Archive for July 30, 2010

Broken Memory book review

A Book Review of Broken Memory by √Člisabeth Combres
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The title of this book caught my eye because it has countless implications behind it: Broken Memory. Memories are a beautiful thing; they are remnants of the past that we can relive in our minds in the present. Some are joyful and effervescent yet others are haunting.
In √Člisabeth Combres’ first novel ever which has been translated from French into English, memories of the cruel Rwandan Genocide are replayed over and over again by a girl named Emma whose mother gave up her own life to save her daughter’s. Ten years later, Emma is trying to get by since being taken in by Mukecuru, a sweet old woman and widow, but cannot relinquish her haunted past. The novel chronicles Emma’s journey towards mending her “broken memory”, which throbs as the anniversary of the genocide approaches and gacaca courts are being held to try the criminals who killed over a million people, Tutsis as well as Hutus who disagreed with the Hutu dictatorship. Without giving away too much, the reader is sure to experience the wide range of emotions that Emma goes through as she befriends a boy who has an equally if not more somber past and as she struggles to remember what her mother looked like.
The genocide of 1994 was an offspring of the building ethnic tension between the Hutus and the Tutsis that was unfortunately, largely overlooked at the international level, but through awareness of the atrocities that took place, hopefully history won’t repeat itself, and readers can find peace through Emma’s story of gaining closure.
Review by Katherine Kuang
Thanks to Katherine for the eloquent review.
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

The Carrie Diaries book review

I just finished reading The Carrie Diaries by Candice Bushnell.
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You might have heard of her book that was turned into a little show called Sex and the City?
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If not, welcome to the world of young Carrie Bradshaw in the 1980s – beloved (?) future protagonist of the series that glamorized single women in their 30s and 40s living large in Manhattan (and their fabulous shoe collections).
Well, this Carrie is not quite there yet.
Carrie of the 1980s is a high school senior in a small Connecticut town trying to figure out what she wants to do with her future. Holding true to the Carrie we know, she wants to be a writer and is trying to get into a summer writing workshop in NYC. But this young teen is not yet the experienced woman who will go on to seduce many wealthy and powerful men as an adult. To her dismay, Carrie is still hasn’t gone all the way and is jealous of her friends who have. She has boyfriends and dates, but proves to be unlucky in love this time around. We do see other snippets of the strong adult personality to come. She is known as the quirky, fun one in the group and starts to exhibit her own unique style. At one point, her mother’s handbag is ruined when her younger sister splatters pink nail polish all over it. Rather than throwing it out, Carrie just uses the pink polish to write her name all over the bag as a fashion statement.
The 1980s setting is fun but subtle – we get some funny clothing descriptions accompanied with feathered hair, of course – but the only thing that stands out from modern teen books is the drinking age. In the 1980s the drinking age was 18, so her friends were legitimately able to go to bars and buy alcohol, which made them seem a bit older, but it’s a framework for the cocktail-loving Carrie to come.
In general, the book was mostly a light read with some fun hints of the series and an ending that foreshadowed the great friendships to form later on. Good fun for a summer read!
Enjoy!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

Hunger Games Jeopardy

Don’t forget to sign up for our Hunger Games Jeopardy contest on Tuesday, August 3. From 3-4:00 PM. You can win a free copy of Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, which will be released on August 24, by entering and winning our contest! We’ll have snacks, games and prizes as we celebrate this awesome book series!
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Sign up today!!!!!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

A Shiver for this heat wave

With temperatures reaching 100 degrees this week, we are in a full-on heat wave here in New York. In order to stay cool, I suggest submerging yourself in water (pools or beaches work well) or stay inside in the A/C and curl up with a good book. Even better – why not make it a book set in a cold, wintery setting? Let me suggest:
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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Brr! Just the title makes me feel cooler already. (Can you spot the wolf on the cover?)
Anyway, Shiver is a love story between a girl named Grace and her…wolf/boyfriend Sam with the amazing yellow eyes. Ever since she was attacked by wolves as a girl, Grace has had a strange connection with the wolves that live in the woods behind her house. One wolf (Sam) in particular stands out due to his unusual yellow eyes. Once she gets to know Sam as a boy, she learns his secret: in order to stay in his human form, he needs to stay warm because the wolves are sensitive to temperature. They can stay human in the summer and then transform when it gets too cold. Grace falls in love with Sam and is further drawn into his complicated world when a missing boy from school turns up as a wolf. There is a good mix of romance and action, so it should appeal to a diverse readership.
This is the first book in a series and is a nice diversion from the werewolves of the Twilight books!
Stay cool!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian