25 June 2013

Smile – By: Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel)

One evening in the seventh grade, shortly before getting braces, Raina has an accident. Her two front teeth are lost, and she’s left with seemingly endless rounds of dentist visits and reconstruction.  In the harsh world of adolescence, her teeth take center stage, effectively taking over her life.

Almost everyone I know had some reason to be insecure as a teen. Usually, our insecurity was blown way out of proportion to reality. This book taps into that insecurity with honest elegance. I found myself sympathizing with Raina’s plight immediately, because our circumstances were so similar. But the theme is universal.

The graphic novel is the perfect medium for the message. It’s fun to read; and the exaggerated expressions display precisely how an awkward adolescence feels.  In the end, what matters isn't how others see us, but how we see ourselves. A good message, from a good book.

Bookwyrm Rating – Appetizer (If you want to see more, check out Raina Telgemeier's "Drama")

02 June 2013

Here I go again: By- Jen Lancaster (Fiction)

In this devilishly fun book, high school’s queen bee finally gets hers. When her life falls apart, Lissy Ryder expects that a return to the scene of her glory days will put everything back together. It’s her class’s 20th reunion, and Lissy just can’t wrap her head around the idea that no one there likes her. In fact, most of them actively hate her. But, with a little help from an unexpected (but fabulously feisty) source, maybe she can figure out where everything went wrong.

Lissy Ryder is everything we expect the evil queen bee to be. She’s casually evil, and leads a completely unexamined life. She dishes out misery morning, noon and night, no one is spared. While the means are only vaguely unusual, her journey follows the usual redemption route. It’s rewarding none the less.

Bookwyrm Rating: Dessert