This is really great. Nice blend of well-known figures from history, sports and media as well as potentially lesser known women. The book works on manThis is really great. Nice blend of well-known figures from history, sports and media as well as potentially lesser known women. The book works on many levels with alphabet spreads with bold illustrations, headline style text of why they're rad, a small paragraph with some intro information and then the rest of the page detailing more specifics about each woman's background and achievements. Really smart and well-done and I especially love how they used X as a placeholder for the women whose stories we don't know and the women who are going to do great things in the future....more
I read this when Lindsay recommended it on Twitter and I wasn't disappointed. As with some collections, some poems here were stronger than others andI read this when Lindsay recommended it on Twitter and I wasn't disappointed. As with some collections, some poems here were stronger than others and some appealed more in terms of style or subject. The Greek Myth ones were definitely my favorite. A fun collection and one I'd recommend to readers looking for something to check out after reading Poisoned Apples or The Rose and the Beast. Interesting thoughts on feminism here and lots to unpack. Definitely worth a look if you're a poetry reader....more
The summer before freshman year, Dave and Julia made a promise: They would never fall into the trap of a cliche high school experience. No hair dyed aThe summer before freshman year, Dave and Julia made a promise: They would never fall into the trap of a cliche high school experience. No hair dyed a color found in the rainbow. No hooking up with a teacher. No crazy parties.
With senior year about to end, Dave realizes he's broken rule eight: Never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. Meanwhile rule number ten--never date your best friend--seems impossible to break.
Dave has loved Julia from afar for years. When she suggests they complete all of the items on the list of Nevers, Dave readily agrees. But as Dave and Julia work their way down the list, they realize they have been a lot by skipping the high school cliches even as they begin to understand that some rules shouldn't be broken in Never, Always, Sometimes (2015) by Adi Alsaid.
Never, Always, Sometimes is Alsaid's second novel.
Never, Always, Sometimes is a sweet blend of nostalgia for the quintessential high school experience (something Dave and Julia soon realize they have unfairly scorned for the past four years), fun hijinks and an unexpected romance.
While the premise is brimming with potential, the execution in Never, Always, Sometimes is often disappointing. Dave and Julia are, perhaps intentionally, unbearably pretentious at the start of the novel. While both protagonists do learn over the course of the story, it often comes too little to late in terms of making them sympathetic characters.
The novel is broken into three parts and alternates tight third-person focus between Dave and Julia. Some reviewers have mentioned having issues with Julia's voice. I'd posit instead that the bigger issue is that Dave and Julia's "voices" are often indistinguishable despite Alsaid often sharing the character's inner thoughts throughout the narrative.
Never, Always, Sometimes is sure to appeal to readers looking for a new story about characters getting ready to start college. Readers looking for wacky hijinks and shenanigans will appreciate the list aspect of this story as Dave and Julia check items off their Never list with varying results.
Possible Pairings: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando, Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan, Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho, Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
*A copy this book was acquired from the publisher for review consideration at BEA 2015*...more
I know it's early to judge but life is short, this book is long, and I'm just not feeling it. Stilted dialogue. Setting that is being described in whaI know it's early to judge but life is short, this book is long, and I'm just not feeling it. Stilted dialogue. Setting that is being described in what can only be called didactic. And I just don't see anything really pulling me into this narrative. So it goes!...more
3.5? A little long in the middle. I really liked the idea and the artwork but it just dragged a bit although with "edited" reading I think it would be3.5? A little long in the middle. I really liked the idea and the artwork but it just dragged a bit although with "edited" reading I think it would be great for any storytime. Argus still has my heart as far as Knudsen books go but a lot of fun....more
Really delightful. I loved the circus theme and the illustration style. It's also kind of nice to have Jane not be super exceptional--she's just a reaReally delightful. I loved the circus theme and the illustration style. It's also kind of nice to have Jane not be super exceptional--she's just a really sweet, thoughtful dog. And that's okay! And celebrated! ...more
Elyse d'Abreau always knew her future would be bright. Everyone in Tobago knew that Elyse and her twin sister were destined for music stardom--somethiElyse d'Abreau always knew her future would be bright. Everyone in Tobago knew that Elyse and her twin sister were destined for music stardom--something that seemed within reach before a boating accident changed everything.
Now Elyse can't sing anymore. She can't even speak.
Haunted by reminders of everything she has lost, Elyse leaves her boisterous family and home in Tobago. She hopes to find solitude and some kind of peace in Atargatis Cove in Oregon.
Instead Elyse is drawn into the cove's annual Pirate Regatta when she volunteers to serve as first mate to known playboy Christian Kane. Preparing for the high-stakes race Elyse begins to see new sides to Christian and even the cove itself. She also realizes that hiding from her past won't solve any of her problems.
But before Elyse can map out a new future, she will have to rediscover her voice in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids (2015) by Sarah Ockler.
As the title suggests, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid. Ockler includes just enough elements to bring the original source material to mind while also straying far enough from her inspiration to ensure that this novel is entirely original.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is narrated by Elyse and imbued with her voice even though she cannot speak. Ockler juxtaposes Elyse's actions with her inner thoughts to convey how Elyse struggles to understand who she is--who she can ever be--when her voice is gone.
The story centers on Elyse's own development and her transformation as she understands that speaking up doesn't always have to mean speaking out loud. This central focus creates a courageous story of empowerment for Elyse as well as the other characters in the novel, most notably Christian's little brother Sebastian who is fascinated by mermaids. At the same time, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids offers discussions of feminism and equality. And, of course, there are mermaids and romance.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a thoughtful story about all of the ways people can lose their voices whether they are stolen, broken or silenced and how to get them back. It's a story about creating a new future when your obvious path is lost to you. It's a story about finding love and partnership and how those should be the same things. Most of all, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is about forging ahead even when the unknown is scary and what comes next is uncertain. Highly recommended.
Possible Pairings: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo, A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, The Devil You Know by Trish Doller, The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee, Undercover by Beth Kephart, Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater...more
I don't know. Not a fan of the artwork which doesn't help but this story didn't seem to have a lot of substance or resolution either. The writing is cI don't know. Not a fan of the artwork which doesn't help but this story didn't seem to have a lot of substance or resolution either. The writing is cute but it's also a long enough picture book that the kids who would sit through it might not want cute. I definitely got the feeling I wasn't the target audience here but I'm also not sure who is or what the applications for this one might be....more