A boy is born in prison, to parents who were awarded each other for good behavior.
The boy is considered a traitor, his blood tainted by the sins of his parents’ families. Sins like leaving the country.
His world is one of starvation, where snitching on friends and family is promoted, attempted escapes meet with public killings, and children are beaten to death for offenses as slight as hiding a few kernels of corn.
He is familiar with intense labor and cruel guards.
He doesn’t understand loyalty. He doesn’t know that the world is round.
No, this isn’t the plot of another book set in a dystopian future where the government is evil and goodness has shriveled up to die.
This is now. This is real.
This is the story of Continue reading
This is a rant. I warned you there’d be some of these.
You and the girl you’re kinda into (except-let’s-keep-it-in-the-subtext) are running across the planet in a bid to find safety. The crazy, murderous preacher who’s tried to kill you both before is coming after you. In a climactic moment, he catches up with you and tries, yet again, to kill you. Somehow you get the upper hand. You don’t kill him. Instead you keep running.
Rinse and repeat three (or is it four?) times.
That’s pretty much the plot of Chaos Walking, a trilogy by Patrick Ness.
Chaos Walking actually has an interesting premise: In the future when Earth is inevitably ruined by careless, violent humans, other humans seek a new life on other planets. One group lands on New World, a planet where the natives (Spackle) communicate telepathically. Pretty soon, the newly-arrived men find that, like the Spackle, their thoughts are being transmitted aloud for all to hear. They call this “Noise.” Women, for some reason, aren’t affected.
Like I said, it’s an interesting and original idea. Leaves lots of room for discussion.
However. There were multiples times when I wanted to reach into those pages and shake the characters till their teeth rattled in their imbecilic heads.
Namely, whenever Continue reading
I recently found a website called “The Uncustomary Book Review,” which reviews books in a whole new way (hence, the title).
Reviewers on the site tell what first attracted them to the book they’re writing about, pick a few favorite quotes, mention new words they learned about while reading the book, and lastly, they briefly discuss some of the thoughts they had while reading.
The idea really charmed me and I’m now happy to report that my first book review is live on the site!
You can find my review of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien here.
The title may ring a bell for you since I recently blogged about the book.
I assure you, it’s quite a different kind of review.
Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments (here or there).