Sunday, May 27, 2012

iBoy by Kevin Brooks

Title: iBoy
Author: Kevin Brooks
Year of Publication: 2010
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 288

First Line: "The mobile phone that shattered my skull was a 32GB iPhone 3GS."

Summary: Before the attack, Tom Harvey was just an average teenager. But a head-on collision with high technology has turned him into an actualized App. Fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain. And they're having an extraordinary effect on his every thought.

 Because now Tom knows, sees, and can do more than any normal boy ever could.

But with his new powers comes a choice: To avenge Lucy, the girl he loves, will he hunt down the vicious gangsters who hurt her? Will he take the law into his own electric hands and exterminate them from the South London housing projects where, by fear and violence, they rule?

Not even his mental search engine can predict the shocking outcome of iBoy's actions.

Source: Back of book.

Review:  This is not my favorite Kevin Brooks novel.  But it isn't my least favorite, either.  Brooks rushes through iBoy in some ways and, unlike similar stories projected in film, iBoy does not have the advantage of montage, which seems to pop up in many superhero movies (think Spiderman as he discovers and refines his powers).  The concept of the novel was interesting enough, though the characters who carried it out were somewhat less interesting and complex than characters in previous novels by Brooks.  Nothing felt particularly out of place with dialogue, but overall, the book had a slightly manufactured feel which took away from what it could have been.  Maybe if it was longer and Brooks had taken more time to develop various pieces of the book, it would have been better.  
Worst part: Lack of complexity.

Best part:  The chapter numbers. Check those out -- they're super cool.

Grade: B-

Other Books by This Author: Darn, Being, Black Rabbit Summer, Candy, Kissing the Rain, Lucas, Martyn Pig, The Road of the Dead

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dark Shadows (2012) Movie Review

Title: Dark Shadows
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green
Year of Release: 2012
Genre: Comedy
Length: 113 minutes
Rated: PG-13

Tagline: Every family has its demons.

Summary: An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.


Review: We all know the Tim Burton formula -- dark, a little comedy, some Helena Bonham Carter, some creepy kids, and Johnny Depp.  This film is no different.  Dark Shadows is based on a television show, and it shows in the movie.  Most everything is underdeveloped and superficial -- the characters, the writing, and the plot line, especially.  With the quick switch in main character toward the end of the beginning, the movie is unable to hold viewers' attention.  Don't get too attached to character Victoria Winters -- she is more or less ignored the rest of the film and is clearly there as a device to the plot and nothing more.

Meanwhile, the acting, as in many of Burton's films, is plastic and over the top.  I'm inclined to think that this is the fault of the director, given its commonality in Burton's films.  Depp tends to be better as an actor, in my opinion, in movies other than those directed by Burton.  This is also the case with Bonham Carter and on the one instance of I've seen with Eva Green (who starred in Womb with Matt Smith).  Other characters, in addition to being portrayed with bad acting, seem entirely unnecessary to the plot, such as David's father and cousin, despite his cousin's action at the end of the film.

The subjects presented in the film were simply too much to handle in a 113-minute movie.  There were too many questions (both relating to the plot and themes of the movie) to tackle.

That said, there were a few redeeming moments of the film, including Alice Cooper's cameo and Depp's character's predictable reaction to Cooper's name and appearance.  Other viewers in the theater did laugh at some parts, though I did not find the attempt at humor funny.  Some of the humor and other content seemed to be pushing it for a PG-13 movie as well.

I'd wait for this one on cable.

Grade: D+

People Who Liked This Film Also Liked (According to IMDB): What Lies Beneath, The Uninvited, The Amityville Horror, The Ring Two, Shutter Island, The Ninth Gate

Monday, May 21, 2012

Own The Night-Summer Read

Summer Read Registration is Now Open!  


· For summer read at the reference desk

· For teen programs in the calendar section of our website:

Or call 603-432-6140 or email Erin at

Summer Read Challenge

June 18th-August 16th

Pick up a summer read packet and reading log at the reference desk!  Log your books from  June 18th-August 16th.  You will receive a prize for every 3 books you read. Bring your final reading log to the end of the summer pizza party to pick out your prizes, have pizza, and screen our teen horror movie. Prizes will include books, magazines, comic books and more!


Own the Night Manga Drawing Workshop

July 24th from 3:30-4:30

Join local artist, Kristine Brock, to learn how to draw Manga!  We will be centering our lesson around the summer read theme, Own The Night, so come ready to draw dark, gothic, mysterious characters!  Beginner - Experienced artists are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Registration Required


Murder Mystery Party

July 25th from 6:30-8:00

There's been a murder at the book fair!  Put on your crime solving cap and come ready to play a part as we delve into discovering who is responsible for the death of the famed author, Stephanie Milne! Registration Required


Forensics Friday

July 27th from 3:00-4:00

Did you know that there are seven common fingerprint patterns?  Join us for an afternoon of sleuthing as we learn about fingerprinting, crime scene analysis and more! No Registration Required


Mystery Writers Group

Bi-weekly starting June 20th, from 6:30-8:00

Join us to write mysteries.  You can focus on short stories, novels, or any  length/style that works for you!  Be ready to write, critique, workshop and more.
The final session will be a public reading, so bring your friends and family and come  read your work in a supportive setting! No Registration Required


Cooking Club

Bi-weekly starting June 19th, from 3:30-4:30

Join us for some good eats this summer!  We will be making island smoothies, soft pretzels, decorative fruit tarts, guacamole, salsa and pita chips, spring rolls, and lemon lavender cookies.  Learn to prepare great food and have fun with friends, too!  Registration Required


 Horror Movie Making

Every Thursday starting June 21st, from 3:00-4:30

Come and collaborate with other teens as we write, rehearse and film our own horror movie.  Be ready to think creatively, get messy with monster make up, and have fun with others.  No Registration Required


 Teen Advisory Group

July 10th and August 7th from 3:30-4:30

Join our teen advisory group to help brainstorm, plan and execute programs, displays and more in the teen space.  TAG meets once a month in the teen section to discuss what we can make more inviting to our teen patrons.  


