Reviews by sueij
Is there anyone who doesn't know that Maya Angelou is a gifted writer?

She paints pictures with words that draw you in, welcome you to her world, make you a part of it, and invite you to understand. This autobiography of her life from her first memories until she was 16 tell about growing up and coming of age as a Black girl in the South and California, and of the relationships she had with her grandmother who raised her, her mostly absent father and mother, and her brother. How community worked. How she saw "whitefolk." What she thought and how she felt; how she fit in the world around her.

And she pulls you in. Beautifully.

If you have never read this, you should.
Good for growing readers, not that much in it for adults
I think if I was a teenage girl and/or hadn't read a number of girl-YA-dystopian novels, I would have liked this more. Hmmm... that might be another way of saying that I think this was pretty good, but I don't think it was unexpected or particularly unique.

I like that it sets up a female protagonist who is discovering herself. I like that she is trying to balance the tensions between what she has always believed in (family, Society, Xander) with new discoveries (Ky, Grandfather's revelations, a mistake in her Match).

But having read the Hunger Games, and Delirium (especially Delirium!) this just doesn't feel new. I'm pretty sure I can predict everything that's going to happen along the way. I'll still support and encourage my daughter (and my son, if he wants to read it) to enjoy it when she reaches the right age, because good female characters on journeys of self-discovery are important role models.

But at 43, I don't need to spend any more time here, myself.
Beautifully done & educational, too
Having just read _Nothing to Envy_ by Barbara Demick, this was particularly interesting as another view of the generally unseen world of North Korea. It matches Demick's telling very well, but from another angle (focused within the capital city of Pyongyang), one that is made to show off to foreigners and look perfect. But Delisle still managed to see through a few of the cracks and tells of what isn't exactly as perfect as it seems.

Beautifully done, and the graphic novel format is well utilized as well.
5 stars for this excellent scifi YA book.

So... my 10 1/2 year old son read this, loved it, and recommended it to me. He's been doing that a little more often lately, and I love when he does. So I read it, because he has good taste in books and because it gives us another point of connection. He was right: this is an excellent book.

The storyline is outstanding, with an excellent mix of information and mystery to drive you through the story and never want to put it down. There was humor throughout, and wonderful imagined technology that would appeal to anyone, but probably *especially* to pre-teen and teen boys. Tension, action, and STILL characters who are real, well-rounded, grow in response to their environment. That's what makes it for me.

Was there anything I didn't like about the book? Well, I really don't believe in children saving the world. But that's the target audience and the genre. I accept it for what it is.

I think I'm going to have to introduce my son to the term "dystopian." Who knew there was dystopian sci fi that he would like this much?
Review of the book, not the audio CDs
What an utterly outstanding (if incredibly massive) book.

Everything you ever wanted to know... and probably more than you thought existed... about Mohandas Gandhi's life and development as an activist and player in the Indian independence journey. What amazed me most is how wildly different that man was than the "little peaceful fasting naked" man we imagine in the West.

And while I'm sure there are a nearly infinite number of volumes written on Winston Churchilll, this particular one focuses on his unchanging and intractable perspective on India throughout his personal and political life, and the repercussions of that view when it came up against the equally strong immovable force of Gandhi's satyagraha (soul force) campaigns.

What this did to the subcontinent, how it played out over decades, why it resulted in three countries, and how each man succeeded and failed in what he believed was his most basic mission for his country is fascinating.

The book is incredibly well written. The content is clear and compelling. There is an excellent balance of "big picture" and personal perspective about the two men and those closest to them. It was incredibly dense material, but if this is the content that you are looking for, I cannot imagine a better source for it.