Sunday, December 18, 2011

Into the Wild and Five Flavors of Dumb

*Trumpet fanfare* And I'm back and better than ever! No more comatoseness, no more sleepiness! Just pure, unadulterated (whatever that means) reviews and peppiness! Yep, I've had caffiene. How'd you guess? So, to live up to last week's promise, I have TWO, count 'em, TWO reviews for y'all. Happy holidays!  So, the first review is on a really phenomenal book called Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter.
Into the Wild takes place in modern day, more or less. In a forest and other habitats near a town, a group of wild cats live (and yes, they talk. It's not as dorky as it sounds). They are split up into four clans: Thunderclan, Riverclan, Windclan, and Shadowclan. Thunderclan cats live in the forest and tend to be friendly and diplomatic. Riverclan cats live on an island in the middle of a river (I know, you're shocked) and are proud but reasonable. Windclan cats live in the bare hills and are very fast (also, Windclan is kinda like the Hufflepuff of the clans; they're likable but still get picked on by the meaner cats). Shadowclan resembles Slytherin a lot; they're haughty, sly, and nobody really likes them. Shadowclan lives among the pine trees. Come to think of it, my not-so-inner Harry Potter geek can make a lot of connections with Thunderclan and Gryffindor, and Riverclan and Ravenclaw. Anyway, I digress. 
The story follows Firepaw's (who used to be known as Rusty because he had been a human's pet) struggle to get accepted in Thunderclan, and prove that he's not just a soft kittypet (the clans' mocking name of any cat who lived with humans). In his new clan, he makes a few definite friends, learns some valuable lessons, and even makes an enemy or two. Nobody ever said clan life was going to be easy!
Okay, I can't impress upon you enough how good this book is. I'm not really a world-class reviewer, so you might not have really been impressed by my attempted description of it, but I ORDER YOU TO TRY IT. Seriously. It's part of a series, and is so good I can't even begin to say. There are a billion copies at Blatchley and a copy at Kettleson, so there should be nothing stopping you from getting it. Imperio! (Yeah, Harry Potter nerd over here. Deal with it). 

Sooo, in a completely different 'genre' but just as good, here's the second book! This is Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John.
The book takes place in Seattle, following eighteen-year-old Piper. Piper has never quite fit in with the kids at her school, but she sees her chance to change that when Dumb arrives. Easily living up to their name, the sorry band is composed of an egotistical lead singer, a lead guitarist with green hair and anger issues, and the lead singer's anything-but-identical twin brother, who attempts to hide behind his hair on a regular basis. Somehow, she finds herself roped into a manager job for them, trying to get them a paying gig AND make them sound good (neither is an easy feat, trust me). Things look up a bit with the discovery that Ed Chen, Piper's Harvard-bound friend, can play the drums like nobody's business. While the band's prospects start to look up a little, however, Piper's parents are less than supportive. They devote all their energy into Piper's eleven-month-old sister, the "more perfect" daughter. Piper's workload is starting to pile up; she has to keep the band together, deal with her parents, not fail senior year, and make sure Dumb actually sounds good. That last part's giving her a little trouble because, well, she's deaf.
Another awesome book! This one kinda reminds me of Audrey, Wait, because it's funny and has that similar music theme. The deaf element gives it a lot of character and things to think about. So, add this to your list of things to get along with Into the Wild. I promise, you won't regret it! Get Five Flavors of Dumb at Kettleson or Mt. Edgecumbe.