August 10, 2012

Review: "Notes from the Midnight Driver"

Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
Pub. Date: October 1, 2006
Pages: 265
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short and Sweet Synopsis: Alex is sentenced to community service at the senior center for killing a lawn gnome.  Alex is paired with a difficult man, Solomon, who insults Alex in Yiddish, which he doesn't understand.    

"Notes from the Midnight Driver" is a great book.  Jordan Sonnenblick does a wonderful job writing about difficult subjects using humor and heart.  The book  seems to be about your typical teen screw up, but the books quickly switches gears when Alex starts his court mandated community service.  Alex wants to quit because Solomon is too difficult, but we know that isn't what will happen.

This book isn't just about a teen who discovers there is more to himself than goofing off.  Music plays a large roll in this book.  At first I didn't think this would happen, but I was pleasantly surprised that it did.  Relationships, of all kinds play a major roll in "Notes form the Midnight Driver".  Alex's parents are divorced and he is struggling to have a healthy relationship with them.  He is angry with them and blames his father for their separation.  Alex is also struggling to understand his feelings for his best friend Laurie. This is all on top of having to deal with Sol.

While most of the plot was predictable, the book was such a delight to read I didn't mind that there were no "OH SNAP!" moments.  I simply enjoyed the story and laughing out loud at the situations Alex found himself.  I would recommend this book to John Green fans.

August 9, 2012

Review: The Children and the Wolves

The Children and the Wolves by Adam Rapp
Pub. Date: February 2012
Pages: 160
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Short and Sweet Synopsis: This book is about a trio of teens who abduct a young girl.  

I'm not a squeamish person and I don't shy away from books that deal with interesting topics, but "The Children and the Wolves"did nothing for me. I'm left just confused after reading this book. I wish the book had focused on one character because the four voices weren't always distinct and the four year old girl just was unrealistic.

The best thing I can say about this book was that it was short. It took me about 2 hours to read. If it had been any longer, I would have felt like I completely wasted my time reading it.