- UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld ... YA dystopian (audiobook) my favorite non-ARC book this month. I can't believe I didn't read this sooner. and can't wait to crack open PRETTIES.
- FETCHING by Kiera Stewart ... MG contemporary (ARC ... release date: 11/08/2011) this was a fun, fast read. a barking good MG!
- THE BUTTERFLY CLUES by Kate Ellison ... YA mystery (ARC ... release date: 02/04/2012) I'm not usually impressed with YA mysteries. This one was quite intriguing. Not the usual Nancy Drew-esque murder mystery, but Lo (the MC) and all her quirks are very endearing.
- ZERO by Tom Leveen ... YA contemporary (ARC ... release date: 04/24/2012) LOVED this book! Quite possibly my favorite read this month. Mark this on your TBR lists for when it comes out!
- THE WHOLE STORY OF HALF A GIRL by Veera Hiranandani ... MG contemporary (ARC ... release date: 01/10/2012) One of the best MGs I've ever read. A very timely novel about one girl's struggle to figure out her cultural identity while dealing with the fallout of one parent losing his job.
- GRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley ... YA--yay for Aussie YA!!--contemporary (ARC ... release date: 02/14/2012) LOVED this book! I can't say enough good things about it. Make sure you put this on your TBR list as well!
- NEW YORK TO DALLAS by JD Robb ... Mystery/Suspense (number...like 38 or 46 or something like that of the IN DEATH books, and they just keep getting better and better!) GUH. this one just killed me. I loves me some Roarke.
- WATCH ME DIE by Erica Spindler ... Mystery/Suspense Like most of Erica Spindler's books, I picked out the killer within the first three chapters, but that didn't ruin the book for me. Added bonus: my favorite cop couple (Stacy Killian and Spencer Malone) are front and center here...and they finally get married! good for them!
- THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE by Jeff Hirsch ... YA dystopian Probably the scariest dystopian I've read recently...mostly because The Collapse as they call it in the book is completely believable as something that could happen today. Like I said: SCARY.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Again with another short reading month, peeps. What is wrong with me? Have I lost my reading mojo? Ah, well. We can't always have double-digit months, I suppose. Right? Anyway, here's my September list:
Saturday, September 17, 2011
The Author: Kiera Stewart
The Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
The Genre: Middle Grade
Anticipated Release Date: November 8, 2011
Brynne Shawnson is the meanest of all mean girls, and Olivia Albert has had just about enough of her, the endless rounds of humiliating pranks and the incessant name-calling. Olivia and her friends have done nothing to deserve such treatment from Brynne and her legion of admiring fans, but that doesn't stop the queen bee from torturing Olivia further.
Normally, Olivia and her friends go for the try-to-ignore/duck-and-cover approach to dealing with Brynne's meanness. That all changes when Olivia's grandmother recruits her into the business of dog training, and the gears in Olivia's head start to turn. If only Brynne and her cohorts were more like the dogs Olivia's grandmother trains. Then, she'd know exactly how to deal with their behavior.
But, wait! That's just the solution she's been looking for. She and her friends will change the way her tormentors behave by using the same techniques employed in training unruly canines. Her brilliant plan works better than even she imagined when soon, it's her and her friends who are now the alpha dogs, shoving Brynne down into the realm of the unwanted. But, will popularity bring Olivia what she really wants?
A fun spin on the mean girl gets what's been coming to her forever storyline, FETCHING is...well, for lack of a better word, FETCHING. Fun and silly, but also heart-warming and cheer-inducing, you will be on Olivia's side right from page one when, ketchup, of all things, ruins Olivia's social life. And, it's all Brynne's doing. The WITCH. From that rocky point, things can only get better, right? Well, not exactly. Brynne instigates a few more pranks in which Olivia and her friends are the victims before Olivia's oh-so-fun scheme gets hatched.
And, once the 'training program' is launched, the fun really begins. You will laugh. You will cringe. You will feel a little bad, even for Brynne. Shocker, I know. But, through it all, you will cheer Olivia and her friends on. And, of course, there is a happy ending. I mean, come on, people. This is MG here. Not so much dark and dreary tragedy territory.
My one-sentence summary: FETCHING follows one girl's jump from sitting on the porch to not only running with the big dogs, but leading the pack.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The Author: Ralph Fletcher
The Publisher: Clarion Books (in Imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Expected Release Date: November 14, 2011
A handful of weeks before he's set to start the tenth grade, Bobby Steele and his friends, Marcus and Big Poobs, are lazing in their preferred booth at the local IHOP, bored out of their heads. Just as they're about to expire from boredom, they find a syrup-stained application to the exclusive Whitestone Academy lying on an abandoned table a few feet away. Brilliant idea hatched, they fill in the necessary blanks, creating a boy named Rowan and mail in his application, just to see if they can get accepted.
Imagine Bobby's surprise when he receives Rowan's acceptance package a little more than a week later. The boys celebrate their victory with a laugh and goodbye to their brainchild, laying Rowan to rest. That's supposed to be the end of it. They pulled one over on the snobs at Whitestone and got a few kicks in the process.
That is, until Bobby steps through the hallowed halls of Whitestone himself, as Rowan Pohi, walking a tightrope of secrets and deceptions where the slightest misstep could bring his whole life crashing down.
While ALSO KNOWN AS ROWAN POHI was a fast, fun read, it did not lack for depth. Bobby's family dynamic was by turns, disconcerting, inspiring, and in the end, hopeful. His personality shone through in every thought, action, and word, lighting up the pages with his own brand of wry, self-effacing humor, even as he desperately clung to the Rowan persona, unwilling to be Bobby Steele.
His friends, both as Rowan and as Bobby were lively and engaging. Big Poobs was my favorite of the side-characters. My favorite line in the whole book came when Bobby tells his boys how he resurrected Rowan and entered Whitestone as a student. Big Poobs, in his earnest and endearing way, says, "Rowan came back from the dead? Only Jesus and vampires can do that!" AHAHAHAHA I love it!
It is this quirky comedic relief that helps soften the blow of exactly why Bobby feels he needs to hide behind the shield that Rowan Pohi is, the shield that protects him from the stain that comes with the name Robert Steele. It's at once heart-breaking and wrath-inducing that he feels the need to hide, but without it, the reader has no need to get behind Bobby, and cheer him on, you will.