Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tap Out by Eric Devine YP FIC DEVINE

Tone knows the rules.  Keep quiet. Keep hidden.  Try to survive.  That means ignoring the cries of his mom’s latest boyfriend beating her, the drug dealing biker gang next door, and all the pain and horror that he sees on a daily basis.  But his one and only friend has found something that seems to actually make him happy.  MMA.  And when Tone gets pulled into the world of sport fighting he starts finding things in himself he thought were long dead.  Things like pride, respect, and even hope.  But those things can get you killed in Tone’s neighborhood.  Now Tone has to make a choice between hope and survival, and he’s not sure that he has a choice at all.

This book is a dark, bleak, gritty, and hard.  It felt like a punch to the gut, or maybe repeated hooks to the head and knees to the face.  Something very painful and violent anyways. That being said, I think it’s a great read.  The characters are sort of straightforward and the language is simple and direct, but all that works for the world this book describes. The action scenes are clear, direct, and brutal.  They will leave you pumped for the MMA style fighting and feeling beat and disgusted at the street violence.  The contrast between the two was a clever way to show the difference between violent sport and violence at home. The action scenes are wisely spaced far apart and the book focuses on the day to day drudgery of Tone’s life. This may not make you feel sunshiney and bright, but it is a real slice of what all too many teens have to face in the real world. Now, that’s an entire subgenre of realistic fiction and I can understand wanting to take the occasional break from the dreariest corners of the world and read about vampires and whatnot too.  However, if you want a hard knock book that will keep you hooked then this is a really solid title.

You can check our catalog for Tap Out here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BZRK by Michael Grant YP FIC GRANT

The future war is fought on the nano and the battleground is the human mind.  This new war is played like a videogame but the stakes are life and death. The Thompson twins are building the perfect utopia.  No pain, crime, war, sadness, poverty or want. And all for the low, low price of the eradication of humanity’s free will.  That’s if the hackers known only as BZRK can’t stop them. But when you fight a war in a human mind, any mistake leads to irreparable madness.

This is a fast paced thriller with a fascinating premise, killer action, and wonderful twists and turns.  I loved the video game style and the fight to the death battles. All this is to be expected from the author of the megahit Gone series, but unfortunately Grant’s gift for building fascinating characters with substance and depth are not at their peak in BZRK.  I did really like the books “villains”, Grant does a commendable job of making them have motivations beyond loving evilness. However, the books main protagonists Noah and Sadie are sort of bland and never really grow in an interesting way.  On the other hand, this book has awesome bloody warfare inside human bodies and that is always great! Really, the book works so well in its strengths that its weaknesses never keep it from being immensely readable. The idea that there could be a secret war along my skin and in my very innards made me feel itchy and very creeped out.  The book ends with a huge climax and loads of loose ends, because of course this is a new series.  I do hope that Sadie and Noah get a bit more fleshed out as characters in the sequels, but this is still an absolutely original and high on the can’t-stop-reading-it-into-the-very-wee-hours-of-the-morning scale.

You can check our catalog for BZRK here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney YP FIC MEANEY

The recession is just plain bad for business, but now it’s downsizing Whitefish Bay’s chances for love sweet love.  With a faltering economy a mass exodus of people has left the town’s high school with a 4 to 1 female to male ratio.  That means that any ambulatory male can be on the school team and prize relationship material.  Smart slacker Hunter Fahrenbach has made a school career of just getting by without being noticed, now he’s pursued on all sides.  Kelly Robbins has always been Hunter’s friend but just as things MIGHT be happening with them, he’s become a much desired commodity.  Will the forces of supply and demand trump the power of love?

Wait, Luke is reviewing a book with no zombies, dystopias, death, or horrible bleakness!? I know!  For Valentine’s Day I decided to review a light, funny romance and I’m glad I did.  Told form both Hunter’s and Kelly’s perspectives, this is a laugh filled trifle that goes down easy and doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste.  Sure, the characters aren’t incredibly nuanced and it has absolutely no action sequences or deep looks at the darkest parts of the human experience, but that doesn’t keep it from being a witty read that I found myself flying through.  Even I found myself rooting for the two kids to find a way to make it work, because I ended up genuinely liking them. The banter is fast and moves at a great clip, which isn’t always realistic, but it sure makes for snappy reading. So, if you want something fun, funny, light-hearted, romantic, and cute then give this one a spin.

You can check our catalog for The Boy Recession here.

The Teen advisory Board and Manga Club wish you a happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Loves and Hugs and Kisses Day!  We are very mushy and both lovey and dovey at the Moore Memorial Public Library, so both the Teen Advisory Board AND the Manga Club have made special Valentine messages just for YOU!*

The TAB has put Random Act of Kindness notes in books throughout the entire library collection.  So if you happen upon one of these notes of cheer then it might just perk up your day (or so we hope)!

The Manga Club made manga style Valentine’s and put them in random manga volumes to warm the cockles of any otaku’s heart!

Happy Hunting!  And if you want to get in on the good vibes of the TAB or Manga Club the TAB meets Friday, March 1st at 4PM and the Manga Club meets Friday March 8th also at 4 PM.

*You of course being a random person that grabs a randomly selected book from our library!