Saturday, May 29, 2010

Books gone Movies: Dear John

Read the review of the book here!

I thought it would be interesting to be speak about the books that got turned into movies, and compare the adaptions to the originals. Yesterday I just saw Dear John, and so the opportunity came up. Consider it as a sort of movie review. :)

Well, I was very ecstatic on seeing this movie. I mean, who can resist live action drama? I sure can't.

I think that the movie was worst than the book, haha. But that isn't very surprising; most movies cannot cover the entire length of the story, and thus many details are left out. There were some strange changes in this adaption: Tim was way older, and was actually Alan's father, which confused me at first. It's not that much of a big change, also works along with the plot, but it's really strange to see Savannah married to a man way older than her. They didn't fit together as well as they did in the book.

John was beautiful and manly and so gorgeous when he cried. I really did drop a few tears when he received that final letter from Savannah. I think the actors played their roles very well and all. The soundtrack was beautiful. It's worth downloading it all.

In the end, I think it's way more fun to read a book and then see its adaption. You understand way more and can relate to all the scenes than when you're discovering the plot for the first time on the big screen. I recommend to see Dear John to all the book fans, and I'll go grab another Spark signed novel mean while.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Warning – Very long rant coming up. May contain spoilers, though I tried really hard not to spoil anything too important.

Which book sports these characteristics?

- Supernatural romance;
- A new girl in the local high school of a city in the middle of nowhere;
- Mysterious recluse families;
- Telepathy, or the lack of it;
- Supernatural powers, such as persuasion, the power to control hurricanes, and the EVERYTHING POWAH;
- Instant acceptance of the supernatural-ness of the protagonist’s partner.

If you answered Twilight, you’re wrong. Okay, fine, you’re right too. But I meant you to guess Beautiful Creatures.

Sure, I’ll give it to you, on many points it is very different from Twilight. The supernatural creature is the girl, not the guy, and she is a Caster, not a vampire. And, yes, there is a little bit more of a plot than in Twilight, but I have to admit Beautiful Creatures seems a whole lot like a remake of Stephenie Meyer’s (sadly) famous vampire romance series, minus the originality of having exploited the idea first. On the back cover of my French translation paperback of it, it was even written that it was similar to Twilight. No joke.

I have wanted to read this for awhile, but couldn’t decide whether or not to go out and actually read it. After checking out a couple of fantastic book reviews about it (that were all written by absolute Twilight fans), I decided against and went to read a nice little zombie book. But then Beryl found it at our school library, and dared me to read it in another of our little “Who will read the worst book?” contests. I forced Beryl into the House of Night series, while she made me read the first instalment of the Black Moon trilogy.

Alright, let’s get this over with.

Like I said previously, the whole supernatural-entity-who-falls-in-love-with-a-mere-mortal thing has been done one thousand times over, and Beautiful Creatures is one of these. Its concept is a little bit too similar to Twilight’s for my taste, to be quite honest, but I was quite happy to see there was an actual mystery. Alright, maybe I’m exaggerating a little by calling the plot a mystery, but Ethan and Lena – the protagonists – were actually trying to find stuff out and understand it. I didn’t like how they could just touch a medallion and have access granted to visions about the past: they didn’t have to work at all to learn stuff.

Also, this book was about the everlasting battle of good against evil, light against dark, nice against mean. This disappointed me a whole lot, because I had actually been half-enjoying my read before this whole aspect of the book came up. It’s actually written, somewhere in this book, that no one is gray. You have to be the nicest wizard out there and serve the light if you don’t want to be frowned upon. I really prefer more complex books, with betrayals, selfish characters, semi-nice characters and fake bad guys. Those kinds of books definitely have more depth than a bunch of good guys fighting the ultimate evil.

The characters were all right, I guess, if you call alright your typical emo witch who is the most powerful, liek, evar, and doesn’t know how to control her hurricane-summoning powers. Ethan had a little more depth, thankfully, but was really kind of boring too. He was such a nice guy, and a perfect, loving boyfriend, it made it impossible to think of him as an actual guy. Also, he loved Catcher in the Rye and to Kill a Mockingbird and talked like a love struck female teenager – wait, that’s exactly what he is. I’m 100% certain all teenage boys don’t act like he does. Sure, there are the odd guys who will love poetry, old plays and literature and sacrifice their friends for their girlfriend, but they aren’t also the star of the basketball team, aren’t super-popular and they didn’t just loose their mom. All in all, he was too much of a perfect little goody two shoes to feel anything near realistic, and I absolutely couldn’t feel attached to him.

