Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 YALSA Hub Reading Challenge - Update #18

Alas and alack! Summer vacation has been so darn busy so far that I am simply exhausted after only a week away from school. My husband and I have started a new diet and exercise program, visited several doctor's offices, and wandered around our local farmers' market purchasing locally grown foodstuffs for delicious home-cooked meals. What we have not done much of is, you guessed it, reading. I did finish one more book from the list, as well as another that's been on my nightstand for several months.

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure is the first in a trilogy. 

The world-building is phenomenal; plotwise, nothing much happens until very near the end of the book (and it is an enormous book).

In a horrifying post-apocalyptic world, enhanced nuclear weapons have destroyed nearly everything. The survivors have been fused with whatever they happened to be holding (or standing next to) during the Detonation, creating a variety of grotesque mutations. Pressia, 16, has a doll's head in place of one hand. Another character has birds fused into his back. Other characters, called Groupies, are connected to other people. The descriptions of these survivors are disturbing, and I think, what made this book very difficult for me to read.

There is another group of survivors, people who were kept safe from the Detonations, protected inside of the Dome. They are called Pures. Partridge lives in the Dome, which is controlled by his father. Despite his privileged upbringing, Partridge has never felt like he fits in. When he discovers that his mother might have survived, he escapes from the Dome and sets out to find her.

Pressia and Partridge, on the run for their own reasons, soon find out that more than 
mere chance binds them together.

Not on the YALSA list, but worth a read.

Freakonomics:  A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Leavitt (an economist) and Dubner (a journalist) collaborate to answer some rather strange questions that, on the surface, seem to have little to do with economics.

Which kills more children--guns or swimming pools? How much money do drug dealers really make? Which factors determine whether or not a child will have a successful life? Can statistics reveal cheaters on standardized tests? How does access to safe and legal abortions affect the rate of violent crime in our cities?

A fascinating read.

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