HW Assignment: Boys in the Boat (Prompt #6)

51ri3drmqpl-_sx324_bo1204203200_1) Where is the book on the narrative continuum? A mix (combines highly narrative moments with periods of fact-based prose).

2) What is the subject of the book? Rowing (both collegiate and at the Olympic level), impacts of the depression and WWII on the American people.

3) What type of book is it? It’s a sports book.

4) Articulate appeal
What is the pacing of the book? 
It’s a quick read, but the pace is pretty leisurely until about the last 50 pages when it ramps up tremendously.
Describe the characters of the book. Our main character is Joe Rantz, one of the crew members. The reader gets an in-depth look into his life, but we’re also given brief snippets into other characters’ lives.

How does the story feel? Triumphant and uplifting.
What is the intent of the author? To describe a specific period of time and help readers come to some realizations.
What is the focus of the story? The main character and the University of Washington crew team that would eventually make it to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Does the language matter? Yes.
Is the setting important and well-described? Yes. The author does a very good job of describing the Seattle area as well as Germany.

Are there details and, if so, what? There is a lot of detail about rowing and crew. The author gets very in-depth about the techniques of rowing which could turn some readers off.

Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials? Are they useful and clear? Pictures are used throughout but are not necessary to the story.

Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience? The book really stresses moments of understanding and experience. The reader comes to understand what it was like to live in America during the depression and they will experience the triumph of the final race and the relief that everything leading up to that moment paid off.

5) Why would a reader enjoy this book (rank appeal)?
1. Tone
2. Subject
3. Learning/Experience

Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Spring/Summer (Part 2)


NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the last 10 books featured (click here for my thoughts on the first 10). Again, covers link to Goodreads.

Unrivaled by Alyson Noël (5/10)

26116460Cover: It feels like this book is going to be some type of Mean Girls/Gossip Girl-esque book. I kind of like it. 7/10

Premise: Wow. It sounds like there’s going to be a whole lot of drama and backstabbing. This sounds like it has potential, but I feel like in reality I’m just going to end up hating all of the characters. 5/10

Excerpt: I think my initial reaction to the premise is probably pretty true, but it also seems like the writing is really solid. Just from this brief excerpt, it feels like we get a pretty good idea of who our main characters are. The writing really flows and creates awesome visuals. This book definitely has potential. 7/10

TBR?: Yes, unless I start hearing bad things about it.

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick (5/31)

everyexquisitething_cover_314blCover: The cover is interesting and I’m not getting much from it. Perhaps this book has something to do with mental illness? 4/10

Premise: I’m still not really sure what to make of this book. It seems like it could be a great book about self-discovery or just a lot of angst. I like the idea of the main character’s eyes being opened by a book though. 5/10

Excerpt: Seems like an interesting book…I like the book within a book thing that’s going on here. I’d definitely be interested to see where this goes though I’d like to know a little more about the main character… 6/10

TBR?: Sure…I actually already have an ARC of this one, but even if I didn’t I think I might TBR it.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (7/5)

23299512Cover: For some reason I’m just not really into this cover. It looks like a cover I’ve seen before and I’m just not drawn to it. 4/10

Premise: The summary given is very short so I’m not really sure what to think about it. I mean…I assume music has something to do with it? But it’s not even mentioned in the summary so I’m not sure. It does mention star-crossed lovers though, so I’m starting to feel it maybe. 6/10

Excerpt: The opening definitely grabbed me right away–great hook. The main characters seem interesting and the writing is great–I definitely want to find out what happens next. Already I’m getting the sense that this is some major world-building and I’m excited to see what the rest of this world is like. 9/10

TBR?: Yes

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (5/17)

26156203Cover: There’s something about the colors that I don’t really like, but I like the idea of it quite a bit. I like that the city makes the shape of a crown. 7/10

Premise: This is almost like a reality TV show, which I like, but it is also sounding a lot like the premise of Throne of Glass. I’m not too jazzed about the love triangle aspect either and I also don’t get why one of them has to die? I mean…wouldn’t it be better for the tsar to have as many enchanters on his side as possible? It seems like a waste to kill one of them. Just recruit them both! 6/10

