Monday, September 20, 2010

Mini-Reviews

These are some books I've read that I didn't end up with enough notes to do full reviews, so... enjoy these fun-sized reviews!

Swim the Fly by Dan Calame

Published: April 14th, 2009 by Candlewick Press
Genre: YA contemporary
Page Count: 345 in my copy
Binding: Hardcover
Part of a series? Yes! I just found out that the sequel, Beat the Band, came out a couple days ago.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time — quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date.

But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt's other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team.

Review: This one cracked. me. up. Fifteen year old boys are SO weird. Matt and his friends are utter losers, but I liked them anyways. The things their brains come up with were just hilarious. Matt's family was insane, and so interesting, and I said a good three times in my notes, "Boys are so weird," about his friends. I didn't stop laughing the whole time I read it and I think my cousin (he's a year younger than me) would love this one. I want to buy the paperback for him for Christmas and I really want the sequel. This is one for older readers, but boys would love it. I did have a few small issues where some things didn't seem like they were explored enough, but I think that they might be resolved in the sequal.

Four out of five roses.


How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

Published: September 16th, 2008 by Candlewick Press
Genre: YA fantasy
Page Count: 307 in my copy
Binding: ARC (I won it in a contest, this isn't an insanely late reviewed review book)
Part of a series? I believe it is a standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): If you lived in a world where everyone had a personal fairy, what kind would you want?
  • A clothes-shopping fairy (The perfect outfit will always be on sale!)
  • A loose-change fairy (Pretty self-explanatory.)
  • A never-getting-caught fairy (You can get away with anything...)
Unfortunately for Charlie, she's stuck with a parking fairy—if she's in the car, the driver will find the perfect parking spot. Tired of being treated like a personal parking pass, Charlie devises a plan to ditch her fairy for a more useful model. At first, teaming up with her archenemy (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy) seems like a good idea. But Charlie soon learns there are consequences for messing with fairies—and she will have to resort to extraordinary measures to set things right again.

Review: I read this one when I was in a mood for a happy book and it was a perfect book to read after a few darker, more intense book. Not that it was fluffy, because it certainly had substance, but it was very funny. Charlie was perfectly fourteen and it was believable that she was fourteen, not like sometimes when you read a book and the character sounds so much older than they actually are. And the voice was really unique. You know how some books, like those from the UK sometimes have an accent in a way? This one had a New Avalon accent. I really liked this one and very much recommend it.

Four out of five roses.


Other notes:

- According to this, fairies are afraid of the dark, dirt, and carrots.

Flush by Carl Hiaasen

Published: September 13th, 2005 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: MG contemporary fiction
Page Count: 263 in my copy
Binding: Hardcover
Part of a series? I believe it is a standalone.
Amazon link.

Summary (from the dust jacket): Noah's dad has a little problem with anger control. He tried to stop the Coral Queen casino boat's illegal dumping... by sinking the boat.

But his bold protest fizzles: Within days the casino is back in business, and Noah's dad is behind bars and out of action.

Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. But even though pumping raw sewage into the waters of the Florida Keys is both gross and against the law, turns out it's near impossible to catch the flusher - especially when he's already bamboozled the prosecutors, the local press, and even the Coast Guard.

But Noah's got a few allies of his own. There's his little sister, Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a half-soused ex-mate of the Coral Queen who is willing to testify... for a price; and Shelly, a bighearted bartender with even bigger biceps.

Okay, so the odds aren't good. But Noah has an ace up his sleeve - a plan so crazy it just might stop the polluting, save the beaches, and prove to the world that it's the owner of the Coral Queen, and not his dad, who is full of... crud.

Review: I read Hoot a few years ago and loved it (also like the movie - not as good as the book, but I'm easily pleased) and Flush is just as good. The characters are great, strong characters. Two parents, which even though one isn't always the best role model, isn't always something you see in MG books. I really loved the mother, I thought she was a great character, and Noah was very fun to read about. I always enjoy books told from a boy's perspective, and a twelve or thirteen year old boy's perspective is especially cute. There are a couple of curse words (four, to be exact) but no really the bad ones.

ALSO four out of five roses!



Other notes:

- There's one page where the author mentions, "Moose Lick, Saskatchewan." That made me giggle because it's actually Moose Jaw.

Okay, so, that's everything!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

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