Thursday, March 04, 2010

Is that... sun...?

Gender Blender, by Blake Nelson. I'd heard this title tossed around online in a couple of list servs and it seemed interesting, but perhaps not something kids would go for. I like books that look at things from the outside, like books with aliens and the like, so this called to me. But last week, one of my regular tweens mentioned that he read it and liked it, so I was sold. Having finished it, I was surprised that he seemed to like it so much: the language seems a little stilted. Part of it is that the author is trying to capture how people talk, informally, and it was imperfectly done-- certainly a good attempt, but not perfect.
This book will probably be mildly educational for most readers, but the language and concepts were very clean.  Although a certain amount of slang is used, topics are treated with just the right amount of respect and honesty to be informative but not feel textbook-y.
I am a little surprised about the psychedelic cover.  One, I can't imagine it appealing to guys, and two, it looks so 60s-hippie to me, and there's nothing remotely like that in the book.  Yes, the book focuses on gender stereotypes, and the only thing most kids know about the 60s is bra-burning, but that's a pretty thin tie.

Gone, by Lisa McMann. This is the 3rd in the series and (thankfully) the last. I say "thankfully" not because this is a bad series or a bad writer, but because I'm glad at least this series won't get out of hand.
I definitely read the 2nd book, although I can't find my post about it. I wanted to read my initial feelings, because I remember being totally in love with it, though now I can't remember why.
In terms of the writing style, this book is very like the other two, as I recall.  The author uses very short sentences and tons of fragments, which, of course, annoys me.  In the other books, though, the story was so great that it didn't really bother me.  This book... not so much.  The story didn't grip me.  I don't know if I've forgotten more than I thought or if the story was rather vague (maybe both), but, as I commonly complain, I wanted more.  The book read kind of like a litany of suck and, I don't know, I just didn't feel for the main character, so I wasn't really invested; I didn't care about her problem.  I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. 
There is a fair amount of foul language in this book, just so you know.

Cabela's Big Game Hunter, by Activision.  None of the games I've had on hold have come in recently, so I was scrambling to find a game for this week's Library Arcade.  This was a poor choice.  One, it's a one-player game.  Two, it's not very fast-paced, so non-players waiting for a turn quickly got bored.  The kids who did play it seemed to enjoy it, and it's not a bad game, just not good for group play.  If I had a Wii at home, I'd take this home and give it a try; I tried it out for a few minutes before the program started and I didn't really get the hang of it right away but it seemed easy enough.

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