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Showing posts from June, 2016

Defending Taylor

Defending Taylor
Miranda Kenneally Sourcebooks Fire, 2016 Source: E-Galley Audience: Older Teens
From Goodreads: Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?
Miranda Kenneally did it again! I loved this Hundred…

The Truth About Twinkie Pie

The Truth About Twinkie Pie
Kat Yeh
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Younger Teens, Children

From Goodreads:
Take two sisters making it on their own: brainy twelve-year-old GiGi (short for Galileo Galilei, a name she never says out loud) and junior-high-dropout-turned-hairstylist DiDi (short for Delta Dawn). Add a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to the Gold Coast of New York. Mix in a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, a first crush, and a generous sprinkling of family secrets.
That's the recipe for The Truth About Twinkie Pie, a voice-driven middle grade debut about the true meaning of family and friendship.


Well, I had very little desire to try most of the recipes in this book. At the same time, I loved reading them. Who knew recipes could be written in an entertaining way, with life lessons sprinkled in? I loved how the recipes related to the chapters,…

Naughts & Crosses

Naughts & Crosses
Malorie Blackman
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2005
Source: Library
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Callum is a naught, a second-class citizen in a society run by the ruling Crosses. Sephy is a Cross, and daughter of the man slated to become prime minister. In their world, white naughts and black Crosses simply don't mix -- and they certainly don't fall in love. But that's exactly what they've done. 

When they were younger, they played together. Now Callum and Sephy meet in secret and make excuses. But excuses no longer cut it when Sephy and her mother are nearly caught in a terrorist bombing planned by the Liberation Militia, with which Callum's family is linked. Callum's father is the prime suspect...and Sephy's father will stop at nothing to see him hanged. The blood hunt that ensues will threaten not only Callum and Sephy's love for each other, but their very lives. 

In this shocking thriller, UK sensation Mal…

Roller Girl

Roller Girl
Victoria Jamieson
Dial Books, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Younger Teens, Children

From Goodreads:
Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid's life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole...and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.

The other day, I gave this book to a girl looking for Raina Telgemeier books. Of course, we didn’t have any Raina Telgemeier books in the library. They’re always checked out (and/or falling apart) because they’re fantastic. She seemed interested in Roller Girl, but so was I. I was JEALOUS of the book that I gave her. So I put it on hold, and read it in a day.

I loved it.

Jamieson was a great artist and expressed teen feelings and friendships perfectly - without being preachy. Astrid…

Ethel & Ernest

Ethel & Ernest
Raymond Briggs
Knopf, 1999
Source: Library
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Poignant, funny, and utterly original, Ethel & Ernest is Raymond Briggs's loving depiction of his parents' lives from their first chance encounter in the 1920s until their deaths in the 1970s.Ethel and Ernest are solid members of the working class, part of the generation (Brokaw's "Greatest Generation") that lived through the tumultuous era of the twentieth century. They meet during the Depression -- she working as a chambermaid, he as a milkman -- and we follow them as they encounter, and cope with, World War II, the advent of radio and t.v., telephones and cars, the atomic bomb, the moon landing. Briggs's portrayal of his parents as they succeed, or fail, in coming to terms with their rapidly shifting world is irresistably engaging -- full of sympathy and affection, yet clear-eyed and unsentimental.

The book's strip-cartoon format is deceptivel…

Jesse’s Girl

Jesse’s Girl
Miranda Kenneally
Sourcebooks Fire, 2015
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

When I was about seven pages into Jesse’s Girl, I thought it was going to be super predictable with annoying characters. I was expecting it to be a lame love story.

I have no idea why, because Miranda Kenneally’s bo…

The Rain Wizard

The Rain Wizard
Larry Dane Brimner
Calkins Creek, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Children

From Goodreads:
In December 1915, San Diego’s leaders claimed the town’s reservoirs were nearly dry. Knowing the city would not survive and grow unless it had water, they hired Charles Mallory Hatfield, whose skills at making rain were legendary. But when torrents and torrents of rain came, disaster struck. Roads were closed, people drowned, and dams burst. The town elders blamed Hatfield and refused to pay him. Was Hatfield really a rain wizard, or simply a fraud? Renowned author Larry Dane Brimner examines the man and the myth by relying on personal recollections from growing up in California, as well as extensive research. Readers will be captivated by Hatfield—a man once known as the Frankenstein of the air—and his secret rainmaking formulas. Includes author’s note, source notes, and bibliography.

Whoa. I had no idea that there was ever a profession that claimed to make it rain. Then I read t…

The Fever

The Fever
Megan Abbott
Little, Brown and Company, 2014
Source: Library
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.

I have mixed feelings about The Fever. On one hand it succeeded in freaking me out and making me think that I was going to get sick with whatever was going around in the community. On the other hand, I saw the shady character from a mile away and the ending disappointed me. It just took me too long to read and by the time I got to the la…

Crenshaw

Katherine Applegate
Feiwel & Friends, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Children

From Goodreads:
In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

Crenshaw is an important book for children. Not many children’s books have homelessness or financial difficulties as a part of the plot. When they do, they’re usually pretty dark. This one looks at the issue with a cheerfu…

Me Before You

Me Before You
Jojo Moyes
Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, 2013
Source: E-Galley, My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Whew.

I read this (finally) because the movie is coming out soon. I’ve been meaning to read Jojo Moyes books - all of them - for ages. I just haven’t gotten to them. I wish I …

Amulet: Firelight

Amulet: Firelight
Kazu Kibuishi
GRAPHIX, 2016
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
Emily, Trellis, and Vigo visit Algos Island, where they can access and enter lost memories. They're hoping to uncover the events of Trellis's mysterious childhood -- knowledge they can use against the Elf King. What they discover is a dark secret that changes everything. Meanwhile, the voice of Emily's Amulet is getting stronger, and threatens to overtake her completely.

Well, rats. Emily doesn’t fair well in the latest installment of Amulet. It still had plenty of adventure and great art. However, it felt like a book that sets up for more action later and doesn’t feel like a story on its own. I should have reread book 6 before reading 7, and I’m definitely looking forward to 8. A lot comes up in Firelight, but a lot is unresolved as well.