Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review of Just After Sunset, by Stephen King

This was my first time reading Stephen King's work, and it is classic horror in every way. Each short story is completely separate, with nothing but the binding of the book holding everything together. But when you finish reading this book, there's an oddly satisfying and disturbing sense of closure. He does not disappoint in these crazy stories that I'm not sure I've enjoyed or just gritted my teeth.

~Posted by a Homestead freshman

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Review of 13 Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why is a novel about a young adult who commits suicide. She makes a recording of tapes explaining why she did what she did, and who was to  blame for it. There are 13 different reasons why she did so, and she makes sure everyone responsible knows about how their actions affected her. I was surprised at how much I really liked it. It was very moving and had an important message.

~Reviewed by Anna C., Homestead freshman

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review of Stealing Buddha's Dinner, by Bich Minh Nguyen

Stealing Buddha's Dinner is a memoir by Bich Minh Nguyen, reflecting on her life as a refugee from Vietnam living in Michigan. She escaped to America at 8 months old with her older sister and father, who later married a Mexican-American woman, resulting in a Mexican-American stepsister and a mixed younger brother. Reading this book opened my eyes to the life of people who constantly work to live a life better than the one they escaped from. I always knew that refugees came to America, but Bich Minh Nguyen lets you see what it means to try to fit in, especially in a place that doesn't want to accept you. She shows you the struggles of living in a mixed family and growing up in primarily white community. However, her experiences also relate to people, especially me. Nguyen talks about reading Little House on the Prairie on her bed, wishing she was them, sneaking junk food into her room so her parents won't get mad at her, and getting mad at older siblings. Although the book was revealing and bright, it focuses a lot on Nguyen's life as a child. I feel that the biggest downside is how little she focuses on her life after middle school, maybe in high school. Also, it can feel a little dry as she repeats many facts and events and since it's not in chronological order, it can be slightly hard to follow at times. I'd recommend this book to anyone, especially people from an Asian family.

~Reviewed by a Homestead freshman

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review of Cryptonomicon

Neal Stephenson is the only genius writer who can persuade me to read an 1000 page book. The three stories in Cryptonomicon seem so different yet come together at the end, and you end up not rooting for one character but for four or five. He is the only person I know who uses the word "avuncular," and I would 10/10 would recommend for people who like technology or WWII.
~ Reviewed by a Homestead freshman

Review of Caraval

Scarlet, the main character, finds herself in the mystique of Caraval, a game created by the mythical Legend. There is a lot of magic and super glamorous things, but Scarlet is only concerned about her sister. This book was extremely fun to read, a little predictable, and I would recommend it if you like romance (which was a bit too much for me).
~ Reviewed by a Homestead freshman

Review of Brown Girl Dreaming

This book is written in poetry and is super insightful (although I don't even know if I got all of it). This is the "diary" of an African American girl in the United States, free but still segregated and viewed differently. There
isn't much action in this book, but the words and stanzas convey something much more meaningful.
~ Reviewed by a Homestead freshman

Review of Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

This book ranges from bacteria to lion cannibalism, and then to historical human cannibalism. The author is both resourceful and quirky, the pages filled with wit and diagrams. Scientific terms are broken down for the basic reader, and debunking myths is quite a pervasive theme as well. I had lots of fun reading this until I made the mistake of reading while eating lunch. Needless to say, this book is both creepy and fascinating.
~ Reviewed by a Homestead freshman