Friday, August 2, 2013

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

An invitation to spend the summer on Nantucket Island is a dream come true for Cricket Thompson. Her best friend, Jules Clayton, has given the invitation. Nothing to do but plan how to spend time with her crush, Jay Logan, who's going to be there too. Then the invitation is revoked after tradegy strikes. Cricket decides to go on her own and find herself a job. It's either that or spend another boring summer at home babysitting and watching her mother dwell in the sadness of her divorce. Instead of spending the day with her best friend at the pool, she's cleaning toilets and changing sheets at one of the island inns. Jules has turned on her and Jay is angry with her. What's the point of being on a gorgeous island when everything has gone wrong. But, when one door closes......

Monday, July 29, 2013

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

 Beautiful Lies

I couldn't put this book down and it kept me guessing. Two cliches' that are true with this read. Jessica Warman has  written about identical twins that are psychically connected. When one gets hurt the other one gets bruises.

When Alice is missing from the local fair, Rachel knows something is terribly wrong. No one will listen to her because this isn't the first time Alice has taken off. Alice has been getting into trouble lately too.

The problem is the twin that's missing is Rachel, the good twin. They switched identies before they went out. If everyone knew it was Rachel that was missing they'd know she was in danger. Alice can't tell the truth though because then so many other things would have to be explained. Plus she had a dream where Rachel told her not to tell anything.

Now what?                 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Secret for a Song by SK Falls

Saylor’s only excitement in life is to make herself so sick that she may get a reaction from her mother, or stump the doctors at the hospital. She has Munchausen Syndrome, but she doesn’t just think she’s sick, she makes herself sick. She carries a syringe in her pocket and has spit into it to inject herself in the chest causing abscesses.   She’s calculated that an abscess will make her sick longer than other things she’s tried.

“I’d forgotten the kind of high I got from seeing a new doctor-the one in my hometown was so used to seeing me. That wide-eyed sense of honest to God wanting to help was so rare to capture anymore.”

While volunteering at the hospital, Saylor is setting up the chairs for a support group for people with terminal illness. She lies to join the group and meets some people who really are sick. Drew is someone she’s immediately drawn to and she goes further into the lie she’s created.

This book is very interesting and so well written that I wanted to jot down sentences every few minutes. I am looking forward to reading something else by SK Sykes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Sweetest Spell

I brought this book home by mistake but once I started reading I couldn't put it down. I had judged it by the cover and to me it looked like a not too original love story. There is a love story in here but there is also so much more. Suzanne Selfors has an incredibly original story here. These are the first sentences of the book:

I was born a dirt-scratcher's daughter.
     I had no say in the matter. No one asked, "Wouldn't you rather be born to a cobbler or a bard? How about a nobleman or a king? Are you certain that dirt-scratching is the right job for you?"
                  If someone had asked, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have answered, "My heart is set on being a dirt-scratcher. I'm really looking forward to a life soured by hunger, backbreaking work, and ignorance. That sounds delightful. Sign me up."

Just after she was born, Emmeline was brought to the forest and left to die because of her deformed foot that was thought to be a curse on her village. She was kept alive by some cows. Yes, cows. She lives but is shunned by everyone and then the village is flooded and everything washes away including her and the adventure begins. She finds a safe place, realizes she has the gift of being the only one that can make chocolate from milk, gets kidnapped for her magic and on and on.

The Sweetest Spell is an adventure with love and magic and so many places rich and poor to experience. Read this book!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Secret Saturdays

Product Details
What choices do you make when saving face is your top priority?

I met the author, Torrey Maldonado, at the Young Adult Literature Symposium in November 2012. He interrupted someone else's session by being loud and silly, not just once but several times. I was prepared not to like his book, but I was wrong.

Mr Maldonado gets us inside the head of a 12-year-old, half Puerto Rican, half Black kid from the Red Hook Projects in Brooklyn. The dialog rings true and the descriptions of the hallways or their mothers or other students shows us the author is writing about part of his own middle school years.

I like that a male author is trying to show his readers the importance of friendship over always trying to save face. He

Almost Perfect

I haven't written since I went to the YA Literature Symposium, probably because I had too much to say. The symposium was the best conference I've attended because it was all about young adult authors and young adult books.
There was a mixer the first night and someone wrote on my sheet that he 'wrote a YA book'. Without looking up I told him he couldn't just put that down without actually writing a book. I looked up to see Brian Katcher, winner of the 2011 Stonewall Book Award for Almost Perfect.
If you want to read this book don't read this review as the next line has a spoiler.

This book hit me deeply and it was the first book I've read with a transgender character. Logan is an eighteen-year-old high school student in Missouri. He's depressed because his girlfriend cheated on him and now they've split. He notices the new girl in town, Sage, and they become involved in a friendship that they both want to be something more. Sage finally tells Logan she is biologically a boy.

I felt I knew these two characters and felt what they felt. I learned so much about what a transgender teen has to go through just to get through the day. This book will stay with you.

Monday, October 15, 2012

YALSA Literature Symposium

It's in a couple of weeks and in St Louis. It's only for a couple of days though and I wish it was longer. I am excited to know it is all YA books and authors and sessions. It makes my heart sing.

Neighborhood Map 2012 480 x 302

I've never been to St. Louis and never wanted to go to St. Louis. Gateway to the West.  There are about 20 neighborhoods there. Chuck Berry was from there.