Tag Archives: technology

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School, Review

11 Jan

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney

Plot: This latest installment in the Wimpy Kid diaries has Greg singing the blues over being forced to unplug from technology. His mom is on a campaign to have people sign a petition to vow not to use electronics for a weekend of family and neighborhood togetherness. This leads to a park cleanup project, so people have a place to go during this technology-free weekend. Throw in an amateur lemonade stand, a troop of Girl Scouts running a tight ship, an elementary school kid who is too smart for his own good, as well as a busload of juvenile delinquents, and you have the makings for some typical Greg Heffley shenanigans. Is technology-free always the best way?

Grandpa has also come to stay in the Heffley household, hopefully just temporarily. After Greg gets himself in trouble that Grandpa tries to get him out of but ends up getting him further into, Greg finds himself on a bus to Hardscrabble Farms for a week long class trip with no technology or junk food. Will Greg make it through a week of team-building exercises, not enough supplies, questionable hygiene, pranks, and an old camp legend?

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

5 stars

–Jen

 

 

iBoy, Book Trailer

11 Dec

If the Witness Lied, Review

13 Jul

If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney

Plot: This book relies heavily on technology throughout the book. In the first chapter, Jack discusses “that television is a force in destroying his family,” and there are many more references to the negative effect being in the media spotlight has on Jack and Tris. However, Aunt Cheryl has a much different view of television, watching programs regularly with almost a religious zeal. Her adoration of television and media ultimately leads her to arrange for Tris to become the focus of a reality show. The interaction with the television crew serves as an immediate conflict for Jack, who struggles to protect Tris from further media exposure.

In addition to television, texting is also a featured technology, with Jack and his sisters Madison and Smithy using texts as their primary means of communication. Also crucial to the plot are the cell phone photographs retrieved from Jack’s deceased father’s cell phone, which reveals to Jack and Madison some important information about Aunt Cheryl. Finally, technology is used to help bring resolution to the story, when Jack’s grandparents arrive suddenly on the scene to help the children. Nonny says to Jack, “Darling, this isn’t the eighteenth century” showing that technology makes communication easy, despite the circumstances.

Would you recommend this book? Yes and no. I have read other books by Cooney, and have enjoyed them; however, If the Witness Lied was not one of her stronger books. I felt little connection to any of the protagonists, and Aunt Cheryl came across as a caricature rather than a true villain. The plot has entirely too many holes, and Cheryl’s involvement with the children would have never happened in real life. Technology is the only means to provide any sense of plausibility in this story. The computer records, recordings, and photographic evidence are provided so that the reader will say “this must have happened this way, because there is real evidence to prove it.” Cooney’s earlier thrillers and mysteries were written when digital technologies were either undeveloped or in its infancy, and those plots worked because of the lack of technology. Perhaps Cooney forced the use of technology into her plot too much in this book.

3 stars

–Lisa

Feed, Review

30 Mar

Feed by M.T. Anderson

Plot: In the future, the Earth has been depleted of many of its natural resources and is slowly dying. Humans have opened up space travel and have colonized on the moon. Nearly everyone on Earth is linked to “the feed,” which helps people make decisions about what they eat, buy, and think.

During a recreational trip to the moon, Titus is drawn to Violet. They become closer friends after suffering from a hacker attack while in a club on the moon. Violet’s feed is severely damaged during this attack, likely because she received the feed much later than other people (because her family wanted to avoid being connected). Titus and Violet continue their relationship when they return to Earth. Violet’s problems with her feed become more severe. As it becomes more apparent that Violet will not be able to live with a damaged feed, Violet turns to Titus to help maintain her memories.

Violet tries to open Titus’s eyes to the serious problems (both political and environmental) that are happening on Earth, but Titus is scared to leave the safety of his mainstream, feed-fed world. As the feed causes Violet’s body to shut down, Titus gets scared and begins to ignore her. What will happen to Violet with Titus not around to help her?

Would you recommend this book? Yes.This book took a long time for me to get into, mostly because of the slang language and the science fiction nature. However, I did enjoy it in the end. It offers some great lessons in letting convenience and technology play too large of a role in our lives. Although more time was spent on discussing the feed itself, I was very interested in the state of the Earth. Technological advances are often looked at as a benefit to society, but there are definite repercussions in the manufacturing and use of these technologies. Feed highlights how dangerous this can be to both humankind and the Earth.

3 stars

–Lisa

Free to Fall, Book Trailer

23 May

What if there was an app that made all your decisions for you?

The Eye of Minds, Book Trailer

27 Sep

The latest from James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner series!

Reached, Review

19 Mar

*We closed early due to snow yesterday, so here is the “Monday” Book Review!*

Reached by Ally Condie (Matched, Book 3)

Plot: Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over. One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion as she, Ky, and Xander return to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long: the power to choose.
I had really been looking forward to the conclusion of this series.  I wanted to
see how things played out.  Would Ky and Cassia run from society?  Was there any
chance that Cassia might choose Xander instead of Ky?  How was working for the
Rising going to work out for them?  How were they going to be used and for what
purposes?  Where was Indie going to fit and and would they find their
families?

The chapters alternated between Cassia, Xander and Ky so that
the story was told from all of their points of view, but I think I was most
focused on Cassia’s life and how the other two were playing into hers.  For a
large part of the book all three of them are kept apart, by being in different
places and districts and they do not have the opportunity to communicate.  Even
though the Rising manages to take the Society over, things do not change very
much and secrecy is still the norm.

A large issue in the book were the plagues. For many years the Society was using the water of their enemy to poison them, having created a cure for the plague for themselves, but releasing something like that out into the environment was riskier than they anticipated and the repercussions of it were much more than they predicted.  We do this all the time, let substances go into the ground or into groundwater without having a clear understanding of what might happen down the line which we see again and again.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the end of the series, but I was satisfied with the ending and the way it wrapped things up. It wasn’t all tied up with a pretty bow, but you can see the direction the three of them are moving in and their society as a whole and hope that things are on track for a better future for all.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

4 stars

–Jill