Defect by Will Weaver
A blog for the members of the 2008 MLA Thumbs Up! Award Committee to discuss the books we are considering.
Oppel presents an anthropomorphic evolution experience of two mammal species during the twilight of dinosaurs. Dusk is a chiropter (early bat) newborn who defies his colony by flying not just gliding.
I'm over 100 pages in, not much has happened and I'm having a hard time keeping all of the characters straight - there seems to be an abundance of them. So I'm giving up and calling it a NAY.
Chronicles the life of a young teen during his first year at boarding school; takes place in Africa in 1990 - apartheid is ending; a lot of hazing of the first years at the school. NAY for me. I didn't feel the storyline had enough structure; characters were flat.
Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes readers of all ages on a rowdy boarding school romp full of illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in total hysterics and thirsty for more.Winner of South Africa’s Booksellers’ Choice Award 2006
I really enjoyed this book. Takes place in the sixties - a coming of age / identity story. It wasn't very predictable, it was realistic (although that's easy for me to say, not having been around in the 60's). YAY.
I like to think an author knows his own work. In the preface, MacHale advises the reader twice to start at book one in the series (and presumably read two through seven too) before reading book eight. Then he has the main character say the same thing again on page 4.
Merilee leads a Very Ordered Existence. V.O.E., for short.
Her schedule (which must not be altered) includes, among other entries:
The V.O.E. is all about precision.
Merilee does not have time for Biswick O’Connor.
Merilee does not have time for Miss Veraleen Holliday.
He with his annoying factoids and runny nose. She with her shining white shoes as big as sailboats. Both of them strangers who, like the hot desert wind that brings only bad news, blow into town and change everything.
(jacket flap description)
Bliss is your average dying-to-be-punk teen in a hick town in Texas, who spends her days shoplifting at Wal-Mart with her Arab-American BFF Pash, and loathing her beauty pageant-crazy mom. But Bliss finds a new reason for existence when Pash gets a car: roller derby. On their first illegal foray into Austin to see The Lone Star Derby Girls, Bliss is recruited to join the team. There are moments of awesome in the book, but the constant quirky dialog can be a bit waring, and the outcome is all very predicable. Not a bad book, but not an award-winner. NAY.
A Gypsy teen named Freedom gets caught up in an underground fighting world complete with arch villain, zombie-like fighters, and beautiful women. It reads like a Brit noir thriller, and I'm really enjoying it. Probably not award worthy, but a fun read I would recommend to Artemis Fowl lovers. Freedom's not a genius, but he's strong, smart, and he's fun to root for. NAY.
I will start off by saying that I have been searching for queer novels a lot lately, after I discovered by library's collection of teen lit for questioning teenage boys was non-existent. So I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice fresh crop of such books in 2007, and this one is currently at the top of my list because its not focused on coming out, its all about being a lonely, smart, sad teenager who makes bad decisions that won't ruin life, but certainly complicate it.