Realistic

Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: 
Alexie, Sherman
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Life on the Spokane Indian Reservation is tough for Junior. Not only is he small and easy to pick on, but he "was born with water on the brain" and has developed differently because of it. After Junior decides to transfer to a school off the reservation to try and find hope (which is completely unheard of), his life on the reservation becomes even harder. Illustrated with Junior’s witty cartoon sketches, this book is a quick read that makes you laugh in the midst of pain and brings to life the hardships of others.

Reviewer's Name: 
Tori

Book Review: Sweeping Up Glass

Author: 
Wall, Carolyn
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book was incredible. The voice of the protagonist was so engaging I was sucked right in and had a hard time putting it down. There were some instances in the book that were so intense I kept thinking to myself, 'Oh God, make it stop!', but in a good way. It left me with some questions about Ida's motivations and the extent of what she knew about the secret. Beautiful and hauntingly written, I can't recommend this book enough!

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Cellist of Sarajevo

Author: 
Galloway, Steven
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This book didn't grip me like I expected it to. It was a good book, but because it was fiction I had a hard time really believing that that could have happened in real life. It made me want to know more about the siege of Sarajevo. I'm still not sure why it happened.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: 
Alexie, Sherman
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

A really engaging book about life on the reservation and what it's like to be Indian. A study of the Indian condition disguised as a teen fiction book. Well told and cleverly illustrated, this book gets two thumbs up.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars

Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book, like all of John Greens books, was absolutely fantastic!
It's basically a romance novel about a girl living with cancer. It was funny and heart wrenching and inspirational. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Reviewer's Name: 
Marissa

Book Review: The Bully Book

Author: 
Gale, Eric Kahn
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book was really good. It was a fast read and was very engaging. There's even some advice to parents to ask their kids if they are being hurt or made fun of in school. Asking specifically may open the door for a hurting teen to confide. But mostly this is a great mystery for young people about bullying.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Left Neglected: A Novel

Author: 
Genova, Lisa
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

s a neuroscientist, author Lisa Genova uses her knowledge of human brain conditions to weave fiction stories. Her first book, Still Alice, is a moving and accurate depiction of early-onset Alzheimer’s, written from the perspective of the person stricken with the illness. Left Neglected explores a traumatic brain injury, again from the vantage point of the person dealing with the problem. Of course, depending on the area and extent the brain is damaged, symptoms vary widely on this subject and Genova chooses a fairly rare condition called Left Neglect, in which the right hemisphere of the brain in damaged in such as way that while the person is not paralyzed, they are unaware of anything on the left – to include the left side of the body and the left side of the world around them. The story Genova generates, from the main character’s original high-powered, multi-tasking life to her slow recovery, is somewhat bland and predictable. You can guess that she is going to have to learn to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. And you are pleasantly surprised that her marriage remains intact. But what is fascinating about this book is that the reader continuously tries to understand what it would be like to lose everything “left”. The mostly unknown power of our own brains, and the fact that we are all at the mercy of this organ to perceive our world accurately is what makes this book intriguing to read. How do we know what we believe we perceive is all there is? What if there is more out there, but our brains simply don’t know how to register its existence? The vast power our brains have over our entire reality and how we filter information and make sense of it is an individual experience – no two people perceive the world in the same way. No wonder we have so much trouble relating to one another! While the plot didn’t wow me, I found this book incredibly interesting simply because Genova imparts fascinating and thought-provoking information in the form of a very readable story.

Reviewer's Name: 
Libby

Book Review: Catfish Alley

Author: 
Bryant, Lynne
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I chose this book for my book group to read not knowing much about it. As one person in my book group put it "An unexpected pleasant surprise of a book". Lynne Bryant told a gripping story of a small town in the south that even though things in our country have progressed, they really haven't. It is the story of Roxanne who has her own secrets and how she becomes friends with an elderly black woman and her life is changed forever. Lynne Bryant really knows how to write characters that are so life-like, that you just want to meet someone like Grace, Adelle, and Mattie in person. This is a wonderful book for book groups because there is lots to discuss.

Reviewer's Name: 
Melissa

Book Review: Please Look After Mom: A Novel

Author: 
Sin, Kyŏng-suk
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

The mom who had taken care of her family and given endless love was missing. She vanished in the crowd in the Seoul station. She was illiterate and elderly. She came to Seoul to celebrate her birthday to save her children's time and money. After her disappearance, the story starts with a view from each family member (daughter, son and husband). Each family member follows her trace to find her. While they are struggling to find her, they realize that the mom was ignored and neglected. For example, they found out about her stroke through their doctor, remaining unaware of her illness since then. In the end, they realize that she holds a crucial role in all of their lives. Her name was Park So-nye; like meaning of her name, she was an ordinary girl like all of us who had many dreams for her future. As time passes by, her name and her dreams were sacrificed for her to take the role of a mother without her children's knowledge. Each narrator describes how he or she saw the mother in their point of view. Throughout this book, we come to question the true meaning of family.

Reviewer's Name: 
Hyun Sook

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