Book Reviews

I’ve been doing a lot of reading the last couple weeks – and loving it! here are some short reviews of what i’ve been reading lately!

Winged Creatures by Roy Freirich
This was an interesting read (months ago when I actually read it). I picked it up on a whim at the library (one of my favorite things to do). The basic story is tragic – a man opens fire in a fast food restaurant, killing several people before turning the gun on himself. The book itself is about the survivors of the shooting – not even the ones that were hurt the worst physically, but just how they deal with the aftermath.

What you should know about this book if you want to read it is that the author is a fairly accomplished screenwriter. And, when reading Winged Creatures you can tell that is true. The book reads like a script, with a little more exposition. It’s well-written, but moves like a movie and is told from many characters and their POV. From the sticker on the front, the book has already been optioned for a movie, and I have a feeling it will make a pretty interesting film. Maybe one of the few that is better than the book, which makes sense considering the background of the author.

Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris
I would sum this book up in one word – whimsical. It’s nothing too amazing, but it’s a fun and quick read. Marigold is a princess who is headstrong and unique. Christian is a boy who ran away from home when he was little and now lives in a cave with a troll. Boy sees girl, boy sends notes to girl with carrier pigeon (p-mail). Boy leaves home and gets a job at girl’s castle. Boy and girl meet. Evil stepmother wants to kill girl so she can be queen by herself. Boy isn’t as common as you first thought. And they live happily ever after!

It’s a cute story, and a nice take on the fairy tale genre. I think I read the whole book in about 2 and 1/2 hours.

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pende de Bois
I could tell this book was written around the same time as Dr. Doolittle. They are written in a very similar style and language. I enjoyed The Twenty-One Balloons because it was a unique story and the story of one person. The protagonist leaves on a hot-air balloon to spend a year in the air, and is found just a few short weeks later on the other side of the world. It’s a story about treasure, intelligence, and what really makes a ‘utopian’ society.

I enjoyed reading this book because it was fun – there was action, adventure, and enough silliness to make it fun to read. The story is obviously not real and not meant to be. The Twenty-One Balloons is meant to be fantasy and escape – which is what I think books should always be in some way.

The View from Saturday by EL Konigburg
Contemporary young adult fiction. The story of an unlikely group of friends drawn together by life. They become an academic bowl team and find out that everyone is connected somehow. This was my least favorite book that I’ve read recently. I didn’t care for the writing style and I thought it was a bit contrived. Part of that is because every other book I’ve read this week has been fantasy and fun and this one was more real, more raw, and more serious. It was more a commentary on today’s world.