Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

Amazon Summary
They needed the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when The Program assigns him to the mayor of New York City, things change. Somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and a girlfriend; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's mission.

In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.

All The Truth That's In me by Julie Berry

Amazon Summary
The village setting of this novel evokes the rigid religious communities of Colonial times, but Berry cleverly sets her story in an unnamed time and place so the protagonist's anguish and the town's mystery are the focus. Sixteen-year-old Judith is still in love with Lucas, even after his father held her prisoner for two years and violently silenced her by cutting out part of her tongue. Another girl went missing at the same time and her body was found washed down a stream. Only Judith knows the truth of what happened to Lottie, but her muteness leaves her an outcast in the village, even from her own mother, and the truth stays bottled up inside her. Told from Judith's narrow, troubled perspective, the story unwinds in taut chapters that peel back what happened two years before and gradually allows Judith to find her voice again. The austerity of the village and its harshly judgmental inhabitants help sustain a mood of dread. Judith does find tenderness in surprising places, and these secondary characters relieve not just her isolation but also offer readers moments of fun and promise as well. Lyrical language, a good mystery, and a compelling heroine–this is a page-turner with substance

Thursday, November 13, 2014

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be so different than my normal selection but very engaging and well written. I enjoyed reading about daily life in Iran for teenagers and how life used to be different for women.

Amazon Summary
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love--Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed. So they carry on in secret until Nasrin’s parents suddenly announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution: homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. Sahar will never be able to love Nasrin in the body she wants to be loved in without risking their lives, but is saving their love worth sacrificing her true self?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Age of Miracles is an end of the world title about the slowing of the earth's rotation around the sun and the damage that would cause to the whole planet. This was not my favorite end of the world book. I found it to be slow at times.

Amazon Summary
In The Age of Miracles, the world is ending not with a bang so much as a long, drawn-out whimper. And it turns out the whimper can be a lot harder to cope with. The Earth's rotation slows, gradually stretching out days and nights and subtly affecting the planet's gravity. The looming apocalypse parallels the adolescent struggles of 10-year-old Julia, as her comfortable suburban life succumbs to a sort of domestic deterioration. Julia confronts her parents' faltering marriage, illness, the death of a loved one, her first love, and her first heartbreak. Karen Thompson Walker is a gifted storyteller. Her language is precise and poetic, but style never overpowers the realism she imbues to her characters and the slowing Earth they inhabit. Most impressively, Thompson Walker has written a coming-of-age tale that asks whether it's worth coming of age at all in a world that might end at any minute. Like the best stories about the end of the world, The Age of Miracles is about the existence of hope and whether it can prevail in the face of uncertainty. --Kevin Nguyen

Monday, November 3, 2014

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

I always read the new Picoult book as soon as it hits the shelves and this book did not disappoint. Picoult is such a natural story teller that captivates the reader with the plot and characters within the first 15 pages. This book was not as traditional as her books in the past and had a few twists that I did not see coming, but made it all the more enjoyable.

Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time weaves elephant behavior into a search for a missing mother. The connection isn't as odd as it might sound at first, and Picoult has written another page-turning novel, even as it focuses on motherhood, loss, and grief. Teenager Jenna Metcalf was just three years old when her mother disappeared from an elephant sanctuary. Ten years later, she takes up the search for her mother, Alice, by studying Alice’s decade-old journals on grieving elephants. The research itself is fascinating, the hints about Alice’s disappearance are compelling; but Jenna cannot find her mother on her own. By enlisting the help of a formerly famous—now infamous—psychic, as well as a down-and-out private detective whose career went south during the botched investigation of Alice's disappearance, Jenna forms a sort of new family to help her in her quest. As the facts begin to come together—described in alternating chapters by Jenna, the psychic, the private detective, and Alice’s journals—it all heads toward a thrilling conclusion. And, yes, there is a big twist at the end.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Absolute darling read. I loved it from start to finish. The Song Sisters are a delight and made me think of my own sisters and our close relationship. Highly recommend it for everyone!

Amazon Summary
Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This was a quick and cute read. We meet Amy as she is about to embark on a road trip with Roger. Roger is practically a stranger and her mom has laid out directions for them to follow to get from California to Connecticut. Roger and Amy quickly decide to plan their own route and the rest of journey is a fresh start for both of them.

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her dad recently died in a car accident, and her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut—just in time for Amy’s senior year. To escape from it all, Amy embarks on a road trip, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining her is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, but her feelings for Roger develop as the miles roll by….

