Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review #1

·         Title:  The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
·         Author:  Carolyn Mackler
·         Percentage:  91%

·         Summary:  (from the front flap) Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex.  She lives on the Web, snarfs junk food, and obeys the “Fat Girl Code of Conduct.” Her best friend and stuttering soul mate, Shannon, has moved to Walla Walla, Washington. Froggy Welsh the Fourth has succeeded in getting his hand up Virginia’s shirt, but she lives in fear that he’ll look underneath. Then there are the other Shreves. Mom is an exercise fiend and a successful adolescent psychologist. Dad, when not jet-setting or golfing in Connecticut, ogles skinny women on TV. Older siblings Anais and Byron are slim, brilliant, and impossible to live up to. Delete Virginia, and the Shreves are a picture-perfect family … until a phone call changes everything.
·         Background Knowledge:  First, this book is not one I would normally read, but Kirthi, of Pages, posted a banned book post, and to honour the greatness of banned books, I chose this one off the list of the top 100 banned books. At first, I couldn’t see why it was banned, I mean, it is about overcoming physical obstacles and gaining confidence about yourself. Virginia realizes what a great person she is despite the fact that she has weight issues. It teaches teens to overlook the obvious and find the real person in someone. It also teaches to like yourself because of who you are and not let anyone change that. Further along in the book, I realized why it may have been banned:  it was superbly inappropriate, but hey. What young adult books aren’t? I think you just have to be a mature enough reader and then that would solve the problem. It’s not a matter of the book, just the reader.
·         Format:  The story of Virginia Shreves is told in first person through small chapters and occasional e-mails and instant messages. I personally liked the style because the chapters provided suspenseful endings that kept you flipping through. In addition, the random Web chats delivered a nice change that worked well with the story because 1) that was the only way for Virginia to communicate with Shannon, and 2) it kept Virginia’s character flowing throughout the book.
·         Plot Line:  The plot-line of the book was really well-thought out and realistic. It seemed as if the very story could be happening down the street. Also, it was really suspenseful and a real page-turner. There was a lot of action and personal conflicts Virginia had to deal with, and just as you though the problem would be solved, another one would pop up, or something would get in the way. This created an increase in drama which worked really well with Virginia’s character because it all led up to her becoming increasingly rebellious which led to an outcome of self-acceptance and building confidence. The flow of the book also had very realistic emotions. There were sad parts, happy parts, and everything in between. The way the story was told and the events that happened may it an enjoyable and fast read because it was a book I could not put down.
·         Characters:  As I said before, Virginia Shreves was very realistic, and also she had a wonderful voice of humour and was overall enjoyable to read about. There is not much more to be said on this topic, except that I wonder why all the characters in books such as these have such entertaining lives that many people love to read about…

·         Ratings:
o        Suspense – 4.5 stars
o        Vocab – 4 stars
o        Quality – 4.5 stars
o        Attention-Keeping Ability – 4.5 stars
o        Excitement and Exhilaration – 4 stars
o        Uniqueness and Originality – 4.5 stars
·         Overall Rating:  4 and one-third stars

·         Overall:  This book was really fun to read and had great points and life lessons. As funny as it was, it was surprisingly emotion and realistic. I would highly recommend reading this book (just don’t bring it to school!), yet it can be on your waiting list near the top.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, the title doesn't really attract me to the book, but based on your review, I'd love to read this