Monday, August 18, 2014

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Fan ArtFan Art by Sarah Tregay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I picked up this ARC at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia. Jamie Peterson has come out to his mom and dad about being gay; but he has told no one in school. As a senior, he realizes he really cares for his best friend, Mason. To tell him or not, these are the questions Jamie wrestles with all year. A great book that really looks at the dynamics of friendship, family, being different. I loved the high school dynamics between friends, the school newspaper, the Gay Straight Alliance, and the realm of graphic design. The poems by students were awesome and the comics by Challis life changing and important. Jamie’s thoughts and discussions about Mason and his sexual orientation are realistic; teens will want to read this book!


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Caged Warrior by Alan Sitomer

Caged WarriorCaged Warrior by Alan Sitomer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

McCutcheon has been groomed since a very young age to be a prize winning fighter (something his father wasn’t able to accomplish) by a very controlling, evil, and selfish father. The one person McD would do anything for is his little sister, Gemma. Life doesn’t get much worse. Sitomer has crafted a disturbing, totally believable story about a young kid, who despite the odds, is able to hope for a better life for his little sister and himself, reach out for help, and try for a better life that includes an education and a family that includes love. Gritty Detroit could also be Philadelphia, Los Angeles or any city in America. Teens will not be able to put this honest, thought provoking book down!

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

We Were Liars

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this ARC this winter at ALA in Philadelphia. In this compelling novel, Cady may be rich and care-free but she also has so much else going on. Her father leaves them and she has an accident (Summer 15) that causes her to be wracked with horrible migraines and memory issues. Annually, Cady summers with her extended family on an island her grandfather owns with three sprawling houses. She is best friends with her cousin Mirren, Johnny, and Gat during these summers. They don’t keep in contact during the year, but spend their summers as the Liars, leaving trouble in their wake. If you like lies, secrets, forbidden love, you must read this book!

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Haatchi and Little B by Wendy Holden

Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His DogHaatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog by Wendy Holden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great nonfiction read about a dog who was cruelly beaten and chained to railroad tracks and run over. He is rescued and as a five month old Anatolian Shepherd is able to survive the trauma of losing a back leg and tail and saving Owen’s (Little B) life. Haatchi is such a wonderful dog, he changes many who come in contact with him. This is a compelling, inspiring read. Highly recommended.

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Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this ARC this winter at ALA in Philadelphia. In this compelling novel, Cady may be rich and care-free but she also has so much else going on. Her father leaves them and she has an accident (Summer 15) that causes her to be wracked with horrible migraines and memory issues. Annually, Cady summers with her extended family on an island her grandfather owns with three sprawling houses. She is best friends with her cousin Mirren, Johnny, and Gat during these summers. They don’t keep in contact during the year, but spend their summers as the Liars, leaving trouble in their wake. If you like lies, secrets, forbidden love, you must read this book!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Many thanks to my sister-in-law, Donna, for recommending this wonderful, compelling, thought provoking read. There are so many threads and themes in this can’t put it down read (I couldn’t sleep and turned the light on at 4 am and read until I finished at 6am!!!) I loved, loved Tom Sherbourne, the tortured soldier and light house keeper who finds peace and love in life with Isabel Greysmark. As the lighthouse keeper of Janus Rock, Tom knows how important the strict adherence to rules is and it is this honor that is crushed when a dinghy washes ashore with a dead man and a baby. Isabel has suffered 3 miscarriages and persuades her husband they must take care of this little infant. As their life with baby, Lucy provides love, contentment and happiness beyond their wildest dreams, Tom is tortured by his decision not to report this incident. The repercussions are felt later and oh how devastating they are. This is a must read, I loved the author’s words, her characters, and the wild and natural settings in Australia of this tug of war. What happens to these three compelling characters? What would you do? You have to read this book and I assure you, you will not be disappointed. There are so many good discussions to be found in this story of fierce and tragic story of love, sacrifice, and forgiveness; a great book club title to be sure.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

Bright Before SunriseBright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We learn about Brighton and Jonah's lives as they count down to two important but very different incidents in their lives. Jonah is forced to leave his hometown, friends, and girlfriend, to move in with his mom, his stepfather, Paul and little baby sister, Sophia. He hates living in Cross Pointe and wants nothing to do with any of the kids in his new school. Jonah just wants to see his girlfriend, his friends, graduate and go to college. Brighton is popular, mourning the loss of her father, showing the world she is happy and well adjusted and will be able to make it through her father's memorial. When Brighton tries to get 100% participation in community service, she can't get the new kid, Jonah to commit to volunteer. What's more, he is really angry and mean to Brighton and she doesn't understand why. What I really LOVED about this book was Brighton and Jonah's journey toward each other. I enjoyed seeing Jonah's old life through Brighton's eyes. I liked seeing Brighton's depth (even while she was conflicted and insecure) and Jonah's reactions as he spends a night with Brighton and he realizes he likes the REAL person she is. Brighton and Jonah will surprise you and melt your heart. Tiffany Schmidt does a great job getting these two together, what a great romance! Highly recommended.

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