Told in traditional narrative as well as through a unique visual format that incorporates scraps from the road, this is the story of one teen’s journey to find herself.

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

I LOVED this book! New favorite book of the year. I loved the character, the plot, the story, everything!!!! I felt this book really speaks to anyone who has ever felt nervous about going to school, scared about who they are going to eat lunch with, afraid to walk down the hallways. One of the best books i've ever read. I finished this book in 3 days, just could not put on down.

Amazon Summary
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing. Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales' THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

I loved this book. I am becoming a BIG fan of Liane Moriarty and this book did not disappoint. I think I was so drawn to this book because of the three sisters. While I am not a triplet I also have two sisters who are my best friends and found the story quirky and fun. Highly recommend to all! Those Kettle Girls!!!!!

Amazon Summary
Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow them. But apart, each is dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage, and Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, holds out hope for lasting love. In this wise, witty, and hilarious novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Split by Swati Avashi

I loved this book. I was looking for something to read and typed in "please Ignore vera dietz" in Amazon for similar books. Split came up and I had a copy in the Library. I read the book in a few days and truly enjoyed it. I am thinking about nomindating it for one an Abe Lincoln award I liked it so much.

Amazon Review
Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.

At least so far.

Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. Award-winning novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again? Readers won’t be able to put this intense page-turner down.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Me Before You by Jojo Meyes

I loved this book! I had heard that this book was a tearjerker so I was prepared to cry. I enjoyed the whole story from start to finish. I found it very engaging.

Amazon Summary
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Graduation day by Joelle Charbonneau ( Book 3 of The Testing Series)

This is the 3rd book in The Testing series. I thought this would be the end of the series but it appears to keep going.

Amazon Summary
She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.
But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for – but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves--and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.
Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever—lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope--in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it’s Graduation Day. The Final Test is the Deadliest!

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau (sequel to the Testing)

This was the sequel to The Testing. The Testing has finished and Cia will start her studies at the University. Cia assumes all is well now that the Testing is over but the next level of testing have just begun.

Amazon Summary
In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

Missing You by Harlam Coben

Another Harlan Coben success. I always enjoy a good Harlan Coben twist and thriller.

Amazon Review
Coben never met a technological device he couldn’t turn into a riveting plot element. His latest thriller is no exception. The story examines what can happen to people who use online dating sites, and his hypothesis builds to a truly frightening conclusion. Coben’s meticulous plotting and his incorporation of the technology are first-rate. His characterization and dialogue? Not so much. All of Coben’s characters, regardless of age, sound like entrants in a Damon Runyon dialogue contest. (The reader keeps waiting for some guy to pull a gat on some doll.) The relentless onslaught of one-liners doesn’t help, and the characters themselves, while caught up in the beautifully crafted plot, tend toward cardboard. What sets the plot in motion is when a friend of NYPD detective Kat Donovan enters Kat on an online dating site. She discovers her old boyfriend, now a widower, and tries to contact him; the complications multiply from there.

Friday, September 12, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My Aunt recommended this book to me over the summer so I brought it home to read. This was an interesting tale with a twist at the end. Readers will not be disappointed.

Amazon Review
Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect Sinclair family meets on their private island and We Were Liars is the story of what happened there; particularly one year the protagonist, Cadence, can’t seem to remember through her migraine haze. Prejudice, greed, and shifting patriarchal favoritism amongst the three adult sisters chafes against the camaraderie and worldview of the teenage cousins and their friend Gat, who also spends summers on the island with them. Sticky lemonades on the roof and marathon Scrabble games to twisty suspense, true love, and good intentions gone horribly wrong--We Were Liars begs to be read in one sitting.

Swim the Fly by Don Calame ( Abe Book)

This was a cute, fast read. I had heard this book was humorous and it did not disappoint. I think everyone will like this one if you are looking for a light hearted realistic fiction title.

Amazon Review
Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time—quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl on a date. But that goal starts to look easy compared to Matt's other aspiration: swimming the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) to impress the sizzling new star of the swim team. In the spirit of Hollywood’s blockbuster comedies, screenwriter Don Calame unleashes a true ode to the adolescent male: side-splittingly funny, sometimes crude, yet always full of heart.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ( Abe Book)

My Review
I LOVED this book. I was not excited about this book based on the cover, size and the drawings I thought the book would be weird. Boy was I wrong. This is a beautiful story of a boy who is dealing with his mother's terminal cancer. I can't recommend this book enough. Simply lovely.

