Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dear Life, You Suck

Dear Life, You Suck, written by Scott Blagden is a book about a teenage boy, Cricket Cherpin, who lives in a Boy’s Foster Home for 8 years. He had to go live there from 9 years old because his parents were doing drugs, and didn’t take good care of him. Cricket always gets into trouble at the Home because he is always trying to protect the younger kids at the Home that he lives with. Cricket will be turning 18, and he now needs to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. His future doesn’t look good at all, but he is trying to get past the negative and think about becoming an adult in the real world. 

I liked the book, but I also did not like the book at the same time. I liked it because it was very realistic and sad at the same time. It was nice to see how even though Cricket felt like his life was a waste, the relationship he develops with Wyonna, a girl he meets, made him feel better about himself. It makes me realize that you just need one person to care about you to make you feel better about yourself and realize that life is not so bad! What I didn’t like about this book is that it used curse words and talked a lot about drugs. That was the one part that I didn’t like. 

I would recommend this book to teenagers. I think teenage boys would like it the most, because they could better relate to Cricket that a teenage girl could. They may feel that they are going through some of the same feelings and have felt some of what Cricket has too. I would not recommend it to kids younger than 12 because it uses some language that is not appropriate for all ages!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spy Ski School, by Stuart Gibbs

Spy Ski School by Stuart Gibbs is the fourth book in the Spy School Series. In the book, Ben Ripley (the main character) and his friends at spy school get to embark on a top secret mission in the Colorado Rockies. In the previous books, Ben has had more spy activity than most retired spies and this time he is getting to go on a mission he actually knows about. It is Operation Snow Bunny: Thwart Leo Shang’s illegal activity by getting close to Shang’s daughter. 

The team is made up of Ben Ripley, Chip Schacter, Hank Schacter, Jawaharlal O’Shea, Warren Reeves, Zoe Zibbell, and Erica Hale. Ben is the magnet; trying to become friends with Jessica Shang. With this whole mission causing Ben to go under a lot of pressure, he also has to worry about the big, serious guards protecting Jessica Shang, skiing (because it is his first time skiing), other people trying to butt in, and avalanches. 

Also I should mention the bombs, helicopters, heli-skiing, gun-battles, fireballs, freezing ice, and near-death experiences. This is a great book that I would give five stars. I would recommend this book for boys, ages 8-14. If you want a James Bond Spy book, this is a perfect book for you!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Life in a Fish Bowl, by Len Vlahos

In Life in a Fishbowl, by Len Vlahos, Jackie Stone is only fifteen when she sees that her world is starting to fall apart as her father dies of a brain tumor. Unfortunately, the rest of the world gets to see this too. In an desperate attempt to save his family from financial debt, Jackie’s father ingeniously auctions his life off to an executive producer, who decides to make a reality television show about his life. The excessive drama added to the show only exacerbates the tension in the household and proceeds to tear the Stones’ apart; the mother isolates herself whereas Jackie’s sister overindulges in the newfound limelight. 

Infuriated by the show due to the lack of privacy and creation of more family conflicts, Jackie is willing to do anything to end the show and give the Stones’ their lives back. This book is very fast paced and a relatively quick read. I really enjoyed this novel because it focused on the concept of reality shows and how far they will go to make an adversity appealing to the audience; it can be closely compared to the way some shows are currently produced. I also enjoyed the novel because it provided multiple points of views. All the characters were so complex and reacted to the situation differently. 

Although it was slightly confusing at first, giving the father’s tumor a point of view was unique. While it was intriguing to see how each character fit into the same story, it took my focus away from Jackie, who is supposed to be the protagonist. Overall, this was still a page-turner for me. I would recommend this novel to in juniors or seniors in high school primarily because there are some mature subjects discussed throughout it.