Monday, November 25, 2019

Review: Wilder Girls

Wilder Girls Wilder Girls by Rory Power
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hetty, Byatt, and Reese go to extremes to figure out the strange disease that has them quarantined at their island boarding school, off the Maine coast. The girls are changing physically, in addition to the mental stress of being isolated with reduced food and supplies. The Tox has taken over the island, infecting the plants, animals, and girls living there. Friendships are forged and tested as survival becomes paramount.

I loved Lord of the Flies when I read it in college and am loving this trend in retellings with gender swaps and modern sensibilities. I first put this in my survival section, but as I read further, I think it fits better in mystery/horror.

P. 121 Byatt: Too bright and too bored and something missing, or perhaps something too much there.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Review: To Best the Boys

To Best the Boys To Best the Boys by Mary Weber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rhen wants to be a scientist but in her kingdom, scientist is not an acceptable role for females. Every year there is a Labyrinth contest and the winner can take the placement test to university with scholarship money attached. To participate, Rhen will need to disguise herself as a boy. To win, she'll need every bit of her wits, creativity, and observation skills. But before the contest starts there is a lot of story about the terrible crippling disease that is killing so many people in the town, including Rhen's mother. Rhen and her father are researching cures, but coming up empty handed.

I enjoyed this one, but the contest did not start until about the halfway point. There is a bit of romance and much discussion of gender roles.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Review: In Sight of Stars

In Sight of Stars In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Klee finds himself in a pysch ward after one final emotional stressor too many. He deals with his spectacular meltdown through therapy told to us in flashbacks. The whole thing progresses rather quickly with a rather big reveal for him towards the end, but ends on a hopeful note.

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Review: American Panda

American Panda American Panda by Gloria Chao
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mei is supposed to be a doctor, that will be quite hard since she is a germaphobe. Her parents have high expectations for her since they disowned her brother for falling in love with a woman who may not be able to have children. Wow, that reads as awful doesn't it. Mei thinks so too, but she is trapped by guilt. She's in her first year at MIT, a year early. So much is going on that she is lying to her parents about while she tries to figure out how to possibly be herself.

Mei's struggles and triumphs are often cultural, but I feel like so many students can identify with the parental pressure she is feeling. I'm wishing I had read this earlier in the year. I'll be handing it to several students in the fall.

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Review: Here to Stay

Here to Stay Here to Stay by Sara Farizan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a lot more than just a basketball book. But--hook them with the basketball, and they'll learn about homophobia, racism, bullying, and standing up for yourself and your friends.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: All Our Broken Pieces

All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton My rating: 5 of 5 stars Loved, loved this semi retelling Beauty and the Beast. ...

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