Monday, March 26, 2012

Mandy's Book of the Week (3/26)

Did everyone have a great spring break?  I ended mine by seeing The Hunger Games, so I'm a happy girl!

In the spirit of The Hunger Games, I'm offering up another book that is a serious mind trip.

This book is set about two generations (50ish years) in the future.  Some time in that 50 years, there was a war, called the Heartland War.  This war took place over abortion.  The pro-life side wanted life to be held sacred from conception while the pro-choice side wanted abortions to be available during the entire pregnancy.  Both sides got so worked up that a war broke out between them.

Eventually, they reached a compromise: life is held sacred from conception to the age of 13.  Between the ages of 13 and 18, if an abortion is still wanted, the parents can put an Unwind order on the child.  All parts (or, actually, 99.4%) of the child must still be living after s/he is unwound.  Basically, they divide you into pieces and give you to people who need new arms or hearts or eyes.  Terrifying, no?

If you would've had an abortion and really can't take care of your child, you can "stork" the baby.  Basically, you can leave it on someone's doorstep.  That person, when they find the baby, is then legally obligated to raise it.  If you get caught "storking" your baby, you have to keep it.

So twisted.

The story follows three teens who are set to be unwound: Risa, Connor, and Lev. 

Connor is one of those teens that just exasperate his parents.  He's not a bad kid, just difficult.  He gets in a lot of fights and isn't the best student, but he can still be thoughful and get good grades when he wants to.  Basically, he's a typical teen.  Connor stumbled across his Unwind Order by accident.  He was looking for something in his dad's desk and found it, along with three tickets to the Bahamas (one for mom, dad, and his little brother) for the day after he was to be unwound.

Risa is a ward of the state.  She is bright, gets good grades, and is a very talented piano player.  Unfortunately there have been some budget cuts and, since she isn't the next Mozart, they schedule her to be unwound to make room for someone else.

Lev is a tithe.  He is the 10th child in his family and, because 10% of everything is supposed to be given to God, he was designated to be that 10%.  He's being unwound for religious reasons.

The way in which these three stumble upon each other is a wild ride.  And this book will make you think while horrifying you at the same time.

The sequel, UnWholly, will be out in August.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mandy's Book of the Week (3/12)

I dig dystopia.  The whole "big bad awful future" stuff is among my favorite thing to read right now, so, of course, I loved this book.

In Beatrice's world, there are four factions: Dauntless, for the brave, Amity, for the peaceful, Candor, for the honest, Erudite, the intelligent, and Abnegation, for the selfless.  The society deems that you must live with your faction of birth until the age of 16.  At that point, you get to decide your faction. Many choose to stay with their faction of birth ("faction before blood" is the motto, so you don't see much of your family if you go into a different one), but many also choose to change factions.

Beatrice loves her family, but she doesn't feel as selfless as the rest of them.  While they truly personify the meaning of the word, she feels more selfish and like she doesn't fit in with her faction.

Before you get to choose your faction, you are put through some mental tests to determine where you might fit the best.  The vast majority of people show a propensity for one faction very clearly.  Beatrice, however, does not.  She is a clear split in three equal directions.  This is known as being Divergent and is terribly dangerous.  Her test administrator tells her to keep this fact a secret because most people who are known Divergents end up dead.

On choosing day, Beatrice chooses to become Dauntless.  They are put through brutal and rigorous training at the Dauntless compound, but Tris, as she's now known, is coming out on top.  As they are nearing the end of their training, political upheaval begins and Tris, because she's a Divergent, is one of the only people who can save her blood family.

This book is simply amazing.  The sequel, Insurgent, is coming out in May.  I promise, you won't be able to put this one down!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mandy's Book of the Week (3/5)

Happy Monday!

This week is Teen Tech Week and we're celebrating with a contest or artsy workshop after school each day.  For a full schedule of events, go to our website.

In honor of the technology geek in all of us, I present a tech book this week.

Mike and Lindsey are best friends and have been for a long time.  Mike falls for Lindsey.  Just as he's getting the courage to tell her, they have a disagreement, a total misunderstanding, and Lindsey leaves town for the summer.  When she comes back, she is suddenly very popular.  She doesn't even have the time of day for Mike anymore.

Then, at a party, Lindsey gets herself into a very...compromising...situation that is caught in its entirety on a cell phone camera and posted online.  The video goes viral and Lindsey feels as if her life is destroyed.  Mike has to decide if he is a big enough man to forgive Lindsey for everything she's done and be there for her in her time of need.

This book is a teensy little book, but it packs a big punch.  How terrifying, the thought of having something like that posted on the Internet!

Definitely a book for guys and girls, so come snag it today!