Sunday, March 6, 2011

Melissa and Seth

Hey Readers!

Dr. Laura is one of stupendous members of the awesome TBF planning committee.  She’s a professor in the Education Department at Nazareth and this semester she’s teaching a class in young adult literature.  Dr. Laura’s students are reading lots of the TBF books, and she and I decided that it would be fun to invite her students to be guest bloggers here at Carly Reads.  Therefore, for the next four days, I will be posting book review written by Dr. Laura’s students: Melissa, Heather, Meghan, and Carrie. 

Melissa is up first … enjoy!

My name is Melissa, and my favorite YA book is “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis.  I am most looking forward to meeting Ellen Hopkins at TBF 2011, as I have read “Crank” and “Tricks” and really enjoyed both books.  I am currently a graduate student at Nazareth College and am studying to be a literacy specialist.  I am also certified to teach English for grades 7-12.  Hopefully, I will be able to use many YA novels in my future classroom, especially those written by TBF authors. 

“Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto” by Eric Luper is an amazing book!  The novel begins with the main character, Seth, having the worst possible day of his life.  First, his girlfriend dumps him at Applebee’s, then he sees his father with another woman (NOT his mother), and he gets fired from his (fourth) job.  All three of these horrible things happen to Seth within one afternoon!  The rest of the novel deals with the ways Seth tries to cope with all of these events during the rest of the summer.  While news of his breakup and his lost job travels fast among his family and friends, Seth is determined to keep his father’s alleged affair a secret from everyone, including his best friend. 

In order to deal with his father’s secret, and since he has no one to talk to, Seth decides to start a podcast.  Since he would be uploading his podcasts online under the title “The Love Manifesto,” Seth feels free to discuss his feelings and problems anonymously with his digital audience.  But, in this digital world, how long can Seth’s identity remain a secret?  I’ll leave that to you as a reader to figure out. 

Throughout the book, Seth tries to track his father’s behavior and find out the identity of the mysterious woman that he saw with his father.  While he is preoccupied with this task, Seth also tries to cope with his breakup and focus on his new job at the golf course.  To make matters worse, Seth and his father are supposed to compete in the annual father-son golf tournament at the country club.  As he prepares for the tournament, Seth wonders if he should confront his father about the affair and the mystery woman.  I don’t want to spoil the ending of the book, but it does have a twist (which some readers may guess even before Seth finds out). 

This book is perfect for anyone who has been in love and/or has been through a breakup.  Seth continuously tries to determine what love really means throughout the book, and the reader is able to work through this dilemma with him.  Seth’s thoughts about life and love were one of my favorite features of this novel.  I especially like how Luper includes transcripts of Seth’s podcasts in between some of the chapters, so the reader knows what Seth is saying to his digital audience.  Also, Luper includes the songs and sound effects that Seth plays during the podcasts, which really give the reader the feeling that he or she is actually listening to the podcast on iTunes.  Overall, this is an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it!

Thanks for the review, Melissa!  Readers, have you read “Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto” yet?  If so, what are your thoughts?

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