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Jolene’s June Round-Up

June 30, 2008

Impulse  by Ellen Hopkins

Narrated entirely in poetry Impulse is told through the perspective of three characters Tony, Vanessa, and Conner who meet in a juvie/rehab center.  Tony is a runaway forced to live on the streets as a prostitute, after being molested as a child.  Vanessa is a bipolar cutter who is trying to come to grips with her mother’s past institutionalization.  Conner is the rich playboy who craves to be loved for who he is not what he’s done. Conner tries to gain this love by manipulating older women with his sexual magnetism.  Although the book may be a daunting 688 pages teen readers will find the flow of the poetry effortless to read, and storyline often painful but surprising.

Remembering Raquel  Vivian Van Velde

In high school Raquel was the stereotypical wallflower, however upon her death everyone seems to have a story about her.  Remembering Raquel is told from the perspective of several characters who knew Raquel intimately and not so intimately.  As the novel unfolds the reader gets an insight of Raquel’s life through others perceptions of her, often revealing the complexity of a person’s life through others eyes.

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Seventeen-year-old Alex Morales is left to fend for his two younger sisters after a meteor crashes into the moon.  At first they are able to survive on can foods and sporadic electicity. However, food begins to run scarce in New York due to the bad weather caused by the moon’s pull.  In addition, Alex’s sister Julie has contracted bronchitis which makes him reluctant to leave the city. However, after a plague hits the city Alex begins to realize that he must find a way to leave the city before they all perish. Pfeffer once again brings a compelling book about the strength of family in the midst of adversity.  Readers will not be able to put this book down, and will think about how they would survive in the depths of hell on earth.


*The main character in The Dead and the Gone is able to survive towards the end by bartering valuables for food.  Thus, after reading this book I began to think about bartering in a city setting that relies mostly on outside sources to provide produce. (This is especially true in Honolulu where almost all of our everyday neccessities are shipped in.) In relation to this check out Matt Kubo’s experimental project OffTheGrid: ActionFunUrbanSurvivalism, which will be part of the Eco/Logic exhibit. Heres a description of the  project:

My contribution to Eco/Logic is a performance/experiment of sorts. I will sustain myself by hunting, gathering, and gleaning in the Honolulu area. I will only allow myself to eat what I am able to find, hunt, or barter for. My tools will include a fruit picker, a fishing pole, and a knife. I plan to commute to field locations by foot and bike, which will be modified to carry my supplies and implements. Locations of successful hunting and gathering will be documented. Field interaction with the community will be paramount, this aspect will be given much consideration and space to evolve.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2008 3:57 pm

    Thanks for this post. I added Impulse to my TBR list. 🙂

  2. July 2, 2008 11:35 am

    the dead & the gone looks just fantastic!!
    they all do, lets be fair, but that one especially catches my interest. thanks for the review! i will be sure to check these out.

  3. Lora permalink
    July 9, 2008 9:02 pm

    so, she also wrote “Life As We Knew” it- same concept: meteor into moon, chaos ensues- is this a companion novel?

  4. Jolene permalink*
    July 10, 2008 11:16 am

    Lora: Yes “The Dead and the Gone” is a companion novel to “Life as We Knew it.” It happens during the same time period except in a different state.

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