Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Isla and The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

I really liked this book. I thought the character of Isla was very relatable and a sweet love story. I read Anna and the French Kiss but haven't had the chance to read Lola and the boy next door. The author incorporated the old characters from her books into this new one which I thought was pretty cool for loyal fans.

Amazon Summary
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wither by Lauren Destefano

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was an interesting premise and a likeable lead character.

Amazon Summary
What if you knew exactly when you’d die? The first book of The Chemical Garden Trilogy.

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years--leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement; her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next; and Rhine has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive.

Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

I enjoyed this book. From the beginning I wanted to keep reading to find out who Henry (Hank) David was and how he lost his memory. I think this would be a great read for everyone.

Amazon Summary
Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything--who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David--or "Hank"--and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel about a teen in search of himself. As Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past he realizes that the only way he can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past to stop running and find his way home.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Panic by Lauren Oliver

I loved this book. I thought it was an interesting plot and I enjoyed the perspective from the two main characters. I highly recommend this book for all my students.

Amazon Summary
 Imagine a game that required you to walk, on a dark rainy night, across a narrow plank 50 feet in the air between two water towers. What could be worth that or any of the other terrifying tests of reckless courage in the game of Panic? For Dodge and Heather, graduating high school seniors of Carp, population 12,000, winning means a $67,000 chance at freedom from their claustrophobic town. In Panic, Lauren Oliver's characters are imbued with the emotional intricacy of teenagers hungry for both connection and new beginnings, some hiding secrets that blunt even the most frightening challenge the game can impose. Although there can only be one winner, a competition based on fear shapes powerful new relationships, understanding, and even forgiveness.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh


I had to read this book for a program I am participating in. Initially, I was not looking forward to this read, until I opened it up. I truly ejoyed this graphic novel and found myself laughing out loud as I read each short essay about the authors life.

Amazon Summary
Who among us has not, in moments that sometimes bleed through years, even decades, felt weird, desperate, and absurd--wishing we could turn all the lamest, most shameful episodes in our lives into hilarious illustrated anecdotes? If you’re one of the millions hanging on Allie Brosh’s every blog post, you already know you’ll love Hyperbole and a Half in book form, especially since half its hyperboles are new. If you’re suspicious of books because you live in a world of the INTERNET FOREVER, this is where you make an exception. If you just stumbled across Brosh and can’t yet grasp the allure of a Web comic illustrated by rudimentary MS Paint figures, believe the hype. Brosh has a genius for allowing us to channel her weird childhood and the fits and starts of her adulthood through the manic eyes, gaping mouths, and stick-like arms in the panels that masterfully advance her stories, and she delivers her relentless commentary with deadpan hilarity. Neurosis has rarely been so relatable and entertaining.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I really enjoyed this book. I woul categorize it as Romance/Fantasy. Interesting premise and plot. Thinking about reading the sequel!

Amazon Summary
Kestrel is a pampered general's daughter who's chafing under the restrictions of her privileged position. With her love of music and an aversion to fighting, she's not the best role model in a society of conquering warriors. Arin is a slave, Kestrel's property, purchased in a fit of guilt during an outing with a friend. If spending an unseemly amount on Arin wasn't gossip fodder enough, being seen around town with the handsome blacksmith isn't helping. They forge an unlikely friendship that begins to buckle under the constraints of slavery, an impending revolution, and a love that no one can justify. Rutkoski's debut crafts a world of aristocrats and slaves that has few differences from standard medieval fare. While romance lovers will easily fall into the rhythm of the story, those looking for something new and different will find it a little flat and predictable. Collections light on historical romance may add the title with confidence, but those with a solid selection won't miss it.

Me and Early and the Dying Girl


I wanted to like this book but I just couldnt get into it. I found the movie scenes to be annoying and slow. Not my favorite book.

Amazon Summary
A frequently hysterical confessional from a teen narrator who won't be able to convince readers he's as unlikable as he wants them to believe.
"I have no idea how to write this stupid book," narrator Greg begins. Without answering the obvious question—just why is he writing" this stupid book"?—Greg lets readers in on plenty else. His filmmaking ambitions. His unlikely friendship with the unfortunately short, chain-smoking, foulmouthed, African-American Earl of the title. And his unlikelier friendship with Rachel, the titular "dying girl." Punctuating his aggressively self-hating account with film scripts and digressions, he chronicles his senior year, in which his mother guilt-trips him into hanging out with Rachel, who has acute myelogenous leukemia. Almost professionally socially awkward, Greg navigates his unwanted relationship with Rachel by showing her the films he's made with Earl, an oeuvre begun in fifth grade with their remake of Aguirre, Wrath of God. Greg's uber-snarky narration is self-conscious in the extreme, resulting in lines like, "This entire paragraph is a moron." Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being.

The Strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender

I throughly enjoyed this book. If I had to categorize it I would say fantasy light, a little whimsical and a little realistic. I think students would enjoy this book.

Amazon Summary
Though the titular Ava serves as narrator and ultimately the tale's heroine, her story spans multiple generations, starting with her great-grandmother, remembered only as Maman, an immigrant to "Manhatine" two generations earlier. Through the eyes of her grandmother Emilienne, and then her mother Vivianne, Ava's lineage unfolds. Emilienne, suffering a broken heart, leaves New York and travels to Seattle, where she sets up shop as a baker on Pinnacle Lane. She gives birth to Vivianne, Ava's mother, who later suffers her own heartbreak and gives birth to Ava in 1944. Ava is a normal girl with one notable exception: she was born with the wings of a bird. Ava looks to the stories of her matriarchs to make sense of her own life and to understand how to navigate the world as both an "other" and a typical teenage girl. It is not until a fateful day in her 16th year that many narrative threads come to a head. This multigenerational tale examines love and considers the conflicting facets of loving and being loved--desire, despair, depression, obsession, self-love, and courage. Difficult to categorize, this is a mystical tale, a historical novel, a coming-of-age story, laced with folkloric qualities and magic realism, often evocative of great narratives like Erin Morgenstern's transcendent The Night Circus (Doubleday, 2011) or the classic Like Water for Chocolate (Anchor, 1995) by Laura Esquivel. It is beautifully crafted and paced, mystical yet grounded by universal themes and sympathetic characters. A unique book, highly recommended for readers looking for something a step away from ordinary.