Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer


Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal by Chris Colfer
Publisher: Llittle Brown and Company
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (258 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

My high school was never this interesting.

I’ve never watched Glee and I didn’t know anything about Chris Colfer before I read this book. Maybe I’ve lived under a rock, but that’s okay. When I passed this book at the store, I stopped to check it out. The title grabbed me right away. Struck by Lightning. Okay, I’ll give it a try. I’m glad I did.
online levitra However, it also has a big minus – a high price. This sort of medication obstructs the canada cialis 100mg main nerves as well as stops making love appropriately. In no case a user is allowed to viagra sildenafil drive. Take eight to ten drops of pfizer viagra australia this herbal oil dilates blood vessels, relaxes blood vessels and ensures more blood flow to all parts of the body.
Carson Phillips is the standard outcast kid with huge dreams. He’s not had the best start in life and will find out just how messed up life can get. But I rooted for him all the way. His voice in the story is forthright and funny. I laughed and cried along with him. He’s got a great cast of characters set in an average high school.

I loved Carson’s pluck. This kid never quit and when it looked like he should, he gave another 110%. He’s mischievous but driven. It’s great. I also loved his relationship with his grandmother. She’s suffering from dementia but she’s the one person who hasn’t given up on Carson. It’s bittersweet and sweet. I love how she always has his back.

The secondary characters helped make the story memorable, too. I loved Malerie. She’s innocent, but there’s much more to her than meets the eye.

Granted, there is some swearing in this book. It’s definitely geared for the upper high school set, but anyone from around 16 years old and up will be able to identify with at least one character.

If you want a book that will make you laugh, cry and want more, then this is a great place to start.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: Best Book
Reviewer: Dandelion

In his nationally acclaimed, semi-autobiographical YA debut, author Sherman Alexie tells the heartbreaking, hilarious, and beautifully written story of a young Native American teen as he attempts to break free from the life he was destined to live.

I had seen this book recommended on a number of “Must Read” lists of Young Adult fiction – but I’ll be honest, the rather awkward title put me off. Do not make this same mistake! The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a brilliant, heart-breaking, funny, powerful story that will remain with you long after you finish the final page.

Loved it.

Absolutely loved it.

Arnold “Junior” Spirit is a self-admittedly dirt-poor teen living on a Spokane Indian Reservation. He’s the awkward, cross-eyed, friendless son to drunken but well-meaning parents, and he’s also too smart to stay on the “rez” (that’s what a teacher tells him one day, anyway). Oh, and he’s also a cartoonist, which means that hilarious sketches appear throughout the book. After sitting in class one day realizing that life on the rez means a dead-end life, Junior takes the very daring (or very stupid) step of choosing to attend the all-white school twenty-two miles away and becomes one of the first and only Indians to leave.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian tells the story of Junior’s freshman year as the only Indian at Reardan High School (well, besides the mascot). He’s picked on, ignored, beat up – and then, miracle of miracles, accepted, not only by fellow nerd Gordy, but by the beautiful. blonde Penelope and even the jocks. Amid this adjustment, though, Junior has to deal with the fact that his best friend on the rez, Rowdy, is furious (and heart-broken) at being deserted. The rest of the Indians aren’t any more forgiving. Olive oil:- Trans fat and saturated fat constrict female viagra cheap the arteries, but monounsaturated fat available in olive oil prevents joint inflammation. Enlisted below are online purchase of cialis the reasons that why one may need physical therapy. Ajanta pharmacy has viagra low cost developed many flavors of jelly such as orange, pineapple, mango, mint, strawberry etc. Forzest is well tested and known to increase the speed of the cialis uk no prescription treatment much faster. 4. They generally drink and fight and turn their backs on Junior, accusing him of forsaking his heritage.

The brilliance of this book is Junior’s voice. It is poignantly honest, funny, offensive at times, smart and smart-assed, and it doesn’t shy away from telling the horrible truths about what life is like on an Indian reservation – and what happens when you’re the single minority in a brand new school full of white faces. As he says in the opening pages, “It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor. You start believing that you’re poor because you’re stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that you’re stupid and ugly because you’re Indian. And because you’re Indian you start believing you’re destined to be poor. It’s an ugly circle and there’s nothing you can do about it…” But of course there is something he can do – and he does it, though it’s harder than he ever dreamed it would be.

