Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tried it and Tossed It

The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
published 7/23/13
304 pages

Synopsis from publisher -
Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais’s school uniform is covered in blood.

Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counter-culture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, fierce insight of a survivor.

Anais finds a sense of belonging among the residents of the Panopticon — they form intense bonds, and she soon becomes part of an ad hoc family. Together, they struggle against the adults that keep them confined. When she looks up at the watchtower that looms over the residents though, Anais knows her fate: she is an anonymous part of an experiment, and she always was. Now it seems that the experiment is closing in.

My thoughts -

I think this is actually quite an interesting novel - I just couldn't get past the language and drug use. Normally those things don't bother me, but this particular heroine uses a LOT of language and a LOT of drugs, and it was too much for me to keep wading through. There is praise galore for this one on the internets though, so if it sounds like an interesting premise I would say give it a shot - the author shows immense talent, and I will definitely give her another try in the future.

Mayor of the Universe by Lorna Landvik
published 7/31/12
312 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

The world sees Fletcher Weschel as a mild-mannered actuary, but it could be the world has vision problems. Still, Fletcher wonders what the point is of having a wild heart if it’s ultimately harnessed by a timid soul. In his fantasies, he returns the call of adventure with a bellowing, “here I come!” In reality, no one hears his whispered, “me too!” ... except for an unlikely group that descends upon him one cold November night. With the help of these visitors, Fletcher’s life will never be the same, and the adventures he’s about to undertake are truly out-of-this world.

My thoughts -

This was.....a departure from the norm for this author, and while it wasn't bad, I was really just hoping for a feel-good, tear-jerking turn in Landvik's world. Unfortunately, this novel is a LOT different than her usual fare, and it just didn't work for me. I think if I had not expected it to be SO much different than it was, I wouldn't have been as disappointed.

Witch World by Christopher Pike
published 11/31/12
528 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

Heading off for a weekend in Las Vegas with her friends, Jessie Ralle has only one worry: how to make it through the road trip in the same car as her ex, Jimmy Kelter. The guy she hasn’t come close to getting over since he broke up with her five months ago. The guy who’s finally ready to tell her why he did it, because now he wants her back.
     Only, sometimes knowing why doesn’t actually make things better. Sometimes it leads to bigger, more terrifying questions.

     Jessie discovers that she’s stumbled into a world where some people can do the impossible and others may not even be human. Are there really witches? Is she one of them? Armed with new abilities and shocked to discover an entire parallel world in which she and her loved ones co-exist, Jessie’s desperate to learn whom she can trust and whom she can’t - before it’s too late.

My thoughts -

HOO boy, I just did not have the patience for this. I checked this out of the library as a possibility for the Dog Days of Summer read-a-thon, but when I tried to sit down with it I just couldn't do it. The plot was incredibly unnecessarily complex, and Jessie mostly just drove me nuts. This is kinda what I expected all the YA novels I read during that read-a-thon to be like, and why I generally avoided them when I was of the age to read them.

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