November 28, 2010

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

Eighteen-year-old Ben Wolfe is entering his senior year in high school. At his annual physical, it is discovered that he has an aggressive blood disease and has less than a year to live. He declines treatment, choosing to live as "normal" a last year as he can. Ben decides that he will keep his condition a secret and orders the doctor not to tell anyone. He determines that he will live his senior year fully by going out for football, dating one of the most attractive girls, challenging his teachers, and befriending the town drunk. He is close to his brother, has a loving father, a coach that is supportive, but his mom is manic/depressive and often isolated. In his dreams he talks to Hey-Soos for support and clarity. Things go extremely well for Ben, but he is constantly questioning his decision to keep his condition from those he loves the most. If you have read Crutcher before, you will be familiar with the sports/family/relationship theme, and of course, there is a therapist to help Ben sort things out. An interesting read, but not as good as Whale Talk or Staying Fat for Sarah Burns. Crutcher doesn't sugar coat the situation. For mature readers because of content and language.
Reed Reads Score: 4

November 13, 2010

I,Q: Independence Hall by Roland Smith

Spies, intrigue, false identities and unexpected twists & turns...this is a fun spy/mystery novel. It has all the elements of a Mission Impossible, spy vs. spy thriller, with techno-gadgets, disguises, car chases, and double agents. The story centers around Q (Quest) and his step-sister Angela, as they become entangled in a search by competing spy agencies for Malak, Angela's thought to be dead mother, who is now believed to be part of a terrorist cell. Clues unfold slowly at first, but the pace quickens as the story moves forward. The ending is satisfying, but leaves you wanting more as it leads you into the next novel in the series; I, Q: The White House.
Reed Reads Score: 4