Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Book News

First of all, the third book of Hunger Games is on its way. Peta sent us copies from bookdepository on pre-order so they should be here soon. If you haven't read Hunger Games then you are in for a real treat. It is a really great book and you will enjoy it for sure (you should read my review NOW!).

We have copies of books one and two in the SRR already and they have been enjoyed by many students this year. Sorry, but they tend to get passed around to different friends within a class. If you can't wait to get them from SRR, there are limited copies at Booker, Gadong. They even put two copies of Mockingjay on the shelf a couple of days ago (I'm not sure how they got it before us!). Grab them before they are gone!

The cool orange covered version of Catching Fire at Booker sold in a matter of days - I wonder if it was bought by one of my blog readers. :-) I knew I should have grabbed it! LOL

In other exciting news, as you may have noticed in my earlier post, one of our school's most popular writers - Maria V Snyder - has told me that she is sending us six autographed books! What an incredibly generous writer! Meanwhile, her Magic Study, Poison Study, Fire Study books continue to be requested on a daily basis at the school. For those of you who were hooked on her books, Mary and I have teamed up to get you a set of Maria's newest series - the Glass Series.

This is amazing: I ordered the first book called Storm Glass on August 28th and I picked it up from the post office today - 10 days! Wow, bookdepository can be super fast sometimes!

Although I'm presently reading Harry Potter II, Percy Jackson I, and a couple of books about Ancient Egypt, I think I'll have to read this one before I pass it on to the SRR. I feel another waitlist coming on. Anybody interested?

Thanks to Mary for sending out Sea Glass and Spy Glass today. They should arrive here soon and be ready for when we return to school following the Hari Raya holidays.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Book Blurb:
You can't stop the future.
You can't rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret... is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker- his class mate and first love- who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

Hannah's voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening- and what he discovers changes his life...

A lot of students have been eager to read this book so when Peta's shipment of two copies arrived this week I just had to read a chapter to see what it was like. Of course, I couldn't put it down. Thanks again Peta for your generous donation. The books arrived yesterday from bookdepository!

It is a compelling book with an interesting writing style. I liked how the writer, Jay Asher, weaved the story together by having the main character listen to the tapes. Clay's reactions to what Hannah says on the tapes, at times, makes it seem as if the two are conversing. At the very least, it gives Hannah's story perspective and drives the story forward. In one night, Clay listens to the story of the girl he loved and he travels around the town where they live to significant places in Hannah's experiences leading up to her dark decision.

The content of this book is a bit disturbing. After all, the other main character, Hannah, has killed herself. That certainly ups the maturity level of this book but also makes it worth reading.

It doesn't glorify suicide at all. It doesn't make us feel that the character's choice was good and we don't get a feeling of justice when the other characters listen to her story. At times, in fact, I found myself feeling a bit annoyed and frustrated by Hannah and I had to wonder if that was partly by design. I'm not sure. She makes a lot of mistakes too. She isn't perfect. And her decision to end her life is a mistake. Ultimately, she did have friends and family who loved her even if she didn't always see that. The reader, in the end, is left with a feeling of great pity.

The main message in the book is powerful. It reminds us that we must be kind and caring towards others and that even the little things we do that aren't very nice can have a drastic affect on the people around us. By the time you finish reading this book, I guess that's what you take away from it - and that's a good thing.

There is some mature content here but it isn't titillating at all - it is the exact opposite. This is a warning to teen readers though. This book deals with harsh issues of American teenage life and isn't a "fun" read. However, it is very interesting and will appeal to those students who enjoy dramatic narratives.

4/5 stars

We now have 3 copies in the SRR available, but if you just can't wait I think Booker still has a copy (last seen on the top of the fiction bookshelf).