Review: Article 5

Article 5
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting read, but it probably ended up short in my eyes because it reminded me too much of too many other books I’ve read in the past. I just didn’t feel like it added anything to the whole teen dystopia genre, unfortunately. The writing and plot were just okay, but I didn’t love the characters (nor did I particular understand why they loved each other), and really, everything just ended up being so predictable I kept reading to confirm my predictions. Oh well, I didn’t expect much from a YA novel, and didn’t get much. No biggie.

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MockingbirdMockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another book that is a bit predictable, partially because it’s a YA title, but it deals with its rather mature topics rather well even with the flaws. Death and autism/Asperger’s are going to be tough topics to tackle in and of themselves, but put them together and it’s really hard. It seemed to me that the author kind of compressed the timeline and forced some of the characters to get to their resolutions more quickly than they might in "real life," and that bugged me a bit. Still, I would recommend it for the category, as it does well in addressing the topics it tackles.

The Cheapskate Next Door

The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their MeansThe Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Vaguely similar to the last financial book I read, but less ADD affected. There are money-saving "tips" sprinkled throughout, but far less frequently than the other one. I guess this one bugged me just as much though, because it was largely pasted together interviews with "cheapskates" around the country, and, while some of the interviews were interesting, I felt like as a whole, it was kind of repetitive and not all that interesting.

I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’d really like to give this a higher rating. The action was fast and furious, and the culmination of the action was pretty awesome too. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the two main teen characters falling in love bordered on "Twilight" territory. So lame, but unfortunately a bit necessary to driving the plot line. I did still enjoy it though.

Night Fall

Night FallNight Fall by Nelson DeMille
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m not sure how I ended up with this book on my list, but there it was. A nice easy read for the plane ride to Miami and back. Except it’s mostly about a plane blowing up (TWA 800) and ends (spoiler!) with the planes crashing into the World Trade Center on 9/11.

For a book that was somewhat based on real events but entirely fictional, it wasn’t bad. There’s the element that I guess DeMille felt he had to put in that the TWA case may never be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction, and they have to come to terms with that. But I still felt like I knew right where the story was going, just based on the time frame of the book. And sure enough, there it went, right smack into the buildings.

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who CookMedium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Medium Raw ends up being more like a compilation of loosely related essays, but that’s not really a surprise. What is a tad bit more surprising is Anthony Bourdain’s slightly more conciliatory tone. He still criticizes plenty of people (pity the villains in the Heroes and Villains chapter), but also makes clear that he was angry while writing Kitchen Confidential, and that he’s mellowed out a bit now.
Really though, you need to read this book for chapter 8: Lust. That would be the food porn chapter. I’m still drooling over that one.

Beatrice and Virgil

Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel by Yann Martel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s hard to write a Holocaust novel. Yann Martel knows it, the main character of his novel knows it. So did Martel succeed here? I think he came closer than some of the critics believe. But still, even though the ending almost redeems the book, too much of it I found a bit tedious to get through. Luckily, it was short, so I still managed to enjoy it, just not as much as Life of Pi.
Next up is Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.