I just finished Siobhan Vivian's second novel Same Difference, and I loved it. She has created a likable character in Emily who is beginning to realiz...moreI just finished Siobhan Vivian's second novel Same Difference, and I loved it. She has created a likable character in Emily who is beginning to realize a new sense of self during her summer art program and discovers just how intoxicating new friendships can be.
I could see many similarities between Emily and myself when I was a teenager - how unsure I was of myself and my talents and a bit nervous when making new friends. Like Emily, I had the same best friend since childhood and would sometimes be cautious when making new friends. It felt like a bit of a betrayal, but not for any specific reason - just that our friendship was so rooted in history and I'd question how much of myself I'd want this new friend to know about me.
Vivian's details are captivating - making me feel like I could actually see the art created Emily, Fiona and Yates and wishing that I could. There isn't a lot of action that pulls the story along, but the authentic characters and their experiences in Same Difference reminds me why I'm drawn to YA lit time and time again. (less)
Normally I would never pick up a book like Rot & Ruin. Zombies? Bounty Hunters? Me? Really? Yes! Really! I do like zombie movies and am trying to...moreNormally I would never pick up a book like Rot & Ruin. Zombies? Bounty Hunters? Me? Really? Yes! Really! I do like zombie movies and am trying to branch out from the books that I typically read, so I thought I would give it a chance. I am so glad that I did because I loved Rot & Ruin. Loved it!
Rot & Ruin is the story of Benny Imura, who lives with his bounty-hunter brother Tom, in the small town of Mountainside. For years, Benny and his friends Chong and Morgie, listened with great adoration to the tales of renowned bounty hunters Charlie Pink-Eye and The Motor City Hammer, and even idolized them. When Benny begins searching for a job and is unable to find one, he reluctantly joins his brother in the Ruin, on a bounty. On this journey, he begins to see his brother with new eyes and understands that he never really knew his brother at all. Benny thought his brother was cowardly for what happened on First Night and saw weakness in his quiet ways, unlike those of the boastful bounty hunters
After visiting the Ruin, Benny begins to question all the he knows about zombies, the bounty hunters, his brother, and his life in Mountainside. He tries to go back to the same amused wonder with this friends, but an incident with a collector zombie card and an act of defiance changes everything for Benny.
One of my favorite quotes from Rot & Ruin is when Benny and Tom are getting ready to leave for the Ruin to search for the bounty hunters and the lost girls. Tom says, "The world is bigger and harder to understand than you think, Benny. It was before First Night and is still is now. You have to keep your mind as wide-open as your eyes, because almost nothing is what it seems." (page 244) He wants Benny to know that he must be strong in their venture where he may have to do things he would never fathom doing.
Maberry has written an entertaining and thought provoking story filled with heart-pounding adventure, intensity and humanity. He touches your heart and leaves you scared at the same time. I cannot say enough good things about this book and can't wait to read the sequel. Oh, and I want my own zombie card!(less)
I absolutely loved Love is the Higher Law which had me crying from the very beginning. David Levithan has provided a touching account of how three you...moreI absolutely loved Love is the Higher Law which had me crying from the very beginning. David Levithan has provided a touching account of how three young adults deal with events during and after September 11th, 2001. From alternating perspectives, he explores the confusion, fear, and awareness of how this event will affect the rest of Claire, Jasper, and Peter's lives. He gives a voice to the thoughts that some people may be unwilling to let out.He reminds us that even during our darkest times, there is hope and there is love. (less)
I don't think I can adequately express how much I love this book. A Little Wanting Song is one of those books that is going to stay with me for a long...moreI don't think I can adequately express how much I love this book. A Little Wanting Song is one of those books that is going to stay with me for a long time. The confusion of familial dynamics and the desire to want something more for yourself is something that will resonate with many readers as it did with me. There were so many moments that caught my breath, where I held my breath and that took my breath away. And there where moments when the book was laugh out loud funny. Charlie and Rose both are have distinct voices, and I wanted the best for both of them all along the way. There were times when Rose didn't have the best motives for her friendship with Charlie, but she never was the Mean Girl that Charlie thought she was.
Of all of the books about summer that I read this summer, A Little Wanting Song was the best one to end it with. (less)
Freefall is the debut novel of author Mindi Scott. Scott took me on the highest of highs and lowest of lows all throughout the novel. My heart still f...moreFreefall is the debut novel of author Mindi Scott. Scott took me on the highest of highs and lowest of lows all throughout the novel. My heart still fluttered and my breath was still caught long after I read the last sentence.
