This is fantastic as audio and it might end up being one of my favorite books read in 2015. There are mature themes and language, but I want to use thThis is fantastic as audio and it might end up being one of my favorite books read in 2015. There are mature themes and language, but I want to use this book in class somehow. The poetry, the thoughts on women's roles/rights, etc are so worth discussing. ...more
Amy Fellner Dominy's books keep getting better. I really enjoyed this. It was so refreshing to read a book dealing with a female athlete that actuallyAmy Fellner Dominy's books keep getting better. I really enjoyed this. It was so refreshing to read a book dealing with a female athlete that actually stays focused on the sport. Full review to come....more
You know a picture book has fantastic pictures when the story works so well with only two words. The publisher sent me the unfinished copy of Look! anYou know a picture book has fantastic pictures when the story works so well with only two words. The publisher sent me the unfinished copy of Look! and now I want to buy the finished copy for Jack. I enjoyed this enough that I plan on framing one of the loose pages and putting it in Jack's room :)...more
This is a fun mystery thriller that I know will keep my students turning the pages. Max is a flawed character who only wants to do the right thing, buThis is a fun mystery thriller that I know will keep my students turning the pages. Max is a flawed character who only wants to do the right thing, but trouble keeps finding him. I enjoyed the cast of characters and the cliffhanger chapter endings. Review to come....more
Audiobook Review: I decided to read 99 Days via audio despite having the eARC mostly because of how much easier itReview originally posted on YA Love
Audiobook Review: I decided to read 99 Days via audio despite having the eARC mostly because of how much easier it is for me to listen to audiobooks at this stage in my life. I’m trying to keep up with blog tour reading requests and my own personal reading desires, so sometimes I’ll take the easiest route and experience a book via audio. Also, I’ve recently been contacted by Scribd to give their platform a free one month trial and figured, why not? Katie Cotugno’s book was right there and I’ve been wanting to read it. The stars aligned and I made it happen.
At first I wasn’t quite sure about Allyson Ryan as the narrator. She doesn’t really sound like a teenager to me and sometimes her voice went a little flat, but somehow that worked for Molly’s character. Molly is sometimes a tough character to like so it worked for me that I didn’t always like Ryan’s voice. A number of people have abandoned this book because of the content and characters, so I think those readers should give the audio a try. It’s not my favorite audiobook because of the narrator, but I enjoyed the story itself.
Book Review: Like I said, 99 Days has been receiving a lot of criticism, mostly because the story features characters who cheat on one another. Honestly, I don’t think those reviewers are being fair. I 100% understand being against cheating, but I think we have to recognize and remember that even though it’s ugly and messy, it happens more often than we’d like it to. For that reason, I think Katie Cotugno deserves more credit for writing this book. She could have written another story about a guy or a girl getting cheated on, but instead she wrote it from the point of view of the person being unfaithful. This is a young adult novel and young adults are going to connect with Molly, Patrick, and Gabe for one reason or another. Every reader deserves to find her or himself in a book even if that book contains subject matter that some readers don’t like.
Do the characters in this novel make poor choices? Yes. Do they make poor choices over and over again? Yes. For me, this heightened the story and made those characters stand out on the page. I like flawed characters; they’re interesting and engaging. So many times I cringed over Molly’s decisions, but I also recognized that she’s just finished college and is at an age when she’s going to make mistakes. I think one of the best parts about her story is that she learned from those mistakes. Her entire summer was about figuring out who she is and how and who to love. She needed to figure out how to make friends and how to trust her mother again. She needed to figure out what she wants out of college. Molly figured out much of those problems, but it wasn’t a neat and tidy process that resulted in a gift with a big fat bow. She stumbled, she lost friends, and she learned some important lessons about life and relationships.
Personally, I couldn’t stand Patrick for most of the book and could not understand Molly’s attraction to him. Gabe has a little more going for him, but even he didn’t always seem right for Molly. Molly struck me as an insecure teen trying to find her way and in need of positive attention. I know teens like Molly and I know they’ll appreciate what Katie Cotugno wrote.