Suspense-wise, this book had just enough of it to keep me alive until the end (though just barely). It did not sustain me, though, and there is so much more that could have been done! Authors these days don’t seem to explore the full potential of their ideas.

As said previously, To Kill a Mockingbird was one or Ethan’s favourite books. Sadly, I just so happened to read this book with my insanely incompetent English teacher a few months ago (this is the English Teacher who said “The fire caught the house” is correct grammar, and who takes her tests straight off the internet). She managed to make me hate this book a whole lot, so I was not pleased by the many, many comparisons between the two books. To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic of literature, whether I like it or not, and this book can’t even begin compare to it.

Finally, the storyline itself doesn’t go anywhere new. Lena is oh-so-powerful; she will either become good or evil when she turns 16, her family is special, super-villains who turn out to be family, blablabla. I read about this one thousand times over, and in much better, more detailed, books, too.

I think I still do need to say at least something positive about this novel, though, so let me at least try.

I, um, liked... the front cover. Yeah. The cover art was beautiful! Check the one on the French version out, too:

Needless to say, I won’t be reading the next book in this series. Beautiful Creatures isn’t all bad, it just feels like it isn’t going anywhere new at all, just rehashing a bunch of ideas already exploited in every book ever written. It definitely lacks in originality, and doesn’t make up for this with good writing, interesting characters or interesting developments, since none of these were present.

I think I won this round, Beryl. (Beryl's inserted comment: Aw man D8) At least you were entertained, for the mere 200 pages of your book. I wasn’t, and Beautiful Creatures rambled on for 600 pages of boredom!

To conclude this rant, I’d like to apologize. To you, the reader who had to suffer through this book – I’m sorry I didn’t bring you the light before. To you, who read and loved Beautiful Creatures – I’m sorry; I don’t seem to like the same types of books as you, take no notice of this, and continue on reading similar mushy romance books for as long as you like, I won’t try to stop you.

-Aithen ;)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Rating: 5,6/10

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Various Flavors of Coffee

It was a cup of coffee that changed Robert Wallis’s life—and a cup of very bad coffee at that. The impoverished poet is sitting in a London coffeehouse contemplating an uncertain future when he meets Samuel Pinker. The owner of Castle Coffee offers Wallace the very last thing a struggling young artiste in fin de siècle England could possibly want: a job. But the job Wallis accepts—employing his palate and talent for words to compose a “vocabulary of coffee” based on its many subtle and elusive flavors—is only the beginning of an extraordinary adventure in which Wallis will experience the dizzying heights of desire and the excruciating pain of loss. As Wallis finds himself falling hopelessly in love with his coworker, Pinker’s spirited suffragette daughter Emily, both will discover that you cannot awaken one set of senses without affecting all the others. Their love is tested when Wallis is dispatched on a journey to North Africa in search of the legendary Arab mocca. As he travels to coffee’s fabled birthplace—and learns the fiercely guarded secrets of the trade—Wallis meets Fikre, the defiant, seductive slave of a powerful coffee merchant, who serves him in the traditional Abyssinian coffee ceremony. And when Fikre dares to slip Wallis a single coffee bean, the mysteries of coffee and forbidden passion intermingle…and combine to change history and fate.

I was instantly charmed by the cover of this book, and by its promising resume. Not only was it cheap - which in my opinion quite doesn't typify the quality of the book - but it also was about the unconventional matter that is coffee. In the end it ended not being only about roasted beans, but also love and passion, women's suffrage, foreign travel, slavery and economics, all delivered in a nicely flavored Victorian London.

I think I could go on babbling about how good this book was, because I can't find anything grandly negative to state about it. I found the main character, Robert, eccentric and quite silly but lovable in the end. Then there was Emily who worked for her father as an employee and who portrayed the entire feminine strength in her role as a suffragette afterwards, and Fikre the exotic but fierce slave. All of the characters were really interesting and different, each having their own stories and plots and each them a big in influence in Robert's life.

