Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank you American College Testing...

Here are some brief reviews of books I did not finish. How can this possibly be useful to anyone but me?
Here is the first set -
THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhart. She is a favorite since HARMLESS and I loved her HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE. This one is about a high school kid who has a big brother who comes home from the war a changed man. I didn't expect it to be so rich. I only read the first few chapters, but so far great secondary characters and no preachy tone. Well played, Reinhart.

BRAIN JACK by Brian Falkner was quite fun, the bit I read. I will certainly be looking at this one for summer reading next year. If for no other reason than he wrote this on his website - "The first copy of The Project (previously titled "The Most Boring Book in the World") arrived yesterday." Bwahaha... I think I love you Mr. Falkner. This kid shuts down the internet and a bunch of other bad things happen when we play to many videogames. Or maybe the exact opposit. I can't tell yet.

HALF BROTHER by Kenneth Oppel seems more middle school appropriate, but I love the idea! Two scientists adopt an orangutan and his human brother narrates the story. I have heard people rave about Oppel for quite some time and have never gotten around to readin him. My loss.

 Ignore that picture of HALF BROTHER, I already mentioned it. Move along...

THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson has such a beautiful start I haven't been able to bring myself to return it to the library until my copy comes from Amazon. (Sorry independent bookstores, but you don't exist in my town anymore!) It is the story of a girl whose older sister dies suddenly and she is left with a gaping hole in her life. So sad and lovely. And there are some boys. Of course this is her first novel so I am going to have to wait forever for her to write something else. Grrr...

THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney is another one that I can't bear to return. The premise is this girl finds herself the victim of a date rape and the way Whitney describes it is not too detailed, but packs a punch. And the main character Alex has such a realistic teenage response. It isn't "Oh my God what happened to me," it is more "Oh my God, what will people think if they find out and how can I do damage control?"
 WICKED GIRLS by Stephanie Hemphill is in interesting take on the Salem Witch Trial. I don't know if it is proximity or what but I have never been that interested in reading about the trials. I just can't get past the horror of what happened and I find it sad that these girls are somehow made immortal through it. That being said, the writing is fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on YOUR OWN SYLVIA which is a topic that fascinates me!

HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick is one that I could say goodbye to and not look back. While I appreciate Fitzpatrick's use of punctuation in her title - she hardly needs me to read this one. Girls who loved TWILIGHT (ever heard of it?) will love this love story of a girl and a fallen angel. It is a great idea and the writing is clear, just not my cup of blood? Human tears? Angst? Whatever it is that fallen angels drink...
Okay the last three are:

HAPPYFACE by Stephen Emond - it is written as a journal with drawings. It was funny and there is a mysterious mystery but I didn't fall into it like some of the others.

SHIP BREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi is fascinating. In the future Nailer works as a scavenger on the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and just manages to keep body and soul together. When he is exploring a ship he finds a young girl who may be his ticket to a new life. I haven't returned this one either and am looking forward to finishing it.

IMMORTAL BELOVED by Kate Tiernan was one that I took on student recommendation and felt very superior to if just from reading the jacket copy. Well shut my mouth, Kate Tiernan, I was hooked and danged if I am not going to finish this one too.

Once again, an embarassment of riches.

Next post will have the summer reading list possibilities!

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