Today was the last of my read-a-pa-loo-za test proctoring days. I had ten books and read a few chapters of all of them. Only one really annoyed me and most of them were wonderful.
THE COMPOUND by S. A Bodeen - This was interesting. Most of the family of a billionaire escapes death (so far) in an underground shelter during a nuclear war. But then Mama feeds Dadddy some BAD bread. I don't know for sure, but I think mold spores start to eat his brain. This is an interesting story, well written and paranoid.
JUMPED by Rita Williams-Garcia - This is a quick read about three girls one of whom is gearing up to beat down another one, who is unaware of the plan. The third knows what is going to happen, but doesn't want to get involved. The characters jump off the page and the build up is really nice. I look forward to finishing it!
VAST FIELDS OF ORDINARY by Nick Burd is a funny coming of age book about a gay teen who is hooking up with a "popular boy" who is deeply in the closet. The cover looks all dreamy and kind of lame (sorry cover designer) but the book is HYSTERICAL and strangely moving. I am loving it.
FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN'T HAVE by Allen Sadoff. Fantastic title - pretty good book. I love a fat kid book, and this hits all the right notes. But I had high expectations that so far haven't been met. It really rings true, though and I will probably stick it out at some point.
THE ORANGE HOUSES by Paul Griffin - I put this in my stack because I felt obligated. A hearing impaired girl in the projects, a young odd discharged soldier/street poet and a recent immigrant all come together for what looks to be something that ends very badly. The writing is great and I am desperate to find out what happens. Griffin does a huge amount with very few words.
RAPTURE OF THE DEEP by L.A. Meyer - Oh how I love Jackie Faber! I only read a few pages because I realized that it would be cheating if I didn't read MY BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN first. So I shall.
LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfeld - World War One is starting. The Darwinists and the Clankers are going at it big time! Oh yeah - England and France are Darwinists - they live in a society where hybrid animals are the newest in technology, Octopi become hot air balloons, whales become airships and man-made Kraaken are extremely handy in naval battles. They are battling the giant machines of Germany and Austria-Hungary. It is totally cool when the son of Archduke Ferdinand meets up with Deryn/Dylan a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. Tremendous fun from Westerfeld, who rarely disappoints when he creates a new world.
THE REAL REAL by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - This book is like a bag of chips - little if any nutrition and yet I find myself wanting to curl up and devour the whole thing! A MTV-like entity decides to film a reality show in the glamorous Hamptons and the no B.S. daughter of a cleaning lady and a restaurant manager gets cast along with the rich and entitled. So much naughty, delicious fun!
OVER THE END LINE by Alfred C. Martino - This started promisingly enough. A soccer star witnesses a rape and is to drunk to stop it. He then watches the aftermath which involves his best friend and the girl he is interested in. The sports writing was great and the main character was suitably tortured. But the ending was out of control. I skipped to the end to see how it turned out, because I wasn't in love with it enough to ever finish it. I was relieved that I didn't put the time in. However, kids who like action and revenge and are not as jaded as I am will love it!
AFTER by Amy Efaw - I really didn't want to like this book at all. It is the story of a girl who denies that she is pregnant and then gives birth and puts her baby in the garbage. It could have been a train-wreck, but so far, Efaw has barely missed a step. It is sad and scary without being over the top. And Devon feels so much like a real girl. Only her mother is a caricature, and I am curious to see how she is portrayed later in the book.