The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian book review

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie

Comedy/Drama

230 Pages

 

If you’ve never read anything by Sherman Alexie, you’re missing out.  His writing style is so witty and refreshing; it makes for a really fun read.  This novel is motivated by Alexie’s own experiences growing up, although it is written as a novel and is fiction.  The main character in the story, Junior, tells about his troubles and drama growing up on an Indian reservation in Spokane, Washington.  He was born with and has always had medical problems, but seems to combat these shortcomings with humor and drawing.  There are several drawings throughout the book, most of which are extremely comical.  I could remember myself when I was younger, probably feeling the same way that he did many times.

 

Junior’s best friend Rowdy was tough, and always stood up for him, until Junior decided to leave the reservation to go to the white school.  Many of the Indians on the reservation felt like he was abandoning them, but none more so than Rowdy.  Junior didn’t want to get stuck on the reservation and fall into the same life all the other kids did, and the white school was his way out.  It was scary for him to go to a new place, with no friends, and a place where he was so different from everyone else.  His own people reject him for his decision, and he doesn’t feel like he fits in at the white school either, so Junior is alone.

 

The situation is a sacrifice for his family as well.  It is difficult for them to transport Junior to and from the school every day, and face persecution from their own people.  Junior is determined to rely on himself and make something out of himself.  He turns to basketball at the new school in hopes that he can find somewhere he belongs.  His new team has to face his old team, which brings Junior face-to-face on the court with his old best friend and new enemy Rowdy.  This witty journal follows him through his new life at a new school, and gives a window into the relationship he forms with both the white kids and his Indian tribe.  It is full of humor as well as drama, and points out some of the hardships that the Indian tribe has and some heartache that no one seems immune to.

Miracle Cure book review

Miracle Cure

Harlan Coben

Mysetery/Suspense

511 Pages

 

Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors ever.  However, he has a note at the beginning of this book for new readers.  “Okay, if this is the first book of mine you’re going to try, stop now.  Return it.  Grab another.  It’s okay.  I’ll wait.”  When I first saw this, I found it odd, but upon completion of the book, I understood it and agreed with it.  This was his second published novel, and he admits that it is flawed, but that he still loves it.  That being said, it is not my favorite of his novels, but it was not a bad book by any means.  I think that if you are unfamiliar with his work, it might be better to take his advice and read some other works of his first.

 

Anyway, in this book, much like many of his other books, sports play a big role.  One of the main characters, Michael Silverman, is a basketball star, and he is married to a TV journalist, Sara Lowell.  This novel is widely about finding a cure for AIDS, and Coben does well to raise several issues in the novel that I had never before thought about.  He points out that there are those who view finding a cure to AIDS as a secondary problem to other, supposedly bigger medical issues.  There is only a certain amount of funding that medical causes receive from the government, and in this novel, there are those who want to see those funds taken away and used in other areas, such as cancer research, etc.  Coben points out that there are people who are opposed to a cure because it is seen as only a disease prevalent to homosexuals and drug users, and no one should care about people like that.  He raises issues in this book that I found interesting to read about; I never thought people would have had less interest in finding a cure for a deadly disease based on these issues alone.

 

Michael and Sara happen to be very close friends with Dr. Riker, who has dedicated his life to finding a cure for AIDS.  He confides in the couple that he believes he has found a treatment for the disease; unfortunately, someone wants that cure stopped bad enough to kill the patients that have been cured thereby to destroy the evidence.  Riker finds himself in danger and trying to carry on his work while those most important to the work are dying around him.

 

Like all Harlan Coben novels, this book is filled with deceit and twists that all come together perfectly at the end.  The writing is clear and consistent, and only confusing in that it is hard to imagine how it will all end.  It is hard to imagine who is pulling what strings, and you might just find yourself surprised at the end to discover who was on what side.  There are many dangerous players in this game, and Coben is a master of keeping the reader in suspense throughout the whole novel.

 

Again, I will say that this is not my favorite of Coben’s books, but I did still enjoy reading it.  I think that it would be beneficial to take his advice and read some other works of his first, and then come back to this one later.  If, however, you have read others of his, pick it up!  Or if you are interested in medical topics and controversial issues, I think you would find this book appealing.  It talks about some things in the novel that wouldn’t be appropriate for younger readers, and a lot of the medical information might go over a younger reader’s head, but it is an interesting read for adults.  If you do read this and like it, I would highly recommend any other Harlan Coben’s other books, as I think he is a fantastic author and you won’t be disappointed.

