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Shoshana has commented on (398) products.

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan
The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2)

Shoshana, January 1, 2012

I admire this series. In the previous arc, Riordan taught young readers about Greek mythology. Now he's teaching Roman mythology, and about differences between the cultures, without being pedantic. The books are fast-paced and entertaining for young and adult readers alike.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

The Suburb Beyond the Stars by M T Anderson
The Suburb Beyond the Stars

Shoshana, July 15, 2010

Received as an advance reader copy.

I think it's reasonable to give the spoiler that while this second volume in the series that began with The Game of Sunken Places stands alone in terms of resolving the immediate plot points that it introduces, it ends on a cliffhanger betokening a third novel. Brian and Gregory, having won the game of sunken places, are now in charge of designing the next game--that is, Brian won, and Gregory is somewhat testy about this. However, it seems that someone isn't playing fair, and the boys find themselves in a Vermont suburb, built with surprising rapidity on the ground where the previous game was played. While this volume has some of the horror elements present in the first book, it is better read as a parody of the genre, with many of Anderson's typically clever comments and asides leavening the mood. While Gregory's surliness is somewhat inexplicable, it does not detract from the action, which is, though somewhat more superficial than the first book, far more hilarious.
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(6 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)

The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa by Josh Swiller
The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa

Shoshana, May 31, 2010

A problematic but potentially useful memoir. Swiller recounts his time in Zambia, where as a Peace Corps volunteer he appears to have violated ethical principles, flouted standards of cultural sensitivity and appropriateness, and generally been a cowboy. I say that the book is "useful" because I am going to use it in an ethics class as a casebook of how not to behave as a professional representing a service organization. That Swiller is deaf raises interesting questions about intersection of disability, identity, and behavior. Unfortunately, these questions aren't answered here.
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(6 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)

How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely
How I Became a Famous Novelist

Shoshana, May 31, 2010

Amusing, light, and fun if you sometimes wonder why your friends are raving about some piece of unfortunately published fluff or drek. I found it enjoyable until near the end, which I thought was rushed and the protagonist's epiphany unearned.
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(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Shoshana, May 31, 2010

Although I liked most of this novel, I can only give it three stars because I didn't think the conclusion was the best of the narrative possibilities. I liked the detail and characters, and I figured out most of the plot pretty early on. I thought the protagonist's final dilemma wasn't adequately developed. I would have preferred that her action wasn't successful, which still could have resolved her psychological impasse. I question whether someone of her character would have engaged in this behavior. To say she would suggests a profound moral breakdown, not an illuminating catharsis. In addition, her insistence on that school for that applicant utterly undermines the sincerity of her and others' heretofore consistent assertions that there are many fine schools that might be a better fit for a given applicant.
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(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

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