Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
When I started this book, I had no idea what it was about. I just picked it up because it was short. (Don't judge me).
But, by page 32, I decided that the main character, Sophie Blue was my hero.
By page 83, I wanted to throw the book across the room.
Fade to Blue does not adhere to ordinary conventions of literature. Things that were true, or rather seemed true on one page are proved wrong (but only maybe) on the next. The characters are all caricatures, all distinct yet unbelievable. The plot had so many twists that this reader still isn't entirely sure what happened.
Here at Reader Rabbit: A Book Site, we have varying review standards. But, normally, we at least attempt to maintain a standard format by providing our readers with a summary of the novel. With this book, I feel like a summary would ruin the book for you. Instead let's just say that the novel includes a kickass Goth heroine, much sarcasm, a stalking, yes, stalking Popsicle Truck, and zombies. And, then there's a bizarre incident concerning the afterlife. Yes, there is much variety in this book and I say that with the best intentions possible.
The main drawback of the novel is that the plot does not make a whole lot of sense. (Which, admittedly sounds like a bit of an issue. )But all the weirdness and constant twists are made readable because Sean Beaudoin is able to take the reader into a well, virtual reality of his own. Weirdness and just plain bizarreness abounds but it's all acceptable partly because life can be weird and partly because the book is so aware (and mocking) of the utter absurdity. Just when you think you've finally figured out what's going on, something else strange happens, throwing you completely off track. The strangeness is made acceptable because it's funny. Sean Beaudoin's metaphors are particularly unique and funny. Another aspect of the novel that makes it endearing is the main character Sophie Blue. She's alternately sarcastic, confused, (possibly) out of her mind but always entertaining. Fade to Blue is unique. Having read so many YA books, it's always a surprise to read a book that so completely surprises and awes me. This also makes it completely unforgettable, and I can only hope to read more from this author.
The blurb on the back of the ARC says that Fade to Blue will keep "readers guessing until the last paragraph." That's a complete lie. Fade to Blue is the kind of novel which keeps readers guessing (and wanting to) long after the last paragraph.
RR1 + RR2
Friday, January 1, 2010
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
(We're back! And, with regular reviews, I promise.)
The accidental murder of Henry's brother shocks the town of Blythbury-by-the-Sea, especially as it was done by one of them. Chay Chouan is the accused murderer-and a Cambodian immigrant. As the already barely manageable racial tensions elevate, Henry finds himself caught between conflicting ideas. So, he decides to climb Mt. Katahdin , as he had planned with his brother before his death, hoping that it will solve his confusion. But, he's planning on going up alone. Fortunately for him, his best friend, Sanborn and the recently-adopted stray, Black Dog (in case you're wondering, yes, it's a dog, and yes, it's black-originality, right?) come along with him. What he hadn't bargained for is the company of the very same man who seems to have caused all the trouble-Chay Chouan.
Trouble is a beautiful book-in writing, in story and in characters. Gary D. Schmidt wove a truly seamless tale of growing up, and with so much skill that it all seemed effortless. The story, itself, is realistic and unsentimental yet completely captivating. Although the book covers the serious issues such as racism and loss-and does so with originality and depth- it also possesses a huge amount of humour. There were many, many moments when this book had me laughing out loud especially at the interactions between Henry and his best friend, which seemed so true of all good friendships. Schmidt easily juggles the multiple plots and characters. And, despite the complexity of the story, the characters never lose out, each of them seeming fully real. Henry's growth throughout the book, in particular, was very believable. As the story proceeds, Henry is not only forced to deal with the death of his brother but also confront the idealized image he had of him.
This was my second time rereading Trouble and yet, it remains one of the most satisfying books I have ever read.