Tag Archives: epistolary
Collins, T., & Pinder, A. (2010). Notes from a totally lame vampire: Because the undead have feelings too!. New York: Aladdin.
- Emo Vampires
- Killer squirrels
- Mortal love
… this book’s got it all!
Nigel wants his vampire nickname to be “Nightwalker” it instead becomes cutesy ol’ “Fangy.” This is typical luck for Nigel. He was turned into a vampire, but never received a vampire’s superhuman speed & strength nor their mesmerizing good looks. Worst of all he is about to turn 100 yrs old and he still hasn’t ever had a girlfriend! FML, indeed!
Tim Collins does well to capture the usually obstacles and insecurities that teenagers face in this diary. When I find myself both laughing and relating to a fictional vampire teen/centenarian I feel I’ve found a good book.
Andrew Pinders drawings go perfectly with the diary medium and the lanky awkwardness that is Nigel’s life.
PS- Apparently there’s a sequel diary out called Prince of Dorkness : more notes from a totally lame vampire
Green, J. (2008). Paper towns. New York: Dutton.
After falling head over heels for the hilarity and informativity (is this a real word? Not really 🙂 ) of the Vlogbrothers I picked up John Greens most recent book (although I think he’s going to have another one coming out soonish) Paper Towns. I’m not going to give a plot synopsis here, as I feel my bullet point description of the book would deflect people from reading it: Nerdy boys coming of age and being bad-asses by skipping their high school graduation… lame, pass! WRONG!!! Do not pass! I want to stress that Paper Towns is a really, really good read! I would recommend this book for parents of teens as much as I would recommend this book for anyone in high school, probably ideal for teens in the middle high school grades; You poor lost souls! Don’t worry you will eventually escape (although your teachers will be stuck there forever, so be nice to them!). The quality of John Green’s writing make his insights into individual emotions and societal observations so personal that it is easy to become the main characters. I was both Quentin and Margo and John Green was helping me through the feelings I thought I had no control over. As the book progresses you will find yourself becoming more open and definately more thoughtful. I won’t spoil it for you, but the last eighty pages contain some of the most influential writing I have read in a long time. For people who think they have a solid perception of who they are, as well as people who feel lost within themselves these pages will shatter your illusions and then gradually help you create a framework upon which you can begin to know yourself again. You will not be whole at the end of the book, but you may realize how empty you actually where when you started. This is the key effect of Paper Towns to help people see themselves as they truly and uniquely are. In a world where consumer culture can bombard us into subservient ,acronym title=”bewilderment: confusion resulting from failure to understand”> obfuscation I found it extremely rejuvenating to find a portal back to the root of my being to retrace who I actually am and what I actually care about.
Thank you John Green, you are freakin’ awesome!
PS – If you are just starting out I highly suggest that you watch a bunch of Vlogbrothers and/or Brotherhood 2.0 before, or while you’re reading John Green’s work. I think a lot of the attachment I had with this book came from the feeling that I know John Green almost personally. Occasionally the text changed from the narrative of the story and I totally felt like I was experiencing a Vlogbrother moment in the text. It was pretty cool and enriched my reading experience greatly.
Naidoo, B. (2000). The other side of truth. London: Puffin Books.
This story focuses on the lives of two Nigerian children who are forced to flee their home after the “Brass Buttons” of Nigeria’s ruling powers assassinate their mother in retribution for the political newspaper writings of their father. The heroine, Sade (pronounced Sha-day) and her younger brother Femi, are sent to London with a stranger to find an uncle who has gone missing. Abandoned on the cold London streets they eventually wind up as refugees with the British immigration services. This book touches on many painful, but important topics, racial violence, immigration, bullying in school, the inequity that exists within and between world states… all in all this is a very powerful book, both painful and inspiring to read. When it was first published this book won the Carnagie award for children’s literature, amongst many others, and a stand alone sequel, Web of Lies, has subsequently been published by Beverly Naidoo.
Myracle, L. (2007). L8r, g8r. New York: Amulet Books.
It may make me sound like Luddite, but I can’t stand texting language… I hate it hate it HATE IT! I can stomach acronyms like WTF, LOL, TTYL, etc. but when everything is shortened down it makes me cringe. It was with this sentiment that grudgingly checked out a Lauren Myracle book from the library. I will admit that in my mind I was already trashing it.
However, as I read it the drama of the girls stories helped me digest the atrocious
through in this book, mostly “relationship” firsts if you catch my drift, despite it being the third book in the series and as always I support dialogues about taboo subjects. However, my belief is that language is used to express thoughts and feelings and I feel IM style “literature” might amuse teens, but won’t help them mature and grow. Simple sentences combined with incorrect spelling serves only to reinforce the level that teen fans of this series are already in. It seems unlikely to spur them on to greater intelligence, which is not to say that teens won’t develop on their own and ditch this style of “writing” as they get older and their tastes refine.
Basically, this was not my type of book at all, but I’m glad to have read it so that I was able to see some positive aspects. One unexpected positive aspect is that after reading this book I really, really want to read some adult fiction to cleanse my brain of the vapidity to which it has been exposed.