Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
DRUMS GIRLS AND DANGEROUS PIE
by Jordan Sonnenblick
Interest Level: Upper Middle Grades and Higher
This book has been on my shelf for as long as I've been in my library (four years) and it has been read by countless teen-aged boys--Bubba, Derek, Wessels, and other kids that have to REALLY like a book to give it a thumbs-up, have praised this one. When I have a reluctant reader walk in, and a guy who's read this one is in the library, they ALWAYS recommend it. (OK, to be fair, it's typically a toss up between this one and Vizzini's BE MORE CHILL, but what great company!) I've been meaning to read this one for a long time--for some reason, I just never have. I had to make a trip to Beaumont on Thursday, so I downloaded the audio and listened to it on the ride home. Wow. I know I say that word a lot in my reviews...but seriously....WOW. It is not at all what I expected, and it totally raised my opinion of the kids who rave about it. I have to be honest and say I expected there to be foul language, sex, drugs, or some other kind of "hook" that reluctant readers are normally drawn to. It had none of them. What it DOES have, though, is heart. This is a book that achieves the elusive goal of evoking strong emotion in the reader. I would find myself laughing out loud, while feeling intense sadness at the same time.
It's written in the voice of Steven, a sarcastic, incredibly intelligent, angst-filled teenage boy. Steven fills the reader in on all aspects of life his life. His parents are normal enough--for a teacher and an accountant. His little brother Jeffrey has the face of an angel, but in Stevens words, can be quite demonic at times. Sonnenblick's story starts out breezily--his characters are funny and believeable, and he is hilarious.
The story takes a sharp, unexpected turn early on, though--when a fall in the kitchen results in a bloody nose for Jeffrey. What starts out as a childhood mishap leads to a diagnosis of cancer for Jeffrey--and thus begins the journey that is this book.
I will not give away details--but this is a definite must read for teenage boys--it grabs the reader from the start, and the characters come alive immediately. I am sorry I took so long to read...err....listen to this one, but am so gald I finally did!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
by Elizabeth Scott
AR: Not Yet (but soon, or so they tell me!)
Interest Level: Upper Grades
I have read four of
At first glance, the inside flap summary and cover (love the game of "footsie!") make this seem as if it could be any other teen angst story. You know, girl crushes on boy, boy kind of crushes back, misunderstandings ensue, boy dates girl's best friend, girl secretly pines for boy....blah blah.
WOW...are first impressions wrong! I don't want to divulge too much of the story because I want readers to experience the book for themselves. In Brianna, Sarah and Ryan, the author has created totally relatable characters that unfold for the reader in layers. To me, the way the characters are developed, is what makes this book more than "just another teen angst novel." The girl you want to hate because of her shallowness and catty behavior, you simply can't, because her character has been developed in a way that makes you totally understand why she behaves the way she does. The girl you want to smack upside the head for being a doormat....again, you can't, because you totally get why she tolerates years of treatment that most people would walk away from after just a few days.
THE UNWRITTEN RULE is a story about friendship and first love...but it's not all tied up neatly with a bow, which is the thing I liked the most about it.
I can’t wait to see what