Friday, March 14, 2008

Ask Me No Questions ***

Budhos, Marina. Ask Me No Questions. 2006.

This book received a starred review in Booklist and has received favorable reviews just about everywhere else. Despite that, I found I had a hard time getting into this book. Nadira and her sister Aisha are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. After 9/11 they got caught up in a situation where the government was trying to roung up alll potential enemies. They got caught as they tried to escape to Canada. Their father was thrown into prison and left there for questioning. Nadhira and her sister are left to try to help get their father out of prison and get permission to stay in the country despite their illegal status. I found the ended really implausable. I think if the ending was more realistic I would have enjoyed the book a lot better.

I think teens may enjoy the book, particularly those that are interested in the issue of the Patriot Act or illegal immigration.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Repossessed ****

Jenkins, A.M. Repossessed. 2007.

This is a Printz Honor Book.

What I love about Jenkins is how her books all seem to be so different from each other. It must keep things interesting for her as a writer.

As the book begins, Shaun is about to walk in front of a truck and die. Kiriel, who comes from Hell, has been observing people for some time, and Shaun in particular. Sick of his job in Hell, he takes over Shaun's body just before he is about to die. He is then himself, but in Shaun's body. He takes over his life, but only better. He is actually nice to his annoying brother. He is nice to all of the kids at school. He dresses decently. He does his homework. His one goal now that he is a human it so have sex, specifically with Lane, who he finds beautiful but no one else does.

This book was amusing. It's funny to have a person take over the body of a teenager and to see what his reactions are to the whole thing. Highly recommended for any readers, but male readers in particular.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Catalyst ****

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Catalyst. 2002.

This was a great book about a girl whose life seems to be falling apart. Kate lives with her brother Toby and her minister father. She seems to take on a lot of the responsibility around the house. Her father means well but seems to always be busy with things. She is really stressed out about college. She only applied to MIT and is eagerly awaiting their decision.

Teri, an unpopular girl at school, steals Kate's watch. Kate follows her home and discovers that Teri's mom is unable to do much for herself and Teri is the one taking care of things at her house too. Then her house burns down. Her father lets Teri and her little brother move in which really gets Kate's blood boiling. She has to give up her bed and can't sleep for all the snoring.

I won't give anything more away about the plot. This was a great book about a high strung high school student, which is something many readers will relate to.