Amazon Review
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting-- he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard (Abe Book)

My Review
I was hesitant to read this one based on the cover and the premise. I throughly enjoed this book and am hoping to read the sequel. I was visualizing all of the characters as I was reading wondering what everyone looked like and what the island was really like.

Amazon Review
For fans of Libba Bray, this first book in a gothic suspense trilogy is inspired by H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau and has been hailed by New York Times bestseller Carrie Ryan as having "beautiful writing, breakneck pacing, a pulse-pounding mystery, and an irresistible romance."
Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's insanity. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

This is where I leave you by Jonathan Tropper

My review
A friend recommended this book and I could not put it down. I finished the book in about 2 days. The movie is coming out in September and I can't wait. The author did a great job portaing a family dealing with death as well as their own personal issues taking place.

Amazon Review
The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's (One Last Thing Before I Go) most accomplished work to date, and a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

My Review
I loved this book. I had heard great reviews about this book and it did not disappoint. It was told from an interesting perspective and I was very intrigued to get to the end and solve the mystery.

Amazon Review
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau ( Abe Book)

I LOVED this book. I finished it over the weekend and I was so mad I couldnt start the sequel immediately. While this is another dystopian thriller I found it to be innovative and exciting. I never felt as if the author was stalling to keep the story moving yet I couldn't stop after each chapter. I think LP students will LOVE this book as much as I did.

Amazon Summary
It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Winger by Andrew Smith ( Abe Book)

I enjoyed this book. I had been hesitant to read it based on the cover and description but I certainly enjoyed it at the end. If you can get past the perverted jokes of a 14 year old boy I think anyone would like this heartfelt journey as Ryan Dean begins his journey of Junior year in O-Hall and grows up to being quite a friend and person.

Amazon Summary

A teen at boarding school grapples with life, love, and rugby in a heartbreakingly funny novel.

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn infographics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

I loved loved loved this book. Ms. Savage read it a few days ago and told me she cried her eyes out. I was anticipating a cry and boy did I cry. Amber Appleton is one of the best characters I have ever read and experienced and I wish I could know her in real life and call her a friend. This officially makes Matthew Quick by new favorite author as I loved Boy 21 and Forgive Me, leonard Peacock as well. Well done!!!

Amazon Summary
Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism--and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope?

With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. The world is Amber's stage, and Amber is, well...she's sorta like a rock star. True? True.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah

I loved Ishmael Beah's Memoir A Long Way Gone and couldn't wait to read his first novel. The book is very depressing about building a life after war. As an American it is hard to understand what life is like in an undevelopedplace for corruption and theft are in charge. Oftentimes while reading this book I found myself feeling defeated for the characters and their families.

Amazon Summary
  At the center of Radiance of Tomorrow are Benjamin and Bockarie, two longtime friends who return to their hometown, Imperi, after the civil war. The village is in ruins, the ground covered in bones. As more villagers begin to come back, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they’re beset by obstacles: a scarcity of food; a rash of murders, thievery, rape, and retaliation; and the depredations of a foreign mining company intent on sullying the town’s water supply and blocking its paths with electric wires. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they’re forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike.
     With the gentle lyricism of a dream and the moral clarity of a fable, Radiance of Tomorrow is a powerful novel about preserving what means the most to us, even in uncertain times.

Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden (Abe Book)

Escape from Camp 14 is the story of the first known person to be born inside a North Korean prison and escape. This was a hard book to read in the sadness and conditions that the prisoners withstand. The author points out that the type of cruelty and treatment of these prisoners is worse than the Holocaust and has been going on for much longer than any other type of genocide worldwide.

Amazon Summary
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.
In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The One by Kiera Cass ( Book 3 of The Selection)

I have been dying to finish this series and it did not disappoint. I read this over the weekend and used every free minute to read and get to the end. I was secretly hoping as I was reading that this would be turned into a movie so I could love America, Maxon and Aspen on the big screen. Fingers crossed.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I loved Eleanor and Park and Fangirl and could not wait to read this book. I certainly enjoyed the book but I did not love it like the other two.

Amazon Review
In sweet, silly, and incredibly long digital missives, best newsroom pals Beth and Jennifer trade gossip over their romances—Beth with her marriage-phobic boyfriend, Chris, and Jennifer with her baby-mania-stricken husband, Mitch. What they don't know is that the newly hired computer guy, Lincoln, an Internet security officer charged with weeding out all things unnecessary or pornographic, is reading their messages. But lonely Lincoln lets the gals slide on their inappropriate office mail and gets hooked on their soapy dalliances, falling head over heels for the unlucky-in-love Beth. Debut novelist and real-life newspaper columnist Rowell has the smarts for this You've Got Mail–like tale of missed connections, but what doesn't work so well is the firewall between the traditional narrative reserved for Lincoln's emergence from shy guy to Beth's guy, and heroines who are confined to the e-epistolary format. Despite the structural problems, there's enough heart and humor to save these likable characters from the recycle bin.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What Alice Forgot

I loved this book. I am a huge fan of this author and could not put this book down.

