Impossible

The description on the back of this book leave a lot to be desired.  One learns, upon reading the jacket blurb, that it is a story about solving a riddle–the riddle written in the song Scarborough Fair, made famous by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle.  This plot description did not thrill me, but I needed something to read during a Friday SSR period, so I picked it up.  I’m so glad I did, and in fact, this was one book that made me break my own rule about not taking a school reading book home for the weekend (I don’t know why I have this rule–probably so that my house gets cleaned every so often, and my husband fed.)

Seventeen year old Lucy is enjoying the end of her junior year of high school when something unthinkable happens–something very real and unthinkable–and she is then thrust into a world of magic that she never knew existed.  She must break a generations-long family curse, or lose herself and her unborn child to madness.

Impossible achieved the difficult goal of combining fantasy with reality without making the reader, well, for lack of a better term, annoyed.  I’m often annoyed by fantasy/reality pairings, but this book pulls it off flawlessly.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

To be honest, I really don’t like books told in the third-person point of view.  I also do not care for books with unnecessarily long titles.  A book title should be no more than four words long, and it should not, at any point, involve a hyphenated last name.  But despite all of these un-preferences of mine, I loved this book–a book with an unnecessarily long title, told in third person.

Frankie Landau-Banks is the daughter of rather average parents, but her father happens to make a bit more money than most dads.  So she goes to Alabaster Prep, a very prestigious private boarding school which is located, as all prestigious private boarding schools are, just north of Boston.  And at this prestigious private boarding school there is, of course, a secret society.  Because what would a prestigious private boarding school be without one?  And, of course, this secret society is all-male.

Until Frankie Landau-Banks comes along, that is.

Greetings visitors!  I’ve noticed a jump in the number of people visiting this site, which can mean only one thing–it must be September!  For all of you new readers–and new students in my class–welcome!  I hope you find this site helpful in selecting a book for your own enjoyment.  Feel free to comment on any of my posts–and if you think there’s a book I should read, please feel free to suggest one–leave a comment on this very post if you’d like!

A note about how frequently I update this page–I used to do it all the time.  I’m always reading (if you have me for class, you know this by now) so I always have new books to blog about–but now that the internet at school does not allow WordPress, I don’t often have time to update (and it is much easier to do from my work computer–er, it WAS much easier to do!)  I’m hoping some day to purchase and organize a private site that will work at school, but until then you’ll have to bear with me.  If you’d like to know when I put up new reviews, simply subscribe to the RSS feed.

Thanks for visiting, and keep on reading!

How To Be Bad

I didn’t know how I felt about this book at first, because it was written by three different authors–Lauren Myracle, E. Lockhart, and Sarah Mylnowski.  It was a collaboration (daily word alert!) between all three of them, and told from three different characters’ points of view–Jesse, Vicks and Mel.  But it was laugh-out-loud funny, touching, and exciting all at the same time–I’d definitely recommend it as a quick and enjoyable read.

Jesse and Vicks are friends who know each other from work–they both work at a Waffle House in Northern Florida.  Mel is ‘the new girl’–she is new in town and newly hired as a hostess.  They all end up on a road trip together that spans only the course of weekend, but boy do they encounter many, MANY hilarious situations!  Read this book–I’m glad I did!

Matched

I’ve completed my second ARC from BEA (I love acronyms!)–Matched, a new book from author Ally Condie.  If forced to sum it up in one cheesy book-pitch line, I’d say it was something like ‘Twilight meets Brave New World’.  And I loved both Twilight and Brave New world, so that’s a good thing.  Though it had both the positive and negative qualities of each, possessing both the gripping sort-of love triangle featured in Twilight, along with some of the occasionally painful writing; Brave New World’s grippingly interesting post-apocalyptic dystopia that occasionally became a little bit too satirical.  But still, it was a really good story, and I cannot believe that it is not even out until November, because again this means that the second one will not be out until fall of 2011.  I shake my fist at the sky.

Matched is the story of Cassia and the world she lives in, which is a world strictly controlled by The Society.  The Society decides EVERYTHING for EVERYONE, and no one–well, few people–question it.  But then a crack appears in the system, and this crack causes Cassia to wonder.  And she wonders about a great many things, including Ky, the mysterious boy to whom she is not Matched.

I’ll not give away any more of the plot–I feel this is frowned on when discussing books-not-yet-out on the internet.  But it is a really good story.  Get beyond the first few chapters, which are a bit painful as it really feels as though the author (Ally Condie) chopped up the entire back-story and scattered it throughout in little paragraph chunks, and you will be very pleasantly surprised.

Stork

Drum roll please…this morning I finished my first Book Expo galley.  It was Stork, a book by new author Wendy Delsol.  And it was really good.  Really, really good.  It had everything I look for in a YA book (magic and romance) and did that thing that’s required of all YA books–it twisted the formula just a bit.

Stork is the story of a girl–Kat–who moves from sunny California to windy, cold Minnesota after her parents divorce.  Her mother returns to the town where she grew up, and where her father–Kat’s grandfather–still lives.  A strange turn of events early on in the book result in Kat’s realization that she’s part of something much bigger than herself; she’s part of a sort-of-secret and magical sisterhood responsible for…well, I’ll let you figure that out.  The title is a huge hint.  Beyond that, there’s a mystery about Kat’s past to unravel, and a serious and mysterious romance.  I don’t want to give any more away, as I don’t know how much the actual back of the book will tell once the official copy is released.

This book is due out in October of this year, and I’m super psyched to have gotten my hands on an advance copy of this book.  I literally could not put it down.  The ending leaves open the possibility for a sequel, and I’m sure there will be one if the public has the same reaction as I did.  A fabulous first novel–bravo, Wendy Delsol.

Stay tuned for an in-depth discussion of the awesomeness of Book Expo America, as well as future reviews of books I acquired there.

This World We Live In

The third book in a loosely tied-together series, this book is great but depressing.  I read it in one day, and I was really busy that day, so that says a lot.  It began with Life as we Knew It, the story of a girl living in a small town in Pennsylvania (imagine that!) who’s world–along with everyone else’s– was literally knocked off balance when an asteroid hit the moon, shifting it closer to the earth.  This created all kinds of apocalyptic issues involving earthquakes and volcanoes and ash clouds and famine and drought.  In general it was a real downer of a plot, but with a great character-driven story.

The second book, The Dead and the Gone, took place at the same time but focused on the life of a young boy living in New York City.  I can only recommend the second book based on the need to read it before the third–the second book was beyond depressing.  But again, it was told so well that you almost didn’t notice.  Almost.  Except that you did.  Feel free to visit my reviews of both on this very blog to learn more about them.

This World We Live In brought both stories together, and the result was greater than the sum of its parts.  The main boy character from the second book enters the life of the girl from the first, and both stories are (sort of) resolved; both are magnified.  This is a fantastic book.  If you’ve not read any of them, start at the beginning and don’t stop until you are done.  They are all page turners, so it won’t take you very long.