Friday, May 26, 2017

Rescued by Social Media

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos  By the time that Oregon state legislator, Jared Stone, discovers he has an inoperable brain tumor, the nasty thing has already done some damage.  That's probably why he thought that putting his life up on eBay was a good idea.  The auction ends - (it's illegal to sell a human life on eBay, FYI) - but not before it's been noticed.

A TV producer offers Jared a lot of money, if he will allow the entire family to be televised until Jared's dying breath.  YIKES!  Jared's wife and older daughter hate the idea.  Jared just wants them to be taken care of when he dies.

The older daughter, Jackie, gets in touch with her best FB friend and an online role playing "fan" of the show and using social media - AND World of Warcraft - they fight back.  They pit their collective wits against the frightfully clever and unscrupulous brain of the TV producer.

The book is shocking, clever, scary, embarrassing, and sad.

See You In the Cosmos by Jack Cheng.  11-year-old Alex has a dog, Carl Sagan, named after Alex's hero.  Though his dad died when he was only 3, Alex has an older brother in LA, and he still has his Mom.  As long as he makes sure there is food in the fridge and the laundry gets done, he can do whatever he wants.  What he wants to do is make a recording of earth sounds on his golden iPad and launch it into space with the rocket he built himself.

So, he buys tickets to an amazing convention of rocket enthusiasts - he learned all about it online at Rocketforum - and he and Carl Sagan head to Arizona from Rockview Colorado, by themselves.

A random email from, about a man with Alex's father's name and birthdate, and a couple of college students on a summer mission, sends Alex to Las Vegas where Alex finds questions - lots and lots of questions. 

SO... somewhere along the way, Alex ends up in the hospital in serious condition. (Read the book!)  AND Rocketforum comes to the rescue.  Cue the William Tell Overture - lots of brass!!!  Ta DAH!!! 

Alex does more thinking than most people, no matter their age.  As he tries to grasp the complexity of what he is learning about his family, he makes some poetic connections between emotions, humans and the cosmos.

Life is complicated.  Sometimes, social media can help.
(I just noticed something.  BLUE must be the hot new color for book covers!!!!)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You read some really interesting stuff! That first one sounds way too close to current reality. Thanks for the honesty in your review.