A blog for reviewing YA, children's, classics and whatever I feel like.
Also for discussing developments in the the book world, specifically in the St. Paul, Minnesota.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lock and Key

Author: Sarah Dessen
Reviewer: Book Girl

I heard you were saucy at my gates; and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you than to hear you.
-Olivia in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

This quote described my approach to Sarah Dessen: rather mocking of an author who wrote, in my opinion, strictly fluffy girl romance books.  Well, after reading Lock and Key, I have somewhat changed my tune.  The romance in this book was rather fluffy, but the writing quite excellent.  Ruby, the narrator has a matter-of-fact tone of narration and a rather pessimistic view on life.  That starts to change when (surprise, surprise) she meets the boy next door.  The book had elements of fluffy romance, but also had some big reveals that I didn't know were coming but were still believable.

Ruby has lived an interesting life.  While living with her mother, she has constantly changed schools and apartments using fake names without ever knowing the reason why.  That changes when Ruby's mom leaves her a few months before she turns eighteen.  After living on her own for awhile, she is found out, and sent to live with her older sister, Cora, and Cora's husband Jamie.  Cora left for college ten years earlier, and Ruby feels she was abandoned with a nutso for a mom.  After a failed attempt at running away, Ruby resigns herself to living there -- at least until she is eighteen.  Ruby adjusts to some changes, like living in a rich neighborhood, attending a rich school and actually celebrating holidays.  Ruby knows that something is up with the boy next door, and tries to find out what it is.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Berlin Boxing Club

Author: Robert Sharenow
Reviewer: Book Girl
      This book takes place in Germany a few years before World War Two.  The main character, Karl is Jewish but doesn't look it and isn't religious.  After being badly beat up at school because of his religion, Karl decides that something has to change.  The change comes in the form of Max Schmeling, a famous German boxer.  Rather than paying for one of the paintings on display in Karl's father's gallery, he offers to give Karl boxing lessons instead.  Karl accepts, to his father's dismay, and begins training with Max.
     This book completely fascinated me.  In it, it shows Hitler wanting to prove that the Aryan German is the superior race, and enforcing that through the strength of their best boxer Max Schmeling, who, in fact, doesn't even look like the ideal Aryan.  I would definitely recommend this book, it is about so much more than boxing.