Monday, May 18, 2009

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin wrote ELSEWHERE, which was on summer reading two years ago. She follows it up with this story of a girl who comes out of a coma after hitting her head to find that she remembers nothing of the last two years. I was surprised at how serious this book was. It is an interesting look at a girl who is given the opportunity to have a do-over and choose to make changes in relationships and situations that normally people would feel that they had no choice but to continue on with.

I like books about starting over. I don't know any other amnesia books, but HOW NOT TO BE POPULAR by Jennifer Ziegler is about a girl who is constantly moving to new towns because her parents are constantly starting over. She decides not to even try to make friends in her new home because she is tired of having to leave them behind.

KEEPING THE MOON is about a girl who leaves her demanding mother to go live with her laid back aunt and finds that other people's opinions of her don't really matter.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

HERO by Perry Moore

To liven up the book blogging experience I chose a random picture from by "books to blog" file and it happens to be the one I am re-reading!

I read HERO last spring and I really liked it. I remember being surprised that I was so caught up in a superhero story. I was also surprised that the the "coming out story" part of the book was handled so delicately. I was hazy on the details of the book since I read it more than a year ago and I am pleased that I am enjoying it just as much as I did the first time. It is funny and sensative and full of action. Quite the combo-plate!

This is the story of Thom Creed who is the teenaged son of disgraced superhero "Major Might". His father, who has no powers, but fought crime out of a strong sense of justice, hates people with powers. When Thom realizes that he has powers (and they are gooooooood powers) and when he is invited to try out for the League of Justice, the same people who booted his father, he knows that he is going to have to lie to his father about more than his growing belief that he is gay.

I like superhero comics, but haven't been a huge reader of superhero books. There is a new title out that looks good to me, and that I just ordered called SUPERPOWERS by David J. Schwartz that looks pretty good. If it is the gay angle that interests you, there is a fantastic book called FREAK SHOW by James St. James that was the first runner up for the "gay-friendly" summer reading title. I just loved it. It is almost the opposit of HERO in that our hero is a urban drag-princess who is moved to the Bible belt and has to deal with people who don't understand the magnitude of his powers. It is sweet and hysterically funny and really much tamer than it sounds!

The World Without Us

This book is the story of a bad break up. The players in the relationship are Humanity and Earth. Humanity had been mistreating Earth for awhile, and all Earth's friends are like, "You need to break up with Humanity, Humanity's no good for you! Humanity takes you for granted, you could do so much better!" And Earth was like, "Humanity has been here for so long and I just know Humanity is going to change! You don't know Humanity like I do." And Earth's friends were like, "Little Planet, you need to just think about what your life would be like without Humanity. Would you be better off?" And then we have Weisman's book.

If you have watched any of those discovery channel shows you have seen the science in this book. The writing is interesting and the different illustrations of how scientists have come to these conclusions are illuminating.

I have grown fond of science fiction, but I am not a big reader of science non-fiction. A couple of science books that have slipped through my pleasure reading radar are STIFF by Mary Roach, the story of what happens to our bodies when we die, and FLU: THE STORY OF THE GREAT INFLUENZA PANDEMIC by Gina Kolata. It occurs to me that all of these books involve humanity expiring, and I just want to point out that I do like humans and I don't want them to cease to be! It is just interesting to read about!