Thursday, March 3, 2016

Reviews from Team Dickens

glory o'brien.jpg versus.gif  Simon.jpg

“I loved the book Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  Simon was someone that I found myself rooting for.  I especially enjoyed the email exchanges between Simon and Blue and how it was written almost like a diary.  I was tempted but didn’t read ahead to find out who the mysterious Blue was.  I found the story realistic with some sexual identity theme.  It is well written book that I feel could be read by any young adult interested in a funny coming of age story.  I nominate Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda to move on to the next Round.”
  • Circulation Desk, Room 109

“Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book I couldn’t put down. I feel most readers can relate to or empathise with Simon; he is such an endearing protagonist. This novel can, and should, reach a wide range of readers - everyone should read this book! It’s a comedic coming of age story, a heartwarming (and, at times, heart-wrenching) love story, and deals with teen issues and behaviours in a believable and engaging way. In contrast, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, took me longer to get into and left me less enchanted as a reader. The story felt busy and overwhelming with its many focus points and unanswered questions. The writing is beautiful, and some of the protagonist’s deepest melancholic secrets gave me pause for thought. However, as a whole, I don’t feel that this novel will reach as many readers as its competitor in this round. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the type of YA novel that speaks to the current generation of teens in a way that they can understand and relate to easily. This novel will grab readers’ attention and hold on to it for every turn of the page.”
  • K. Laurie, Room 105

“I absolutely loved Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda book!  It is a beautifully written “coming-of-age” book that will connect with many readers. Any book that keeps me up past my bedtime is a book I can easily recommend to others!” - K. Blush, Room 125

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King is truly a masterpiece of storytelling, but sadly, one that will only appeal to a small audience of readers.

Glory O’Brien’s mother committed suicide - think Sylvia Plath - when Glory was only four, and it understandably affects every part of her life as she wonders if she’ll experience the same fate. Her mother’s suicide even affects something as mundane as meals; her father removes the offending kitchen appliance and for the past fourteen years they’ve only consumed in Glory’s words, “radiated food” from a microwave. The book is rife with these quirky little details that become even stranger following an incident where Glory and her friend drink a juiced desiccated bat. At that point, Glory receives “transmissions” when she looks at people that visually communicate information about their ancestors and future lives. Obviously, King is tying the theme of destiny and grief together as Glory sees an apocalyptic future that only she may be able to change. It’s a compelling read, but so unconventional that it may be enjoyed by only those willing to hang in there until the end.”
“Reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is like a comedic version of rubber-necking at a traffic accident. You cringe at the high school dysfunctions that we all recognize from our own experiences, but you can’t help but continue to turn pages to read more.

Simon Spier, a not-so-openly gay junior in high school, has had his private email messages to another male student discovered by someone who is more than willing to blackmail him. Comic chaos ensues as Simon attempts to keep his personal life under wraps while attempting to maintain a normal high school existence.

It’s a highly accessible story for both teenage genders and as a Smackdown group, we believed it to be an important and relevant read. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is sweet, funny and sincere and deserves to move on to compete again.”
                                                                                                            C. Powell, Room 114

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