The first thing I want to say is that Sherman Alexie is such a brilliant writer that he could write a grocery list and I'd be engrossed. Flight, like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, deals with a Native-American boy coming to terms with cultural conflicts and aspects of the welfare state in the Pacific Northwest. Alexie adds some interesting twists - like time travel. The writing style combines the same hard edges and soft touches evident in Alexie's other writing and the last chapter made me want to cry. I would highly recommend this one, particularly to anyone who liked Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.
What can I say about The 5th Wave that hasn't been said already? This is actually the first of Rick Yancey's books I've ever read and I loved it. It's very cinematographic in writing style and it's unsurprising there are talks afoot about making a movie version - and of many sequels. Some reviewers have likened it to The Hunger Games in that it deals with turning children into soldiers fighting a battle that is stacked against them. While I can see this point of view, the story is also very original and I love the ideas of the nature of identity in this book - what makes us human? what makes us "other"? Like Alexie, Yancey balances hard edges and soft touches in creating his characters, which gives them depth and makes them easy to relate to and empathize with (never use a preposition to end a sentence with, I know). I think my favorite line - and I hope I'm not giving anything away, is when one of the characters says: "I am a shark ... A shark who dreamed he was a man." Just beautiful!
I was a little less enthusiastic about "Mara Dyer" even though I tore through it pretty quickly - it was very engaging and unique and easy to read. It's more of a paranormal horror story than anything else and this seems to be a growing area of YA literature at the moment. I guess it played to one of my pet peeves in that it really did end with a bit of a cliff-hanger and told us to wait for the next book. It bothers me when good writers do this almost as if they can't trust us to like them enough to pick up the next book without leaving us hanging. I feel the same way about Cassandra Clare. She's one of my favorite YA authors, but she has a tendency to do this in some of her books that annoys me. The story of Mara Dyer is very unique and the language is very contemporary and upbeat. Love the dialogue and the internal voice of the main character. My favorite line was when asked if she would draw a self-portrait, she thought to herself: "I contemplated the idea. I'd have to draw myself without a mirror, now that I saw dead people in them these days." Terrific YA voice! So I would recommend it and I will read the next book, but please, no more overt cliffhangers!!!!
Kaleigh and Zach will be back with more book thoughts next week ...