Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

This is a book that I ordered last spring and had planned to read it over the summer. One of my students just HAD to read it, so I gave it to her for the summer. When she came back in September, she was telling me what a great book it was and that I just HAD to read it. I finally picked it up and started reading it over the weekend.

Ashes, Ashes is like many dystopian novels. The main character has had to adapt and adjust to a new strange world. Lucy is the main character in Ashes, Ashes and she remembers a time when life was normal, when she went to school, fought with her brother and sister and was safe. But that was a long time ago. Now, all she does is try to survive. Lucy is the only survivor from her family. She lives by herself, avoids other people and at all costs avoids the 'Sweepers' who are looking for people who survived the plague that wiped out Earth's entire population. Then one day Lucy meets Aidan, a boy who is unlike anyone she has met since the world changed. He reintroduces Lucy to the concept of family and working together to survive. But living in a community has its' own challenges for Lucy, she needs to learn how to trust people again.

I enjoyed reading this story and I think Junior/Intermediate students will enjoy it too. The themes of survival, friendship, adventure and romance are enough to keep both boys and girls reading this book.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Death Cure by James Dashner

It's hard to believe that it has been 3 months since I've posted anything- it's been a bit of a crazy fall and I haven't been able to read much. Hopefully this will get me back into reading!

I picked up The Death Cure last week at Titles. This is the third in the Maze Runner series. The first being The Maze Runner and the second being The Scorch Trials. If you haven't read the first two, I'd suggest you stop reading and go find those books.

I sometimes find with trilogies that it takes me a while to remember what happened in the previous stories and it is harder to get into the final books when a bit of time has passed between books. This holds true for The Death Cure, although it didn’t take long for me to remember the characters and what had happened.

The Death Cure starts out with Thomas and his friends having survived several challenges. The first was the Maze and the second was the Scorch Trials. Thomas and his friends are tired, worn out and very suspicious of Wicked, the organization that claims they are here to save them. Of course nothing is ever easy for Thomas. On the one hand there is Teresa who was once his best friend and then betrayed him. On the other hand there is Brenda, someone who he grew close to during the Scorch Trials, but who works for the very organization that Thomas isn’t sure of. Then there is the ‘Flare’, the disease that slowly takes over your brain and makes you crazy. This ‘flare’ is what everyone lives in fear of. Contacting the flare is the same thing as a death sentence.

Throughout the Death Cure, Thomas must decide what he believes in, who he believes in and make decisions for his own future. This book, like the other two is full of action, adventure and suspense. You are never really sure who will make it and who will die. This book had a great ending that really wrapped up the whole series.

If you’ve read the first two books, you really need to read this one as well.