Excerpt: I wondered if this was future Russia or alternate past Russia, I’m happy to see it’s the latter. However, the tone of the book isn’t my favorite and I’m not sure that I like our female protagonist. I’m also having a hard time suspending my belief. What makes these two kids so special that they’re the ONLY enchanters in all of Russia? 5/10

TBR?: Yes, but reluctantly.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (4/26)

17378527Cover: I really like this cover. I think it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and it goes so well with the rest of the covers in the series. 8/10

Premise: I’m actually going to have to skip reviewing the premise and the excerpt (sorry!). I haven’t actually read the first three books, so I’m not going to read the premise or the excerpt for fear of spoiling myself. I do plan on reading the series eventually though!

Excerpt: Skipped

TBR?: Yes. The entire series is. If I don’t end up liking the first book, I probably won’t continue with the series, but we’ll see.

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (4/19)

25639296Cover: The cover is very interesting. It definitely gives the book a creepy/thriller vibe which isn’t something I would normally be interested in reading. 7/10

Premise: Yeah, definitely a thriller type. I have a hard time judging this one objectively because I’m just not really interested in reading psychological thrillers (as this one seems to be). So right of the bat the premise isn’t interesting to me–sorry for those of you who do like this kind of book, I can’t really give you an accurate review. 3/10

Excerpt: The writing’s not bad. We get a really good sense of the type of person our main character is right away. It’s an interesting situation that makes you want to keep reading until you get all of the information. 8/10

TBR?: No. I’m just not really interested in this type of book.

Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten (5/31)

416ug1hjwtl-_sx328_bo1204203200_Cover: I’m not really into it. Seems like another thriller type book or maybe something more like Pretty Little Liars. I’m just not really sure what I’m supposed to get out of the cover though I’m sure it’ll make more sense once I’ve actually read the book. 3/10

Premise: I’m not really sure about this one… It’s not 100% clear to me what this book is about. Maybe it involves a student/school administrator relationship? If so I’m definitely not interested. That kind of thing really creeps me out. 3/10

Excerpt: I’m getting the sense that both of these main characters are pretty messed up. Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in right now, but I’m really not interested in reading about whatever drama they’re going to get caught up in. 2/10

TBR?: No

Siren’s Song by Mary Weber (3/1)

22586973Cover: Not a fan of this one. It just looks kind of cheap to me. Like, I would expect it to be $1.99 for Kindle and writing that could use another round of editing. 2/10

Premise: Again, looks like this is the third book in a series that I haven’t read. So just in case I ever decide that I would like to read the series, I’m just going to not read the summary or the excerpt provided. The odds of that happening though…I’m not sure. The cover really isn’t doing anything for me.

Excerpt: Skipped

TBR?: No

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (5/10)

26109391Cover: This cover is super interesting. I’m not really sure what’s going on, but I like all of the covers and that there’s some strange window…it would definitely make me pick up the book if I just saw it sitting on a shelf. 8/10

Premise: This book sounds like it’s going to have a great cast of quirky characters. I expect witty banter and snappy narration. I think the story itself will also be interesting. I mean, how often do you read about agoraphobic characters? In my case, the answer is never. 7/10

Excerpt: The writing is quick and makes the story seem like it’s zipping by. The characters seem interesting and like they’ll be good at telling their story. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more. 9/10

TBR?: Yes

And I Darken by Kiersten White (6/28)

25324111Cover: I feel pretty neutral about this cover. It’s fine, but it doesn’t seem all that original. I feel like I’ve seen this cover at least eight other times. 5/10

Premise: Alternate history of Vlad the Impaler was actually a girl? This could be interesting. I don’t know much at all about Vlad, so this could be an interesting one. And I do love me some alternate history… 9/10

Excerpt: This seems like a book that could really make waves. First, we’re dealing with a time period that very few YA books are set in. Next, we’ve got this really fierce female character who, frankly, may not be very likable. We’ve also got these strange family dynamics. I’m excited to read more for sure.

TBR?: Yes