Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hunger Pains, by The Harvard Lampoon

The Hunger Pains by The Harvard Lampoon is a parody of The Hunger Games. It focuses on the character Kantkiss Neverclean, who replaces her sister as a contestant on the reality show called The Hunger Games. Since Kantkiss lived in the worst telemarketing district's worst neighborhood, she was unprepared. Despite being unprepared, Kantkiss loved being on camera and loved all of the attention. Kantkiss develops a problem that builds in her heart while on the battlefield. She can't decide between the dreamy stud from home, Carol Handsomestein, or the doughy klutz, Pita Malarkey. Kantkiss Neverclean will have to fight on the battlefield to survive and to fight for love.

The title doesn’t lie; this book is a hilarious parody of the first book of the popular The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. If you plan on reading this book, I suggest you read The Hunger Games first so you can pick up on the subtleties of the humor. I enjoyed this book very much because it was a nice break from my usual, serious reading material. I was often afraid to read it in public due to the fact that I would probably end up embarrassing myself by bursting out laughing as I did when I read alone. Overall, it was an incredibly funny book that anyone would enjoy.

Reviewed by Emily R., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Deadline, by Chris Crutcher

Deadline by Chris Crutcher tells the story of Ben Wolf, an eighteen-year-old high school senior who lives in an extremely small town in Idaho where everyone has known him from birth. When Ben goes for his sports physical, his doctor informs him that he has a rare blood disease and has less than a year left to live. He decides not to tell anybody, and to forgo his treatment. Ben is determined to make to his senior year of high school, the best year of his life. Trying out for the football team, going for the amazingly perfect girl, and giving his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine are just a few things he's going to accomplish on the way.

Deadline is a great novel about life, death, and the truth that lies in between. The voice of Ben is very strong: smart, sarcastic, and always searching for truth. The story itself is just great as well. Ben's journey is that of every teen about belonging, asking big questions, and finding the answers are never clear even if you have coaches, brothers, friends, or lovers. I would strongly recommend this book to everyone. It's honest, funny, smart, and very thought provoking. It’s a story that will stay with you long after you have finished the book; at least, it has with me.

Reviewed by Talia K., grade 11
Central Library

Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper

In Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, eleven year old Melody has a photographic memory. She's the smartest person in her whole school but no one knows it because Melody can't talk. Most people don't think she's capable of learning so they teach her preschool level lessons again and again. If she could talk then she can tell people what she really knows, but she cant. She can't even walk or write. One day she discovers something that can allow her to talk for the first time ever. Finally she has a voice, but not everyone around her wants to hear it.

I loved this book. This book is very realistic and will make readers think twice about people with disabilities. Melody is an outstanding, intelligent, and kind fictional character that I absolutely loved. This book has a certain finesse that so many books lack nowadays. I was impressed with the author for writing a story from the perspective of someone with cerebral palsy, and thought she did a great job of expressing the difficulties of living with that condition. I thought this book was really detailed and interesting. I would recommend it to anyone because it is just such a fantastic book.

Reviewed By: Emily R., Grade 9
Montrose Library