Percy Jackson The Last Olympian Review

Percy Jackson The Last Olympian

Rick Riordan

Fantasy Fiction/Adventure

381 Pages

This is the final suspenseful installment in the Percy Jackson series.  In my opinion, it is definitely the best one out of them all.  The writing is still simple enough for younger readers, but there is so much action and things going on, it is hard not to enjoy it as an adult.  I found it to be more advanced in writing than the earlier ones as well, especially the first couple in the series.  There were more twists and advanced plots in this novel than in previous ones in the series, like we are actually growing up with the characters.

This is the novel where the great prophecy is finally to be fulfilled.  The titans’ army is in full force and marches through New York to advance on Olympus.  The gods are away and busy fighting the battle on another front, so it is up to Percy Jackson and his small army of heroes to defend the eternal city and defeat the titans.  Luke is back at the head of the army, and Percy finds himself doing things he never imagined or thought possible in order to fight for a victory against seemingly impossible odds.  He bands together with former rivalries with a common goal to destroy the titan army.

There was a lot of action in this novel.  There were new monsters, old monsters, as well as old and new friends fighting alongside Percy and his heroes.  The titan spy is still undercover within the campers, and so Percy has mistrust within even his own ranks.  Percy also must solve the riddle-like words of the great prophecy if he is to ensure that Kronos will be stopped.  He follows the path of other heroes who have tried to do great things, and finds surprises and difficulty every step of the way.  This book wraps up and concludes everything in a very satisfactory manner.  There is some loss in the book, although perhaps not as much as I have seen in other novels where there has basically been a similar battle between good and pure evil.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing: it seems less realistic, but it is also hard to say good-bye to characters that we have come to care about.  If you’ve made it this far, I think you have to pick up this last book and finish the series to find out what happens.  After all, the final result of the prophecy surprises even Percy himself.

Percy Jackson The Battle of the Labyrinth Review

Percy Jackson The Battle of the Labyrinth

Rick Riordan

Fantasy Fiction/Adventure

361 Pages

The inevitable battle between the gods and the titans continues to grow closer in the 4th installment of the Percy Jackson series.  In my opinion, this is the best book so far; it has the most action and the most dangerous situations, making it the most exciting.  It begins again with trouble following Percy to his new school, causing him to escape just in the nick of time.  Percy makes his way back to Camp Half-Blood and finds that his best friend Grover is in trouble as well.  His search for Pan has proved fruitless and unless he can find him soon, he will be forced into exile.

Once again, the tight knit group of friends must band together for a quest, this time with Annabeth leading the excursion.  Together, the four adventurers enter into the ancient Labyrinth.  It is a place designed to trick and torture them, where many who venture in never make it out.  They have several other things to worry about as they are making their way through the Labyrinth, such as what their old acquaintance Nico has been up to since he left camp, and Grover’s search for Pan, which must come to an end soon.  This novel is filled with nonstop adventure and dangerous situations, which Riordan devises clever ways for the group to get out of.

Near the end of the novel, when Percy again comes face-to-face with his arch-nemesis Luke, he is shocked and horrified by what he finds.  Grover’s search for Pan finally comes to a surprising end as well in this novel, and Grover matures and becomes more than he ever believed he could be.  There is an impending battle scene that is escalating as the novel creeps towards the end, and doesn’t disappoint in danger and excitement.  This is an exciting pre-conclusion to what I look forward to in the next and final novel in the series.  The battle for power and control must come to an end in the final chapter of the series, and I am excited to see how it ends as Percy finally discovers the true meaning of his prophecy that has been haunting him for the past 4 years.

Percy Jackson The Titan’s Curse Review

Percy Jackson The Titan’s Curse

Rick Riordan

Fantasy Fiction/Adventure

312 Pages

Percy starts out this novel by going scouting for other half-bloods to bring them to camp, as he was.  Grover has sent for help so Percy and Annabeth answer the call.  They find trouble in a new monster that proves a worthy adversary and takes his friend captive.  Now Percy must join together with new allies under a timid trust in order to achieve a mutual goal.  Luke returns in this third book and continues to grow in power and followers as he strives to overthrow the gods and return the Titans back to power.  It is becoming clear that Percy will have to best Luke in order to protect Olympus and assist the gods in stopping the titans.

Percy continues to have dreams that link him to his enemies to give him glimpses of what they are up to.  However, is this a blessing or a curse?  Percy knows he must act swiftly in order to save his friend from certain death.  Again, the group has a very short timeline to accomplish its goals, which is becoming a recurring theme in the series, and they have a long way to go.  They travel across the country, with adventure and misfortune meeting them every step of the way.  The prophecy that foretold their journey promised difficulty and even death, and they are not let down.  This book takes a darker turn than the previous ones as the enemies and dangers Percy faces become more real.

