Teen Art & Lit — Book Reviews
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Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen, best known for her undisputed masterpiece Pride and Prejudice, like all Austen's work, shines with hilarious wit and breathtaking romance. The premise: Elinor, a young aristocrat, is in love with the handsome Edward (no, Edward isn't a vampire) who is seemingly unattainable. Unfortunately, the book is flawed with the frustrating aspect of Austen's style: her old-fashioned storytelling. Nowhere is it more annoying than at the very end. (Major spoiler alert.) "...about three hours after his arrival, he had secured his lady..." That is how we discover, after anticipating it since chapter three; Elinor has obtained the love of Edward! Hmmm… does that seem a bit underdone and anticlimactic to you? (End of spoiler alert.) However, the book is thoroughly entertaining. It's exceptionally funny (My mother says I laughed out-loud when I read it a lot.) One finds it easy to sympathize with the characters. One may even find it relevant to one's own life: after all, who hasn't felt heartache after a shattered romance with a man or woman? Or fallen in love only to discover that the one you feel passion for can never be won? Can any of us honestly say we have never been in the same situation as the protagonists of this story? Other books by Jane Austen: Mansfield Park, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion.
by Julie Kenner
The first of a series, this book opens up with a average suburban mom. Until she starts fighting demons off that is. Your main character Kate Connor is off on an adventure by the second chapter. She is trying to find a way to balance her new life as a suburban house wife and her old life as a demon hunter. All without letting her family know and still keep them and her friends safe. It's fun and fast paced. There is nothing as exciting as chicks kicking butt. Good for anyone who is 15 and up.
by Gregory Maguire
Ready for fast-paced action, unlikely romances, and a whole new outlook on Oz? Set in the well-known but not well-understood- as you will see in this book- Land of Oz we can all recall from Frank Baum's classic Wizard of Oz, Wicked is a deep and multi-layered story of the truth behind the Wicked Witch of the West, the ruby slippers, and who the Wizard really is.
Its elegant prose and richly descriptive imagery lead you on an adventure that starts in a Munchkinland minster's house, where a green-skinned, shark-toothed child has just been born, and further, through Elphaba's college years, unlucky romances, and finally to her finale as the misunderstood, brilliant, shunned Wicked Witch of the West.
This book will give you a whole new outlook on the meaning of the word "wicked" and a deeply touching, can't-put-it-down read at the same time.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
This book is hilarious! I found myself holding my side with laughter. Sherman Alexie writes with conviction and clarity regarding the life of the modern reservation Indian. I learned so much about reservation life through the eyes of a goofy brain-damaged outcast named Arthur. He strikes out into the white world to attend school, in order to receive a better education, yet what he discovers about himself and his tribe is sure to change his life forever. This story is heart-warming to say the least and is full of wonderful adventures that will leave you both happy and sad. Great book!