Book Review: Sovay

Sovay by Celia Rees

SUMMARY: England, 1783. When the rich and beautiful Sovay isn't sitting for portraits, she's donning a man's cloak and robbing horse-drawn carriages in broad daylight. But what started as a mere distraction quickly turns serious when Sovay lifts a wallet full of documents from one of England's most powerful and dangerous men. Finding items meant to incriminate her father for treason, Sovay realizes that her family's support of the French Revolution is known far beyond the confines of their country estate. Riding as a man, Sovay sets out for London to save her father and her family's reputation. The roles of thieves and gentry, good and bad, and men and women are interchanged to riviting effect in Celia Rees' newest and most dazzling historical saga yet. (adapted from the back cover)

OPINION: I am a huge fan of Celia Rees' book Pirates!, which is a swashbuckling tale of female pirates set against the backdrop of the colonial slave trade. This book is in the same vein, with a courageous female main character who defies traditional roles is a very unconventional way. I liked that a traditional ballad provided the inspiration for the main character and her initial robbery of her betrothed. But I didn't find it at all believable that someone so distinctive looking could successfully rob multiple coaches so close to her home without being caught, or at least accused, in a way that would have ruined her. As the story progressed, I felt like the author was trying to cram too many subplots and events into too few pages. I also grew frustrated with the amount of historical information that had to be conveyed for the reader to understand the relationship among Sovay's family, English politics, and the French Revolution. Nonetheless, the character of Sovay was very compelling, and her personality alone kept me reading the book. I do love a strong female heroine! Overall, I would recommend this book only to dedicated readers of historical fiction.


And the Gold Goes to...

...David for his performance in yesterday's Dance Dance Revolution Tournament! The silver medal went to Genni, while Imade and Katie tied for bronze. A total of 18 teens competed yesterday for fame, fortune, and love of the game -- ok, so the fame only goes as far as this blog and the fortune is more like a Gamestop gift certificate, but really, we play for the love. Besides, who needs the Olympics when there's a dance-off at your local library? We had a great time with our three tournaments, though I got knocked out during the first round of each one! Maybe I should have stuck to Monopoly or cards, which our non-competing teens enjoyed on the side...


Book Review: The Resistance

The Resistance by Gemma Malley
This book will be released on September 2, 2008.

When I read The Declaration last year, I said that I could forgive some of its shortcomings if they were addressed in a sequel. And so it has arrived. The Resistance follows Peter and Anna as they start their lives together. Even though they are Legal, they have to navigate a very tricky path because they are teens in a world of old people. They have not signed the Declaration or started taking Longevity drugs, and this makes them suspect. Not to mention that they are members of the Underground movement to get rid of Longevity! Even as Peter infiltrates his grandfather's pharmaceutical company, his grandfather is manipulating both Peter and Anna to his own ends. To understand this book, it is necessary to have read the first one. Additionally, I am hoping for a third one that will wrap up some of the loose ends. That said, this book has an exciting and fast-paced plot that picks up soon after the end of The Declaration. The more Peter finds out about the new Longevity+, the more frightening this story becomes. It raises a lot of questions about scientific ethics in areas like pharmaceuticals, stem-cell research, and reproductive rights. Nonetheless, sometimes the discussion of ethics takes over the narrative, which makes the book lack the subtlety of the best dystopian novels. For better treatment of similar subjects, I would recommend Double Helix by Nancy Werlin and Unwind by Neal Schusterman.


Book Review: Ghostgirl

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
Review by Kaitlyn B.

Personally, I couldn’t get through this book. It was really frustrating for me. The main character was obsessed with being popular even though she was dead. I thought that the fact that she was dead would make it more interesting, but it didn’t for me. She annoyed me to the point where I just couldn’t keep reading it. So, if you like the type of books where the main character is striving to be popular than you would really enjoy Ghostgirl, otherwise, I would suggest reading another book.