I do, however, like Molly’s close friend Imogen. She’s the type of friend I think most people desire because she’s loyal and honest. She stands by Molly and sticks up for her as Molly endures endless slut-shaming, but she also calls Molly out when she thinks she’s making a huge mistake. People need friends like that in their lives because they keep us balanced. I’m glad Cotugno wrote Imogen’s character the way she did.
Another element to the story I enjoyed is the summer atmosphere. I can’t wait for summer and warm weather and reading on my deck, so listening to 99 Days while I drove to work in the morning literally brightened my day. It felt like summer while I read this even though the temps weren’t quite summer-ish....more
Hmmm...I don't know what to think of this. I was enjoying it and then the ending happened and yeah. It felt forced and messy. I need to think about thHmmm...I don't know what to think of this. I was enjoying it and then the ending happened and yeah. It felt forced and messy. I need to think about this one more....more
It took me almost a month to finish this thanks to life stuff. This is a sweet book that's great for middle grade and YA readers. So far it's workingIt took me almost a month to finish this thanks to life stuff. This is a sweet book that's great for middle grade and YA readers. So far it's working well as a read aloud. Look for a review closer to the release date....more
This is a great book! It's not as serious in tone as Where the Stars Still Shine, but it's a good book to hand to those who enjoy Trish Doller's novelThis is a great book! It's not as serious in tone as Where the Stars Still Shine, but it's a good book to hand to those who enjoy Trish Doller's novel. I might read this aloud to my seniors. Full review to come....more
A solid 3.5 for me. I'm a big Jo Knowles fan, but Read Between the Lines didn't work for me the way that it has for so many other readers. It sometimeA solid 3.5 for me. I'm a big Jo Knowles fan, but Read Between the Lines didn't work for me the way that it has for so many other readers. It sometimes felt forced and I didn't connect with many of the characters. I like the message and how some of the characters' stories connect, but there was still something missing. This form of storytelling worked better for me when I read Tom Leveen's debut, Party. Review to come....more
Miranda Kenneally, thank you for writing such good books! Okay, I had to get that out of my system so I could startReview originally posted on YA Love
Miranda Kenneally, thank you for writing such good books! Okay, I had to get that out of my system so I could start writing this review.
But seriously, Miranda Kenneally writes such good books. She really does. And they get better every time. I really enjoy that the majority of the Hundred Oaks series features girls playing sports since we need more books like that, but it was refreshing to read about a Hundred Oaks character who’s a musician instead.
Before I get into why I like the musical side of Jesse’s Girl, I want to point out that while this is part of a series and though it references Jordan from the first book Catching Jordan, this could be read on its own. I like to point this out since I know many librarians and teachers read my reviews and students often ask me about the order of these books. And if one student has been waiting patiently for Catching Jordan to come back so she can start the series, I know I can hand this one or even Breathe, Annie, Breathe to her while she waits.
To the musical side of Jesse’s Girl. Many parts of it reminded me of Where She Went by Gayle Forman. Jesse is a passionate musician much like Adam, but he’s also troubled and doubting himself like Adam does. Maybe it was the country music aspect, but I also found myself thinking of Open Road Summer by Emery Lord while reading Jesse’s Girl. Both books are sweet and honest and down to earth.
When it comes to music and Maya, I really enjoyed how independent and adventurous she is. Although she’s scared to attempt any solos, she wants to put herself out there and branch out. She wants to try different sounds and genres of music. I’m not much of a musician, but I know it’s not always easy to leave your comfort zone no matter the situation. I can’t imagine it’s any easier for an artist, especially a musician, who’s being judged right there in the moment while performing. This made Maya an admirable character.
Maya’s a great protagonist and she has a fun cast of secondary characters who support her. Catching Jordan has maintained the spot as Favorite Hundred Oaks Book since I read it, so I’m not surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed reading more about Jordan and her life this far in the future. I’m also a fan of Maya having supportive parents. Those are sometimes hard to find in YA even though many teens have great relationships with their parents and siblings.
If you still haven’t introduced yourself to Miranda Kenneally’s books, I hope you change that soon. They’re great books to read during the summer (or any time of the year). And my students absolutely adore them, so if you’re working with teens make sure you get your hands on this one....more