Sunday, April 08, 2007

Impulse **** 1/2

Hopkins, Ellen. Impulse. 2007.

I enjoyed this book far better than Crank. In fact, I found Crank so hard to get through that I don't believe I ever finished it. This is a novel told in verse, so for anyone that can't stand that, read no further.

This story follows three teens in a mental institution. All three are there for trying to kill themselves. Conner is the child of rich, overbearing parents that only care about his success. After shooting himself, he is in the hospital. Even now, his parents continue to pressure him about his grades and college. Tony is a gay teen who has been abused by a number of his prostitute mother's boyfriends over the years. He has also sold himself for drugs. His father dropped he and his mother years ago and left to make a new life for himself, leaving Tony to try to fend for himself. Vanessa is bi-polar and tried to commit suicide. Her mother had been bi-polar as well, and had also tried to kill herself. Her father had essentially abandoned her with the mother and let the Grandmother handle it all. These three teens enter the facility at around the same time together and go through treatment together. The story changes perspective between the three characters throughout the book.

This book is really long, 666 pages to be exact. But, because it's poetry, it isn't full pages, so it goes really fast. Don't let the size scare you. This was a great book with sympathetic characters. Their stories were interesting and readers should be interested in readind about their lives and how they got to this place.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Story of a Girl ****1/2

Zarr, Sara. Story of a Girl. 2007.

When Deanna was 13, her father caught her having sex with Tommy, a 17 year old friend of her brother. From that point on, Deanna's life changed. Her father can barely look at her and he doesn't talk to her anymore. At school, she became known as the girl with a bad reputation. As a consequence, she isn't very popular. Her best friend is a guy. She is sort of interested in him, but he is dating her only other friend, Lee. Deanna's home life is tense. In addition to her father not talking to her, her brother Darren lives in the basement with his girlfriend Stacy and their infant daughter. Deanna dreams of getting out of her house. In her fantasy, she moves out of the house with her brother and Stacy and lives with them. To reach that dream, she gets a summer job. The only one she can get is at a local pizza place, where she discovers Tommy works.

This was a great novel and I highly recommend it to any reader. Deanna is a great character. Readers will appreciate a character like Deanna-- someone who has made mistakes and who is trying to make her life better.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Twisted ****

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Twisted. 2007.

I enjoyed this latest book by Anderson. Tyler has always been a bit of a nerd and never really popular. He got it into his head to deface school property and got caught. Because of this, he was arrested and is now on parole; he had been forced to do community service as his punishment. Now, as school is about the begin, he finds he is being received differently-- now some kids are scared of him and some are in awe of him. One kid that has always hated him was Chip. Chip is a rich kid. Tyler just so happens to have a crush on Chip's sister Bethany. Tyler's father also happens to work for their father. Chip seems hell bent on making Tyler's life miserable, especially when Bethany starts to pay attention to him. After an incident at a party involving Bethany, Tyler is accused of being the perpetrator, even though he isn't. He is blamed primarily because everyone knows he likes her and also because of his criminal past.

Readers will feel Tyler's pain as they read the book. He is so unhappy and also really misunderstood, particularly his own father who is also a bully. As Tyler begins to contemplate suicide, the reader can really feel his pain and understand how he got to this place.

Highly recommended for all readers.