Dec 20, 2014

In The End

After the End stars Juneau who has grown up in a small colony that survived after the third world war and has been training to be the spiritual leader for their community.  When she returns from a hunting trip she finds her entire community gone and sets off on a journey to find them.  However she soon finds out that the world is much different than she's been told.

This dystopian novel really worked for me.  There were quite a few believability hurdles that I had to get over but it still worked.  The romance was swoonworthy and the magic/scifi twist turned out at the end.  I sped through the book unable to put it down.

Appropriateness:  There's no adult content in this book.  I recommend it to fans of dystopian romance fans 13+


Dec 15, 2014

On Top of Spaghetti

 
This version of On Top of Spaghetti by Amanda L Jenkins is a hilarious version of the song that sings well provided you can get past the huge fart joke that ends the story.  It's a book that'll make you laugh and shake your head.  I recommend it for readers 5-7.

Dec 10, 2014

Story of a Girl

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr follows Deanna whose life was ruined after she was caught having sex with a much older boy in the backseat of a car by her father at thirteen who hasn't looked her in the eye since.  The boy went around school bragging about it and her reputation has never recovered. 

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Reading about Deanna as she worked to realize what had actually happened in the past.  That the boy she'd had sex with was using her (the word rape is never used but it's a great example of statutory rape) and had preyed on her desire for love.  Deanna's family is in shambles, her brother is a teenage father living in the basement with his child and her father is emotionally abusive to everyone in the house.  Deanna grows throughout the book and is better off than she started, however things do not end perfectly.  I was interested throughout the story and felt the ending resolved well.

Appropriateness:  There is alcohol and drugs and sex in this book (the sex is described distantly and never erotic) although it's never viewed as a positive thing.  This would be a great book to read with your young teen to discuss statutory rape.  Deanna has a horrific life, yet goes on day by day and works to make things better for herself.  I recommend this book to readers 12+ 

Dec 8, 2014

Alienated

Alienated by Melissa Landers follows Cara and Aelyx two teenagers involved in an exchange program that's a first of it's kind.  Cara is shocked when she finds out that she's been chosen to be one of three hosts for L'eihr exchange students who are the first exchange students on earth.  Aelyx and Cara slowly learn about each other while dealing with protesters and hate from those who are not happy with Aelyx's presence on earth.

This is a nice romance with a slow build up. The fish out of water and xenophobia slant were interesting but a little heavy handed at times.  It seemed to take a long time for the meat in the story to start but I remained interested throughout.  I really liked Cara but found myself wondering how she could be so nice to Aelyx who is a snobby jerk for most of the book.  This book is far more romance than sci-fi.

Appropriateness:  There is no adult content in this book.  There are some allusions to erections (Aelyx mentions having to think of the periodic table to calm down) and one scene where it's implied that the two are making out without shirts on.  There's also quite a bit of sex discussions (who won't and how does it happen and talk of reproduction).  I would recommend this book for readers 13+ 

Dec 1, 2014

The Twelve Days of a Muppet Christmas

The Twelve Days of a Muppet Christmas is a super fun version of the Twelve Days of Christmas done Muppet Style with all your Muppet Friends.  My students thought it was hysterical and laughed and sang along.

I recommend this book for kids 4-8

Nov 10, 2014

Life by Committee

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu follows Tabitha who has a complicated life.  Her young parents are dealing with the stresses of pregnancy, her best friends have dumped her and spend every minute they can making her life difficult and she's in a relationship with a boy who has a girlfriend.  When she finds a mysterious web address in the back of a book she finds a web community called Life by Committee.  She posts a secret and an assignment is given based on that secret. 

I really liked this book.  The main character had a personality that I loved and her problems were those that girls can relate to.  She was being bullied for the body that she got after hitting puberty (It's not slutty it's from the Gap!).  It's a great book about taking control of oneself and making good choices.  The end is a bit silly but it worked.

Appropriateness:  There's a lot of adult content in the book but nothing graphic.  Tabitha's dad smokes a ton of weed.  There's quite a bit of bullying that's very real in the way that girls bully each other for their looks (it would make a good starting point for a discussion of bullying).  The sexual content isn't extremely graphic but involves cheating.  I recommend it to readers 14+

Review copy provided by Amazon Vine

Nov 7, 2014

The Taking

The Taking by Kimberly Derting follows Kyra.  After Kyra has an argument with her father and runs out of the car she wakes up behind a dumpster.  After returning home she finds out that five years have passed and she hasn't aged a day.  She becomes close with the younger brother of her old boyfriend and tries to figure out what has happened.

I enjoyed this book and remained interested throughout.  It was interesting, the mystery was believable and the romance was well crafted.  The plot wasn't that different from others I've read with the same sort of premise (girl has no memory, boy helps girl escape the big bad) but I still was interested. 

Appropriateness:  There is no adult content and the romance involves nothing more than kissing.  I recommend this book to readers 12+

Review copy provided by Amazon Vine
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