Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hooked by Liz Fichera

What would it be like to be the only girl on a boys golf team?  Especially if you were better than all of them?
Hooked (Hooked, #1)

Fred--short for Fredricka, can you blame her? Native American junior, walks on to HS boys golf team, poor, trying to get by as best she can

Ryan--white, junior boy whose best friend was kicked off golf team to make room for Fred, wealthy, under pressure from parents

Setting:  The Rez, short for indian reservation, Country club golf courses, present day

Atmosphere:  heavy with prejudice, distrust, mean pranks, with moments of sweetness

POV:  alternating between Fred and Ryan

Lesson:  some people can change


The cover leads you to believe this might be a NA romance--it's not.  The romance is fairly light and doesn't overshadow, or make light of, the heavier themes dealt with in this novel.  As a child I lived on an Indian reservation, but it didn't resemble the one here.  I was only five so I didn't notice the darker aspects of rez life.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

What if you had the opportunity to escape your past?  Could you let it go, or would you let it destroy your future?  

Characters: Beth, a tough girl, Ryan, a jock

Setting:  urban shifting to suburban, present day

Atmosphere:  dark with a shaft of light

Rating:  ✰✰✰✰✰

Song:  Carry On by Fun. I think most of the lyrics to this song represent more the feeling of this book than the video does.

Symbol:  pink ribbon, paper

POV:  alternating 1st person between Beth and Ryan

Lesson: Learn to trust your heart, and make your own decisions.

Note:  I loved this one so much, I immediately purchased the first in the series and looked for the third.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Edge of Never, by J. A. Redmerski

Bus trip!
Road trip!
Singing in New Orleans!

Instead of “strangers on a train,” Edge of Never is strangers on a bus, who meet, and slowly become friends, then lovers.  

Cameron’s decision to “never love again!” reeks of teen drama.  I do get tired of broken hearted teens declaring they’ll never feel again, or no one will ever be as good as:  __________, (fill in the blank.)  Perhaps my life experience is too much to overcome my disbelief at this point.  She and Andrew certainly seem to get along just fine, and make the transition from friends to lovers pretty easily.  

Andrew’s wisdom comes as a welcome change.  He feels about 4 to 5 years older than Cameron.  His anger issues are discussed, but not shown, and I have a hard time understanding just why this is supposed to be such a big deal.  I did understand it more after the big reveal at the end, but the few childhood scenes didn’t really enlighten me as to why we should be “scared of him.”

Cameron’s BFF, Natalie, did finally show the maturity I expected out of such a long term friendship..  My students need to see that boy drama should not supersede and displace a true friendship.  Some adults I know could also use this lesson.  (Facebook, anyone?)

On the whole I did enjoy Edge of Never, and will read the next one, even though I’m pretty sure I know what “tragedy” will be happening.  

Lessons learned:  Be yourself

Trust your friends.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Slated by Teri Terry

Kyla wakes up with no memories.  She’s been slated, given a clean slate, a do-over, a chance to start again, to atone for her sins.  She can’t remember the sins or crimes she may have committed, so she shouldn’t repeat them.  At least, that’s the plan.  But yet, Kyla is different, she has nightmares, she’s not as compliant, suggestible, or smiley as a normal slated.  I read this in a couple of days, The world building was not overwhelming, and yet I felt like I wouldn’t want to live in this world.  Actually, I think Britain could give off some of the vibe I got from Slated. Kyla is the strong one, yet her nightmares hold her back.  Ben, her potential love interest, is easily suggestible, and so he is the one to do something. 

Much of this book is a set up for the series, dystopian being the hot new trope, thanks to the Hunger Games.  If you liked Delirium, I think you’ll like this one.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

On Dublin Street series, by Samantha Young

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)     On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

For some reason, I thought this would be a PNR like her Ms. Young’s YA novels, when I bought it. The cover doesn't really give me that impression, but it doesn't rule it out either. It's not, at all; it's contemporary.
Joss has walls around her heart to protect--all her family is dead and her best high school friend is, too. Sad. Joss figures, if she doesn't love you, you'll be safe from harm or tragedy. (Now that I write this--pretty arrogant on her part, almost kind of a god complex, to think she has that much power over life events.) Saving grace in all of this is that she understands just how messed up her thought process is and is seeing a therapist.
Braden, our hero, is amazingly patient. I've read lots of comments where he is listed as the new favorite book boyfriend. :)
Kindle  Nook

Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2) Down London Road by Samantha Young.
In this companion to On Dublin Street we get Jo’s story. I didn't much like Jo when I met her in in Ms. Young’s earlier novel, so I'm glad to meet her again and get her full story. Jo is so much more than she appears on the surface, something we should all remember about most people we meet. (Judging books/people by their covers/appearances and all that.)  
Jo likes rich boyfriends so she can help take care of her younger brother.  Mom is an alcoholic and bed ridden.  Once we know the reasons behind her choices, and that she only chooses guys she could actually care about, I felt more sympathetic to her plight.  She meets Cameron at an art show she attends with her current boyfriend, an older man.  Cam make a harsh judgement on Jo.  Neither are willing to admit the insta-lust between them.  As the story progresses, Jo and Cam’s lives become more intertwined and a real friendship develops.  

Characters from the previous novel make appearances, but I’m glad I read it first because I wouldn’t read On Dublin Street now, if I’d read this first.  Joss and Elle come across as brash and super girly, respectively.  It seemed at odds with Jo’s growth as a person.  I’m guessing that the next book will be about Nate and Olivia.  I’m in--game on!