Friday, February 24, 2017

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

CommonwealthCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you so much to Mimi Denman for such a great recommendation! This book which I listened to was narrated awesomely by Hope Davis. Her voices, inflections, and personalities for all the family members in this dysfunctional family created from a chance meeting at a baptism was such a great read. I laughed and mourned the destruction Bert Cousins foists on the Keating family by stealing beautiful mom, Beverly. What results is a beautifully crafted story spanning decades of the blended parents and children - their bonds, happiness, sadness, existence and a new definition for family ties.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

As Brave As YouAs Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love all of Jason Reynolds books, his urban fiction is real, authentic and a must for teen readers. But this book is NOT urban fiction and just as awesome as his other titles- boy does he know how to write!!! Brothers Genie and Ernie are taken to their grandparents home in Virginia for a month while their parents work to keep their marriage together. Genie always writes down any questions he has and if he can't get an answer from the mouths of family and friends, he goes on to the internet for his answers. Both are from Brooklyn and going from the city to country is a rude awakening; as they settle in Genie weaves a story about their adventure (and worry-filled) filled life with their grandparents. Quickly Genie learns his grandfather is blind, hasn't left his house in years, and has recruited Genie for some secret night travels. While Ernie is totally cool with his signature shades & love of karate and beating up on Genie when he is annoying; things transpire like a girlfriend for Ernie, Tess and on his birthday a surprise gift from his grandfather. I loved Genie, Ernie, Tess, Grandma and Grandpa, parents and learning about their family secrets, loves and losses. Middle school and teens will love this book about brothers, family, loss, grief, and finding one's voice.

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Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

Tell Me Something RealTell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this wrenching book for The Hub Reading Challenge (William Morris Award) about 3 sisters and their father who are losing their mother to leukemia. They live in San Diego and commute to Mexico for Laetrile (banned in US) treatments. While there they meet people who come to feel special to them. One boy, Caleb and his mom, Barb, end up moving in and helping Adrienne, Vanessa, Marie cope with their hellish life that has been torn apart by this devastating illness. Vanessa, the middle child tells the story and it is her love of piano that helps her daily to deal with the leukemia and what it is doing to their mother. It is Caleb who is in remission from lymphoma who becomes her lifeline, support, and reality when another insidious truth becomes reality. I could not put this book down, I rooted for the sisters to survive their journey and be "safe and free" LOVED LOVED this book; a must read. Teens will love these sisters.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, for the ARC, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. I enjoyed the sweeping fantasy world Tea grew up in with her parents, brothers, and sisters (all witches). When 11 year old Tea brings her dead brother back to life on the day of his funeral, her world dramatically changes and rather than being respected, she is now an object of scorn and fear as one who can raise the dead. Tea is nursed back to health and quickly taken with her brother, Fox, to train as an asha by a bone witch, Mylaeka. The story is told in the past and the present (kind of had some confusion there). I loved the witches, the heartglass, and the many other scary demonic beasts and dragons. I will definitely be reading this series because there are still so many questions that I need answers to and am rooting for Tea and Fox’s bond to become even stronger. As a bone witch, I want to see Tea be a force and learn/explore more about who she is and those she must serve with lots of suspense and action.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this for #yearofya Lonely Hearts Club February topic to be discussed Tues 2/28. Loved the bad boy Patch & Nora Grey drama, could not put the book down. But did I not really like all the secrets and Nora's wishy washy back & forth. She is supposed to be so straightforward but she keeps secrets from Vee and her mom and constantly got caught up in her love hate relationship. Her attraction/dislike of Patch was annoying for me (a little too long & drawn out). I will definitely read the series because I want to see where it goes but this is definitely one of those dark reads, it is perfect for this month's chat.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

2017 Hub Challenge

I am participating in the 2017 Hub Challenge - here is the link below and the post with rules, book lists, etc. http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2017/02/04/announcing-2017-hub-reading-challenge/ Announcing the 2017 Hub Reading Challenge! Published February 4, 2017 It’s time to kickoff the 2017 Hub reading challenge! This challenge is intended to encourage librarians, library workers, and YA lit enthusiasts to dive into the award winner and honor books and YALSA selected lists with the hope of providing excellent readers’ advisory and even discovering a new favorite title or exploring a genre outside of your comfort zone. Eligible books are the YA titles that were named winners or honor titles the following award and selected lists: Alex Award Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Margaret A. Edwards Award Michael L. Printz Award Odyssey Award William C. Morris Award Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten Great Graphic Novels Top Ten Popular Paperbacks Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Schneider Family Book Award Stonewall Book Award Top Ten of The YA Rainbow List (okay, we added a couple of YA titles that didn’t make the top ten, just to give more options) The Amelia Bloomer Project Top Ten List Pura Belpré Coretta Scott King Awards How to Participate The goal is to read any 25 books of the titles from the above lists and awards—find the list of titles here and here in a sortable spreadsheet! Let us know you’re participating by commenting on this post below. If you’re going to be tracking what you read/listen to on your blog or on Goodreads, LibraryThing, YouTube or some other site, include a link to your blog/shelf/channel/profile in your comment. If you’re not tracking your reading online, keep a list some other way. Make it a social experience! Share your challenge progress and get to know other participants by using the hashtag #hubchallenge on Twitter and Instagram. Once a month, we’ll publish a check-in post. Leave a comment to talk about what you’re reading for the challenge. If you’ve reviewed those titles somewhere online, include links to those reviews! Otherwise, let us know what you thought of the books in the comments. There will be an finisher form embedded in each check-in post, so once you’re done with the challenge, fill out the form with your name and contact information.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)Scythe by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you so much to Laurie Hnatiuk's rave review of this totally awesome new series from Neal Shusterman!!! As a result, I pushed it to the front of my very long TBR shelf, got it on ILL from a neighboring library and flew threw it in 2 days. I have to admit the reason I gave it a horror rating is because of the violence of the Goddard Scythe (and the way apprentices are trained, dealt with & questioned during the conclaves) and his Goddard's underlings truly made my heart very heavy. But as with any great book, Shusterman's masterful world-building did not disappoint and had me rooting for Citra & Rowan to battle back & rise victorious from the awful world Scythe Faraday doomed them to as his apprentices. I am looking forward to learning more about loopholes (HeHe) about the all powerful Thunderhead and the moral battles that are mounting within the Scythe community. I like the utopia Shusterman crafts along with all the pitfalls and consequences that a utopia can present. Could not put this book down, even though I wanted to- the bullying gripped me vise-like but I was also thrilled to read on and find out how characters dealt with it. A must read!!!

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