Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book is a dystopian novel, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Tessa worships Gideon and is especially proud of him on the day he's to receive a medal for bravery in the war. However, Gideon refuses to accept the medal. Tessa decides to help him search for the truth about his heroic mission, and it involves flying a black-market plane across enemy lines. What they find only confuses them more, and with the help of a stowaway, Dek, the trio returns to the military headquarters for some answers. The truth is unbelievable and unimaginable.

The plot reminds me a bit of an old movie War Games, but it goes beyond that. I thought the trio were a little slow to catch on to the truth, but I guess it makes sense if you're whole view of the world is based on lies. I thought the ending was a little anti-climactic, but the novel was still very enjoyable.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

This book is a little strange, and is the first in a series, but I gave it a rating of four out of five. Spencer starts seeing some strange creatures lurking around his school, but no one else can see them. Classmates think he's trying to get attention, and his teacher thinks he's being disruptive. Eventually, Spencer learns the creatures "... inhale brain waves of young people and exhale certain toxins that affect children's ability to learn." The janitors want to gather the creatures to get their magical properties. Or do they? Spencer later realizes that he may have made a huge mistake and that his actions may lead to dumbness of all future students in the world.

This plot is so unusual that it's interesting. Who could think up the idea that brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners, and lint could actually become weapons against magical creatures? I kind of expected the school bully to become Spencer's helper, but that didn't happen. Spencer ended up being assisted by his mousy, gullible classmate, Daisy. This book won't interest everyone, but it's a change from more serious novels.