Friday, June 3, 2011

Dash And Lily's Book of Dares

Dash And Lily's Book of Dares a review by Micah (Year 13)

When it comes to the arts of film and literature, Indie Romance is one of my favourite genres.  To be fair, it is not one with which I am particularly familiar (the extent of my experience being various Michael Cera films, effectively every novel ever written by John Green and a brief expedition into the Twilight series) however what I have read I have enjoyed immensely.  I suppose that depending on how experienced you are with the genre, I could be rather under-qualified to write this review.  Or, by the same token, I could be the perfect person for the job.  One of the major disadvantages to writing via a blog is that it tends to be all monologue, so I may potentially never know just how experienced you are or are not with the Indie-Romance genre.  The positive side to this coin is that your position as just another member of society, completely unknown to me, is safe.  So feel free to read on knowing that if you are reading this review, horrified at the fact that you've never even heard of Indie-Romance, it's okay, because I will probably never know.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published 2010

"...You know when a cow chews grass?  And he or she chews and chews and chews?  Well, green tea tastes like French-kissing that cow's mouth after its done chewing all that grass."

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is a tale of two teens, set in New York at Christmas time.  The first of these two teens is Dash.  Dash is a cynical, Christmas hating, English language loving 16 year old boy whose parents are divorced.  He frequents the local second hand book store known simply as the, "The Strand" and speaks as though he was brought up in 18th century England, then sucked through time to the modern era where all of the things he had learnt regarding how to dress properly were promptly replaced with information regarding how to swear.  Which makes him a rather interesting character.

The second teen in this tale is Lily.  Lily has the fashion sense of a Christmas elf, is also 16 and has a God given ability to bake cookies which have several qualities rather similar to those found in drugs we won't mention here.  She lives under the shadow of her family, who are ridiculously over-protective, and her only real friend is her gay brother Langston.

The story revolves around the aptly named, “Book of Dares.” The Book of Dares is a red note book which Lily leaves in The Strand as a method by which she can meet teenage boys with qualities she values, without the social awkwardness of actually meeting them.   Normally I would find this rather odd, mildly disturbing at least, but to be honest I thought it suited the story and I rather liked the idea.  However if I was to repeat the plan, I would definitely have to change certain aspects.  Such as the, “meet teenage boys” end goal.  But I digress.

As a whole I really enjoyed Dash and Lily’s, it had a sort of teenage charm that I found rather appealing.  The story swept me up and dragged me along with it.  I found that many of the ideas and views on love and life made so much sense (at least to me and my limited teenager-point-of-view).  When I had finished reading I felt like I had learned something about love, but I had to think for a while before deciding exactly what that thing was.

In summary, if you’re looking for a book that is unrealistic enough to be fiction, but
down-to-earth enough to make you question whether or not it could actual actually happen, please read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.  There, I even said please, now you have to read it.

-Micah

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd - Eighth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer

New in the library.

Sick of romantic visions of vampires, want something a bit more gritty but not Darren Shan?  This might be your series if The Radleys seems to big for you. 

Vladimir is a fairly ordinary guy except that he has been orphaned and now lives with his aunt who is a nurse, this is handy as Vlad has a need for fresh blood.  He is a good guy, he mostly stays out of trouble and minds his own business, the bullies tease him mercilessly and life just isn't that easy when you have all this to deal with, well put yourself in his position, you go all pasty if you don't get enough blood, you are not allowed to bite people, and all of a sudden you are the target of people who you could take out with a single swipe!  Vlad's teacher suddenly disappears, replaced by a replacement teacher who brings out very bad vibes in Vlad.  What is going on? Who is this new teacher?  Why does he act suspiciously?  And why is it that the girl Vlad really likes is all over his best friend?

We have all the books in this series, movie coming out soon.

Trailer for the book made by a fan below.  Very uber cool website here.



Monday, May 30, 2011

Send Simon Savage by Stephen Measday

Reviewed by Nathan Adam (Year 9) as part of the 50 Book Challenge


Simon's Dad disappears in mysterious circumstances, Simon is desperate to find out the truth behind his drowning.  When the chance to find out the cause of his death comes up he takes it.  He becomes a time traveller and meets lots of friends and investigates the mystery with their help. He finds out a lot of things about his Father that he didn't know before.

I liked the bits when he was in the future the best in this book, but the start was not so great.  In the end I thought it was a great book and good for those people who like a good adventure story.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why I need my library

The video below was the winner of a recent competition in the USA for teenagers.  Anyone keen to make one for the King's High Library?

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