Book Review: Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

17849185Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

Publisher: Merit Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 1, 2014

Pages: 256 (Hardcover)

good good

Fourteen-year-old April May Manning spent her life on airplanes with her flight attendant parents. When her father dies in a crash, April’s mom marries a pilot who turns out to be an abusive jerk, and gets Mom confined to a psychiatric hospital. So April takes off, literally, living on airplanes, using her mother’s flight benefits, relying on the flight crews who know she’s been shuttling between divorcing parents for a year. Then, there’s a hijacking, but why is April’s “dad” on board? April flees to the cargo hold with another unaccompanied minor she’s met before, and they fight to thwart the hijackers, faking a fire, making weapons from things they find in luggage. At last, locked in the cockpit with a wounded police officer, the boy, and his service dog, April tries to remember everything her parents said to do in a crisis above the clouds. But she knows it won’t be enough.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Merit Press for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

This book is just annoying. April Manning is a Nancy Drew like character, only worse because she’s boring and unrealistic. 

You know those kids that you have to babysit, the ones that just never shut up even if they’re right about something? That kid is April, and for the life of me, I could not stop picturing her as a seven year old tugging on my arm. I get it, you have a plan, and you’re smart. Shut up. Like I said above, there is a lot of forced humour. And I’m not over exaggerating. There are a few deaths, and they’re played off as jokes. The bad guys (if they can even be called that) are complete jokes that barely ever make sense. There’s quite a bit of info-dumping, and the story is very disorganized.

Airports are such a fun place, and the idea and the setting for it was what saved Unaccompanied Minor for me. They are very loud and chaotic which is why April got by so easily unnoticed. There are a few surprises though, so that was fun.

Overall, unless you’re looking for a Nancy Drew/Scooby Doo and the Gang kind of story then skip this. I felt as if I were reading about a crazy mystery that had too much forced humour and too little seriousness.

2 Clouds
2 Clouds

Book Review: Colin Fischer By Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz

13589178Colin Fischer By Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz

Publisher: Razorbill

Genre: Mystery, Humour and young adult

Release Date: November 1, 2012

Pages: 256 (Hard Cover)
Colin Fischer

SOLVING CRIME, ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION AT A TIME

Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.

But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate’s birthday celebration, Colin is the only for the investigation. It’s up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin’s frequent tormentor, didn’t bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn’t have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun…

(My Opinion)

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Ha ha Colin just doesn’t know when to shut up at all. The story is told in third person but mostly focuses on Colin and how he reacts towards his surroundings. The idea behind this story is interesting and funny, Colin is a younger version of Sheldon Cooper in many ways as well as Sherlock Holmes. 

There seems to be a problem between third person books and I. For some reason, the ones that I’ve read are hard to get into and start off very slow. Colin Fischer is no different with a very slow beginning that was difficult to hold my attention. The clues that the authors provide in the book aren’t as insane or intense as I was hoping they would be. It would have been better if the clues were a bit edgier and shocking since no one usually brings a gun to school. Some of the characters are choppy and very stiff. Since the story doesn’t only focus on Colin but also the people he interacts with and I felt characters like Wayne Connelly could have been written smoother with more information about him.

The writing style really fits the voice of Colin because it’s awkward and a bit blunt. I just love Colin! He’s funny and he’s different, he knows a lot about facts and how to investigate things yet, when it comes to people and emotions, he doesn’t understand anything at all. The authors do a fine job by adding little notes and pieces of the things Colin writes about in his notebook rather than just narrating what he puts in it. The relationship between Colin and his family is another thing I like about this story because you can see the struggles his parents go through to make Colin feel comfortable as well make sure they have memories of their son. Another thing I like about this book is that it teaches you a lot. I learned a lot about animals, the history of the world and the people who lived on it, as well as psychological facts. I learned so much that I had to tell the people around me about the new things I learned and how great this book is. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I feel like I can relate to Colin on a personal level about his views on people and how they can be very odd. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that will make you believe that you can become a detective.  A fun, short read that makes people think and realize more about the world around them.

Four Dreamy Clouds
Four Dreamy Clouds

Team Human

By: Justine Larabalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Publisher: HarperTeen (Harpercollins)

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: July 3 2012

Pages: 352

(Summary from Goodreads)

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn’t mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It’s up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

(My Opinion)

3.7/5-Team Human is told from the perspective of Mel. We learn a reasonable amount about her life and how much she hates vampires. I have to say that I thought this book was going to turn out completely different from what it actually is. Vampire stories have been popular for quite a while now, so I thought this one was going to be the same as the others. It’s different because instead of Mel liking the vampire, it’s her best friend, Cathy who actually likes him. There was a lot of repetition of how much Mel hates vampires in the story and it got pretty annoying. The characters are funny and easy to read about. I loved Mel’s sense of humour even though I didn’t like her motives of keeping Cathy away from her boyfriend.

Usually, best friend are very supportive of each other and try to help one another. I didn’t like Mel’s intentions in the story because it’s harsh and is sending out a pretty mean message—You can only date people your best friend approves of. I wished the authors chose a different idea because this one agitated me a lot. I also didn’t like that Mel acted like a spoiled brat for most of the book. She’s very hot-headed, angry, and loves to yell.

Team Human is a light-hearted read (for the most part). I finished it in a day because I found both Kit and Mel hilarious. I really enjoyed the writing style for this book because it’s smooth and organized. Also, I liked that Mel is Asian! There aren’t many fantasy stories where the main character doesn’t have, “deathly pale skin.”

Overall, a pretty good read. I would recommend it to people who enjoy vampire books and are looking for an unexpected ending.