Beyond the cover

By Staff Writer
November 6, 2003

Soledad by Angie Cruz
Soledad has made her dream come true– she is going to college and finally living on her own without her overbearing mother and stifling neighborhood. But why does her mother still haunt her every thought and action?

In this fictional story by Angie Cruz, the protagonist, Soledad, has to go back to her childhood home to take care of her mother, who has fallen into a dream-like state. Soledad has never really understood who her mother is. Why did Soledad feel as if she were the spawn of something unholy? Soledad’s artistic gift literally springs to life the memories of her mother’s painful past. Through this discovery, Soledad’s spirituality awakens, allowing her to be who she was meant to be.

This story can be categorized with just about any other story of a young person’s struggle with identity or coming-of-age but Cruz illuminates beautifully the spiritual facets of understanding oneself during this crucial time. Description is rich in “Soledad.” You become embarrassed with the reality of the situations described so bitingly. You can feel the pain and struggle of each character. You will laugh at the spontaneity and cry with the climax.

Rating: 3 out of 3 feathers

Stupid White Men by Michael Moore
Republicans, Democrats, all humans beware! This Liberal will have you rolling on the floor laughing or with steam hissing out of your ears.

In this crazy but intelligent compilation of current events, you will read about many of Moore’s theories, like how Mother Earth is slowly willing the extinction of the male homosapien species, alternative policies to foreign affairs, and how white people in the United States are so threatening – even though he’s white himself. He also has hilarious accounts of what he would do if he ever encountered a terrorist on an airplane. This is your usual light weekend reading.

This book is for whomever has an unconventional view on what is and should be going on in American life and politics. It is informative and easy-to-read, providing a third perspective to every story.

Rating: 3 out of 3 feathers

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter has entered his fifth year at Hogwarts Wizarding Academy and Lord Voldemort is openly searching to kill Potter. Wooo! How time flies with all the evil people coming after you.

In the Order of the Phoenix, Potter has to endure the malicious punishments that a new and extremely sinister headmistress has etched into his very blood. He also has to take care of Hagrid’s little brother, a giant by the name of Grawp, take extra lessons with Professor Snape, and figure out why girls are so confusing. Not to mention, study for all those Ordinary Wizarding Level exams. How does he do it all?

For Potter fans, this book is commendable in every possible way. The imagery triggers goosebumps and gasps. The little depiction of emotions are typical of the British “upper lip” tradition but for when tears are mentioned, the placement is well done. You are left wondering how many battles Potter and Voldemort will have to face before something superfluous really happens.

Rating: 2 out of 3 feathers

Posted to the web by Stephanie Mangold

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