You must read this book. You’ll alternate between tears and laughter, between asking “Is that what it’s really like?” and “Have I ever acted like that?” One warning, however: there are a lot of sexual references and vulgarity, so even though it’s tagged as appropriate for grades 7-10, I’d recommend this book for older readers rather than middle schoolers.

Appealing to male and female readers alike, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a brilliant piece of YA fiction that deserves every accolade it’s received. I give it my highest recommendation!

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little Brown Company
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (640 pgs)
Rating: Best Book
Review by Xeranthemum

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob—knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

Have you ever used the word ‘devoured’ or ‘inhaled’ to describe reading a book? No truer words were ever spoken because that is exactly what I did. I started in the morning and didn’t stop until after the sun had set. My housework was ignored and the TV held no fascination for me what-so-ever.

This third installment of the Twilight series has been eagerly awaited by me for months. I originally got hooked on this series based upon the enthusiastic recommendation by my town librarian. I, as a rule, do not read YA, but this series has me rethinking that stance. Stephenie Meyer has me reconsidering my choices. Eclipse continues to have me totally engaged in the world this author has created and I am ravenous for more.

Bella is a young woman about to graduate from high school and has a very unusual boyfriend; he’s a vampire. She also has a very serious and odd choice to make – life as a human or un-death as a vampire to be with Edward forever.(To be or Not to be) Another of the many complexities haunting her life is a vengeful vampire vixen hell-bent on destroying her because Edward killed the vixen’s boyfriend to save Belle in a previous book. Bella certainly has some issues beyond the normal teenaged angst during their last year in high school.

On top of that, there is a skillfully crafted conflict which had me in suspense for almost the entire book. Both of the culprits suspected were introduced in past books and I could never figure out who it was until Stephenie wanted me to. Oh, Bella kind of figured it out, but I was never sure if she was right or not until the big finale. And, what forces came together during those last few chapters! They were simply amazing and engrossing as I watched the relationships evolve and lead up to all that excitement!

As for Edward, he’s just a tad too old for her by a couple of generations (he doesn’t look it though!) but he loves her with a caring and intensity that pleases the heart of any romantic. I mean, when a guy says, “I’ve been waiting for you all of my life.” how can you not just melt? Ok, so he’s been waiting for more than a normal lifetime but still, how dreamy.

Jacob is a family friend Bella has known for years and who is a werewolf. He also loves Bella. At the ending of the last book, I was in tears for Jacob. Oh my gosh, how I hurt for him and Bella. The beginning of Eclipse didn’t waste time addressing nor does it sugar coat this heartrending situation.

The thread of the story is picked up and continued seamlessly, and in no time at all, I was back in her little town in Forks, Washington. Would Jacob, and me, be soothed or would his hurt continue? Did Ms. Meyer resolve this? The answer is a little bit no and a little bit yes. I am having a hard time not sharing spoilers. Let’s just say that it was resolved the best it could be and still remain true to the intent of the story.

And Edward? I had my share of sniffles for him too in the last book, and in Eclipse I’m even more impressed with him, more convinced that he is Bella’s true love. So, yeah, he’s dead but love is alive and vibrant. Yet their path is not easy. Bella and Edward definitely don’t have it smooth and uncomplicated -– on so many levels. You might be thinking I should give you specifics but I can’t. I mean, this book is just over six hundred pages. How do I condense the highlights when there are so many? Guess you’re going to have to read it.


I should mention that I adore Edward’s sister, Alice, as well. And we get a clearer picture of Rosalie and Jasper in this book. Their histories were fascinating and I’m glad they were included in the story.

Bella’s dad, Charlie, is such an adorable man: simple and loving — yet Ms. Meyer had me laughing when he attempted the ‘sex education talk’ with Bella. Poor guy. *grin*

The dialogue is tight and convincing, real and touching. At no time did I feel it lagged or was off topic. I didn’t experience any head hopping or jarring incidents. This book read like a dream and I can’t recommend it enough.

If you thought New Moon was good, Eclipse takes you even further with characters, plots and emotions in a world woven in a rich tapestry of human and not-so-human drama. This is YA at its absolute best. Consider me converted.