Friday, February 24, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Penguin, 2012.

This isn't going to be the typical book review like I've written.  This one is different, because this book is different.  I told myself I wouldn't cry but damn it, when I hit page 246 it was all over for me....

Hazel and Augustus have cancer, which is sad enough in and of itself, but not when they are together.  Separately, these characters live in their oblivion and inevitable death, but together, they sparkle.  Try as they might, cancer beat them in the footrace of their lives...

Green's writing is STELLAR (and this is not a pun on his book title either) and truly flows.  It's not only his style of writing, but the words he chooses, the characters he introduces as satellites around Hazel and Augustus, and the glimpses he gives to the readers about the life of these particular teens living with cancer.  Green writes with wit and humor hand-in-hand with all seriousness.  It's an oxymoron he creates with balance.  I don't think I ever laughed out loud, but I did find an plethora of, hate, anger, happiness, pain,bliss, to name a few...

Green even created a book-within-a-book so well, you'd have to do a Google search on the book referred to in The Fault in Our Stars to realize how many times people (including myself, I admit) did a search for it.

This is one truly talented author.  One of the best books I've read bar none.  Recommended for...well for anyone who wants to take on the "I dare you not to cry before finishing this book" dare.  I can't WAIT to give it someone else RIGHT NOW!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book trailer: In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

I've always enjoyed realistic fiction....I could definitely see this as a big draw for YA girls.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

U.S. Map of YA Books (including trailers, but not the 18 wheeler kind)

So, I've been digging around, looking here and there and made a cool map of the newest (at least 3 years or younger) YA novels I believe are phenomenal.  I ordered them by state (some states I couldn't find any for!) and added some "stuff."  So, as the Edgar Winter Group sang back in the day:

The mountain is high, the valley is low

And you're confused 'bout which way to go
So I flew here to give you a hand
And lead you into the promised land

So, come on and take a free ride (free ride)
Come on and take it by my side
Come on and take a free ride
                (Free Ride, 1973.  Written by Dan Harman)

here's the link!


Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

HarperCollins, 2011
Will Besting has a secret terror.  He's been in therapy for a few years, but he has yet to tell his therapist what it is.  He doesn't quite trust her.  Will has even gone so far as to "steal" audio sessions not only of his, but of other patients as well.  He doesn't think he has a problem with his fear, but his parents nor Dr. Stevens, his counselor agree.
So when Dr. Stevens offers Will the chance to completely eradicate his fear at a compound called Fort Eden, Will still isn't on board.  The only person he slightly trusts is his younger brother, Keith.  They're as different as brothers could be - Keith, the athlete; Will the techno-geek. It's when Keith announces, "you're going," that Will knows Dark Eden can't be avoided. 
Along with six other teens, Will starts his journey toward recovery with one exception.  While the others tentatively step into Fort Eden, Will dodges the group and decides he won't be a part of it.  He finds himself on the inside, hiding the basement, and more surprisingly, he finds the monitors.  It's from there that he watches and see what happens to the other six, including the procedure for the cure they endure.  Will knows it's only a matter of time until he goes through the procedure as well...but can he endure it or not?
Patrick Carman has yet again reached a wide audience with this thrilling book about teens and technology.  What makes this book so intriguing is the not so obvious plot that is thinly drawn in and displayed in full at the end of the book.  Part realistic fiction, part fantasy, Carman weaves a quick read that will be hard to put down.  And what Carman is best known for, his book has a technological side - an app readers can download onto their iPads or iPhones.  Appropriate for junior high and high school, this thriller adventure is the perfect book for guy readers but equally placed for girl readers as well.  The publisher produced book trailer only heightens the drama that unfolds (Youtube:  Dark Eden trailer).  Highly recommended. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Audition by Stacia Ward Kehoe

Sara was a small town girl, going to dance classes since she was small.  But at sixteen her life is dramatically changing.  After auditioning for a New Jersey ballet company, Sara receives news of a scholarship and her excitement builds.  It doesn't matter that she lives three states away in Vermont or that her parents won't accompany her.  It's about her dreams coming to life.  And she's ready.....

Until her new life takes over.  Sara has lost her cocoon of normality.  In her ballet company, she's not like the other big city girls, her training has been different, and her host family and their home isn't what she expected.  Pile on schoolwork from an elite private school, and Sara begins to feel the pressure of living a completely different life without her parents, her friends, her small town.

But with time, things slowly begin to change, especially when she catches the attention of another dancer/choreographer, Remington, who is much older than she is.  She becomes his muse, making his dance come to life as well as Sara's heart, but is Sara truly loved or being used?  Sara tries to balance it all, but it just may be too much.  And where exactly does she fall in Remington's life?

Newcomer Stacia Kehoe writes a novel-in-verse about the trials of a sixteen-year-old in the midst of her triumphs and tragedies.  Kehoe creates that on-the-edge of adulthood situation teens find themselves in control of while outsider's see innocence being played out.  Paired together with the tough and arduous part of a newcomer to the ballet world, this book rings true about the hard work and ethics dancers put upon themselves.  It also does an excellent job of depicting a small town teen and the responsibilities and slip-ups that come along with wanting to deal with life on her own.  Teens who love reading about interpersonal relationships will grativate toward this book.  Recommended for high school.

Friday, February 10, 2012

February booklist - the month of emotions

You either love Valentine's Day or don't like it - depends on your current relationship status.  So here's a link to a booklist I entitled, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not."

But I haven't added to it since I created it, so here's an addendum to the list:

Stay by Deb Caletti

So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

Audition by Stasia Kehoe

So, that would make nearly 50 books and a great display!