October 26, 2011

The Death Cure by James Dashner

Thomas has been reunited with his friends and are awaiting WICKED's promised cure to the Flare, the virus threatening to eliminate the human race by reducing them to psychotic, cannibalistic animals. Can WICKED be trusted? Is their true motivation to save mankind? The Death Cure comes full circle in this conclusion to The Maze Runner trilogy. Thomas again comes up against unforeseen road blocks, fights and death. He must make the ultimate choice to save mankind, or save himself and those that he has created strong bonds with.
      Clearly The Maze Runner,  is the strongest of the three books, but if you enjoy a lot of action, and one fight after another, The Death Cure will not disappoint. Personally I wanted more than action out of this book. Each fighting sequence stops the progression of the story, and does little to provide insight or meaning to the characters.
Reed Reads Score: 3

October 19, 2011

Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak

Cameron and Ruben Wolfe see despair and little hope in their Australian working class home; their father out of work, mother doing domestic labor, and their sister getting a reputation for "getting around." The boys themselves are not held in high esteem, hanging out at dog races, and sparing in the back yard, each wearing a single boxing glove. At school, a bloke makes a comment about their sister, and Ruben beats him to a pulp. Word gets around, and when arriving home from school, the boys are greeted by a tough-guy with an offer: come and fight in an illegal boxing syndicate and make some money. Ruben is wanted for his fighting ability, and Cameron, because he will illicit sympathy tips for his inability to fight. Both sign on, and "Fighting Ruben Wolfe" takes on a double meaning....
This is far more than a story about brothers who box. This a story about brothers with a strong bond, and deep affection for each other and their family. The writing is simple, street-wise, and poetic. This book is the second of a trilogy, but Markus Zusak's (The Book Thief) first book to be released in the U.S. You can now find the entire trilogy published as one title called Underdogs, also available in the Reed library. This is an outstanding read.
Reed Reads Score: 4.5

October 2, 2011

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

From the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret comes a new novel, that from the moment you open the cover, you know that this is something very special. While using the same illustrative technique as Cabret, Wonderstruck is different because it uses the illustrations to tell one story, and the text another. The pictures tell the story of Rose Kincaid, a young girl growing up in 1927, Hoboken, New Jersey. She is a lonely girl, who seems to be obsessed with a movie star of the period. The reader quickly learns that she is deaf, hates her tutor, and escapes from home by her bedroom window. The text tells the story of Ben Wilson a young boy growing up in 1977, Gunflint Lake, Minnesota. His mother, the town librarian, has recently passed away, and with no knowledge of his father, is staying nearby with his aunt. He has avoided going back home, but a light in his mother's house draws him back in. Here, as he reminisces in his mother's room, he discovers clues about his father, leading him to New York City to find him. The journey causes Ben to discover what friends and family really mean, and how intertwined our lives can be.
Reed Reads Score: 5