Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

This week I finished Beta by Rachel Cohn for her author event.  This went a very different direction than I thought it would.  A lot more action and geopolitical consequences than I had assumed from the first few chapters.  I have some reservations (mostly about the slow start), but all-in-all, I can't wait to see where it goes (and I really have to stop reading books with cliffhanger endings when the sequel doesn't come out for months and months).  *I read an ARC provided by the publisher.*

Next I read Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan for their author event.  This was not nearly as lighthearted as I thought it would be.  Instead of the back-and-forth romp across the city of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, it ended up being a fairly rich exploration on the nature of relationships and how they change and grow over time.  It's still a quick read, but not quite full of laughs.

Finally, I read Every Day by David Levithan for that same author event.  This one had been on my reading list even before I knew he was coming to town.  It didn't disappoint.  This is a fascinating concept with some really moving scenes.  The main plot will keep you guessing and pining right along with the main character, but just as compelling are the vignettes of minor characters that really round out A's bizarre world.  *I read a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.*

For once I stopped at exactly the right spot, so I'm not in the middle of a book as I make this post.  Next up is either Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan for that oft-mentioned author event (if it comes in the mail today) or Intentions by Deborah Heiligman for her author visit.

What are you reading?

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

After a couple weeks of not posting due to being way to busy, I'm back.

Last week I started out by reading Surprises According to Humphrey, the fourth Humphrey book by Betty G. Birney.  Like the rest of the series, it is undeniably cute, but full of good lessons appropriate for the age group.  Kids should have lots of fun with the alien abduction storyline.

Next I read Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher for both the October Teen Reads meeting and his author event.  I really wish I had come into this not knowing what it was about (the teaser on the back actually covers the first third of the book, including a big reveal).  However, this was still an amazing read.  It will shatter you and then refuse to give you too much help picking up the pieces, all in the best way possible.  This should be a must-read for all teenagers, however I fear many schools and libraries would rather ban it.

Next up was Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan for their author visit.  This was a breezy, fun read; perfect for winter break.  (I also wish I had known this was a Christmas book.  I might have put it off a bit more.)  It's written in a smart and snappy way, but doesn't ever get to heavy.

That was followed by The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.  The comparisons to The Hunger Games are absolutely inevitable, but there is enough to differentiate this series.  It's definitely a page-turner.  Several times I just wasn't going to be able to put the book down until I got a certain question answered.  I can't wait to see where the series is going.  (Too bad this installment isn't even slated for release until June, hence the lack of a cover image.)  *I read an ARC provided by the publisher.*

Finally, I started Beta by Rachel Cohn, also for her author event.  I haven't really gotten to the meat of the story yet, but the premise is certainly intriguing, and the narrative is unique.  *I'm reading an ARC provided by the publisher.*

This week, I'll be finishing up Beta, then starting Every Day by David Levithan, also for his author event.

What are you reading?

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

Last week, I started by finishing Smile by Raina Telgemeier.  This would be a great introduction to graphic novels, since the story is easily accessible and familiar to a lot of kids.  She does such a good job with characterization and setting that it's easy to see it as a gateway for those who don't know the genre.  It's also a given for anyone having trouble with dental work.

Next I read Drama, also by Raina Telgemeier.  While I liked Smile a lot, I actually preferred this one.  Maybe it's my history on stage crew for school musicals, but I think lots of slightly quirky kids will connect easily to Cassie and her friends.  There's also a great--but not forced--subtext of discovering yourself and being okay with that being an ongoing process.

Next up was Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow for his author event.  I have to admit, I had some trouble with this one.  The narrative was more natural and interesting-in-its-own-right than Little Brother, which sometimes got a little too much like a computer science course for me, but I found myself disagreeing with the politics and arguments in this one a lot more.  By the end, I felt like I could only agree with the protagonists on a few minor points and there had been no attempt to persuade me otherwise.

Finally I started Poison Princess, the first of the Arcana Chronicles, by Kresley Cole for her author visit.  This seems to be another poster child for not judging a book by its cover.  There are a lot of unexpected dark elements to the narrative and no bodice ripping at all yet.  While it probably won't stick with me for a long time afterward, I'm really enjoying the ride.

This week, I'll be finishing Poison Princess, then starting The Warrior's Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage by Eric Greitens for his author visit.

What are you reading?