Saturday, August 7, 2010

Latest Reads

Shooter by Walter Dean Meyers is a book intended for a teen/young adult audience. It's a fast read (one day), but I certainly wouldn't recommend for anyone under 15. It's a good example of 'If you don't stand for something you'll certainly fall for anything.' There's a variety of examples of bad parenting and teens feeling alienated from peers. Leonard, one of the leading characters, who is actually deceased, is a real head-case with propensity for violence. I was on edge waiting for Cameron or Carla to truly stand up to him, but even when they did it was short lived. I'd like a follow up to see what actually happens to Cameron after this tragedy. Does he grow a spine? Can he improve his relationship with his parents? Would he continue to attend the same school? How does he explain his complete lack of affect? The book is a tragedy in the traditional sense. All the characters are flawed and there is no happy ending.

Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby is about Theodore Mead Fegley and his struggle to fit in somewhere despite his incredibly high I.Q. and his always being considerably younger than his peers. The book is written with Fegley's college graduation as the pinacle and we get to see all major events before and after his entering college. Mead is not likable. Although he becomes more so as he tries to mend his relationship with his Aunt and Uncle and finally stands up to his mother (back off lady, sheesh!). You think he's losing his mind, or you are, as things progress because he starts to hallucinate a bit. I liked all the math references and his trip to Bell Labs (Yea New Jersey!). You wouldn't need to know any math to understand Fegley's obsession. Due to some adult situations I would not recommend for under 17.