Posts tagged ‘Book Discussions’

Book Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Cover of "The Disreputable History of Fra...

Cover via Amazon

By Mandy Webster

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. E. Lockhart. New York, NY: Hyperion, 2008.

E. Lockhart’s novel, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is the story of a voiceless Bunny Rabbit of a girl who quickly learns to speak for herself.

What really stands out for me in this book, from the very beginning, is the tone. In the earlier chapters especially, the novel takes on the tone of an official spy dossier read by the head of some top secret government agency. It’s this purposeful use of tone that really makes this novel the award winner it has become.

While I heard a very distinctive narrative voice from the very first pages of this novel, this strong narrative voice does not remain consistent throughout the entire work. At first, Frankie’s voice slips in only once or twice in each chapter, but becomes more prevalent as the story progresses. In the beginning of the book, Frankie is the voiceless Bunny Rabbit. This is why we do not hear her voice, but that of the narrator. However, Frankie’s own voice is heard more and more as her character gains the ability to speak for herself. Read more…

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Book Review: When She Hollers by Cynthia Voigt

Cover of "When She Hollers"

Cover of When She Hollers

By Mandy Webster

When She Hollers. Cynthia Voigt. Scholastic Inc. New York. 1994

When She Hollers, a YA novel by Cynthia Voigt, is the story of the day Tish decides to tell the truth about the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her step-father. Spurred by her teacher’s chalk message in the classroom, “The truth will set you free,” Tish is determined to let the truth be known.

The entire novel takes place in the space of one day, a day which begins at the breakfast table where Tish informs her step-father, Tonnie that the knife she holds in her hand will be with her now at all times… when she is in the bathroom and when she is in her bed at night.

Tish tries to explain to her mother that Tonnie comes into her room and even stalks her in the bathroom, but her mother refuses to hear her. She goes to school and tries to be her normal self, whoever that is.

The events of the day unfold, as conversations about a classmate who recently committed suicide Read more…

Read With Me: January Books

Cover of "A Short Story Writer's Companio...

Cover of A Short Story Writer's Companion

By Mandy Webster

It’s the first list of the new year, let’s see if I picked some decent ones this time.

  • When She Hollers by Cynthia Voigt. Another suggested read by a professor. I’m trying to read everything my professors have read so I can actually join in conversations at school!
  • Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo. Picked this one up at Wal-mart the other day from a $3 bin. I was really disappointed in one of the books I’d chosen for last month (still trying to finish it up by midnight tonight!) So, I thought I’d just grab something that looks like a good read: Something different with an actual plot and an original one at that. Check out the YouTube video below. The audience actually laughs while Evaristo reads an excerpt from the book.
  • A Short Story Writer’s Companion by Tom Bailey. Yeah, I know. I still haven’t managed to get through this one yet. But I aim to finish it by the time I start my next class the end of January! Read more…

Book Review: Tantalize

A Nine-banded Armadillo in the Green Swamp, ce...

Image via Wikipedia

By Mandy Webster

Tantalize. Cynthia Leitich Smith. Candlewick, 2007, 2008

Cynthia Leitich Smith obviously read too many Twilight books (and possibly Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West) before writing her YA gothic fantasy novel, Tantalize. The parallels between these stories are too apparent for this to be a fluke. If I hadn’t already suffered through two and a half of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire/werewolf tomes, I might have been able to take Smith seriously. But, by the time she began introducing were-armadillos into the story, I was through. Were-armadillos? Seriously? That’s when I gave up and returned Tantalize to the library. Read more…

Read with Me: December Books

Cover of "Wintergirls"

Cover of Wintergirls

By Mandy Webster

OK, I admit it. I am the worst blogger ever. Here we are 10 days into the month, and I am just now telling you what to read. (As if you can’t decide for yourself, right?) I try not to make excuses for myself, but the reason is that it was the end of the semester and I had tons of my own writing to do. Anyway, here’s what’s up for December:

  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson: Guess what, I’ve already finished it! I picked this out of a bargain bin while shopping the Thanksgiving weekend sales at an outlet mall. When I got home, I started reading and just couldn’t put it down. So, if you’ve already read this one, let’s start talking. I loved this book, and Anderson is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite YA authors. Read more…

Discussion: The Poisonwood Bible

Cover of "The Poisonwood Bible"

Cover of The Poisonwood Bible

Last spring, a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver to read over the summer. Of course, I didn’t get around to it until just recently. Overall, I have really enjoyed the book, and the other night it even made me cry, which takes a lot. The problem is, the book is just way too long.

What I mean is, it seemed to me like the story ended when the Price family left Kilanga, but the book just keeps going and going after that. Read more…