Mini reviews! They're like 'fun-sized' candy. It's more fun when there are more than one.
I have no idea who this guy is, but he has popcorn.
Tripp uses the guitar in the music practice room on odd days while Lila practices her cello in the same room on even days. When Tripp leaves his trash on the first day, Lyla writes him a note addressing the school's rules about throwing trash. And so commences a long exchange of notes and snarky comments from Mr. Odd and Ms. Even.
I spied this at a Half Price Books and thought I'd give it a go. "It could either be cute or meh." It's a quick easy read, barely over 200 pages. It's kinda cute in an MG manner, despite being a little cheesy.
I always pick up books about musicians and guitarists hoping I'll find a good one. They always end up on the DNF list. I guess I'm just not looking at the right ones? But I was determined to finish Guitar Notes and I'm glad I did. Like I said, it was a cute read.
I relate to Lyla's problem of letting people walk on her. She had difficulty telling people what she wanted and speaking her mind. I had difficulty with that for a while and occasionally still do. (Irl life people don't like it when I start speaking my mind XD) I also love Tripp. His personality was sarcastic, funny, and nervous. Although he does get angsty. . . Seriously though, his mom took his guitar away. Who wouldn't get angsty? She wanted him to make more friends, but why doesn't she try to find some other guitarists his age to befriend?
Overall, though if you can overlook stiff narration and a touch of cheesy (but funny) dialogue and you want something quick, this is a good choice. I really liked the concept best, note exchanging between two musicians from different musical spheres.
The Boy in Striped Pajamas
Bruno has to move because his father has gotten a big important job. He doesn't want to leave his friends and his grandparents and their perfect house behind. Besides their new house is so small and there are no people nearby. Well, except for the people on the other side of the fence. Who are they? He might just go adventuring to answer his questions.
Wow. This book. I looked it up at the library a long, long time ago, and they didn't have it. But recently I was wandering the shelves, as I'm apt to do, and stumbled upon it. Of course I snatched it up. It's about a boy in Germany and his father is in charge of a prison camp for Jews. Bruno eventually befriends one of the boys from the camp.
"If you ask me, we're all in the same boat. And it's leaking." -- Bruno
But this book is told completely from the story of a nine year old boy. He has no idea what is truly going on around him. He can't even pronounce half the places and names properly. He is innocence in the cruel world of society and boxes.
Again, this is another quick read. You could probably read it in one sitting, which I would suggest if possible. I highly recommend this one. Just wow. Go read it! Goodreads
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Hugo runs the train station clocks alone. Ever since his father died, his uncle took him in. But now his uncle's disappeared too, and unless Hugo wants to be taken away to an orphanage, he must keep the clocks running as if his uncle was still here. He finds the machine he and his father had committed to fixing and perhaps if he studies his father's notebook he can fix on his own. When the toymaker Hugo's been stealing parts from takes his father's notebook, Hugo is sure he'll never be able to fix the machine. But what is wrong with the toymaker? And the girl who stops by the toy shop with her books?
This book was a delightful surprise. I loved the movie. When I found out it was based on a book, I've always wanted to read it. Again, this was another serendipity find. It is so thick though! I had borrowed it from the library with a huge stack of other books and procrastinated reading Hugo. Eventually, I made myself look through it to see if it was worth renewing. I didn't even realize it was illustrated. It was thick for a reason. The book weaves a story with a blend of both words and illustrations. And I loved the illustrations. It was like a silent film. The format of the text is a little odd. Sometimes there'll be a short paragraph on one page, or a single sentence with a lot of white space. Other times a few pages will be filled at a time without an illustration to break it apart.
The story is that of a filmmaker and magician. It's about a boy who fixes things with nimble fingers. It's about a girl who runs fast and loves books. It's about secrets and mysteries. It's about words and images. It's about a train station in Paris, France and the ghost who kept the clocks running.
I would definitely recommend this book. It's not a heavy read like The Boy in the Pajamas, but it is very sweet and the ingenuity of it is fun and intriguing. Goodreads
Have you read any of these? What have you been reading lately? And do you have any good recs with musicians?