Reviews by flora
the magic brat and his djinn
»
Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice in a Great Britain run by magicians, has taken it upon himself to learn the magic his master neglects to teach him. When a powerful magician named Lovelace humiliates him, Nathaniel uses high-level magic to summon Bartimaeus, a demon, whom he puts to work to take revenge.
The premise of the plot is rather weak, as simple embarrassment is hardly justification for Nathaniel's all-consuming hatred for Lovelace. Setting this fault aside, the murders, treason, and narrow escapes will keep readers turning the pages.
Narration shifts between the first-person voice Bartimaeus and third-person narration of Nathaniel's experiences. While Bartimaeus is amusing and quite enjoyable, Nathaniel is hard to like. He is so bent on revenge and self-important that his attempts to set things right are not quite enough to redeem himself. Nevertheless, the story is enjoyable enough and the writing style is delightfully readable. This trilogy will likely appeal to fans of the Artemis Fowl series.
Unwind
»
Connor, Risa, and Levi are teenagers in a not-too-distant future in which parents can decide to retroactively abort their children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen through a process called unwinding. Unwinding, a compromise the ended a civil war between pro-life and pro-choice factions, is a process of disassembling a person so that each of their body parts can go to someone else (but it is not considered killing, since the each part of the unwound person goes on living in someone else). In this world, so many teens are unwound that ailments are fixed through transplants rather than medicines or other therapies. Connor, Risa, and Levi have each been scheduled to be unwound for one reason or another, but Connor’s high-profile escape leads to their joining up as runaways.

Unwind passes the narration between Connor, Risa, Levi, and a few secondary characters, as indicated by chapter headings. Although it may take some getting used to, this narrative method lets readers into the motives of the characters and the changes they go through in their attempts to escape, survive, and make sense of the world.

While it’s hard to imagine anyone--regardless of their position on abortion--who would support unwinding, it makes for a provocative premise without glorifying either side of the abortion issue. Instead, Unwind asks questions: Could our society ever adopt and embrace a practice like unwinding? What is life, when does it start and end, and who decides? When is it okay to break the law? Teens may or may not think they have the answers, but they will certainly ask these kinds of questions and many more of their own.

Unwind gives readers a lot to think about while also telling a compelling, exciting, and highly disturbing story.
wintergirls
»
Lia has been haunted by her former best friend, Cassie, since Cassie died in a shady motel after calling Lia 33 times with no answer. They shared an obsessive need to be the thinnest, which earlier landed them both in the hospital and ultimately ended Cassie's life. Lia cannot move on: Cassie and anorexia continue to consume her. She is always thinking about food, calculating the calories in everything she does or could eat, and longing for the numbers on the scale to drop until she disappears. She sees, smells, and hears the ghost of Cassie urging her to continue destroying herself until there is nothing else, so that they can be together again.
Anderson has masterfully put words to the internal dialog, emotions, and mental processes of the eating disordered. Stream-of-consciousness narrative and typographical choices emphasize the tension and obsessiveness and darkness of Lia's reality. Poignant language and good research make this book both authentic and captivating.
stories from art
»
Twice Told is a collection of 18 stories from popular YA authors, inspired by 9 original drawings by Scott Hunt. Some of the authors chose to use the drawings as illustrations of key scenes in their stories, while others incorporated them as pieces of artwork that appear within their stories. Perhaps the best part of this collection was the way it 'illustrated' how differently two people can interpret and imagine the same image. Some of the stories were more compelling than others. I especially liked Ron Koertge's and Bruce Coville's contributions which both centered on friendship and the difficulties of life in very creative ways. Some stories were less memorable, but all were highly readable. Twice Told is highly recommended, though some themes, e.g. suicide, rape, and patricide, may be too mature for younger readers.
bilingual board book
»
El nino receives a book as a gift and he is so excited! He can turn the books pages, carry it around, read it to upside down, and even put it on his head like a hat. The illustrations are colorful and contain many familiar images and comforting like the family cat, a bed, and a wagon. This bilingual Spanish and English board book encourages toddlers to find joy in books and reading, especially when the boy's mom reads his book to him before naptime. !Libro! Book! is a great for toddlers, especially those growing up in a Spanish-English bilingual home.

El nino le recibi un regalo de libro y el esta muy encantada! Puede pasar las paginas, llevarlo, leerlo del reves, y ponerselo de la cabeza como sombrero! Las ilustraciónes son de colores vivos y incluyen muchas cosas comunes y amistosas como el gato de la familia, una cama, y un camion del nino. Este libro en Espanol y Ingles les anima a los ninos disfrutar de leer, especialmente cuando la madre y su hijo leer con juntos antes de la siesta del nino. !Libro! Book! es bueno para los ninos pequenos, especialmente si viviera en casas bilinguales.
*No he hablado el Espanol por muchos anos, asi lo siento por mis errores!