I really liked how much odors and flavors were in the descriptions. It was as if you could smell everything the same way Robert did, and the writing was very rich and smooth.

I learned so much about coffee in this book. About all it's flavors, how it is grown in Africa and Brazil, about its trade back in London. I also got to learn more about the first big coffee brands. It made me want to taste all those types of coffee myself. It's really surprising to see how much these beans had an important role back in the XIX century. I would never had thought such a complex industry was related to them. In any case, this book was very instructive both on the matter of coffee but of London in this fin-de-siècle period.

So in conclusion this is a very good read. Some may not like Robert's foolish character but I enjoyed it quite. I think it's a book worth to read if you are interested in coffee and what to know everything about it. There's also a fair amount of drama, twists and surprises, and a very good amount of politics and suffrage in London.

I do warn younger readers; it is quite an erotic book, and there's a lot of love-making. ;)

The Various Flavors of Coffee by Anthony Capella
Rating: 9,4/10

Friday, May 14, 2010

Double Cross

Everyone assumes the bomb that killed Callie Rose's grandmother was the work of a nought terrorist. But Callie Rose knows the truth - and her fear of the past leaves her afraid for her future. Her boyfriend Tobey is worried about his own future. A nought boy at an exclusive school Tobey hopes to keep out of trouble, go to university, get a good job and leave the dangerous streets of his childhood behind.

But Tobey is discovering that he can't keep clinging to some kind of no-man's land while the neighbourhood around him is carved up by rival gangs. Then he is offered the chance to earn some ready money just making a few 'deliveries'. He doesn't want a part of that world, the world of gangs. But maybe he could get away with it, just this once ...He little realizes how his decision will bring violence down on both himself and Callie and just how far he will go in fighting back...

So I was very happy when my friend came waving this book under my nose. I just adored the three previous books, and I adored this one also.

This time, the story's point of views are Callie's and Tobbie's. At some point it starts being only Tobbie's until at the end it picks up back with Callie's. First thing first, the characters. Malorie has had no trouble creating amazing, interesting and true characters. Callie is strongheaded and emotional, Tobbie brave and wise. Their point of views are strong ad captivating. It's was a true pleasure to follow their stories.

The book covers the issues of drugs and of scholarship inaccessible to students because of lack of money. Once again, Blackman portrays every character's emotions very well and defines all of their personalities so we can see them under every angle. A powerful dramatic story that illustrates the blunt truth in a wonderfully written fictional world.

The action was great. The drama was tearful, and the ending, sublime. Perhaps the subject -drugs and money- wasn't as interesting as the concept of black against white racism featured in the previous books, but it still stays excellent. I'm really sad this is the last book. I just loved the serie so much, I don't want it to end.

I don't know how I can prolong this any further. Malorie Blackman's serie is just amazing, and practically a must-read. I recommend it to everyone who loves drama, romance, mixed with society's truths and lies.
Double Cross by Malorie Blackman
Rating: 9,5/10

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shadow Magic

Led to victory by its magic-fueled Dragon Corps, Volstov has sent a delegation to its conquered neighbors to work out the long-awaited terms of peace. Among those sent are the decorated war hero General Alcibiades and the formerly exiled magician Caius Greylace. But even this mismatched pair can’t help but notice that their defeated enemies aren’t being very cooperative.

The truth is even worse than they know. For the new emperor is harboring a secret even more treacherous—one that will take every trick in Alcibiades’ and Caius’ extensive arsenal to unveil. And once it is revealed, they may still be powerless to stop it.

With their only ally, an exiled prince, now fleeing his brother’s assassins, the countryside rife with treachery and terror, and Alcibiades and Caius all but prisoners, it will take the most powerful, most dangerous kind of magic to heal the rift between two strife-worn lands and unite two peoples against a common enemy…shadow magic.

As soon as I finish this one, I’ll be working on reading Beautiful Creatures. Why oh why does Beryl always have to dare me to read gigantic bricks that look like lame attempts at Twilight?

Shadow Magic starts exactly where Havemercy ended: the century-long war between the Volstov and Ke-Han Empires is finally over, and Volstovic diplomats are negotiating (what they are negotiating is beyond my knowledge, maybe the terms of surrender or something).

