Archive for November 22, 2013

Too. Many. Books!!! Part 2

Okay, I’m back with more books.

More than this

More Than This by Patrick Ness

“Awakening inexplicably in the suburban English town of his early childhood after drowning, Seth is baffled by changes in the community and suffers from agonizing memories that reveal sinister qualities about the world around him.”

Yes, after drowning TO DEATH, Seth wakes up halfway across the world in a creepy world by himself.  Completely abandoned in his childhood home, things are never quite what they seem.  I was riveted by every twist and turn and major reveal in this book.  What start as a teen suicide type of book slowly morphs into…fantasy?  Sci fi?  Yes, yes.  The character known as the Driver will haunt your dreams…in a good way! The author, Patrick Ness, is also known for the Chaos Walking Sci Fi trilogy and the illustrated book that absolutely blew me away last year: A Monster Calls.  His books are a home run.

Pulse

Pulse by Patrick Carman

“In the year 2051, when most Americans live in one of two gigantic, modern States, Faith Daniels, part of a dwindling group that lives between, learns that she, like other misfits, has unusual abilities that could help when the inevitable war begins.”

The jury is out on this series opener for me.  Another dystopian novel, yes, but also with supernatural elements.  The world building was my favorite part of the novel, as I enjoyed learning about this futuristic world with everyone in the U.S. shepherded into two main city states: The Eastern State and the  Western State after disaster strikes most of the country.  By giving every character a tablet that controls their life (think smart phone that you use for school, to shop, to do everything), it becomes a commentary on our reliance on smart devices in the present.  The characters are kinda blah at times, but once the book gets going (it takes a while to get into the plot) things do pick up and leave you wanting the next installment.

coldest girl

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

“When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up following a party in the aftermath of a violent vampire attack, she travels to Coldtown, a quarantined Massachusetts city full of vampires, with her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious vampire boy in tow.”

Talk about a strong opening scene – imagine waking up in a bathtub after a night of partying at your friend’s house…only to discover everyone else at the party the night before has been murdered by vampires!  That got my attention, for sure.  Tana then needs to escape and rescue her ex-boyfriend from the vampires, while taking a vampire along as a hostage.  They end up making their way to Coldtown, and it becomes a fight for survival among a city full of vampires.  It’s an interesting premise and like I said, if you need a big opening scene to pull you in, then this book is for you.

Keep on reading!

Sharon Long

Teen Services Librarian

Too. Many. Books!!! Part 1

Holy smokes, I have been reading a lot lately!  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t find anything that I’m really excited to read and other times, I can’t get enough hours in the day to read everything on my list!  Speaking of that “to read” list, you can check it out on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/splteenspace/books-i-am-psyched-to-read/

Right now, it’s definitely feast over famine.

Here’s what I’ve been devouring:

if you find

If you find me by Emily Murdoch

“Enduring a difficult existence in the woods with her younger sister and the
mentally ill mother who abducted them, Cary is found by her father and thrust
into a new world that is overshadowed by a secret about her sister’s silence.”

2 young girls, left in the woods to fend for themselves, are found by the father that they never knew.  The older girl, Cary, pretty much raised her little sister Nessa and has been harboring a horrible secret.  The girls’ adjustment into modern society is not easy, even with a loving new stepmother, due to the secrets of the past and the years of neglect.  There are rays of hope and I fell in love with the girls and found myself really rooting for them.

forgive me leonard

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

“A day in the life of a suicidal teen boy saying good-bye to the four people who
matter most to him.”

That summary is very weaksauce, if you ask me.  This book was soooo much more than that.  I wanted to hate Leonard, I did.  He’s not just suicidal, he’s planning on murdering his ex-best friend, Asher Beal, and then himself with his grandfather’s P-38 Nazi pistol on his eighteenth birthday.  At first you are wondering what caused this smart, well-off kid to change into this monster, but as you go through his thoughts over the course of the day, you learn the secret of what has happened and you feel for him.  The supporting characters are fantastic – especially his Holocaust studies teacher – and the author uses a successful literary device, “letters from the future,” to show Leonard why he shouldn’t go through with it.  By the end, you are on edge and really feel like you understand Leonard and it could go either way.

fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“Feeling cast off when her best friend outgrows their shared love for a favorite
celebrity, Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own
in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a
handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words and worrying about her
fragile father.”

I was a fan of Rainbow Rowell’s other YA novel Eleanor & Park (didja read it?  Go read it!) and was excited when I finally got the chance to pick this one up.  I definitely liked it, but I didn’t love all of the characters.  Cath is an introvert who writes fanfic about a popular magician book series (think Harry Potter).  She’s really good at it.  Writing has been a subsitute for real life for too long.  When she gets to college, her twin sister Wren abandons her to have a “real” college experience (going out, getting drunk, making friends) and Cath is lost.  She slowly gets her footing, and then certain events threaten to take her new stability away.  I didn’t like her sister Wren (which, is the point, I guess) and sometimes the long italiacized sections of “Simon Snow” fanfic got a bit boring, (it’s really a lot like a slash fanfic Harry Potter.  Trust me.) but the dialogue is something Rowell excels at and Cath is deeper than she looks.  Enjoyable coming of age book.

Thus concludes part 1.  More books to come!

Sharon Long

Teen Services Librarian