NEW this week…
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
4 of 5 stars
On the greatest train ever built, teenaged Will teams up with a traveling circus to save the train from bandits.
Something shifts inside Will, like a door opening. Maybe it was meeting the circus girl, maybe it was the view of all these new mountains like a gateway to a new and dangerous world — but he feels like his whole life is about to be upended.
Fans of the Airborne series will absolutely adore The Boundless. Will’s got the strength and courage of Matt Cruse, and Maren is similar to Kate de Vries in her spunk and devil-may-care sense of independence. And, just like in Airborne, the heroes are working together on a fantastic piece of transportation — this time, the world’s longest, biggest train, that spans over seven miles long and contains over 900 cars. The picture of the train itself is awesome and fabulous, and the world outside the train is just as exciting and unknown, with great beasts and mythical dangers lurking at every turn of the track.
Some may argue that this story follows a plot a bit too similar to Airborne, and, in fact, it did seem to take me a bit to get into the story simply because of that. At one point, I wondered why the author didn’t just have Matt fly himself over to America, have Kate join the circus, and plop them both on a transcontinental train.
Overall: A fun alternate history adventure in the same vein as Airborne
Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes
Teens from two feuding Italian restaurants in Chicago fall in love and, in order to be together, must uncover the source of their families’ hatred for one another.
I took a deep breath and backed through the swinging stainless steel door, leaving the chaos of the kitchen and entering the hushed, dimly lit dining room.
As the third book in the Twisted Lit series (which includes Exposure: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s Macbeth), the authors once again take some basic elements and themes of Shakespeare’s plays and works them into a modern-day scenario that teens can relate to.
I loved the idea of two feuding restaurants, and although I saw the *twist* in the 1930s/40s backstory coming a mile away, it answered a question that Shakespeare never did — the question of how this feud began in the first place. Interesting take on it, for sure!
There is a bit of insta-love, but you can hardly fault the authors for that in this particular case, and — although I don’t want to spoil anything — the modern-day characters don’t go nearly as overboard with proving their love as the original Shakespeare characters!