August 7, 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Will Greg ever learn? Apparently not, as this seventh installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series starts with Greg in the womb, and his mother trying to do everything she can to ensure that Greg is born intelligent. Having to listen to his parent's disgusting affection for each other, he decides he needs to get out of the womb early, thus ensuring that all attempts at intelligence have failed. Fast forward to the present, the essence of the story (as you know, these DOAWK plots are really all over the place) is that Greg tries to use his best friend Rowley to get a date with a girl (OMG, Greg is interested in girls!). He helps get Rowley elected to their school's social committee, where Rowley is planning the annual Valentine's dance. Rowley finds out that Abigail Brown's date dumped her, and is now available. Not able to ask himself, Greg gets Rowley to ask her to go to the dance with both boys as a group, figuring she will want to drop Rowley, giving him the in to ask her out on a date. Of course, once at the dance, Greg is his own worst enemy, and chaos ensues.

I often get asked, why I love these books. It's simple. They are honest, funny, and timeless in the way Greg is just one of those oblivious boys who means well, but just doesn't know any better. There are part's of him in all of us, which is why kids (and some of us adults) just eat it up. Go to this for a quick, light, entertaining read. Battle of the Books 2014.

Reed Reads Score: 4

August 3, 2013

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

The "New" is dropped, because now what was once New Orleans is a dead city. After devastation by several hurricanes, flooding and mass destruction, it is a new virus, called Delta Fever, that seals the city's fate. Unable to find a cure, and to avoid its spread, the Federal government separates itself from the devastated south and abandons it. The year is now 2056 and a thick wall separates the Outer States of America from an area presumed to be dead. Two unlikely souls will cross paths in the "dead" city of Orleans. Daniel, a scientist, who in search for a cure for Delta Fever, must enter the dead zone illegally to complete his research. Fen de la Guerre is a fifteen year old girl, who through a tough skin, and perseverance has learned to survive the cruelty and danger of the Delta. When they cross paths, a bond is formed, a bond of survival.

There has been a plethora of dystopian, or speculative fiction, and, as most of you know, I love it. In a genre that has recently seen little in the way of something different and new, Orleans is original, fresh, and well written. I REALLY liked this book. The story builds, is unpredictable, and Fen's voice is raw and real. At first, I was taken aback by her lack of emotion, but as Fen's back story is revealed, it became clear and understandable.

Reed Reads Score: 4.5