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review 2021-04-27 09:19
Hard Land von Benedict Wells
Hard Land - Benedict Wells

Wenn ein Autor ein Meisterwerk wie "Vom Ende der Einsamkeit" geschrieben hat, sind die Erwartungen an einen neuen Roman natürlich unermesslich hoch, vor allem, wenn er wieder viele Jahre an diesem Buch geschrieben hat. Daher war ich bei Hard Land anfangs ein wenig skeptisch. Die Geschichte spielt Anfang der Achtziger in einer Kleinstadt im amerikanischen Süden. Sam, ein Fünfzehnjähriger, schmächtiger Junge ohne Freunde, dafür mit einer todkranken Mutter, nimmt einen Ferienjob in einem alten Kino an. Schnell freundet er sich dort mit einer Gruppe Jugendlicher und erlebt den Sommer seines Lebens.
Das alles war mir zu Beginn der Buches ein wenig zu klischeehaft, erinnerte mich zu sehr an die Bücher von John Green (den Benedict Wells interessanterweise bei der Danksagung erwähnt), auch wenn ich diese sehr gerne lese. Erst ab der Mitte des Buches fand ich richtig Zugang zu den Charakteren und zur Geschichte.
Das Buch hatte es bei mir auch deswegen etwas schwer, da ich gleich im Anschluss "Der große Sommer" von Ewald Arenz gelesen habe, bei dem die Handlung teilweise sehr ähnlich ist, bei dem aber genau mein größter Kritikpunkt an Hard Land nicht vorhanden war: Warum konnte die Handlung von Hard Land nicht in Deutschland spielen? Ich bin mir nicht sicher, warum mich dieser Punkt so sehr stört, er hätte das Buch für mich aber vermutlich noch zugänglicher gemacht.
Ich kann Hard Land aber dennoch wärmstens empfehlen, es ist meiner Ansicht nach Wells' zweitbestes Buch. 4,5 Sterne, aufgerundet auf 5, da es mir noch besser gefällt als sein übriges Werk.

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review 2021-01-06 03:41
Cute
In the Penalty Box - Lynn Rush,Kelly Anne Blount

Willow just wants to work on her skating, what she has left of it.  The career adjusting injury has made her life something she never thought she would see.  Now she has been given a chance for something different. Does she have the guts?

 

Brodie is attracted to the amazing girl he does not want to like.  It seems mutual, but teenage attraction is never that simple.  When his teammates taunt him into hanging out with the good looking skater, he may get more than he bargained for.

 

This story was cute and charming, in a teen snarky kind of way.  I am not sure if I liked it at first, but I loved the honesty between the characters.  I was fully vested by the third chapter and I couldn't wait to read the end.  I give this a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by its publishers and Netgalley.

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review 2020-08-10 02:22
The Places We Sleep
The Places We Sleep - Caroline Brooks DuBois Twelve year old Abbey is starting the school year at a new school once again. This time she is in Tennessee and her school is farther from her father's Army base than usual. Abbey has also managed to make a friend in happy and athletic Camille. She might even make friends with the artistic and cool Jiman. Then, September 11, 2001 comes. Abbey wakes up with her first menstrual cycle along with the news that will change her life forever. Once the news hits, Abbey's mother rushes to New York, her sister Rebecca is missing. Abbey is left with her father, her new body and a new world to navigate. As time passes, Abbey's father is deployed, and kids change their opinion about her at school, all the while her body keeps on schedule, slowly marking the months. Uniquely written in narrative verse, The Places We Sleep beautifully captures the thoughts of a preteen experiencing the trauma of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The writing immediately took me back to that day that connected so many of us across the country in fear. Just like Abbey, the day has been cemented in my mind. The verse perfectly captures the raw emotion at the time paralleled with coming of age. Through Abbey's eyes there is a deep look at the grief, depression and confusion that defined the months following the attacks. Between Abbey's Aunt, parents, and classmates there is a wide cross section of representation of how people reacted and were effected by many aspects of 9/11. Abbey shows that while an event may seem defining, the support of friendship and love can help you through. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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review 2020-07-31 04:02
Tool of War - Paolo Bacigalupi

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Hardcover/owned

 

The drone circled high above the wreckage of war.

- first sentence

 

The third book set in the Drowned Cities universe brings us full circle by including characters from both previous books. It was great to see everything connected and to see Nailer back. I enjoyed the book, but Ship Breaker will always be my favorite from this universe. Tool is like the Terminator - he never gives up and almost can't be killed.

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review 2020-07-31 01:56
The Black Kids
The Black Kids - Christina Hammonds Reed

Ashley Bennett has lived a luxurious life in an upper class Los Angeles neighborhood.  However, as the school year winds down and a local man, Rodney King is murdered, Ashley is forced to reevaluate how she views herself and her peers. At first, Ashley the Rodney King murder is barely a blip on Ashley's radar, although after the verdict is delivered and the protests and riots begin, Ashley begins to see a difference in the way she and her family are treated.  She is not just any girl at her high school, she is one of the black kids. 

The Black Kids is so on point and perfectly written that I want everyone to read this book immediately.  Honest, poignant, and driven, the writing had me hooked from the beginning; it was eerie how the events of the very first chapter seemed to perfectly echo the current events of the USA.  I liked that Ashley's character was not the typical 'black kid' of the time and had to experience the consequences of the Rodney King murder to realize the truth of how her race effects her daily life.  Through Ashley's eyes I experienced the blatant racism and sexism that was as rampant in 1992 as it is now.  The prose also perfectly captured the wonders of being a teen along with the nostalgia of the early 1990's.  Ashley's journey  had great revelations about racism and the weight of representing her race in a white world, as well as understanding of poverty, friendship and growing up.  The consequences of the Rodney King verdict and the subsequent riots were a turning point in Ashley's view of herself and her life, opening up her eyes and my own to see just how long people of color have been vigilantly fighting against systemic racism in the USA and highlighting the cycle of racism, unjust killing, protest and unrest until we put a bandage on the current issue until we forget about what caused the previous issue.  The Black Kids is a must-read for everyone who wants to better understand the world we live in.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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