Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hunger builds up an appetite

Hunger, by Jackie Morse Kessler, had me at the synopsis: a girl struggling with anorexia is given the option to become, Famine, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. It is an interesting spin between the popular paranormal novel and teen issue novel. Like Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, this book wasn't preachy or unrealistic. I never felt like I had to label it as your typical "problem/teen issue" novel. It is a good book not just for teens struggling with eating disorders. Girls will emulate the feelings of Lisbeth and her trepidation at her new role as she struggles with her self-perception and her family/friends. I find some authors don't know what teens think or talk like, but Kessler nails it. The book is based on the author's own struggle with bulemia. Lisbeth is based on her real teen friend Lisa who also had an eating disorder. Next book in the series is called "Rage" starring another new horseman, which will be out in April.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Scortch Trials missing heat?

The Scortch Trails, Book 2 of the Maze Runner series, by James Dashner suffers the problem of all trilogies. The sole purpose of the second novel is to build up for the "big secret" revealed in the third. After the ending of the Maze Runner, (spoiler alert) the kids thought they had finally found a safe place to relax until they wake up and are greeted by people with a disease that makes them crazy. A doctor from W.I.C.K.E.D. tells them that they are all infected with a disease known as "The Flare" and they must travel through a desert like arena to find the cure before they all go insane. Much like the maze, the Scortch is full of trials and strange monsters. Our hero, Thomas, is left without Theresa, and doesn't know where she is. As he slowly regains his memories from before the maze, the reader is hinted to what really happened. The book has alot of action and even a little akward romance as the kids struggle to survive again. There are losses, gains, and surprises along the way. I can't wait to finally find out what happens in the third.