I had first started to read Havemercy, the first tome of this series, because of the awesomely cute gay couple, Royston and Hal. I picked this book up because I had like the plot, but especially because I thought there would be more Royston and Hal cuteness. When I noticed there wasn’t anything of the sort in Shadow Magic, I was slightly disappointed, but continued reading nevertheless.

After that, I was even more disappointed when I noticed the whole fantasy part present Havemercy disappeared in Shadow Magic. Granted, Havemercy already didn’t have very much, but the little it had was awesome. At least, there were dragons, magic, and magic dragons. But in Shadow Magic (Another ill-fitted book title!), nothing. Well, nothing in the first 300 pages of the book. This disappointed me even further, but I kept reading anyways.

Then, I realized that the Ke-Han Empire was really just Japan with another name. When reading about fantasy worlds, I like original people, strange new ways and special attributes. But the Ke-Han wore attire that looked an awful lot like kimonos, had customs much like those of feudal, imperial Japan, and even their names were Japanese-sounding! Mamoru, Aiko and Kouje were three noticeable ones (though I do admit Iseul doesn’t sound at all Japanese).

Next, there are still four protagonists, and two hardly related storylines: that of Mamoru and Kouje running away from the Emperor, and that of the Volstovic diplomats negociating the terms of surrender with the Ke-Han Emperor, Iseul. This second aspect is told by Caius Greylace (by far my favourite, though very cliché in his gayness and love for clothes) and General Alcibiades.

All four main characters are despairingly common, and I’m not even talking about the other ones. Mamoru, the fragile little prince. Kouje, Mamoru’s trusty bodyguard and friend. Caius Greylace, the happy little 17-year-old diplomat with an incredible taste for clothes and gossip. And finally, Alcibiades, the gruff general who did the war and is definitely not talented diplomatically.

I’d feel like I was failing this blog and myself if I couldn’t find anything positive to say about this novel, but this one is hard. I do admit the writing was beautiful and flowery, though I wish there were a little more physical descriptions of places and people. Once more, the authors managed to give distinctively different voices to their four characters, and I have to praise them for this. But, as I said earlier, story wise, this book is rather bland.

The first 300 pages were pretty boring, to be frank. But the ending actually quite made up for it action wise, even if it did feel rushed. I would’ve loved another hundred pages like the last 80! But instead, the rest of the book was just a big mob of diplomacy.

Honestly, though this book probably isn’t the worst one out there, it is a horrible disappointment. Though there is a third book in this series, I do not know whether or not I will read it, because it is about the two characters I loathed in Havemercy (the ones that were brothers, but didn’t know because they thought the other one was dead – woops, I just said a punch line from book 1).

I tried hard to like this book, I really did. But I most certainly didn’t. If you like diplomacy in fantasy worlds that look like feudal Japan, then you may appreciate this more than I did, though.

Shadow Magic by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
Rating: 5,6/10

Friday, May 7, 2010


The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

I mean, my god, I need to explain how I got my hands on this...

Because I'm sadist like that, I dared Aithen to read Beautiful Creatures for the simple reason that it had 'Attempt # 1753 at being as good as Twilight and utterly failing at it' labeled on it. Of course, because there is no way she'd suffer a bad read without having me suffer beside her, she picked a book for me in return that had 'Yet another Vampire book that is so bad no one knows why it even got published in the first place!' labeled on it.

Here's the kind of book that makes me desperately sigh and rub my forehead. And to think I swore to myself never to read such a... thing... ever again! But a challenge is a challenge and I'm not one to deny especially when I'm sure I'll win yet again. Aithen always picks the worst for me ever since I made her read some crap called the 'Prophecy of the Stones'. Oh noooo, she'll never forgive me for that.

