Monday: What I’m Reading Now 3/12/17

My Spring Break’s over! I did not get around to getting my driver’s license because I had homework to do over the break, a paper and a review for a test today. Yeah, one of my teachers for real scheduled a massive test the first day back.disney sad crying pixar sadness

I watched Suicide Squad on DVD last week. On a scale of 1-10, I gave it a 6. It had its admirable moments but nothing I would watch again. The ending was too anticlimactic. I liked Diablo and Amanda Waller the most (Deadshot was fine but I felt like Will Smith was just acting as himself). Killer Croc and his dialogue disappointed me and made me roll my eyes.

Anyway, this is what ya girl’s reading!

What I’m reading now:

106134 Bone: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith:

So far, I have read 0 pages of Bone. I have seen this book a bunch of times at my local library, but I have always ignored it. I enjoy graphic novels a lot, so I finally decided to read it. My expectations for this book are average, neither high or low.

What I Read Last Week:

A bigger selection than usual because I had free time.

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Newsprints by Ru Xu:

This was a fun read. You can read my review of it for my full thoughts.

 

 

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Caveboy Dave by Aaron Reynolds:

A gross but charming book that has me ready for a sequel. I gave a mini review.

 

 

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Goldie Vance by Hope Larson:

The artwork was wonderful! A couple surprises here and there as well.

 

 

 

Trayarus and the Enchanted Crystal by Dan TDM (Dan Middleton):

30256121I could not get into this book. It was a graphic novel, had pigs, and an overall cartoony style. But, I did not like the characters and I got so bored I skimmed through the pages. I think this might be a great book for someone else, but for me, it was not fun.

 

 

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Hackerteen by Marcelo Marques:

Overall, a meh book. Full review here.

 

 

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Kidlit version hosted by Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen of Teach Mentor Texts; original version hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

 

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Book Review #10: Newsprints

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Graphic novels are a huge love of mine, so Newsprints was a guaranteed read.

STORY:

Newsprints by Ru Xu (208 pg) introduced Blue, a young orphan girl, who working as a newsboy got offered an apprenticeship with the eccentric inventor, Jack. From meeting Jack, many opportunities opened for her, and she later encountered a woman, Jill, and a strange boy named Crow. Throughout the discovery of new people and the bustle of newspapers, Blue worried how her orphan brothers/friends would treat her if they knew her true gender.

I enjoyed reading this story. It started a bit slow but once the momentum quickened and Hector, the oldest orphan boy, arrived I was hooked. I did wonder where the story was set, I thought it was in a fictional 19th century.

Honestly, I spent a bunch of time just marveling at the art.

CHARACTERS:

Blue is not particularly exciting but she is likable, not annoying and sweet.

Crow has too much cuteness inside him, and I adore him immensely. He is a free spirit and just wants to play with birds. Where his strong dislike of adults stemmed from was interesting to learn. He’s stylish with his poofy red scarf too.

Hector, an aspiring news reporter, is desperate for a groundbreaking story and he thinks Blue can help him find it. He is a super cool “big brother type.” Although he is near twenty, he is still quite childish.

The side characters are wonderful, each one is unique. Hector, Jill, and Crow are equally all my favorites. Hector is just a bit higher in my favorite poll, though.

ART:

Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous art. Xu’s color direction is visually-pleasing. The white highlights mesh well with the artwork. Her style is sleek, bright, and colorful, and her characters are expressive.

OVERALL:

A fun read for any age. I am not sure if this is a stand-alone book or not, but I would read a sequel if there was one.

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Hidden Gem: Caveboy Dave

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Mini Review!

Caveboy Dave by Aaron Reynolds and Phil McAndrew (239 pg) is a pleasant surprise rampant with gross-out and clever humor. Even though its audience is children, it does not treat them as if they are stupid. I had not expected much from this book, but it has earned a new fan. Dave is a loveable but, of course, misunderstood inventor, who comes from a long-line of cavemen inventors. During the caveman equivalent of a coming-of-age ceremony, he tries to find himself and not get killed. I enjoyed the cast of characters and actually laughed a few times. I will be reading the sequel!

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Book Review#9: Hackerteen: Internet Blackout

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Hackerteen: Internet Blackout by Marcelo Marques (112 pages) read like an educational cartoon such as the ones with a measly ten minutes of a fun plot then twenty minutes of stuff you are supposed to learn.

STORY:

Yago was a boy too consumed with computers, so his parents, afraid he would go down the wrong path, sent him to an ethical computer-hacking academy. While there he met a group of mismatched computer hacking kids, who were flat as cardboard cutouts. Seriously, I only knew like two of the group of four/five kids’ names.

After being converted to the ways of computer-hacking righteousness (to be honest, Yago never did anything wrong beforehand. His parents just freaked out instead of limiting his computer-use), Yago’s family ran into money troubles. As his hacking skills improved, Yago received suspicious calls for UNETHICAL *gasp* hacking.

I did not quite understand the hacking academy. What was the significance of the monks, and why did the school give out colored belts like a karate class?

CHARACTERS:

Could you even call the cast characters? Yago was supremely bland, actually, the whole cast was. Maybe Hackerteen was meant to be more story-driven as opposed to character-driven?

