Southbury Teen Review Blog

Books, music, movies, and more!

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars June 3, 2013

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh

jeppwhodefiedthestarsJepp, Who Defied the Stars is the tale of an 16th century teenager with dwarfism and the uncertain path his life takes.  Urged by nobleman Don Diego, Jepp agrees to leave his loving mother and Astraveld, the only home he’s known.  He is unwittingly captured and sold to the Infanta Isabella and taken to the Palace of Coudenberg in the Spanish Netherlands.  Here Jepp is subjected to the humiliating role of court jester.  Among his companions are several other dwarfs.  He quickly becomes enamored with the beautiful Lia.  Not resigned to such indignations, Jepp attempts escape several times.  He and Lia make one last attempt, only resulting in her untimely death, for which Jepp feels responsible.

He is eventually “sold” to Tycho Brach and travels to Uraniborg.  Here he is kept at his master’s feet and fed scraps like a dog under the table.  Curiosities abound at Brahe’s home, like the huge Elk that roams the halls and shares a stall with Jepp.  Soon Brahe’s daughter discovers Jepp is not all he appears.  He reads Latin and is the intellectual equivalent of any astronomer there and soon begins to assist the scientists.  Not one to settle down for too long, Jepp must travel back to his home and revisit ghosts from his past before he can truly embrace his future.

An engrossing and unique tale that asks the question is our fate determined or do we have free will and the ability to change what is written in the stars.

Advertisements
 

Easy February 8, 2013

Filed under: Books — Jessie @ 4:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

16056408Easy
Tammara Webber

After following her boyfriend to college Jacqueline finds herself single when her boyfriend of 3 years decides he wants to be able to be with other people. One night while leaving a frat party Jacqueline is attacked by a friend of her ex’s. luckily a mysterious stranger steps in and saves her from her attacker. As she tries to cope with being dumped and attacked Jacqueline starts to form a friendship with her economics tutor and the mysterious stranger from that night.

OMG this was a great book. It centers around the tough topic of rape but Tammara Webber does a great job tackling the topic. You can feel the horror and gravity of the situation but with characters like the hilarious Erin, it is easy to get through the hard parts. I think Webber did a good job portraying college life and the all too common rapes that occur.

Jacqueline was a really likable character, she was a smart, motivated and kind girl that got stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time and it is easy to sympathize with her. Although she had to deal with a scumbag like Buck she was able to keep moving forward and learn who she was and what she wanted.

Landon was the sweet and friendly academic type who was ambitious and a good student like Jacqueline. He was open and thoughtful and sounded like a great guy. I really liked him and for a while I wasn’t sure who I would root for, Landon or Lucas? Which brings me to Lucas, the tattooed savior that sits in Economics class and draws the whole time. Who wouldn’t want the strong, mysterious, tattooed, coffee-making, self-defense teaching, campus fixit, and brooding guy??

While the main events of this book center around the horrible subject of rape, this book is about empowerment.  Jacqueline is given tools, through a self defense class, and support, from her friends and the Greek Community at her school, to work through her attacks and to defend herself when she needs it.  This book also support the message that if someone is attacked it should be reported to the police and it is not the victim’s fault no matter what other people might try to say.  This was a great read and the Jacquelin/Landon/Lucas plot just made this book even better!