Have a great summer!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Green Summer

Hello all!

I hope you're all excited for the summer to start -- I know I am!  This summer I will be guiding discussions on some of YA author John Green's novels.  To find out more, check out the Facebook event!  If you're interested, I encourage you to sign up at the circulation desk.

I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Womb (2010) Movie Reivew

Title: Womb
Director: Benedek Fliegauf
Starring: Eva Green, Matt Smith, Lesley Manville, Peter Wight
Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Drama
Length: 111 minutes
Rated: R
Tagline: What are the consequences of giving birth to your dead boyfriend?
Summary: A woman's consuming love forces her to bear the clone of her dead beloved. From his infancy to manhood, she faces the unavoidable complexities of her controversial decision.


Review: This is not your average science-fiction movie. Womb is full of thought-provoking questions, many of which stem from one of the most complicated and simple questions on earth: Who am I?  While the film does not use a lot of obscenities, it does feature one fairly graphic sex scene, however it is tastefully done.  As a European film, the movie is very different from most American/Hollywood flicks.  Dialogue is minimal and there is little if any musical score to accompany the action. 
I had heard of the film several months ago and, as I'm a Matt Smith fan thanks to Doctor Who, I was eager to see it but was unable to until now.  A friend of mine reminded me of the film recently and I happened to see it was streaming on Xfinity, so I watched it.  When I told the friend I was watching the movie, she said she did not think she would be able to handle it.  She is nineteen.  I include this brief digression to emphasize that the topics and themes in the movie may not be suitable for not only younger viewers but also for people who are not interested in jolting ideas that may make them question various aspects of their life and their life in general.  This movie deals with some deep ideas and, while it is not graphic in violence, etc., the movie requires the viewer to be prepared.
Womb is different.  The cinematography is unusual and the characters are, at times, lacking personalities.  However, it is the questions that are important, not the characters, in this film.  While watching, I tried to decide if the film was intended to be a statement on cloning, etc., but I am undecided on this.  I lean more towards the idea that the film is meant to cause questions, not necessarily promote a pro-cloning or anti-cloning attitude.
That said, if you think you can handle it, I recommend it.  Personally, I think watching it alone and encouraging a friend to do the same so you can discuss after is ideal, rather than watching the film together.  It's definitely one to stir conversation.

Grade: B+

People Who Liked This Film Also Liked (According to IMDB): Rabbit Hole, The Ides of March, Another Earth, The Skin I Live In, Shame, and Carnage

Monday, May 7, 2012

Karla and Kinsey Book Review Part II: Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Reviewer: Kinsey Manchester
5/5 stars

Seventeen year old Juliette lives in a futuristic society ruled by a government known as the Reestablishment. Juliette’s parents gave her away to the government because Juliette has a deadly touch. That is, anyone who makes skin contact with her suffers and dies. She is put in an insane asylum, alone and is barely holding on. Juliette hates who she is and when she gets a new roommate in her cell, she struggles to face the fact that she cannot get close to him because she can never touch him. Despite Juliette’s efforts to shut out her roommate, Adam, they grow closer. Juliette in turn, suffers more and more because she cannot touch him (even though she wants to). Later on, Adam is revealed as a soldier in the government and his purpose of being Juliette’s roommate is to see if Juliette is really crazy. Juliette feels betrayed by Adam because she thought they were friends. Once she is deemed sane, the ruthless leader of the sector where they live, Warner, tells her that he wants to use her touch as a weapon in the war the government is fighting. The only catch to Warner’s plan is that Juliette will not cooperate because she refuses to use her touch against anyone. As Warner pushes Juliette to be the monster that she has been forever trying not to be, she finds the strength to remain true to herself through the one person who never gave up on her. With that strength and the help from her friend, Juliette tries to fight back against the Reestablishment.

Shatter Me is a dystopian novel that pulls you in from the first page. I like how the action starts right away. I was not bored or disinterested in the beginning of the book, as I sometimes am in other books. At first, the style of writing was not my favorite. For example, some lines are crossed out as a way of showing what Juliette is thinking but does not say, and I initially found that annoying. However, as the book went on, I found them useful in developing Juliette’s character and I decided that it is a unique approach to showing us how Juliette really feels. I really enjoyed the character of Adam, because he was the stereotypical good guy. Adam reminds me a lot of Peeta in the Hunger Games, because he loves Juliette from the beginning, and neither Juliette nor Katniss (in the Hunger Games) can figure out why he loved her. I liked how just when things are starting to simmer down, a twist comes and the action keeps rolling. I did not expect the end of the book to be as it was at all, and I find that a sign of a good book- when you do not know what is going to happen next. The only thing that I thought could be improved upon is the reader knowing more about Juliette’s history. I wanted to know more about her school days, but it makes sense why we do not know that. Juliette has blocked that part of her life out because it was not a good time for her. I also wanted to know more about Warner. I feel that his character could have been developed better. Other than that, I loved the book. I think that this is a book that could use a sequel, so I hope that there is one coming out! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action, romance, and dystopian novels.