Wednesday, November 06, 2013


I was warned not to read THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING right after FANGIRL because according to my YA librarian friend,  while it is awesome, it is no FANGIRL.

I found them to be different enough that I was able to fall head over heels in love with both. Hurrah for me and my easy, easy emotions!

So Ezra is starting his senior year with a tragedy - he has been in a horrible car crash and his leg will never recover properly and he has to walk with a cane and be kind of an object of pity. Because he used to be super cool. He was student body president and dated the hottest girl in school. But now he is avoiding his old friends (because he thinks they avoided him when he was hurt) and he is hanging out with the debate team and the new girl who is the manic pixie dream girl of his...well...dreams.

From zero to hero is a good plot line, add some interesting and realistic friends, concerned parents, clueless teachers (Oh, is there any other kind? Thanks LEONARD PEACOCK for giving us at least one good one this year...) and you have a wonderful read that is both heartfelt and funny in the best possible ways.

FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

I snagged this picture from reblog book club because it is what I should have done. If I had put a little post it note over every bit of writing I adored, it wold have looked much like this.

And I am a fan of clever wordplay, but when it is combined with a great plot and stories within stories (!) I am completely on board.

AND THEN when you add characters that I would love love love to be friends with - well, let's just say I liked it a lot. Okay? Because I did.

Story is thus - Cath goes away to college. She will not be rooming with her identical twin sister Wren and she is freaking out about it. She writes a hugely popular fanfic based on the Simon Snow books. They smell a lot like Harry Potter and now I kind of want to read them.

So Cath has to forge her own path and there is a wild roommate, some cute boys, a difficult writing class, father issues, mother issues, sister issues and it is funny as can be.

Just read it.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Thanks, PSATs!

Then two weeks ago during the PSATs I had a stack of 10 books, seven of which I fell in love with. (I have since forgotten the other three...)

 Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan - I can't decide if I love or hate the title. The cover looks pretty good. I was obsessed with books about the 60s when I was in my upper teens. I think I would have loved this story in poems about a group of friends in that era. I bought it for the library and plan to finish it.
Possibility of summer reading 50%.

 The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston - It seems like a book about a family in the witness protection program, but it could be more ominious. I can't tell yet. But I bought it and I plan on reading it.
Possibility of summer reading 60%.

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle - Oh love, love, love! This was a wonderful love story about two kids from very different backgrounds who fall in love the summer after graduation.  It was pretty specific in the love scenes, but so sweet and respectful of first love. I finished it because it was the last one on my pile and I just couldn't stop reading!
Possibility of summer reading 5%

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller - The first two chapters of this were INTENSE! I was completely hooked. It was all I could do to put it down to move on to the next book. A girl has lived "off the grid" with her mother for years after a nasty divorce. When the mother (who is clearly mentally ill) is arrested, she is reunited with the father she was told didn't want her. I bought it for the library and plan to inhale it next!
Possiblity of summer reading 90%

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein - I am 38 pages from the end of this book and I had to leave it in the car so I wouldn't finish it at work where everyone can see me cry. It is about Rose, an American ferrying planes for the British during WWII who ends up a prisoner at Ravensbruck, a concentration camp. You know that she survives from the beginning, but the way the story draws you in to her experience is amazing. It is by the author of CODE NAME VERITY which I was a huge fan of last year, and even though (so far) there is no huge reveal like in VERITY, I like this one even more. I am surprised that I have not yet bought it, but I will.
Possibility of summer reading 85%

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I loved it so much - full review coming.

To Be Perfectly Honest by Sonya Sones - Oh Sonya Sones, with your clever novels in verse. How can I resist you? This has humor, lying and movie stars. These are a few of my favorite things! It won't be out in paperback by summer but it is on the list I have already started for 2015!

Thanks, SATs!!

Once again, fall is upon us and I start proctoring standardized torture...I mean tests. The upside is I get to take a look at great stacks of books. Last month at the SATs I started in on some really excellent ones.

 And here are my quite uninformed opinions as of today -

Starstruck by Rachel Shukert - Started reading this story of a very sheltered girl in Los Angeles in the 1930s who is "discovered" by a producer in a soda shop. There are two other "stars" one is a successful girl who has a horrible stage mother and one has a shady past and is currently missing. It looks terrific and I just bought a copy for the library.
Possibility of summer reading - 75%

Margot by Jillian Cantor - This alternate history surrounds a Philadelphia secretary named Margie Franklin who is actually Margot Frank, sister of Anne Frank. And the book is set as the movie of her sister's diary is opening  and how it effects Margie and her secret life. I bought a copy for the library.
Possibility of summer reading - - 62%

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn - Meh... I think they are werewolves or something. I forgot everything about it as soon as I put it down.I think it would definitely appeal to paranormal fans, but LIAR broke me for werewolves.
Possibility of summer reading  - 0%

Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway - A girl just out of college is hired to research the past subjects of the "Ten Girls to Watch" column of a successful magazine as she is also navigating an awkward breakup. Very cute but not a ton of teen appeal.
Possibility of summer reading - 8%
Possibility of my middle aged lady book club reading this - 68%

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban - A very evocative story set in a boarding school where each student is expected to write a tragedy paper their senior year. One student finds one fully written waiting for him the first day of school telling the story of his room's previous occupant and the love story that no one knew about that happened to him. I bought it for the library.
Possibility of summer reading - 80%

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin - An interesting he said/she said story about two kids at a school for teens with emotional problems. He has been sent by what seem to be deranged parents to treat sex addiction or something and she is blind to the fact that she has an eating disorder. I like the characters, but the premise is not realistic enough to be real and not fanciful enough to be...well...fanciful.
Possibility of summer reading - 29%

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan - This got great reviews and I usually love David Levithan, but I couldn't fall into the story like I did with EVERY DAY or THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY which I adored. These are the (I am assuming eventually) related stories of a group of boys who are coming to terms with love and acceptance. There is also a heartbreaking chorus of spirits of men who died in the early years of the AIDS crisis which some people found off putting, but I really loved. I will be buying it next order.
Possibility of summer reading - 72%

Unremembered by Jessica Brody - I don't remember much of this - Oh the irony! - but I did buy it and will read it. Although I am in the midst of Patrick Ness' MORE THAN THIS which also involves a tragedy and amnesia of a sort. A girl is the lone survivor of a plane crash and can't remember why she was on the plane. Twisty enough for me...
Possiblity of summer reading - 57%

 Up next - the PSATs!