Anyway, I had forgotten how much a book can be filled with so much stereotypes. Here's the story, and no I won't skip over spoilers:

Random girl is marked as a vampyre (Can't even bother finding a more original name? Do you really need to mess up the word already?) but instead of being like everyone else and having her forehead crescent moon tattoo only outlined, she has it filled in because she's so special and on top of that, the Goddess of all the vamps chooses her for some cliche prophecy and foreshadows a super destiny! Yay!!!1 Then, random girl arrives at this super awesome perfect school where vampyres have a salad bar (drinking blood is so last decade!) and where all the teachers are nice and cool and where everyone is just simply amazingly gorgeous and has long flowy hair. Double yay!!!1 But you know what!? There's this evil gang of prigs who want our super special protagonist to join their Dark Daughters or Whatever club because she's so special like them, and because they are the evil prigs of the story and get to do what they want! And they are all total sluts. No wayyyy. But, oh, oh, this is not the end! Our protagonist, not only being somewhat of a full vampyre (when it is completely illogical because she was marked two hours ago and it takes about 3-4 years to become a full vampire!) because of her filled in mark, can also control the elements! And you know what else!? She's probably the first vampyr ever to control the five elements! How amazingly amazing! Oh and, she gets to hook up with the most beautiful guy in the school even if she has known him for a total of two days.

Right. This was as much of a laugh as Evermore, my previous challenge but at least this got me going till the end. (I just really wanted to see how cliche it could get).

Ok, first thing first. The authors here tried way too hard to put moral in their story and cover issues such as oral sex and getting drunk and what not, making Zoey, the protagonist, a super smart, alert and conscious teen who is supposed to be the role model for every teenager out there with her perfectness and innocence. You know, as much as I want the young society to get smarter and act smart, the way these issues were presented was just ridiculous.

I don't know what this deal about connecting with teenagers was all about, but I don't think the dialogues, interactions and overall voice of the book needed to sound so stupid. I mean, you had those parenthesis comments and monologues popping out every few pages, such as 'Speaking of boob, I was totally sounding like one. (Boob... hee hee).' or 'You scared the poo out of me!' I mean, hello? Is Zoey really supposed to be 16 years old!? This book was so just written in such a plain and primitive way. At first the bluntness of it all made me laugh, but really, this is not the kind of book that is worth being read again or that contains any passages that really draws you in, inspires you. The attempt at connecting with teenagers is a failure, because if they think we teenagers act like this in the real world, then we're all a horde of immature dorks.

The characters weren't as bad because at least they had personalities, but those personalities were your international cliche. Zoey was way too much your stereotypical good-girl and her friends were the way too stereotypical good-friends including the stereotypical gay boy that giggles like a girl and the bad guys were the way too stereotypical 'bia-tches' and the love interest was flat and there was as usual nothing stable and concrete and logical behind the relationship. Why can't authors take the time to develop their characters and relationships!? Yes here I am telling that some of them are pitiful writers and should go hide in shame!

I did like the whole marking and changing thing. It's a nice concept, though unattractive because vampires are included (even if there was as much of vampire-ism in this book as there is gold under your pillow) and vampires have been way too much overused during the past years to stand as a possible interest. This book was more like a Harry Potter reloaded in bad quality and involving vampire pagans doing sacrificial witchcraft instead of wizards who wear pointy hats and fly on brooms. Ugh, really. Where Twilight completely misunderstands the concept of vampires, The House of Night completely passes beside the point! At least they don't sparkle. Yet.

This is the kind of book that will make twelve year-old girls who know no better squeal and fangirl. It was an easy read, ok, funny at times ok, but in truth ridiculous and a big waste of my time. I just know I won this challenge.

Sorry if I sounded rude. Just blame the book for it.

Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Rating: 6,3/10

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Daughters of Fire

The Romans are landing in Britannia...

Cartimandua, the young woman destined to rule the great tribe of the Brigantes, watches the invaders come ever closer. From the start her world is a maelstrom of love and conflict, revenge and retribution. Cartimandua's life becomes more turbulent and complicated as her power grows, and her political skills are threatened by her personal choices. She has formidable enemies on all asides as she faces a decision which will change the future of all around her.

In the present day, historian Viv Lloyd Rees has immersed herself in the legends surroundings the Celtic queen. Viv struggles to hide her visions of Cartimandua and her conviction that they are real. But her obsession becomes ever more persistent as she takes possession of an ancient brooch that carries a curse. bitter rivalries and overwhelming passions are reawakened as past envelops present and Viv finds herself in the greatest danger of her life.

