That’s a whole other story.
Anyway, I’m glad I finally got to read it as part of a Litsy buddy read. I love the movie so much, and it’s amazing to think that this is where Stephen King’s book career started. With a short novel that had one of most memorable horror movies made out of it.
*Don’t ever bother with the remake though.

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