Thursday, August 28, 2014
I read this at the suggestion of a friend, who knows that I'm working on my "appreciation of fantasy YA" as I've started to think about it. She thought I might like it because of the whole library aspect... which I admit, is kind of cool. But it took me quite a while - like almost a third of the book - to really figure out what was going on. There just seemed to be so many different angles going on, and I just could stay focused long enough to really get it. I even went an entire weekend without picking it up - electing instead to watch terrible movies. I gave it one last chance, and thankfully I did because that is where everything finally clicked for me and I actually became pretty involved in the story - enough to become curious about the sequel Unbound. I'm not racing out to read it or anything... but I am curious and that says a lot considering what I was thinking when I started this book!
Who would like this book? I would hand this to those who like fantasy, strong female characters, a little bit of romance, and mystery/suspense. This probably isn't great for a reluctant reader who probably wouldn't fight through the first third to get to where it really gets exciting.
by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Source: Purchased New
Monday, August 25, 2014
Our library has partnered with our local Fun Hockey League for children for a program called "Skate and Read". It is a great opportunity for kids to learn how to skate and get hockey coaching in a low cost and low pressure situation. This is the "Fun Hockey League" after all. But they are also required to read books during the program session, which is great! At a recent planning meeting for next year, we worked on creating an updated book list for the players. This was offered up as a suggestion, and as the YA Librarian of the group, I volunteered to look it over... and ended up reading it in a single day. Not only is this perfect for the older kids in the program (6th -9th graders) but I think this is going to be a great add to our collection as well.
This entire story is adorable and sweet and perfect. You cheer for our main characters as they battle their bullies, and you laugh as they try to navigate the other gender's position in the puberty experience and other awkward situations of adolescence. Ellie is a stellar soccer player, but the loss of friendships that she thought were important undermine her confidence.... Jack helps with that. Jack is a phenomenal hockey player, but doesn't feel loved or emotionally supported at home.... and Ellie helps with that. This was really fun to read!
by Megan Shull
Katherine Tegan, 2014
Source: Borrowed ARC
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Paige's story is heartbreaking, anger-inducing, and completely inspiring. The writing is completely accessible for younger or reluctant readers. I can't even wrap my head around the bullying that Paige was subject to... that kind of behavior is unfathomable to me. But it happens, and it continues to happen which is worse. I want everyone to read this book - I already see myself becoming very vocal about this in my library and community - because everyone can learn from this. Teens and adults alike. Librarians and teachers will especially appreciate the listing of resources and facts at the back of the book related to HIV/AIDS and Bullying, though all readers will benefit from having that information readily available.
To Paige (though I'm sure she'll never see this) - You are such an amazing young woman. Thank you for being so brave and for sharing your story with the world. I wish you continued success in college and in life!
Positive: A Memoir
by Paige Rawls with Ali Benjamin
Source: ARC from a friend
Monday, August 18, 2014
This right here is the quintessential YA Summer Romance novel. If that is what you're looking for - you are all set. Charlie is a strong, athletic girl who enjoys this part of her personality, but feels a little out of place in new situations (probably because she's never really been in a new situation on her own before). I love the relationship she has with her brothers and Braden and I really like how she falls in with the people she meets at her new job. Alert readers will recognize some faces from West's earlier book, The Distance Between Us. (I love when that happens). And oh my goodness, do I like Braden. But really, this is a fun little beach romance that will give you the goofy smiles and make you want to hug a kitten. Enjoy!
On The Fence
by Kasie West
Source: Purchased New
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I had heard so many good things about this book, that I was really excited to read it. Then two of my co-workers read it and convinced me to move it up on the list - that I had to read this and soon. I am so glad that I listened to them! And kudos to them for not giving anything away either. So I will extend the same courtesy to you.... I will not give this mystery away. Just know that this is an incredible book - one that completely blew me away by the end. I was so surprised and shocked and twisted up by it all that I really wanted to go back and read it again. Such a great book, with great characters and development.... Go read this!! Thank me later!!
We Were Liars
by e. lockhart
Monday, August 11, 2014
We return to Paris, and now it is Isla Martin and Joshua Wasserstein's senior year at School of America in Paris. Isla has crushed on Josh since freshman year... but never felt like she had a chance. After all, he was very much with a girlfriend until last year. But a chance meeting over the summer makes her think, maybe? When they arrive at school, one thing leads to another.... and oh my goodness, just get ready to swoon! Plus we get glimpses of our beloved characters from the previous books - Anna and St. Clair, Lola and Cricket.
