Friday, November 22, 2013
Eleanor & Park
By: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA realistic fiction
Audiobook: 7 CD’s
5 out of 5
This is one of those books that I am super happy I choose to listen to it instead of reading it. The story is narrated by both Eleanor and Park therefore the audio has two narrators, which enhances the story tremendously. If you actually read the novel, you would not have this imagery of the characters. In this aspect, it reminds me of John Green’s and David Levithan’s YA novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which I also highly recommend listening to on audio. I do believe some stories are meant to be listened to versus read and I feel these are two of them. I was so engrossed in Eleanor and Park’s lives that sometimes I didn’t want my drive to end. The only annoying encounter was the ending, where it leaves you wondering what happens next. I am hoping that means a sequel will surface sometime.
Rowell is the author of four YA novels so far and I plan to listen to them all. You can learn more at www.rainbowrowell.com.
By: Kelly Bingham
Genre: YA realistic fiction
2 out of 5
Written completely in verse, this was a very quick read. Similar to Ellen Hopkin’s novels, even though they are all in verse, you do not feel as if you are cheated from description or detail. I feel when books are written well in verse, the style actually adds to the story and enhances it. This book is one of those examples and would be perfect for tweens and younger teenagers. I would not recommend this YA novel to adults, even those who read YA; just maybe those that love them. Only because it has a less mature style and content. I do have to add that I was disappointed when I realized that this was not the true-life story of Bethany Hamilton; which also was featured in the movie Soul Surfer.
There is a sequel titled Formally Shark Girl (released in 2013) and has written one children’s book. You can read more at http://www.site.kellybinghamonline.com/.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Fault in Our Stars
By: John Green
Genre: YA fiction
4 out of 5
For being a book about two teenagers with cancer, I was impressed with Green’s ability to add just the right amount of humor. One page you may be laughing out loud and the next page running for tissue. As with all of Green’s books I have read, the story grabs the reader quickly and doesn’t let go into the ride is over. It reminded me a lot of Nicholas Sparks’ novel A Walk to Remember, but with two cancer teens falling in love and not just one. Green has also co-authored a book with David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which is my favorite Green book. I would recommend both these books to fans of John Green and readers not necessarily looking for a “Happily Ever After” story.
Read more at www.johngreenbooks.com
By: Sarah Jio
3 out of 5
I choose this book for my latest book club because it was set in Bora Bora and that is where husband and I went on our honeymoon in September. I was disappointed on description of the scenery; however being set during World War II was very interesting. It was excited to read about the construction of the shelters by the army because we took a tour and viewed some of the original, still standing, shelters. There were a few other references to places we saw, just not much portrayal and being in on an unique island I would have like to have a more descriptive novel. The novel itself was quick read and very predictable, which is the main reason I gave just an average rating.
Sarah writes all historical fiction; view them all at http://www.sarahjio.com.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
By: Ransom Riggs
Genre: YA fantasy
4 out of 5
This is definitely one of the most unique books I have read. It has a dystopian twist, but the exceptional photographs Riggs uses extremely enhances the story and makes it a one-of-a-kind novel. Surprisingly, the photos are genuine with only a little changing of lighting, which Riggs said took hours and lots of people to help discover these peculiar photographs. I can't even fathom constructing a novel based around photographs, but he does a superb job. The story itself was well written and captured my interest; however the last third evolved into too much sci-fi, which is not my favorite. With the pictures and the intrigue of what may happen next, I still enjoyed it enough to give a good rating and I will be reading the sequel, Hollow City.
Check out http://www.ransomriggs.com/ for more peculiar photographs.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Life as We Know It
By: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Genre: YA Dystopia
3.5 out of 5
Imagine if life was so desolate, you were one of the last people on earth. This is that story, reminding me of the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and told through the eyes of 16 year old Miranda, but without the heavy religious tone. This story is a scary revelation of what could and may happen one day in the future. I appreciated the idea that life goes on, but will revert back to the early pioneer days of no electricity or hot water. However it also entails limited food and such grim weather conditions, depending on growing your own vegetables and having stores that are open is obsolete. After reading the novel, I saw on the back cover that it was a Listening Library selection. If I continue the series, The Last Survivors, I will probably try the audiobook version.
Friday, November 8, 2013
Bridge to Terabithia
By: Katherine Paterson
Genre: Juvenile fiction
5 out of 5
I saw the movie years ago when it was released in 2007. I had no idea what to except and sobbed like a baby. Although the book touched me deeply, fortunately I was able to stop the tears. I believe this was only because I knew what to expect, otherwise I would have broke down and cried again. I prepared myself this time. I was very impressed with the movie adaption of the story as it did a remarkable job of following the novel. As most readers, I get irritated with movies that stray away from the novel’s storyline. I believe this novel will be enjoyed by readers of all ages, particularly tweens (age 9-12). With the age and imagination of the 10 year old protagonists and the illustrations, I am very surprised that my library and others classify this novel as YA. I feel this novel would be better catalogued in the juvenile fiction.
I have not read any of her other books, although there are several I hope to read someday. Check them out at www.terabithia.com.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
By: Carol Goodman
Genre: YA fantasy/Paranormal
3 out of 5
I am completely over fantasy/paranormal novels. Not that I was ever a huge fan, but I am unable to be absorbed into stories about faeries, brownies, and demons anymore. In YA, it seems to be almost the only genre anymore. I love Carol Goodman. She is one of my top 5 adult authors, however even her last adult series (Fairwick Chronicles written as Juliet Dark) was in the paranormal genre. This novel is still uniquely written in Goodman's language and takes place on a school campus with a focus on literature, so in that manner I loved the story. This novel will be enjoyed by fans of paranormal and fantasy and especially Harry Potter and Hunger Games groupies. Blythewood has characteristics of both those YA series.
Her website is www.carolgoodman.com.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Same Difference and Other Stories
By: Derek Kirk King
Genre: adult graphic novel
3.5 out of 5
As I have stated in previous posts, I don’t read my graphic novels simply because I don’t feel they provide the full background story and I’m missing some details. I read this one to see if it is appropriate to hand out to teens for World Book Night. It is NOT, however the first story (86 pages) was hilarious. I laughed out loud three times in the first 20 pages, Seriously! And I also am not one that typically enjoys stupid humor. However, the other short stories (just a couple pages each) didn’t do much for me, which is why my star rating went down. Readers who enjoy graphic novels and stupid guy humor, will absolutely love this book.
Derek Kirk King’s website is http://www.lowbright.com/.