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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen


Hoot is a coming-of-age story about a young man named Roy who decides to take a stand for something.  This seemingly simplistic tale is much more developed than I would've thought just from reading the summary.  The summary talks about bullying, Florida, owls and a boy, but this story is much more than that and those words only penetrate the surface of this book.  Roy's personal growth reflects the growth in each and every one of us and it was wonderful to read about his navigation through those difficult teenage years when you learn to pick your battles.  I was first interested in this book because of the obvious reference to owls (and who doesn't appreciate those adorable creatures?), but there is so much more to love about this story than just those fuzzy little birds.  This book is also about friendship in all its different forms.  It's about standing up for yourself, no matter the risk.  It's about learning to "settle the argument between [your] heart and [your] brain."  And it's about figuring out where your home really is, whether it's a new place you're uncomfortable in or even somewhere besides your own house.  I really loved this book and there was even a tear in my eye at one point.  I didn't think I would become so emotionally involved in this boy's story or so concerned about the plight of tiny burrowing owls, but Carl Hiaasen really knows how to pull at your heart strings.  Hoot alternates perspectives throughout the book as well so the reader can follow the journey of bumbling rookie Officer David Delinko and the constantly worried foreman named Curly, as they try and figure out who is responsible for all the pranks and vandalism at the construction site of Mother Paula's All-American House of Pancakes.  I loved the characters in this book as well, I felt like they were so different from one another and I, too, was intrigued by the presence of a barefoot boy running through the chapters just like Roy was intrigued by the presence of a barefoot boy running through the streets.  There are so many layers of this story to peel back, I'm surprised Carl Hiaasen was able to tie up all the loose ends in less than 200 pages (NookColor page count), but he did and I definitely liked this book more than I thought I would before reading it.  I would recommend Hoot to anyone who likes adventure/survival, coming-of-age, the male perspective and anyone who loves animals, nature or politics. 

Favorite things:  the Floridian setting, the barefoot boy (whose name is a secret), the tiny fuzzy owls and the relatable themes of standing up for yourself and standing up for something you believe in.

Criticisms:  the summary of this book doesn't do it justice and should've been reworked so less people would miss out on this fantastic story.

Overall:  5 out of 5 stars!  This is definitely the kind of book I would like to read again and share with family.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for that long great comment about my guest post on Heather's blog. Lol yes my hair is sorta long, I always had it pretty short when I was growing up so I got tired of it being short and grew it out. I'm glad you enjoyed the video.
    I do like what they can do with movies sometimes such as Harry Potter but I feel that it can never fully live up to the book in my opinion. I just think when I'm reading the book that I have more invested in the storyline and the characters. Plus I can add a little of my own elements to the characters, picture them how I want to see them (sorry I'm probably just repeating what I said in the video) lol.
    Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series is good, I would say one of those coming of age stories about four girls who have been best friends all of their lives. It follows them as they each grow up from about freshman year all the way through college. As for Incarceron it is a story in the future but set in the past, I'll explain. It happens in like a future time period but in the time period they have decided to live like the country did in the past. They also have a prison that they sent all of the unsavory people to when they were reverting the country back to old style rules. Everyone thinks that the people in the prison are getting great care there and that they are better off where they are. This of course isn't the case but we don't learn that until the Warden's daughter gets into contact with a boy who has been living in the prison all of his life, or so he thinks. It is mostly a fantasy/ sci-fi story with a tiny amount of romance in there. I thought it was good.
    Phew I hope that is everything. :)

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  2. I remember reading Hoot when I was littler (if that's even a word and I am pretty sure I liked it also, but it's been quite a while =)

    And in response to Lexa's post I really liked Incarceron too and I plan on reading Sapphique very soon!

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  3. Thanks for the posts Lexa and Paige and I'm definitely going to look for Incarceron now too. :)

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  4. I absolutely love the cover of this book. I used to be a childrens librarian (volunteer) and this would definitely have been something I read by accident and wouldn't be able to put down! Great review :)

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  5. Thanks! I really like all of Carl Hiaasen's covers, they all have an animal theme and I'm definitely going to buy more of them after finding out this one was so good! :)

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  6. I really liked how easy it was for me to relate to the characters in Hoot. I mean I was there right along with him throughout the whole journey and came close to tears. Happy and sad alike! If you enjoyed this book as much as I did I think you'd be really interested in a book called The Albuquerque Turkey. Instead of following the journey of a young boy you’ll be following the tale of a cast of quirky and hilarious characters who join together in the con of a lifetime.

    The Albuquerque Turkey (Crown/Random House, March 23, 2011) has already received glowing reviews from PW, Kirkus, and Booklist. Author John Vorhaus (www.johnvorhaus.com) has written two novels (including the lauded California Roll), two books on writing, and eight books on poker. A veteran creative consultant, he has taught comedy writing in 26 countries — including Russia, Romania, and many other places that are far funnier now than when he first arrived.

    BOOK SUMMARY
    Radar Hoverlander is a world-class con man. Allie Quinn is a world-class con woman. And guess what? They’ve fallen in love – true love, not con love – and therefore decided to go straight, because how can you be open and honest with your one true love while you’re busy lying to the rest of the world? Meanwhile, their best friend, Vic Mirplo, a con man of somewhat less than world class, is trying to establish himself as the avant-garde artist who could out-Dali Dali. Paradise, right? Sure, except for one tiny problem: Radar’s father and mentor, legendary grifter Woody Hoverlander, has just shown up with some interesting plans of his own – none of which happen to involve letting his son get out of the game. Art fraud, casino cons, love, loyalty, and the usual array of double- and triple-crosses...they all prove that the notion “everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is about as realistic as Radar staying straight. Full of scams, jams, and plans gone awry, The Albuquerque Turkey is a smart, entertaining caper that’s worth gambling on.

    If you’re interested in the story I would be more than happy to send you a review copy or a press release for the book. Please feel free to email me at brooke@prbythebook.com

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I read and appreciate every comment! Thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback. ♥