RRR Reviews

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Describe the book in one sentence:

Global perspective expanding tome that rewards readers with practical steps to remain competitive in this rapidly changing world.

Did you like the book?

Thomas Friedman's ability to weave personal experience, relevant narratives, and complex technological and economic issues kept me interested and entertained throughout the 571 pages of this expanded and updated edition.

How was it different than you expected?

I was curious to see why Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and author Thomas Friedman was writing about something as frivolous as the flat-Earth nonsense. I had read one of his other books, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, which was a very serious discussion about globalization. Why would an eminent writer waste time on an idea that was debunked by the ancient Greeks? I was pleasantly surprised to find out that The World is Flat was not about the ridiculous idea that the shape of the Earth is flat. It is about how the expansion of the Internet and global communication was equalizing opportunity throughout the world. A person in any third-world country with access to a computer could develop their abilities with online education. They could find highly skilled work at companies around the globe without having to move there. They could collaborate with others on complex tasks and compete with individuals that had a much more privileged upbringing. It then struck me that there WAS a connection between Friedman's "Flat World" and the flat-Earth drivel that unfortunately many students at Los Gatos High School seem to adhere to. While students living in an area with unlimited opportunity waste their time creating arguments to support the irrational silliness that characterizes the flat-Earth trend, their counterparts are building their skills and advancing their knowledge about real things. When those that are squandering their time on folly find themselves competing with those that didn't, they will surely get flattened by the competition.

If someone likes this book they might also like...

Friedman's latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimists Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations. I find myself often remembering his example of the D. C. Metro station versus the Chinese railway station and thinking "that used to be us" too. Perhaps if today's youth occupied themselves with reading books like these instead of flat-Earth tripe, it will be us again someday.

Several of our regular library teens challenged Mr. Garrett with a nomination of "Green Arrow: Quiver."  He completed our first ever Graphic Novel RRR challenge.  Here's his take:
 
Describe the book in one sentence:  Green Arrow returns from the dead in this Kevin Smith (of Clerks and View Alaska fame) penned graphic novel, mysteriously missing some memories and trying to find his role in the world once again.

Did you like it?
  Smith’s writing is replete with innuendo and quips, which made me smile and cringe at times. He has an amazing depth of knowledge about the lore of the DC Universe.  The artwork, especially the splash page with the disheveled Oliver Queen making his first appearance, is excellent.

How was it different than you expected?
Since I actually purchased the original run of this comic when it came out, it was nice to revisit the story. I had forgotten some of the minor characters who appear and the interplay between some of them is well done.

If someone liked this book, they would also like: 
 I would recommend the following graphic novels:
Y: The Last Man
Watchmen
Rising Stars
For fiction novels I would recommend:
Ready Player One
Leviathan Wakes
and since this deals with the afterlife, why not try out Dante’s Inferno?

Mrs. Wehr accepted her second Reverse Required Reading challenge, making her our first Repeat Reader.   She read A Kiss in Time, by Alex Flinn.  Here's what she thought:

Describe the book in one sentence:  A Kiss in Time is a creative take on the Sleeping Beauty story, mixing the royal past with the tech-savvy future.  

Did you like it?
 

I definitely liked the book!  Being somewhat familiar with the Sleeping Beauty story, I enjoyed the twists and turns that this book offered.  It is a page-turner, especially the last 100 pages.  All the characters have their own charm, even the antagonist!  

How was it different than you expected?

I was not expecting such current references to modern-day.  This book has everything, from cell-phones to Harry Potter, all while retaining the proper stylistic grammar and social mores from 300 years ago.  That was an unexpected feat that Flinn executed well. 

 

If someone liked this book, they would also like: 

Alex Flinn’s other spin-off: Beastly  
 “Once Upon a Time” – TV show
Wicked – the Broadway show and the novel by Jerry Maguire


Ms. Austin took up our first ever RRR Photo Nomination.   Emma nominated her to read "Tell the Wolves I'm Home," by Carol Rifka Brunt.  Here's what she thought:

Describe the book in one sentence:  In the end, the only thing that matters is love -- to love and to be loved.

Did you like it?
I loved this book! I love the tension between the narrator and the sister Greta, especially as it is coupled with her affectionate and loving relationships with both Toby and Finn. I love that she finds love in unexpected places, in unconventional pairings.

How was it different than you expected?
It was set in the 80s, during the time when I was the very same age as the narrator.  That part was
unexpected because it reminded me of how things used to be and how our attitudes towards AIDS and towards those who get AIDS have changed. It is
surprising how far we¹ve come since I was the narrator¹s age. I think we are more accepting of others now.

If someone liked this book, they would also like: 

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (book or movie). They might also like Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.



Mr. Burns picked up a copy of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer after FOUR different LG teens nominated him for this honor.  Here's what he thought about the experience:

Describe the book in one sentence:  Precocious and clumsy adolescent girl falls in love with 100 year old "vegetarian" vampire.

Did you like it? I did enjoy reading it but I am not anxious to find out what happens in the next book.

How was it different than you expected? The story moved slowly and there was a lot less action than other fantasy books I have read. It was interesting that it was entirely told through the eyes of Bella but this meant some important events were not described because she did not witness them. For example,  the destruction of James was only briefly referred to. More importantly, Stephenie Meyer gives up too many of our vampire secrets, violating the contract we made with her. She will be punished.

If someone liked this book, they would also like: The Host by Stephenie Meyer and of course the sequels to this book.

Mrs. Edwards read Since You Asked by Maurene Goo.   Here she is with Clare, who nominated her to be part of our Reverse Required Reading program. Thank you Mrs. Edwards, and thank you Clare!

Describe the book in one sentence:  This book provided a very real and entertaining look at high school life, from the student perspective.

Did you like it?  I liked this book very much!

