Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Travis returns home for a break after his year in Afghanistan where his best friend died, having nightmares and PSD.  His parents are having issues, his brother is dating his ex-girlfriend, and he keeps seeing Charlie, his dead buddy, everywhere.  When he sees Harper, a girl whose reputation he ruined in middle school, he realizes that he’d like her forgiveness. 

This is such a well written story, Harper and Travis feel and sound so real.  I bought this on my Kindle when it was featured on Daily Cheap Reads.    It has since gone up in price, but is worth the regular price.  I will look for more of Ms. Doller’s work in the future.  I like the new genre that has sprung up—college kids rather than high school or full adults. 

There are amazing descriptions that make beautiful word pictures:  

“stars freckle the night sky,”

“she lowers the volume from highway to city,”

 “This uniform might impress girls, but it’s uncomfortable.  Especially compared to my cammies, which were sandblasted to a salty faded softness.”

“I’m seriously hungry.  Concave hungry.”

         Kindle                                      Nook                       Trish Doller

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

Because nobody needs to tell
Elizabeth Grayson
to focus.  p.1

I let out a sigh, then swallow hard.

 Relief and disgust
are two emotions
not easily blended.  p. 165

He reaches out
For his half-empty bottle of beer
But I grab the bottle before he can
And throw the beer in his face.
Then I leave him
brewing.  p. 7

“I’m fine, thanks.” I say
Every time Mrs. Pratt asks how I ‘m doing,
A smile pasted on my face
With Please-God-Save-Me Glue.  p. 149

Liz and Katie are forever-friends.  Katie is a dancer, and Liz a photographer.  Together they have spent the last ten years doing everything together.  But after a Slumber Saturday sleepover fight, nothing is the same.  

Liz’s growth and descriptions are so enjoyable.  I made many notations that struck me as beautiful, wonderful, poignant, and memorable. I read this book in three class periods at school and it made me cry, and I kept on reading even though the kids could see me! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Breathe by Abbi Glines

Sadie has spent most of her life raising her mother. This summer she needs a job in order for them to be able to eat and pay bills. Mom has held one for the last two months, but with school out and her pregnancy in the late stages, she wants Sadie to take over. Jax is sure Sadie is one of his fans who snuck in to the house to get an autograph, but is pleasantly surprised when she barely reacts to his presence at all. She is really working, and wants to keep her job. 

This is Ms. Glines’ debut novel and I liked it even though it has YA formulas that we’ve seen before.  There is a beautiful girl who doesn’t know she’s pretty, and everyone wants her, but a true love triangle never develops, thank goodness!  I can see some very Twilight like scenes for example the depression after a breakup, but Sadie does grow a bit unlike Bella. I’d like more of this story, I think.  I want to know if Sadie really can handle a rock star for her first and only love.  There are more stories in this series, but I don’t know how much re-visitation with previous characters the other novels actually contain.  I’ve put them on my wish list to wait for price drops. 


Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tess Oliver

I love Tess Oliver's work.  I have all of her books on my Kindle and suggest you do, too.  She writes such believable characters.  All of her work is on sale this month.  Buy it.  

Angel Beach

Echo, or Coco, as she is called by friends and family, is 16 years old and works In her grandmother’s bakery.  She is graduating early, so she can move on from town to make something of herself.  She loves her town and doesn’t want it taken over by a resort.  She doesn’t mind the tourists, but she doesn ‘t believe the town needs to change. 

Jamison, one of three brothers, has been sent by his father to make trouble in town, so properties can be purchased cheaply, so Dad can build his resort there.  Meeting Echo helps Jamison realize he k=needs to do more than just leave his family, healing can happen, but he’ll need to be a part of it. 

Tess Oliver writes such believable characters that I feel like I’ve met them in real life.  I enjoyed this short summer romance and would like to read more about Echo and Jamison as the year goes forward.  How will they deal with the fallout of Jamison’s defying his father?  Will the romance survive college, with them being in separate places?  

Tess Oliver

Amazon   Nook

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

I’d never thought of Sleeping Beauty as tragic before reading this version.  In the traditional version Beauty’s whole family remains asleep with her and all are awakened to a wonderful reunion.   Not so in Rose’s story, she’s been asleep and forgotten for 62 years, her parents are dead, her boyfriend is dead, and the world she knew is dead.  Rose’s awakening to her new world and her new life is complicated by a threat from the past.  She has to figure out what her childhood taught her and how she will go forward now.  I cried at the reveal, and I want more story.   I am buying a hard copy for the high school library.  

