Heartbreakingly powerful book about the nastiness of high school clique politics and the aftermath of an almost attack. Mature content for sure, but a...moreHeartbreakingly powerful book about the nastiness of high school clique politics and the aftermath of an almost attack. Mature content for sure, but a gritty rendering of a girl losing all hope. Not sure how I feel about the abrupt ending, but it's a book that highlights just how mean some people can be, and how having one person to rely on when you feel alone can get you through.(less)
I am so, so glad that Cinda Williams Chima is writing more books in The Heir Chronicles series! It's so great to be back in the world of one of my all...moreI am so, so glad that Cinda Williams Chima is writing more books in The Heir Chronicles series! It's so great to be back in the world of one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. It took a bit for me to get into this book because I was trying to remember how everything worked and who the characters were, but part of that is because this book focuses on a whole different sect than the first three books did, so it took a bit until we saw some of those familiar characters. Overall, it was an exciting book - more so as it went on, and I absolutely love some of the new characters whose voices we got to meet. I loved the alternating points-of-view (once I got used to who was who) and the way the two main storylines wove together by the end. There were some definite gasp-out-loud surprises, and a major cliffhanger of an ending. I'll definitely be in line to get the next book when it's available to find out what happens with new favorite characters. (less)
This book is SO good! I thought I was over vampire novels, but not this one. An intriguingly and thoroughly built world. A likeable main character. An...moreThis book is SO good! I thought I was over vampire novels, but not this one. An intriguingly and thoroughly built world. A likeable main character. And a vampire who says all the right things. The alternating chapters of present story and flashback history/context added to the depth. The pacing and the suspense...it is cleverly written. One of my top books of the year without a doubt.(less)
An immigrant's story told to his great-granddaughter through the lens of his matchbox collection of little reminders of where he had been and who he w...moreAn immigrant's story told to his great-granddaughter through the lens of his matchbox collection of little reminders of where he had been and who he was. Lovingly illustrated. A nice message about the importance of school, learning, reading and writing, and holding on to memories.(less)
While I appreciate a fun, quick, easy romance story, this is the first I've read that was released only in ebook format. I do think it could have bene...moreWhile I appreciate a fun, quick, easy romance story, this is the first I've read that was released only in ebook format. I do think it could have benefited from another round of editing and proofreading (errors catch my attention more what with being an English teacher).
Game. Set. Match. is a cute romance story with the unique twist of taking place in the world of elite level tennis athletes. It was fun to see the insiders view of that world. And while I cared about the female characters and what they were going through, and I was rooting for them both on and off the court, the male characters did not have much development at all. I wanted to care about them, so I wish we would have gotten more into their backstories to understand their actions and motivations, rather than just from the standpoint of the girls. I think there is potential for more than what we got in this short 200 page book, and I wanted to read more about them to get a deeper understanding.
Game. Set. Match. follows a standard structure for this type of books, so some of it feels predictable, but it was still enjoyable escapism reading. Overall, I struggled with the way it was written a little bit. I like that it has the multiple perspectives as I like reading books that way, but there were times where I had to reread parts because I got confused about who was talking or the back and forth interactions. Part of that could have been the 3rd person point-of-view, which is not my preference to read when switching between characters. I think there is a lot of potential for the writing to improve as the series continues, and I would be interested to see where Jasmine, Indy, and Penny's stories head next.(less)
Fabulous short book of a little known story told from the unique perspective of a German family in Dresden during the WWII bombings. The use of the wo...moreFabulous short book of a little known story told from the unique perspective of a German family in Dresden during the WWII bombings. The use of the woman in the present in a nursing home telling the story, with flashback sections to what her family's journey was like, is effective. Appropriate reading for middle school grades. Would be a perfect pairing with Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War(picture book)(less)
3.5 stars Not exactly what I was expecting, but a story I think my students would enjoy reading with some cautionary tales about what gets posted onlin...more3.5 stars Not exactly what I was expecting, but a story I think my students would enjoy reading with some cautionary tales about what gets posted online, trying to stay friends as we grow up, accepting and loving oneself in order to love others, and families who struggle.(less)
First Thought: I seriously adore all of Katie McGarry's books! Once I start, I can't stop reading them.
There's something so addictive about Katie McGarry's writing style...I'm drawn into these stories immediately and lose sleep staying up too late reading them. McGarry has a way of writing wounded characters who are finding their first love in such a real way that you are rooting for them to work through their issues and find happiness. Her books are mature in the themes that they deal with, and her characters' home lives are nowhere near perfect, and the way in which they struggle with their issues, feelings, and relationships feels very real. The books deal with serious issues without being preachy. They have romance. They have friendships. They have major family issues. They have excitement (especially this one with the drag racing that occurs). Most of all, they have heart. That heart comes through more clearly because of the way McGarry writes the multiple perspectives of her characters. Once again, true to her style, we get the male voice and female voice in alternating chapters. And there are some chapters that are so deftly connected in the place one ends and the next begins that it led to gasp-worthy moments. Getting that first person voice of each main character as they delve into the relationship, and seeing how damaged they are, allows the reader to connect even more.
One of the really fun parts of reading CRASH INTO YOU, the third book in the series, is that the main characters from the first two books (PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO) are brought in as major secondary characters as Isaiah gets his turn to tell his story. And Isaiah is not what you may have thought from the parts of him we saw from other characters' perspectives in the first two books. I loved that Isaiah was different than expected, and getting to know more about him made my heart break for him. He is so much more than I thought, and that's a wonderful surprise. Then we get to meet Rachel, a girl with a dysfunctional family on the inside who tries to make all appearances on the outside seem perfect. These two, from different sides of town, as opposite as they may seem at first, connect in a way that is what both of them need. But things are never easy in situations such as this.
I hope we keep getting more stories in this world with these characters. I'm excited Rachel's brother West gets to tell his story next (which means he'll be finding someone special) in TAKE ME ON, but I really hope we get more from Logan sometime soon, too! Whatever it is, whoever the characters are, I know I'll read whatever Katie McGarry writes next!
Final Thoughts: If you've read and enjoyed the first two books, you'll definitely want to read this one when it comes out! And if you haven't, what are you waiting for?! If you like a good romance with layered characters who need to find the right one to support them, check out Katie McGarry's books.(less)