Sunday, August 17, 2008

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Exodus, by Julie Bertagna. How I feel about this book is in opposition to what I think about this book. How I feel: This book is amazing! The characters were all so real, the topics so poignant. This is a great book for teens, from 12 through 18-- it has something people of all ages can identify with. A must-read! What I think: This book wasn't all that great. First, it feels cliche: it seems like every YA book I've read all summer has had some message about global warming or the destruction of the planet (the latest Maximum Ride and the last Artemis Fowl, to name a few). The main character said, did, or was reputed to feel certain things that didn't make sense with her character and the events, like the author had left out some information. This is especially true towards the end, where all of a sudden, the character is madly in love with another character; they've gone from tentative friendship to endless love that will withstand the death of the planet honestly overnight. The death of the character's family and island are ill-explored; she doesn't seem to have feelings about it or live with these terrible events, they don't affect her daily life, but she breaks down crying totally randomly. There are also some topics that aren't terribly well-explored or well-thought out. Poorly explored topics include the character's tendency to wonder why there are no Founding Mothers and other references to possible sexism in society; other than noting the discrepancy, the author doesn't delve into the idea at all. It seems that, if the author is going to have gone to the trouble to bring it up, she should at least discuss it a little tiny bit. Other problematic area include this prophecy business. A group of refugees believes the main character will fulfill a prophecy to save them, but it's not clear where the story came from, or why people believe it. It seems unnecessary and rather weakens the story, in my opinion. On the pet-peeve level, the book was poorly proof-read. Mostly quotation marks are missing or misplaced, and there are some other minor errors that take away from the book.

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