Percy meets even more characters from Greek mythology, as well as receives unexpected help from unexpected places.  Will he make it to his goal in order to save his friend?  And who will be lost along the way?  This book is perhaps the most exciting in the series so far because there is more tragedy and more sacrifices in the coming war between the gods and the titans.  Again, if you enjoyed the first two books in the series, I would recommend that you continue on and see what is in store for Percy and his friends in the next chapter of his adventures.

Percy Jackson The Sea of Monsters Review

Percy Jackson The Sea of Monsters

Rick Riordan

Fantasy Fiction/Adventure

279 Pages

Percy Jackson returns with his friends in the second installment of the series.  This time, his best friend Grover is in trouble and it is up to Percy and Annabeth to save him.  Their camp is also having trouble with their magical borders so Percy must find the solution to both problems during his quest.  Along with their new friend Tyson, whom Percy learns a startling secret about, they set off to find Grover and save the camp.

Percy’s travels take him to a location where many other heroes have journeyed before, a place full of wonder and danger – the Sea of Monsters.  Percy’s old friend and arch-enemy Luke is back in this book, and has the beginning of an army of monsters under his command.  Percy will have to battle his way through monsters, tricks, loss, and other exciting surprises that lay in wait for him.  In this book, Percy is beginning to understand and control the powers he has that come from being Poseidon’s son.  While he still has a lot to learn, he begins to comprehend the command that he has over water as well as the creatures that dwell within the sea.

If you enjoyed the first Percy Jackson book, I would definitely recommend continuing on the journey with Percy and picking up this second book.  Follow along with Percy and his companions as they meet up with more gods and face more famous monsters from classic Greek mythology.  This is also a fun way to get interested in Greek Mythology, as I have learned a lot about it just from reading the books in this series.  Much like the first book, this isn’t the most complicated read for older readers, but I still think it is entertaining and a fun novel.  There is adventure, action, and surprises that await the small group of heroes and it is fun to read along and see how Percy will manage his way through the unique sets of challenges that present themselves.

Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief Review

Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan

Fantasy Fiction/Adventure

375 Pages

This is Riordan’s first book in his Percy Jackson series.  It is about a 12-year-old boy who, much like Harry does in the Harry Potter series, finds out that his is special.  He finds out that he is a half-blood, meaning that he is half mortal and half god, also known as a demigod.  His father is one of the Greek gods, which are all still alive today and have continued to produce demigods with mortals.  Of course, this brings him not only powers that he is just beginning to understand, but proves to sweep him into a dangerous world he never knew existed.

There are many similarities to the Harry Potter series in this book.  Percy finds a close-knit group of friends that it becomes clear will help him through his years of discovering his powers while fighting to stay alive.  Percy starts out the book with a warning to those reading, “If you’re reading his because you think you might be [a half-blood], my advice is this: close this book right now” (page 1).  You see, when demigods start to realize who they are, their lives become endangered.  They are suddenly more discoverable to those who would harm them.  Percy makes it to “Half-Blood Camp,” which is a training grounds for those like him.  He begins to learn how to survive in the new world that he finds himself in.

This time is short-lived, however, as Percy accepts a quest to go recover stolen property from Zeus and return it to him in a very short time with almost no training and preparation. Though he is not alone on the quest, he must battle alongside his friends new monsters and makes dangerous enemies along the way, which assuredly will provide complications in future books as well.  Percy comes face-to-face with several gods in this novel, and while some encounters go well, some leave Percy with a feeling of doom.  It will be interesting to see how these relationships grow in the coming sequels.

In this book, Percy begins to discover the world of the ancient Greek gods that is hidden around us still today.  It is a very interesting and entertaining book, and Riordan does well to explain how these things might be possible under our very noses.  The fight scenes end rather abruptly in most cases, and aren’t as intricate as in other similar books, but the story keeps the reader entertained.  I think that this book would do great to appeal to kids targeted in the reading group, but also can be a fun read for adults as well.  The recommended age level is 10 and up; I’m 27 and I enjoyed reading it.  There’s nothing dark or disturbing in the book, and no reason it couldn’t be acceptable for anyone.  The book leaves out enough information about certain things that leaves you wanting to read the rest of the series to find answers to your questions.

This book isn’t as complex or intricate as other books in a similar genre (Harry Potter), but it is a good book and worth the read if you like things in this category.  It is meant for younger audiences, and I think it would also be a great book to get someone started on reading that might be reluctant to pick up a book.  There are five total books in the series, and all are available, so you might just find yourself starting one book and having to read the next four.

Hello world!

Hi people!  I’m 27 years old and I love to read!  I just started this blog because I love to read books and I thought this would be a fun place to post reviews of them.  I read books from several different genres, and I plan to review books from a variety of authors/genres.  I hope that you enjoy my reviews and that I can be useful in helping you choose books to read.  Thanks for checking out my blog, I plan to update as frequently as I can!