Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fire--Kristen Cashore

This is the companion book to Graceling. It's not a sequel or even really a prequel but is set in the same universe. There is one overlapping character but it's not necessary to have read Graceling first. If you haven't read Graceling, you're missing out! Get on that.

Fire is a monster. The only thing that makes her a monster is that she has colorful hair and can read people's thoughts and control their minds. Her father was the same way and was power-hungry and cruel and ultimately perished. Determined to be different than her father, Fire, the last human monster, sacrifices everything she can to fix her father's wrongs and to be her own person.

Cashore has once again written a really strong female character. While this book was a little heavier on the romance than the action, it was still a great story. I would love to read a third book tying Fire and Graceling together.

Blog-note: I have 3 kids now (including a 5 month old baby). I'm no longer working as librarian at all. I still read but it's hard for me to find the time to blog about them. And when I do it's often well after I've read the books and when I am wicked tired and incoherent. Therefore this blog is just a pale version of what it once was. Sorry. But cut me some slack.

Punkzilla--Adam Rapp

Adam Rapp

I read this book ages ago. The details are fuzzy.

14 year old Jamie, aka Punkzilla, is AWOL from military school and on the road heading for his dying big brother. Told through a series of letters to his brother and other members of his family, the book shows Punkzilla's journey on the road, as well as his inner journey away from being a screw-up.

As is common in Rapp's other books (33 Snowfish), the subject matter and the language are raw and edgy. Punkzilla's trip is not an easy happy one--it is disturbing and gritty and nothing that a 14 year old should ever go through. The end of the book is not a nice sitcom ending, but it is somewhat hopeful that Jamie might actually have found a place he can belong.

I would definitely recommend it for older teen readers and not the younger tweens.

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