Tag Archives: character development

The Well’s End – extremely inventive and action-packed

The Well's EndTitle: The Well’s End

Author: Seth Fishman

Summary: The Well’s End follows the perspective of a 16-year-old girl named Mia Kish.  Mia is like a typical high schooler (albeit in a ridiculously fancy, upper class prep school) except for her earliest memory, falling down a well as an infant, which earned her the nickname Baby Mia. However, when her school comes down with a virus that ages its victims to death in just days and the school is quarantined by soldiers in hazmat suits who aren’t afraid to shoot children, she and a handful of others, including her best friend, Jo, and a mysterious new transfer who knows things like the distance that gunfire travels, must follow the directions that her father left her to get to safety from the plague.

I loved that his novel is extremely inventive and action-packed.  This book is the definition of a page-turner.  The virus is a suitably terrifying threat, capable of aging a healthy adult to death in just hours.  Mia is an ideal protagonist – she is smart, capable, and despite the immense amount of suffering that she undergoes, stays likable and lucid.  The interactions between the characters is one of the strong points of the book, as they support each other and keep each other sane throughout.  Overall, the book is primarily plot-driven, but the characters are deep enough to be interesting in their own right. I really liked how the characters fit into both the “realistic” and “science-fiction” elements of the story.  I think one of the signs of good characters is if they can be likable heroes, able to think more clearly, recover more quickly, and keep fighting longer than most of us, while still retaining their unique personality and staying relatable.  These characters definitely achieved that. Continue reading

Check out our new poll! Which character has what it takes to survive The Hunger Games?

the-hunger-games-symbols_19218_The teens from Greenwood TAB have a new question for you.

Which of the following characters, from other books, would last the longest in the hunger games?

Personally, my money is on Stevens, but tell us what you think!  Maybe there’s someone we didn’t think of?  Let us know in the comments…I’m wondering, can I vote for Russell Wilson?  🙂

Venus Capriccio – Annoying guy lead, likable female lead, music genius

317px-Venus_Capriccio_3Title: Venus Capriccio

Author: Mai Nishikata

Summary: A tomboy has a series of bad boyfriends and her perfect childhood friend confesses to her.

Gut reaction: Annoying guy lead, likable female lead, I like childhood friends, music genius

Why: The hero is one of those perfect people who is half-foreign, a piano prodigy, insanely smart, beautiful, chivalrous, and has a tragic back-story and cruel family.  What’s surprising is that he’s the younger one and she’s not useless.  She may be a tomboy, but she’s not innocent and doesn’t need to be saved all the time.  So far she has no interest in him, and it is also nice to see a girl who can reject without having another love.  The story is going to be slow going for a bit and then intensify with a story about his tragic past and unknown rich family and she’s going to have to end up with him, but the beginning is good.

Who would like this book: Shoujo fans, Maid-sama fans. I’ll keep reading unless they over-do it with the tragic back-story arc.

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle Teen Blogger

WTS

 

Hero – Fluffy, fun, action. Unusual queer literature.

HERO

Title: Hero
Author: Perry Moore

Summary:  In a world full of superheroes, Thom appears as any average teenager—busy playing basketball, going to school, volunteering, and working.  But as much as Thom appears normal, he’s started to develop powers.  While most people would take this as a blessing, Thom considers it a curse, as his former-superhero father was ostracized due to a botched mission that killed hundreds of bystanders.

Soon, though, Thom is using his powers as part of a team of other superheroes, each with their own secrets and problems.  Unfortunately, being a hero isn’t the only thing he’s hiding from his father — Thom is gay, a fact that threatens to rip his whole life apart.

Six Word Review: Fluffy, fun, action. Unusual queer literature.

How Many Stars Would You Give This Book:  6.5/10 stars.  I liked this book.  It was a fun, light read.  Thom was a great narrator and the story written in a way that not only got readers interested but kept them engaged in the story.  However, it wasn’t a book with a ton of substance, so while it was good for what it was, don’t expect anything else. Continue reading

Cyber punk, magical realism, and questions of the afterlife…

HBWatEotWIs the elimination of the problems of life worth the loss of the mind?  Is an eternity of Boredom better than nothingness?  These are the intriguing questions Haruki Murakami dives into in his novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

The novel takes place in two separate worlds.  One world is futuristic cyberpunk-esque yet slightly mystical, containing information theft, Kappa, and other-worldly science.  The second world is a mythical world, containing unicorns, dream-readers, and shadows that die.  Each chapter switches between each world.

This a good book for you if you are a fan of cyber punk, magical realism, human behavior, and questions of the afterlife, but this book is not the easiest to read.  The author spends much of the book focusing on detail, and towards the end, on the way the characters spend their lives.  Instead of continuously working towards a problem, solution, and ending, the author explores the lives of the characters in intense details and creates a more realistic story, from the perspective of human nature, than readers seeking action-packed novels may be accustomed to, or even enjoy.

–Sam Z, Teen Blogger

Teen Reviewed: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Author: Mark Twain
The setting for this story is the South during the 1840s. Huckleberry Finn is a young boy who has grown up mostly on his own in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, with only the occasional guidance of his alcoholic father to count on. As a result, he has turned into a self-educated boy who mostly lives by his own rules.
At the end of the prequel to this book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huck is taken in by a widow who intends to civilize him. However this changes when his drunk father returns and kidnaps him. Huck runs away down the Mississippi River where he runs into Jim, a runaway slave who is also making his escape by way of the river. They embark on a journey together and have tons of hilarious, action-packed adventures on the way.
This book was assigned to me as a project for my English class. Usually, I absolutely detest reading books for school, but I was able to enjoy this book a lot. Its language is very different from your typical young adult novel, but this was not a barrier for me and I was still able to gain a lot from this book.
I fell in love with the characters very quickly. This book is funny, heartwarming, and introspective on a lot of political and humanitarian issues. Even though much of this was reflective of things specific to the post Civil-War time period, a lot of the main ideas can be applied to modern issues as well. I think that this is what has made it a timeless classic.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves adventures, laughter, or history and isn’t afraid to tackle some interesting language.

–Hannah, 16, Greenwood

GWD

Teen Reviewed: Wizard’s First Rule

Wizard's First RuleWizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Wizard’s First Rule is a rare book.  On the outside, it appears to be a giant, sprawling fantasy novel in the same vein as The Lord of the Rings. However, this book is not about giant battles, deep and complex history, or bearded wizards.  Instead, this book is entirely about the characters and their development… the plot is nothing new.

Richard Cypher is a woods guide living a normal life with his father and brother.  Then he discovers a mysterious woman named Kahlan who is trying to escape a group of armed men.  After saving her from them, Richard learns that he is a legendary warrior called “the seeker.”  It’s his destiny to defeat the evil tyrant, Darken Rahl.  And then, adventure!

Like I said, the plot isn’t really the best part.  Personally, I can look past that.  The reason I can do that is because of how masterfully Goodkind wrote this.  There are a few twists that come out of nowhere and work very well.  The characters are real and relatable.  Plus, it has a great sense of humor.

If you, like me, are really into character development, then I highly recommend this book.  If you’re interested, Wizard’s First Rule is actually a part of a much larger series called The Sword of TruthEven still, it works very well on its own and tells a complete story.

–Sara, Columbia TAG Member

COL