It is the story of 16 year old Seth McCoy who is dealing with the aftermath of his best friend, Isaac's death. The book starts out 2 months after Isaac's death and at the beginning of the new school year. On the brink of not graduating with his class, Seth's guidance counselor overloads his class schedule and signs him up for tutoring classes and an experimental elective to help his GPA (among other things).
From the very beginning, I was rooting for Seth. Mindi Scott has written a lovable character, from the wrong side of town, who is searching how to move on, or even if he can move on after the death of his friend. My heart broke over and over again for Seth and for Rosetta as they were learning about each other in spite of their own personal tragedies.
I loved this book so much and I will recommend it to anyone and everyone. It may even be the best book that I have read this year. I'm definitely a fangirl of Mindi Scott, and anxiously wait to see what she writes next. (less)
**spoiler alert** **SPOILER ALERT** I loved Holly and my heart broke for her over and over again. Even though she was sneaking around with a guy who h...more**spoiler alert** **SPOILER ALERT** I loved Holly and my heart broke for her over and over again. Even though she was sneaking around with a guy who has a girlfriend, she wasn't unlikable. She was a good friend to Nils, putting up his girlfriends of week. She was a good daughter to her father Jeff who was still grieving the loss of his wife. She wasn't sneaking around with her best friend's boyfriend. And once she did become friends with Paul's girlfriend, she did try to break it off with him. Maybe a little too late, but still she wanted to do the right thing.
There was a time when I feared the book may go down the cliched "promiscuous girl's gotta learn a lesson" route. When Holly kept getting nauseous when thinking about telling Saskia or Saskia finding out or anyone finding out (for that matter) about her and Paul, I was afraid that the nausea was really caused by a pregnancy. And then when the random mention of the Agnes of God movie, my heart sank, yep, she's going to end up pregnant. But she wasn't, and everyone did find out about her and Paul. And then my heart broke again.
I liked the short quick chapters, but this book went by too fast for me. I was left wanting just a little bit more. I hope there is a follow-up to Holly and Nils's story.(less)
**spoiler alert** I learned about this book from a blog post by YAnnabe and wanted to read it because she gushed about how much she loved the book. Wh...more**spoiler alert** I learned about this book from a blog post by YAnnabe and wanted to read it because she gushed about how much she loved the book. When I found it at my local library, it went to the top of my reading list.
Even though I caught on pretty quick to how the story would progress and eventually end, it didn't take away from the emotion of the main character, Rowan and the familial responsibility and loss that she was feeling after the unexpected death of her brother. I loved reading about the unexpected friendships that developed between Rowan and Bee and Rowan and Harper. And the relationship between Rowan and her sister Stroma helped to balance the heaviness of the rest of the novel.
I stumbled across this book by chance, and I am that I did. (less)
I really enjoyed reading The DUFF, it was a lot of fun and the makeout scenes were super steamy! When Wesley would kiss Bianca's neck I could feel the...moreI really enjoyed reading The DUFF, it was a lot of fun and the makeout scenes were super steamy! When Wesley would kiss Bianca's neck I could feel the shivers go up my spine. One of my favorite scenes was when Bianca's friend Casey came to pick her up after staying the night with Wesley. Unable to hide her lies, Bianca had to confess what had been going on between her and Wesley. I loved that Casey wasn't going to let Bianca off the hook so easily, but like a true friend, she didn't put her through the wringer either. While the strain in Bianca and Casey's relationship was easily resolved, there were other dramatic situations that I thought were resolved too easily. Especially the incident after Bianca's father started drinking again. There were some situations where I wanted to story to be developed more and this was one of them. For the most part, I liked the story and am excited to read more from Keplinger.(less)
The Things a Brother Knows in one of the first books that I have read about a soldier returning from war and the impact that his leaving then returnin...moreThe Things a Brother Knows in one of the first books that I have read about a soldier returning from war and the impact that his leaving then returning has on a family dynamic. While this story is not a new one, Reinhardt addresses the conflict both delicately and with humor from the perspective of the soldier's younger brother, Levi. Boaz's decision to enlist in the Marines, when he has the choice to go to any college that he wants, leaves Levi confused and disconnected from the brother he has always known. He wonders how Boaz can defend something that Levi himself isn't even sure he has an opinion about. While the book reveals a soldier's experience during wartime and the toll it takes on his life when he returns home, it is Levi's journey to understand his brother and himself that makes The Things a Brother Knows worth reading.(less)