How was it different than you expected?   It was different than I expected in that I thought the main character would be more troubled by what she initially experienced.  She persevered in a wonderful way and made the most out of a challenging situation.

If someone liked this book, they would also like:

 

If someone likes this book, I think they might also like The Fault in Our Stars, both the book and the movie.


Mrs. Wehr read Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, at the suggestion of one of our Teen Room regulars!   Here's what she thought:

Describe the book in one sentence:  Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly is a coming-of-age fantasy novel about Clara Gardner’s struggle to fulfill her “purpose” on earth after discovering that she is half angel.

Did you like it?  Yes! It was a fun read. I looked forward to reading it each evening because it moved at a quick enough pace, and had some unexpected turns. I like the fact that part of it is set right here in the Bay Area.

How was it different than you expected?  I expected it to be too far-fetched to be enjoyable, but that was not the case. I had to continually “suspend my disbelief” to keep reading, but that made it more fun. Hand develops her characters enough to be likeable – or not – whatever the case may be. I did not expect it to end the way it did!

If someone liked this book, they would also like:

Books:  Halo by Alexandra Adornetto; Fallen by Lauren Kate; 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad; and Vicious by V.E. Schwab.

TV Shows:  Sleepy Hollow or Once Upon a Time


Mrs. Rigby read The Selection by Kiera Cass, apparently right in the middle of class!!   Here's what she thought about the book.

Describe the book in one sentence:  This novel uses the correct recipe for a hopeless romance using a pinch of Twilight, a dash of The Hunger Games, a smidgeon of The Bachelor, and a hint of Disney.

Did you like it?  It was a fun and easy read!

How was it different than you expected?  WARNING--I did not expect it to be one of a trilogy--so be prepared...

If someone likes this book, they might also like...  If you like romantic stories, the above named novels and movies like The Princess Diaries--you will love The Selection.

Did you have Mrs. Holcomb as your kindergarten teacher?  Did she teach you to read?  Over the summer, she accepted our Reverse Required Reading challenge and read Dairy Queen, by Catherine Murdock.   Here's what she thought:

Describe the book in one sentence:  The book has many twists and turns and it is full of surprises.

Did you like it?  I enjoyed the book cover to cover! It totally held my interest.

How was it different than you expected?  I didn't expect the book to cover as many serious issues as it did.

If someone likes this book, they might also like..... to read the entire Dairy Queen trilogy! I am certainly planning on it!

Andy Holland, LGHS English Teacher, read The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. What did he think? 

Describe the book in one sentence: An honest, insightful look at love and loss through the eyes of an adolescent young woman.

Did you like the book: Overall, I enjoyed reading the book—especially enjoyed the humor.

How was it different than you expected: I did not expect to encounter such mature references that were made throughout the novel.

If you like this book, you might also like: MTV’s 1990’s program “My So­Called Life.” 

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Tonya McQuade, LGHS English Teacher, read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.   Check out her review:

Describe the book in one sentence: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, tells the story of two cancer-afflicted teens who form a nourishing friendship that provides each with emotional support, mental stimulation, spiritual encouragement, and physical strength to endure the pains and challenges of their conditions, all while searching for meaning and finding the joys in life.

Did you like the book?  After reading several student book reports on The Fault in Our Stars, the book held few plot surprises for me. Still, I really enjoyed the author's writing style, and I loved the main characters – their personalities, sarcasm, wit, vocabulary, honesty, and compassion shine through. Having just lost a dear friend this summer to a car accident, the book's message that "pain demands to be felt" is one that truly resonated with me. The book brought me both tears and smiles – I like a book that can touch me emotionally and deliver a message that stays with you.

How was the book different that you expected? I had never read a John Green book, and the author's style is what most surprised (and pleased!) me. I loved that the characters were intelligent and articulate – that they made literary references to hamartia (the fatal flaw in Greek Tragedy, about which I teach my students), metaphors and symbolism, and the play Waiting for Godot. I also loved that the title of the book came from a reference to Cassius's speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and the title of Peter Van Houten's book, An Imperial Affliction, from an Emily Dickinson poem.

If someone likes this book, they might also like …

Books:Death be Not Proud, by John Gunther;  Sunshine, by Norma Klein; A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks

Movies: Love Story; Beaches; A Walk to Remember; The Bucket List

Chad Purcell, PE Teacher from Santa Clara High School, read If I Stay, by Gail Forman.   Here are his thoughts:

Describe the book in one sentence. This book will make you think of your own mortality and the impression you may leave on people’s lives once you are gone.

Did you like the book? I loved the book!

How was it different than what you expected?  Based on the title of the book, I thought it was a story about a wife deciding if she should leave her husband. It ended up being completely different than what I expected…in a good way.

If someone likes this book they might also like…The Fault in the Stars by John Green.

Mark Krail, LGHS Varsity Football Coach read Shipbreaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi. Here’s what he thought:

Describe the novel in one sentence: The novel Ship Breaker is a story of a young boy, Nailer, and his struggle to survive while making a life-changing decision.

Did you like the book? I enjoyed reading the book.

It takes place in the futuristic Gulf Coast after the polar icecaps have melted, and people are struggling to survive. Nailer, our main character, is a hardworking young boy, working as a scavenger. Nailer is determined to survive in these difficult times. He dreams of a “normal” future for him and his loved ones. The setting for the story is very unique. It occurs during the future. The polar icecaps have melted. The New Orleans area, as we know it is under water, and people are struggling to survive. There are characters in the story called “half-men”. They are genetically altered creatures designed to support humans in their survival. They are physically overpowering and tremendously loyal to their patrons. I enjoyed the setting and the stories plot, as it basically came down to making life-changing decisions, and those decisions affect not only ourselves but also those around us. Very enjoyable read!