ART:

The artwork was a bit wonky but quirky. There are some nice artistic moments but mainly it is below average. Also, Yago’s character design leaves a lot to be desired. As a twelve-year-old, he dressed like a normal kid, but at seventeen he looked like an anime character, a Speed Racer-reject to be exact.

OVERALL:

Eh, this book was not entertaining at all. It was just too dry like cornbread lodged in your throat without a drink to wash it down. I did not have high expectations for this story, so at least I was not disappointed.

I could only recommend this to someone younger than ten years old. Not sure if anyone older, who was not a parent, would appreciate it.

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Book Review #8: Dancer

1455928Ballet has always had a special place in my heart. I took ballet classes for two years, from seven to nine years old, and I loved it. Grand jeté was my favorite move. My earliest memories of ballet were the Alvin Ailey Dancers and numerous Russian ballerinas. This story really brought me a sense of nostalgia.

Story:

“I didn’t finish the thought. Instead, I imagined us dancing together, his walking around me in a slow promenade, looking into my eyes” (pg 94)

In Dancer by Lori Hewitt (214 pages), Stephanie had been passed up for the role of a lifetime, to be Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) in a ballet play. She starts contemplating the many difficulties in ballet and begins to doubt herself. Not to mention her parents don’t think she will have any longevity as a ballerina, a black ballerina at that. Stephanie gets tired being the only one who believes she can accomplish her dream until she meets the lustrous Miss Winnie, a woman who embodies all the ballerina Stephanie wants to be.

I really want to give a handclap to Hewitt for including beautiful female friendships. She realistically shows the pettiness, insecurity, and loving nature girls can have toward one another.

Dancer had some authentically realistic moments. One scene, in particular, left me with a great quote:

“Maybe I could be her friend, but I couldn’t help her solve her problems” (pg 205)

I enjoyed the tinge of romance as well though I wanted just a glass more.

CHARACTERS:

I like Stephanie because she’s relatable. She is insecure about her talent, her future, and even a little bit about herself. Stephanie even acknowledges that she has an inner ugly voice that thinks rude things. The situation she had with the three private school girls, Lisa, Kelly, and Gillian, is all too real.

“On Saturday night, when Lisa was out with her boyfriend and I was supposedly having a slumber party, I sat at home sewing ribbons on a new pair of pointe shoes and was in bed by ten o’clock” (pg 38)

Most people know that feeling when you agree or get involve in something you had no plans in due to pressure, not even from wanting to fit in but just not to say the wrong thing.

Vance is cool. He reminds me Monty, from my favorite book Standing Against the Wind, but a lot rougher around the edges. He’s more than what meets the eye and he is very conceited but sweet. I wish he spoke his feelings more in the book because I wanted to know what he was thinking.

The mentor character is one that I have always liked, so Miss Winnie was great in my opinion. The descriptions of her outfits seemed so pretty too.

Also, I sympathize with Anna. She simply just did her job well. It was not like she was trying to be the teacher’s pet.

The character development with Gillian was a nice one. It’s nice that Lisa and Kelly were not shoehorned into to flat mean girls roles as well.

OVERALL:

I was deeply engrossed in this book and its characters, so five out of five stars from me. I am not sure if this is a book you read once and it stays with you, or a book you read over and over. Either way, it’s a book you have to read.

I might have to add this one to my bookshelf.

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Book Review#7: Julie of the Wolves

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Y’all I did not like this story. I understand it’s a widely-loved book, but it was not for me. There are three parts to the story, so I am going to split the review into portions.

“Somewhere in this cosmos was Miyax; and the very life in her body, its spark and warmth, depended upon these wolves for survival. And she was not sure they would help” (pg 6).

STORY:

PART 1-

In Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead (170 pg), I did not care about Miyax naming all those wolves. “I will name you Jello,  and you Silver, and you this, and you that…” Girl, please stop talking. The entire beginning of the book Miyax/Julie learns from wolves. Now, I like wolves a lot (they are beautiful and dangerous) but it got boring to read about their antics. Anyway, Miyax’s father, Kapugen, is missing and presumed dead but his words stay with Miyax always. She finds an adoptive father figure in a wolf named Amaroq.

Personally, I just could not find any excitement in this book. Miyax being a child bride was vaguely interesting.

PART 2-

I knew Daniel, the child groom of Miyax, was creepy when he was first introduced. A certain scene when he tried to force himself onto Miyax solidified that. Thankfully nothing happened but, gosh I was just as disturbed as her. Also, I’m not sure if the book was hinting that Daniel had a mental disability or just extreme paranoia.

PART 3-

“He walked you out all the way to seal camp,” Martha told her. “And he never did anything after that” (pg 76).

A close friend of Miyax’s dies and she discovers her father’s aftermath. Needless to say, I was not impressed. To be honest, I mean Miyax did not have much of a reaction either just, “okay, I’m going to San Franciso.”

unimpressed blinking rugrats not amused blank stare

OVERALL:

I was excited to read some diverse fiction, but Julie of the Wolves disappointed me. I want to say it’s because I am not in the intended age range, but I have read countless kids’ books that I enjoyed. Concerning the art, I liked the wolf illustrations but not the human ones. The artwork is made up of quick pen hatch lines, so when it comes to human eyes, they look like full black ovals. ¡No está bien!

Yeah, I don’t really recommend this, but it is a fast read.

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