The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz

The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz; 2016; $17.99; 349 pages; Tor Teen, New York, NY; 978-0-7653-8267-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham, Young Adult Fiction; 11/16/16-11/17/16

Why did I read this?  Because I have read many of Gregg Hurwitz work and really enjoyed them.

Red Dawn meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Dawn of the Dead.  Asteroids rain down upon the earth, split open and infect everyone of the age of eighteen.  Men become mappers, women become chasers and kids have to save the earth.  Things change the moment you turn eighteen so be careful of the person who turns eighteen tomorrow.  Patrick and Chance Rains are orphans, raised by their aunt and uncle, who lead the fight in their small rural town.  They and Patricks’ girlfriend Alex are the main characters, along with a surprisingly diverse supporting cast.  There is all kind of action here within the kids community and as they try to figure out what is going on.

Grade-A 

Exile by Kevin Emerson

Exile by Kevin Emerson; 2014; $17.99; 304 pages; Katherine Tegen Books, New York, NY; 978-0-0-213395-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Rockwood; 3/10/16-3/12/16

Why did I read this?  Kevin is another author that I met at Wordstock a few years ago and I have read many of his books.  He has written lots of different things and I have really liked his imagination.

Summer to her friends, Catherine to Carlson squared (her parents) tries to reconcile what she wants to do with her life to what her parents want her to do with her life.  She is in her senior year at a arts high school and is searching for what to do.  Her last band was stolen from her by a band grabbing label that doesn’t care about much more than a quick and easy profit.  She finds a lead singer/guitarist to build a band around, but he comes with a lot of baggage that even he doesn’t know about as the story begins.  The band fills out with members, each of whom brings their own baggage to the band.  When all that baggage starts colliding the story is filled with drama.  Kevin has effectively captured that teenage battle between who we want to be and the mold we think society is forcing us into.  No relationship is easy or overly complicated, every character has shades of gray and is fully formed.

Grade A

 

Forget What You Think You Know

Columbine by Dave Cullen; 2009; $26.99; 417 pages; Twelve, New York, NY; 978-0-446-54693-5; 371.782097888C967c; purchased from Multnomah County Library Title Wave Used Bookstore; 5/9/14-5/13/14

Dave Cullen was one of the original media people to cover the Columbine shootings back in 1999 and then he researched and investigated for the next nine years before published this book in 2009.  Think back to most of what you learned the first moments and weeks after the shooting, now forget it.  The myths that sprung up about the Trench Coat Mafia, Revenge and more were spouted by an incompetent Sheriff and a uninformed media.  The Sheriffs department and other government agencies involved hid or destroyed key information for years.  The shooters wanted to cause destruction that would dwarf what happened in Oklahoma City four years previous.  They had originally intended to carry out their plan on the anniversary of that event.  They planned for an entire year what they were going to do, made plans, made bombs, acquired guns and ammunition and made videos for posterity.  Most of what you think you know about the shooters is wrong, what you think about their motive is probably wrong.  They weren’t part of a larger conspiracy, they didn’t specific individuals or groups and they weren’t alike.

Grade-A

Why did I pick this up?  To find out what happened that fateful day in Colorado.  At the time my parents lived not too far from the school, I think they could see it from their apartment.

Did I like it?  Yes and No, I liked learning what really happened, but I wasn’t prepared for the cold bloodlessness of the shooters.

What is with the title of the review?  Most of what I thought I knew about the shooting at Columbine High School was wrong.  This was a good investigation and review of what happened.  So much of what we hear shortly after an event is conjecture and imaginary.

without a trace

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci; 2000; $17.00; 248 pages; Harcourt, Inc, Orlando, FL; 978-0-15-202388-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 4/6/14-4/8/14

What is the story?  School outcast Chris Creed has disappeared without a trace after sending an ambiguously worded email to the school principal.  It seems that everyone wants to blame his disappearance on someone else and no one from his parents to the school administrators to the students who bullied him and the students who just treated him badly want to shoulder any responsibility for the disappearance.  His mother, an overbearing, strict woman who succumbed to the mythology of the military insists that nothing she did could have contributed to his disappearance and blames his classmates.  His classmates blame his family and try to slough off any responsibility by making jokes and about Chris and what may have happened. The whole town has secrets and things are not what they seem.  Torey Adams his friend Ali seem to be the only ones in his peer group who have questions, everyone else just wants to move on.  Torey learns that stereotypes are sometimes wrong and those you thought different just have different challenges than you.

Did I like it? Yes, it started a little slowly but soon drew me in and had me reading while ignoring other things.  It was very engrossing and with very interesting and distinctive characters.

Grade-A-

Why did I pick it up?  I read an article about good teen mysteries and this was one of them.

What is with the title of the review?  I was reminded of the TV show Without A Trace about missing persons.

 

Not at all what I expected

Virals by Kathy Reichs; 2010; $17.99; 454 pages; Razorbill, New York, NY; 978-1-59514-342-6; Teen Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Rockwood; 4/2/14-4/3/14

What is the story?  Tory Brennan, niece of Bones star Temperance Brennan, lives in Florida with her father and is following somewhat in the footsteps of her aunt by being really in science.  Tory and her crew break into a scientific facility to find some information and rescue a canine who is being experimented on.  Something in the lab or the rescued dog infects Tory and her crew and gives them some kind of powers.  She and the crew use their new senses to solve a decades old murder.

Did I like it? It was okay, but the set-up takes why too long.

Grade-B

Why did I pick it up? I have read several books by Kathy Reichs and am a fan of the TV show Bones so I saw a new book by Kathy Reichs and decided to read it.

What is with the title of the review?  I have read several of Kathy Reichs’ books and was expecting more of the same, a straight forward science oriented book with a straight shooter as the main characters.  However here we get science combined with supernatural elements.