Amazon Summary
Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, , she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Every once in a while you read a book that just makes you smile. Fangirl, is that book. Rainbow Rowell is a phenomenal author and I can't wait to read attachments now and anything else she will write in the future. I loved Eleanor and Park and I just loved loved loved Fangirl. Rowell captured what it is like to be a fan of a book and how you think and want for the characters in the book. A great author brings the characters off the page and into the readers life and heart and Rowell accomplished that. I read this book at the gym, at my desk, at the kitchen table, I couldn't stop reading and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a little empty and sad not that I have finished the book. Two big thumbs way up. I am going to order more copies ASAP so everyone can read this book.

At first glance Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl has a lot in common with Eleanor & Park: idiosyncratic girl with troubled family meets good, normal boy and falls in love for the first time. But this is why Rowell is so talented--from the same basic ingredients she can create something new and special. In Fangirl, quirky introvert, Cath, is safe within the immensely popular Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fan-fiction blog she writes with her twin sister, but college turns her life upside down, leaving her feeling like an awkward outsider. When she writes, Cath knows exactly what her characters should say to each other, but when it comes to forging real-life friendships, much less a romance, she hasn’t a clue. An immensely satisfying coming-of-age novel, Fangirl deftly captures the experience of discovering your true voice and clumsy, vulnerable, remarkable, first love

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

I have recently become a big fan of Matthew Quick after reading Boy 21 and Please Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. I was very eager to read his latest novel. Ultimately, I didn't love this new book. It was a very quick read and different from anything I have ever read before but I found it to be just okay. I don't see the students relating well to the main character or the plot.

Amazon Summary
After his mother’s death, 38-year-old Bartholomew Neil, a middle-aged man who has never left home, is at a crossroads in his life. Finding a form letter from Richard Gere buried in his mother’s underwear drawer, he begins a one-sided correspondence with the superstar, triggering a series of events that culminates in a life-­altering road trip to Canada with a motley crew of misfits including his secret crush, the girlbrarian; her foulmouthed, oddball brother; and a Catholic priest who has fled his parish. The quartet travels northward in search of Bartholomew’s biological father, and humor, pathos, and quirky bends in the road define their odyssey, making it increasingly clear that it is all about the journey, not the destination.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I had been wanting to read another book by Gillian Flynn since finishing Gone Girl last year. I finally picked up Dark Places and could not put it down. I was so captivated by the plot and the back and forth narration between present and past. I highly recommend this as a suspense thriller/murder mystery. A little mature and dark for some of the students.

Amazon Summary
Libby Day, the protagonist of Flynn’s disturbing second novel, was, as a seven-year-old, the only survivor of her family’s brutal murder by her older brother, an event dubbed by the media the “Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Twenty-five years later, she has become a hardened, selfish young woman with no friends or family. Since the tragedy, her life has been paid for by donations of well-wishers, but, with that fund now empty, Libby must find a way to make money. Her search leads her to The Kill Club, a secret society of people obsessed with the details of notorious murders. As Libby tries to gather artifacts to sell to The Kill Club (whose members, it turns out, doubt the guilt of her brother), she is forced to reĂ«xamine the events of the night of the murder

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (Abe Book)

Ask the Passengers is on this years Abe List. While selecting this years titles I made a note to myself to read this book as it sounded interesting. I absolutely loved this book and I love this author. I was excited to read this book as it is the same author as Please Ignore Vera Dietz, one of my recent favorite titles. I hope to read this for book club next year as I think the students will enjoy is as well as create a great discussion regarding coming out in high school and being accepted.

Amazon Summary
Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

I have been wanting to read this book since it came into the Library. I absolutely loved Hate List and was looking forward to more from Jennifer Brown. However, I felt this book fell flat. I didn't care too much about the chaarcters and felt the road trip was endless. This will not be a favorite of mine.

