Books 9 & 10

Posted on March 8, 2013. Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Two more books this week. One was a struggle. One I would really  like to see a sequel.

Cover Art for Code Name VerityI’ve heard so many good things about this Printz finalist and Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten winner. It’s not so much that I didn’t like Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, I just didn’t think it lived up to all of the hype.

The entire book is written as a report, first from Verity, then from her best friend Maddie. Verity is captured by the Nazis in France and is tortured and forced to reveal details of Britain’s codes and aircraft. She proceeds to give them all of this information in the form of a narrative about her best friend, Maddie, who was a pilot for the Air Transport Auxiliary — really the only way women could fly planes in wartime. Verity’s point of view ends when she ends her narrative, and the book then switches to Maddie’s pilot’s notes. Like Verity, her report turns more into journal entries.

The way that their “reports” were written probably bothered me more than anything, especially Verity’s. It seems so unrealistic that Nazis looking for information would allow her to basically write her report as a story instead of just listing the details. Maddie’s part was easier to accept. What happens to Verity and what happens to Maddie in the story is simultaneous, but you spend around 200 pages listening to Verity, and then the next approx. 130 finding out from Maddie the actual truth. I’m very conflicted on this book.

On to the next one!

Name of the Star cover artRory is a normal teenager from Louisiana, born to normal parents, living in a town full of crazy people. When her parents, both professors at Tulane, decide to go on sabbatical in England, Rory goes along, choosing to attend a boarding school in London’s East End. Her timing couldn’t have been better. The day she arrives is the day that a series of murders begins, copycatting the famous Jack the Ripper. While Rory tries to accomplish the task of fitting in at her new school and making friends, everyone else in London is becoming obsessed with the new Ripper. Rory doesn’t share the obsession until, after sneaking out of her dorm one night, she’s startled by a strange man who doesn’t seem right, and she finds out the next morning the Ripper has struck again, this time on her school’s campus. Rory realizes she’s met the Ripper, but the strange thing is even though she was with her roommate, Rory was the only one to see him.

Rory finds out there’s a lot more to the Ripper case than meets the eye, and there’s a lot more to London that only a few can see, and she’s one of them.

Even though I figured out what was going on fairly early on, I appreciated that The Name of the Star, a Popular Paperbacks Top Ten winner, wasn’t going to be just another crime novel, and the twist didn’t seem forced. The book does track towards supernatural thriller, so it’s not going to be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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