Odysseus in the Serpent Maze

As I’ve said before–and if you’re actually following this blog, you should know this–I am a mythology nut. As in, you’re reading something written by a kid who takes LATIN, even though it’s practically a dying language (Sorry, Ms. K., it’s true!). But anyway, this is one of the best mythology-based books I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot). Odysseus in the Serpent Maze, a collaboration between Jane Yolen and Robert Harris, follows the adventures of young Odysseus and his best friend Mentor, and is one of those books I’ve read who-knows-how-many times. Odysseus is well known for being mischievous and getting into trouble a lot, but it still comes as a shock when he and Mentor are kidnapped by pirates, and meet Helen of Sparta and her clever cousin, Penelope. Eventually they find themselves on the island of Crete, home to the infamous Minotaur. However, the Minotaur is dead–the question is, what new terrible monster now dwells inside the maze? This book is full of action, danger, and just a bit of romance. It’s one of the reasons I got so obsessed with mythology when I was younger, and I think both boys and girls will enjoy it. You should definitely go take a look. (Oh, and there are other books, too! Just not about this particular hero.)

P.S. There was no image available at Powell’s Books for a link, so it’s here it is.

Divergent

Okay, I know that there’s been a lot of buzz about this book lately, but I just couldn’t resist putting in my two cents after I read it. At first, I have to admit I was worried. After hearing all the good stuff about Divergent (by Veronica Roth) the last thing I wanted was to be disappointed because I had my hopes up too high. (Besides, when you buy the book with your own money, you kinda want it to be worth it.) I shouldn’t have been worried. Really. I love this book! Not only are the plot and characters great, but the actual writing isn’t too shabby, either. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Ahem. Beatrice is part of the faction Abnegation, as is the rest of her family, in what used to be Chicago, Illinois. But she may not have to be Abnegation for long. In just a little while, all the sixteen-year-olds in the five factions will be tested, to find out what faction they are most compatible with. And the day after the testing, they will choose which faction they will officially become a part of. But Beatrice’s results are more than she bargained for. She’s Divergent–meaning she belongs in more than one faction. And that’s the just the start of it. After she chooses–donning a new life, new friends, and even a new name–things only get more suspicious. Could it be her once perfectly-safe life isn’t all that it seems? (Well, duh.) As I said before, this book is great. And I’m sorry if this sounds redundant because of all the reviews and stuff you’ve already heard, but as I also said before, I had to say my piece. So, if you haven’t done it already, you just have to go to the nearest library/bookstore/whatever and get this book!

The Future of Us

Okay, let me just start off with this: I love the idea of this book. It’s 1996, and the Internet is just getting its start. Not everyone has computers. Google doesn’t exist yet. Neither does Bing. But when two teenagers log onto America Online for the first time, they discover something shocking–themselves on Facebook, 15 years in the future! (Come on, you have to admit that’s kind of cool.) Meet Emma Nelson and Josh Templeton–once best friends, but who have barely interacted at all since the events of last November. Emma’s got a new computer, and Josh has gotten a free CD-ROM in the mail. Little did they know what they would find once they booted it up. As they grapple with coming to terms with who they end up marrying, or where they’re living, or whether they should even believe it at all, they begin to discover that even the slightest change in their present can alter their future. And the future is not something you take lightly. And while trying to figure out how destiny works, they’re also starting to wonder, more than ever, if their friendship will ever be the same again. This book is a collaboration between Carolyn Mackler and Jay Asher, and it’s a really solid read. Like, really solid. Okay, fine–I couldn’t put it down for most of the time I was reading it. As I said before, I love the originality and the potential of the idea, and the writing’s the icing on the cake. So I definitely recommend you go get it from the library! (Soon.)