Amazon Summary
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. To Kendra, the only way she can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But even in the midst of the road trip's flat tires, gas-station food stops, and detours to quirky roadside attractions, eventually Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Uganda be Kidding me by Chelsea Handler

If you like Chelsea Handler, you will like this book. Handler details her traveling adventures over the past two years with friends and family. I liked the book but not as much as her others. However, there were definitely a few laugh out loud moments while reading the story.
Amazon Summary
Wherever Chelsea Handler travels, one thing is certain: she always ends up in the land of the ridiculous. Now, in this uproarious collection, she sneaks her sharp wit through airport security and delivers her most absurd and hilarious stories ever.

On safari in Africa, it's anyone's guess as to what's more dangerous: the wildlife or Chelsea. But whether she's fumbling the seduction of a guide by not knowing where tigers live (Asia, duh) or wearing a bathrobe into the bush because her clothes stopped fitting seven margaritas ago, she's always game for the next misadventure.

The situation gets down and dirty as she defiles a kayak in the Bahamas, and outright sweaty as she escapes from a German hospital on crutches. When things get truly scary, like finding herself stuck next to a passenger with bad breath, she knows she can rely on her family to make matters even worse. Thank goodness she has the devoted Chunk by her side-except for the time she loses him in Telluride.

The Elite by Cassandra Cass ( Sequel to The Selection)

I loved this book. I absolutely loved The Selection and couldn't wait to keep reading The Elite. The only dissapointing thing is waiting now for The One when it comes out in June. I liked this better than Delirium and Matched. Someone recommended this book and compared it to The Bachelor meets the Hunger Games and I think it is a great summary.

Amazon Summary
Kiera Cass’s The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This sequel to The Selection will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor.

In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate televised competition. In the second book of the Selection series, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love?

The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Selection by Kiera Cass ( Abe Book)

I loved this book. Someone described this book to me as The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor. Ever since hearing that description I could not wait to read this book. The Selection did not disappoint, it is a dystopian love story. I can't wait to read the sequel.

Amazon Summary
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ( Abe Book)

Seraphina is on the new Abe Lincoln list for 2015. I do my best to read all 22 titles every year. Seraphina is a fantasy novel about dragons living among the people in a made up land. I am not a huge Fantasy fan but was willing to give it a try. I got as far as half the book before I put it down. I do not enjoy made up lands and languages and struggled with this book. I kept reading hoping it would get better but at 200 pages I had to give up. This was one of the student nominated titles so I think the students who like fantasy would be interested in this read. Maybe I'll try to finish it another time.

Amazon Summary
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

I have been a fan of James Dashner since the Maze Runner series. I had high hopes for this new series, but unfortunately I felt it fell flat. After 100 pages, I made the difficult decision to stop reading the book. I wasn't engaged in the story or the characters and couldn't force myself to finish. I think their is an audience of students who would enjoy this book, but it just was not of interest to me.

Amazon Summary
Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?
   But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.
   The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (Abe Book 2015)

This book is on the new Abe List and has such a bright cover that it immediately caught my eye. I loved this book and finished it in 2 days. Little bit love story, little but overcoming tragedy, with a mix of fitting in to the it group of high school and finding your own way. I think everyone would enjoy this book.
Amazon Review
Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.
Varsity Tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.
As Kirkus said in a starred review, "Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green's novels."
Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming of age novel—a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I have read everything by Mitch Albom and always enjoy his quick interesting stories. This was not my favorite Mitch Albom book but I did enjoy the mystery and intrigue of learning about the Coldwater phonecalls.

Amazon Summary
The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief—and a page-turner that will touch your soul—Albom's masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.
Readers of The Five People You Meet in Heaven will recognize the warmth and emotion so redolent of Albom's writing, and those who haven't yet enjoyed the power of his storytelling, will thrill at the discovery of one of the best-loved writers of our time.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban

I simply loved this book. I had seen this book on a list for an award and had been meaning to get around to reading it. I finally picked it up this weekend during the snowstorm and finished it in one day. I love this book and I think students will love this book. I am already planning on nominating it for next years Abe list.

Amazon Summary
It follows the story of Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their secrets.

We are Water by Wally Lamb

I have been a fan of Wally Lambs for ten years. I was eagerly awaiting the release of his newest novel and Mr. Lamb did not disappoint. I truly believe that Lamb is the greatest story teller with the best character development of any author. After finishing a Wally Lamb book I feel a little empty and struggle to find something else that will be as good.

Amazon Summary
We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True.
After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh—wife, mother, outsider artist—has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets—dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives.
We Are Water is a layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs—nonconformist, Anna; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest. It is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.
With humor and compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

I read this book for book club this month and I absolutely loved this book. This book reminded me of Thirteen Reasons Why, one of my favorite YA books. The author did a great job telling a story in a unique fashion.