Monday, May 25, 2015

Lily's Review of Oedipus a greek tragedy

Review of Oedipus a greek tragedy

No. Just No. I am required to read this for school. Just no. I was excited because I love the Greek Myths, but, just do yourself a favor and don’t read it, please. Just No.


Monday, May 18, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading (I can't believe that title)

I know I set the world on fire with my last review. I covered Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and I called it bad. 

Very bad. 

Twilight level of bad.

So, I needed some time to cool off and find a book in a similar genre that was actually good, which took a long time. So much time, that I actually gave up and moved onto other titles that I would personally recommend: The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, Little House in the Woods, and one I'm working on right now: Eragon. (Hear that, Zack? I cracked from boredom and finally gave into your wish!)
With so many other titles mixed in, I eventually forgot my quest for finding a new title and went on with my standard reading selection. Well, I would of, anyway, if I didn't notice a peculiar-looking title on the Juvenile Fiction shelf at the Highland branch. I picked it up, read it, liked it a lot, and then it reminded me a lot of Wimpy Kid's genre, so I decided to review. So, what book was it?

The book has what is probably the best title for any piece of fiction. It is called, and I quote, it is called, AND I QUOTE...

"Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading"

Wow. When you have a title like that, what could possibly go wrong?

The Guide to Not Reading (I can't take that title seriously, it's so hypocritical.) is just another title in the tsunami of Middle School stories right now: Simple tale, just like every other book about a depressed grade school boy, but with a twist. Charlie Joe is our main character and narrator for the tale, but he hates books. No, I mean hates them a lot. So much so, that he gets his best friend Tim to read any assigned schools books for him in exchange for cafeteria food. 


So, with such a special twist, you can expect a lot from this book, and it truly delivers! I would cover the bits and pieces of the book in detail, but that would ruin the story, and TRUST ME. DON'T. SPOIL. THE. STORY. 

With story out of the way, I would like to take a moment to reflect on why this book excels over the Wimpy Kid formula.

First thing it gets right is the main character, Charlie Joe Jackson. Greg Heffley was a terrible character because the book kept trying to encourage you that he was the only nice person in the story, which was contradictory to the way he actually acted. On the other hand, The Guide to Not Reading makes 101% emphasis on how Charlie Joe is such a ridiculous person by his hatred of reading. This aspect is reinforced so good that the book contains little snippets inbetween explaining why Charlie Joe thinks reading is bad. It's hilarious stuff, with the best in the entire book being a mini-segment where Charlie Joe says that people that read need glasses because the small words hurt their eyes! That's comedy gold!

Speaking of little snippets, the sour disposition Charlie Joe has towards reading is reflected from the chapters. Each one is only a page or two long, and all of the long ones are followed up by little notes from Charlie Joe(the narrator, reminder to you) saying that he'll make sure that the next chapters are smaller. Seriously, the writing for this book is as good as the stuff in early Spongebob, and you want to know how good early Spongebob is?

That's how good it is.

The final thing that The Guide to Not Reading excels in over Wimpy Kid and all of that series is the cast. All of the other characters are fleshed out like needed, and while this is a common staple to ANY book, I can't even begin to tell you how refreshing it is to read a book that takes a pre-existing formula and adds the finishing touch right on key. All of these characters are specifically designed to counter-balance Charlie Joe's personality, and as such, it helps make the book feel like a community I can connect to.

Bottom line, if you want a book that will truly make you laugh, read this title. It gets so much right, that all it needs to do is be funny. Yes, there are a few little things here and there that ruin the book, but I can't really say anything about those issues without spoiling the book, so I'll end on this note: Read "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading." It's amazing.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Quote of the Month: Lily

"How romantic, you smell of freshly puked apples." Lily W.

This was Lily's reaction at discovering that in one of the versions of Snow White, the prince wakes the princess, not with a kiss, but by jostling a bite of the poisoned apple from her throat.

Here is a handy link to the Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts. Professor D. L. Ashliman created it when he was at the University of Pittsburgh. Here is a link to his translations of a bunch of different versions of the Snow White story so you can compare them yourself!

This was at our book discussion of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman on 5/6/15.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How To Play: The Pokemon Trading Card Game a GadgetJax production

Enjoy Part 1 of our new feature: How To Play
In this video GadgetJax starts us out with the basics of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.