The first thing that surprised me while reading Daughters of Fire was how the plot didn't need to be amazing to pull me in. The story is basically about Viv having flash backs of Cartimandua's life and bringing lots of people around her in the unraveling dramatic events that follow. The resume didn't make me excited and all, just slightly curious, but i was already hooked ever since the first page.

I guess this is because of the beautiful, smooth and lyrical writing of Erskine. It's this kind of writing that inspires you automatically, that makes you want to go on with the story and that illustrates everything so well. Physical descriptions included too! It irks me so much when in books no descriptions of the characters are given, and you are just left to wonder how everyone and everything looks; I take authors who forget to describe their characters in such disdain! This time I was pleased. Good descriptions are good. Both of the characters and environment.

As I said, the plot wasn't amazing. It was a good read, a very interesting book that portrays well the Celts and that makes you learn a lot. It was long, though (not that I have anything against long books! The bigger the more I like them! It's just that when a plot isn't juicy enough, my interest falters..) and around the middle it started to slightly drag and you tell yourself 'ngngn hurry up...' because you want to get to the core of it all already. The last hundred pages are packed with drama and action and all and so the book ends pretty well. I actually liked the conclusion and the whole unraveling. It has a dramatic touch to it. You all know how much I love drama. :)

For the characters, just as the plot, I was content, but not amazed. They are very well developed, very different and each of them stand out with their own personality. And guess what. No silly teens have the spotlight! It's goodbye teen drama and hello adult drama! Indeed, most of the characters were over their thirties, and I liked that. It's a bit strange for me to think of fantasy and paranormal with adults involved, but it was good. I didn't get that attached to the characters as I usually do, perhaps because here we deal with ye old folks, but I didn't mind them either. They weren't bad, but neither were they amazing.

So, in conclusion, a good read. I have another book by Erskine in my possession, The Warrior's Princess, but I'll pick it up a bit later. I heard that all of Erskine's books are written in the present/past flashback style and even if it might be a bit repetitive, it's still an interesting trademark and a fun way to learn history slightly altered by fiction. Now I enjoy reading about Cartimandua on wikipedia and looking for pictures of her and reviving the character of the book in my head.
Daughter of Fire by Barbara Erskine
Rating: 8,6/10

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass eighteen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?
First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.

And then there's Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she's first on the list. Living with a secret isn't easy, though, and Ben's resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn't the only person in Trout with secrets.

Apparently, I’ve laid my hands on a lot of really cute books this month. Deadline, though I’m pretty certain the author tried to make it sad or something, was yet another adorable and funny book. The problem is, it’s a novel about a teen dying.

Ben Wolf is dying, and he decided to ditch the treatment and live the best year he can. He always had a witty remark to everything that was said, always. Even though I’m glad he wasn’t constantly moping around, I think knowing the fact you’re dying would probably rouse a little more emotion than what was portrayed in this book.

There was also a rather lame attempt at spiritualism, in the person of Hey-Soos. Hey-Soos, which is, by the way, the Spanish pronunciation of Jesus, is Ben’s mental hallucination. He sees him in his dreams, and Hey-Soos gives him advice similar to that given by a psychiatrist. Whenever this ‘spiritual guide’ came up, I groaned. His dream land really bothered me. It broke the pace and didn’t really add anything relevant to the story. I definitely could’ve gone without it. Sure, Ben seems to be so thankful to Hey-Soos in the end, and Hey-Soos is really good at asking the right questions. But I would’ve preferred staying out of the more spiritual aspects of death.

I really loved Ben’s reading list, though, and I added a bunch of books to my pile after finishing Deadline. The characters were deep, for the amount of development they had. Since the book was rather short, considering it was only 300 pages and covered a whole entire school year, there wasn’t much space for lengthy descriptions of the characters.

The different subplots were so numerous that they all kind of ended short and undeveloped; I think it could’ve been good for the novel to have less happen, but develop everything a tad more. This book could’ve been so much longer and there is so much space for more information that I kind of felt stranded at the end.

All in all, this book was overloaded with a bunch of partly developed stories and themes ranging from death at a young age to football, with a little bit of incest, teen pregnancy and pedophiles. It was good, but I would’ve preferred a book with more development in a single theme instead of in twenty. If you like short books that pretend to be dramatic and sad but actually aren’t really, then this one is for you.

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Rating: 8,1/10