Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki

Saving Montgomery SoleSaving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Mariko Tamaki's graphic novel, This One Summer! Montgomery Sole and her friends and their world in school and at home was funny, mysterious, and full of drama. As she leads her friends in school in the 3 person club, The Mystery Club a chance purchase on the internet of the Eye of Know brings happiness. But as she struggles with being awkward (she has 2 moms, no religion and is offbeat in a town obsessed with looks) but armed with best buddies, Thomas and Naoki (LOVE THEM) and her amulet, nothing can get Monty down---until a preacher comes to town wanting to save the American Family. How will Monty "fight" this latest threat and can she depend upon her friends to stand by her? A compelling must read, highly recommended.

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your GirlIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG what a beautiful story! I loved the character of Amanda Hardy; how she related to her friends, family and Grant. As she moved through her life, from present, then back into the past, I wanted so much for her- and as she made friends, grew close to Grant, and navigated a new relationship with her father (she was born, Andrew) I rooted for her to succeed in finding happiness as a transgender teen in a new life that was honest. But Amanda could not stop remembering her past, the bullying, and the judging- will this help Amanda succeed or fail? As her life in a new school and now living with her dad moves forward, I wanted the best of all things for Amanda, will that be what she gets? A mesmerizing read that is honest, raw, and educational (I learned so much about her medical process)--- teens will want to read this brave book! I especially liked the author's A Note From the Author and her acknowledgments at the end. I am looking forward to more books from Meredith Russo- she has much to impart to teen readers, parents, guidance counselors, nurses, teachers and readers.

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When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We CollidedWhen We Collided by Emery Lord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jonah Daniels is one of six children in a family struggling with the sudden death of a beloved father and a mother who can't get out of bed due to her deep grief. Into Verona Cove, Vivi bounds in and falls in love with Jonah and each of the Daniels children. As Vivi's love of life, excitement, and adventure patches up the Daniels family, Jonah finds hope, love and healing with Vivi. I could not stop listening to this audiobook (I kept finding reasons to walk, exercise or just sit and listen) that was gripping, heartbreaking and true. Vivi, narrated by Elizabeth Evans was funny, sensitive and kind while Jonah narrated by Raviv Ullman was shy, hopeless, and ultimately changed as a result of knowing and loving Vivi. What will the future hold for these two seventeen year old teens with seemingly insurmontable problems? A must read for those who love romance, struggling teens, and family problems. Can't wait to read Lord's, The Start of Me and You, bring on the romances with lots of drama!!!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom by Jennifer S. Holland

Unlikely Friendships : 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal KingdomUnlikely Friendships : 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom by Jennifer S. Holland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The beautiful photographs and remarkable short stories will entice ALL ANIMAL LOVERS to read and LOVE this book! Friendship is stressed in these different but oh so important relationships between some very different animals

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Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Lily and DunkinLily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I could not stop reading this sweet, tough book that looks at two new friends in 8th grade. Lily has always lived in Florida but Dunkin has just moved from NJ with his mom to live with his aunt. This book is about so much - friendship, families, death, bullies, one teen with mental illness, and the other teen wrestling with transgender issues. Told from Lily and Dunkin's POV, the reader will be immersed in a story that is heartbreaking but also inspiring. Highly recommended - for those who read George by Alex Gino, this book is a MUST READ. Also recommended for teens, parents and school guidance counselors. I loved Donna Gephart's Author Notes and what inspired her to write about Lily & Dunkin, her heartfelt message about NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness), "good doctors, right medications and community support" her Acknowledgments and Resources.

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Half Lost (Book 3 Half Bad) by Sally Green

Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy, #3)Half Lost by Sally Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG, the end to a really great series - I just loved Carl Prekopp's narration of Nathan as he tries to become the with Gabriel loves. Now that he has his gifts, Nathan works to perfect them, hunts Annaliese and helps the Alliance of Witches against the hunters. I wish I could say I loved the ending...I enjoyed all of Prekopp's characters in his narration, author Green's worlds were wild, heart stopping, and powerful. I have to thank The 2015 Hub Challenge for giving me the impetus to listen to this series, it was awesome.

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What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What We SawWhat We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a raw read- Kate is a nice girl who is athletic, has a great family and friends. At a party where she was very drunk, friend Ben takes her home and returns to the party to go home. As Kate realizes she likes Ben as more than a friend, she also finds out "something" happened that night at the party to a girl, Stacey, who she used to be friends with...AND here is where the title of the book -What We Saw -means. Author Hartzler did an awesome job of getting teen personalities right and real (mean girls, jock culture, those who care and those who hate) and in this climate honest Kate has so many questions, but will she get the answers she wants (right or wrong)? YA readers will be passing this book to their friends- a must read!

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