Kindle   Nook  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Skye, an orphan adopted by her mom’s best friend, contends with unusual changes happening to her body, being seventeen, and both new boys at school seeming to be interested in her. 

I bought this on sale for $2.99 and enjoyed it—I was ready to buy the second in the series but will have to wait until Sept.  I might not be willing to pay so much for the second one by then.  The story does follow the conventions of current YA romance:  a love triangle, paranormal powers, secrets, mysterious strangers, manipulation, and tragic past events.  Oh, I forgot—the cliffhanger ending, argh!  But—I still found myself drawn in and willing to suspend my disbelief to find out what happened.  I’ll probably buy these for the high school, but will wait until all three are out, to prevent being screamed at by angry girls, who hate cliffhanger endings as much as I do.  ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be my Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Enjoy some of these romance titles in our library!





Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Ana is a new soul in a land of reincarnated souls.  She’s the only one who is learning everything for the first time.  She’s the only one who is learning everything for the first time.  She’s the only new kid – ever!  Having been the new kid many times myself, I can understand the confusion, loneliness, and defensiveness expended by Ana.

Incarnate resonated with me, through the use of music as language and discovery.  In Heart, lives are lived over but each time the body is different, parents are different.  I’m not sure I’d want to go through puberty more than once, much less 35 life times!  I would want to be remembered, especially if I thought I had only one chance to make an impact.  

Kindle link                                   Nook link

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

As I was reading this, I kept thinking about how selfish Mary was.  I wanted her to grow and didn’t feel like she did.  The world Ms. Ryan has written is so fascinating that I had to finish even though I really didn’t like Mary.  Imagine living in a world where the dead didn’t stay dead unless they were killed twice.  Would you build a wall to protect you and everyone you love or would you leave to find some place safe?

Monday, February 11, 2013

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clary is drawn into a world she never knew existed after her apartment is trashed, her mother disappears, and Jace, a stranger,  saves her from a demon attack.  I read the first three books in this series over Christmas break during 2010.  The action flows fast, and I was swept into Jace’s world along with Clary.  The friendship Clary maintains with Simon is refreshing, as we see how new relationships change things yet, they figure out how to stay friends in spite of all the drama.  Clary and Jace’s relationship is interesting.  That’s all I’ll say.  Keep reading the series even when you get “squiked” out.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Ethan is counting the months until he can leave Gatlin for greener pastures, but when Lena, a girl he’s seen in his dreams moves to town, he now has a reason to stay.  There are secrets that if revealed could tear them apart.

I read Beautiful Creatures back in November 2010, and loved it.  The southern gothic feel of the atmosphere, the aspect of the star-crossed lovers, and the shared dreams between Lena and Ethan drew me into the world created Garcia and Stohl.  Knowing it was a series, tempered my enthusiasm some – I’d gotten frustrated at having to wait for so many “next” books, that I’d given up reading any series for a while.  Beautiful Creatures is the one that started me again.  That said I’m behind; I got three-fourths of the way through book two, and gave it to a desperate student and never got back to it.  With the movie coming out soon, I think I will pick it back up--good thing it’s on my Kindle.  The library physical copies are always out of the library.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Could you survive a super volcano explosion that covers the Midwest with ash measured in feet, rather than snow the snow we’re are used to, in inches?  Alex’s family let him stay home for the weekend alone.  The volcano erupted, and the house exploded; now he needs to find them and a place to stay.

I’ve watched television shows about the Yellowstone caldera; I’ve seen Old Faithful; so it’s not a big stretch of my imagination to think that the volcano could blow.  Because of this, the story feels very real, and is scary in a quiet understated way.  We tend to feel safe here in the Midwest--no hurricanes or earthquakes.  Tornadoes, yes-but they are scattered enough that a lot of people feel safe.  We have plenty of storm chasers!  Surviving an explosion would be tough especially if you are a typical teen, concerned about dating, computers, or cars.  If you were a hunter, you’d have an advantage.   

Those of us who’ve read this, usually give it four stars.  This is part of a trilogy, so be prepared to need to read more!