Friday, February 1, 2013

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

The novel Bel Canto by Ann Patchett delves into the somewhat dystopian breakdown of society's expectatons when one is thrust into an unconventional lifestyle and isolated from the rest of the world.
The novel begins with a simple dinner party hosted by a President in an unknown South American country.  What the President hopes to achieve is a partnership between his nation and Nansei Industries, a company owned by key character Mr. Hosokawa, through throwing a birthday party for the distinguished guest.  To further bribe Mr. Hosokawa the President invites revered opera soprano Roxanne Coss to perform. However, on the night of the lavish event, the Vice President Ruben is given the task of entertaining the President's guests, as the President resigns himself to a night with his favourite "tele novella" or soap opera. The party runs remarkably smooth until the terrorist group "La familia de Martin Suarez" promptly arrives and takes the entire party hostage.
The omniscient perspective through which the story is told allows the reader to gain insight into each character, prompting a deeper connection to the hostages and even evoking pathos for some of the terrorists as the narrative continues. Through the paradoxical relationships that form between the hostages and the terrorists, Patchett satirizes the boundaries between right and wrong, emphasizing the fragility of that line.
Another striking feature of this novel is its musicality, which progresses throughout the narrative. The author's use of refrain and robust diction mirrors that of an opera's score, further heightening the unconventional narrative.
The events of Bel Canto both surprise and delight, the myriad of emotions evoked are truly reflective of opera, a genre of music long since forgotten and now re-captured in Ann Patchett's prose.
Review by: Lara Boleslawsky

The no

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky is a book about high-school life from the perspective of a wallflower. Wondering what a wallflower is? Well, a wallflower is a person who does not mingle with other students very well. That is to saythat they are not very sociable, but they are the best friend a person can possibly have. they keep all the secrets of their friends, quietly observe others, and are very supportive of their friends when their friends need someone to lean against. The wall flower in this novel is a young boy named Charlie. Charlie loses his only best friend at the beginning of the story and makes new friends later on. Throughout this astounding novel Charlie will be faced with new challenges of a typical life of a high school student and he will tacke them head on. As Charlie takes you through his life story, filled with moral problems such as; drug use, young sex, and a friend coming out as gay. As he takes you on the rollercoaster ride of his interesting life you are sure to laugh, cry and feel happy with Charlie. The novel feels more personal to the reader because the whole novel is basically a series of letters written from Charlie to you. It is a must read for high school students as well as adults who will surely remember something they had done when they were in high school. I hope you will enjoy readin this great novel!

-Daniel L. (Book club leader)

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner is a thrilling dystopian science fiction novel. You awake as Thomas rising in an elevator with no memories aside from your name. You arrive in a vast courtyard surround by many boys, none adults, who are attempting to solve a maze that will hopefully grant their escape from the Glade. Can Thomas aid his fellow Gladers and solve the maze or will he be forever stuck in this prison.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You

Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You is moving book about an eight year old girl; Jeanne d’Arc Umbyeyi who is caught in the middle of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. It was written in Jeanne’s point of view by her adoptive mother. In this book Jeanne weaves a story of sorrow, hope, fear, joy and love that will tug on your heart. The early chapters of the book feature a young girl living life large, she's vibrant and unaware that her world would change in just a few short years. Later chapters reveal the pain, the loss, the confusion, the fear of not knowing if one is going to survive another day. Witnessing atrocities such as the death and murder, of too many. This book is a moving story that is sure to pull on your heart and take your breath away as you read about the journey of a small, strong and unique eight year old girl.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which one area, called "The Capital" became dominant over the surrounding 13 areas which became its districts. However, in the past the districts and the Capital went to war with each other and during this time district 13 was destroyed. In order to keep the remaining 12 districts in line in the future, every year the Capital hosts " The Hunger Games". In the Hunger Games two contestants are chosen from each district, a boy and a girl, to compete in the Capital for their lives. Every year there is one victor and 23 losers who die. One year a twelve year old girl from district 12 named Prim is chosen to compete. However, her older sister, Katniss, chooses to take her place to save her life. Competing for her life Katniss must win the support of the Capital, outsmart and out-survive the other competitors in order to escape with her own life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

A long delayed Review, enough time had to pass to get over the scare factor of this series.

Blue is for Nightmares carries you on an adventure through the mind of Stacy Brown, a teen with secrets whom also practices witch craft. Her dreams or "Nightmares" tend to foreshadow events yet to come. When her dreams begin to depict the death of her friend Drea whom is receiving suspicious e-mails, it becomes Stacy's responsibility to save her friend. And when she goes missing and another student is mistakenly murdered she needs all the strength her witch craft and herself can supply to make it out safely.

Laurie's use of the characters own strength as oppose to letting the magic be the hero allows this to be a gripping series. The dark story and subtle humor allows some room to breath, but this is definitely one to read with the lights on.

The order for this Series is (Highly recommended it is read in order.)
1) Blue is for Nightmares
2) White is for Magic
3) Silver is for Secrets
4) Red is for remembrance

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

She went all the way? - Meg Cabot

Yes, another Cabot book, what can I say? I'm a fan. This one is similar style however it is a bit more adult then I was used to with her books. It has the usual lovie dovie stuff you have come to expect from her but this time there is action. It also has different view points which is something new for Cabot. This book is centered mainly around Lou Calabrese, Hollywood screen writer, and her race to stay alive with a man she simply cannot stand, Actor Jack Townsend. Stranded after their helicopter goes down in isolated Arctic Alaska, trying to beat the cold and the men who want Jack dead. Will they make it out alive? This was a good book and there was guess work as to who wants Jack dead. I never would have guessed the ending. it is a fun book and it keeps you entertained. I would recommend it for girls around 18. Due to some eh hem... adult moments in this book.