Clearly, I love this book. And if you enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss and/or Lola and the Boy Next Door then I know you will too. I couldn't even sit still while reading this! I just love Isla and Josh so much! There's more to it than that though... this is senior year, and the big question is what is going to happen next year? It is assumed that they will be going on to college once finishing high school... and while Josh has his plans pretty much all set - Isla has no idea where she wants to go or what she wants to do. She certainly has options, but is she willing to take a risk or stay well within her comfort zone? Josh, on the other hand, has not been looking forward to this school year especially since all of his friends graduated last year. His father is up for re-election this year too, and while he wants his father to win he doesn't like what it does and what it means for his family. Their relationship is already pretty distant and tenuous as it is. Josh does know what he wants to do with his life and where he wants to go after high school.... but is he really ready to take that step? Is he ready to work for it? Will his parents support him?
Don't wait to read this. Just don't. Grab a copy as soon as you can, get comfy and get ready to swoon.
Isla and the Happily Ever After
by Stephanie Perkins
Source: borrowed ARC
Thursday, August 7, 2014
I am not shy about my undying love for Rainbow Rowell's writing. I have loved each of her previous books madly, and have been looking forward to this one for a long time - never even knowing what it was about. And this one is very different from the previous books. There are more "awww..." moments and giggly moments and moments that make you want to give yourself a big hug in her earlier works. And that's okay, because those don't really belong here. I found this to be a darker story that was a bit more serious and, quite frankly, hit pretty close to home for me. This addresses all those fears that you have in a marriage that is way past the honeymoon stage and struggling with the "staying connected to your husband while working and raising children" stage. It isn't easy personally, and I think it is very difficult to talk about - even with close friends because everyone's marriage and situation is different. You can try to relate, but I'm not sure how much that really works.
But it all gets laid out here... Georgie is a hardworking TV writer on the cusp of the greatest opportunity she's ever had in her work. And she loves her job. Neal is a stay at home dad to their two little girls, and he is great at it. But Georgie is selfish and self-absorbed and Neal is a terrible communicator. I really wasn't sure through most of the book how I wanted it to end. Do they work it out? Do they go separate ways? What really is best for them? And there you have it - What is best for them is what is best for them - my thoughts aside - and it works out the way it should for them.
And before I start you thinking that this is a super serious book that contradicts what we know about Rowell... there are plenty of quirky charm and kind and fun moments as Georgie recounts her past with Neal... fans and readers new to Rowell won't be disappointed.
by Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Press, 2014
Source: Purchased New
Monday, August 4, 2014
I wasn't going to read this book. I really wasn't. I even went on a long tirade to by book buddy/bully about how when I finished the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I was really done with it. Looking back, I was really quite meh about it and I cannot even tell you what happened. Then the book arrived in the mail (I honestly don't remember if I had requested it. I remember an internal debate, and I obviously went with "okay, I'll try it" and then forgot).... and I started hearing some good things here and there about it... so I picked it up.
I still can't really tell you what happened in the Wolves of Mercy Falls main series... this one gives just enough background reminders as to what is important to Cole and Isabel, and therefore truly makes it a companion novel and not really part of that series. I feel like there is a different air about it. There is more tension and a hell of a lot more cynicism with a side of dark, dirty, twisted, fun sarcasm. I liked the dual point of views going on.... they are both technically adults now, but still figuring themselves out. People are pulling the rugs out from beneath them constantly, and they each just want to stand. Together? Maybe, but first on their own. The ending was a bit of a whirlwind, but it fits I guess. Its not that I'm not satisfied with how it worked out, but just that I feel like more could have been said in the epilogue or something even though I couldn't tell you what exactly I was missing. But nonetheless, this story line has been concluded and has been done in such a way that now I might go back and read some of what Stiefvater has written since the end of the main series!
by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5
Source: Publisher for honest review
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Sometimes we just need to laugh so that we don't cry. Right? Tell me I'm not alone here. This book isn't going to take long to get from cover to cover... but you will laugh your whole way through. You may even want to book mark a couple pages that may hit particularly close to home. Then, you will want to just pick this up from time to time for another chuckle - and proof that you are not alone: not only to other people's kids do this too... but other parents also find humor in these situations. While the target audience here is obviously new parents, I know that grandparents, aunts, uncles, preschool teachers and most anyone who spends any amount of time with toddlers will get a kick out of this too.
Reasons My Kid Is Crying
by Greg Pembroke
Three Rivers Press, 2014
Source: Blogging for Books in exchange for honest review