Friday, February 20, 2015

Half Bad by Sally Green

Half Bad (Half Bad, #1)Half Bad by Sally Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An amazing audiobook! I loved Carl Prekopp's narration; he was gripping and mesmerizing. I kept looking for ways to plug in and LISTEN to this book!!! In a future England, Nathan is 1/2 white witch and 1/2 black witch and it is being the son of black witch Marcus that brands him an outsider---even his own sister, Jessica, hates him. Thankfully Nathan has a wonderful and sympathetic brother, Aaron. Aaron is sweet, trusting, and very protective of Nathan. But Aaron is not bullied, beaten up, or branded "BAD" like Nathan. Will Nathan be able to elude the hunters and survive until his 17th birthday and receiving his 3 powers of magic? Will he be able to survive in a world that does not want him or his father? Now I can't wait to get into the second book, Half Wild!!!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the ForestThe Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


I love Holly Black and this dark world of Faerie folk living side by side in Fairfold is cunningly slow to unfold. So read very closely all the juicy details and bread crumbs... There is a horned boy asleep in a glass coffin in the forest; everyone knows and visits this landmark (and do all kinds of wild things in, on and around the coffin). As brother and sister, Hazel and Ben grow up they both love this boy and dream of freeing him from the evil that holds him captive. They even play at fighting evil in the forest with Ben's best friend, Jack---who is not quite human. For a deep read where all characters are struggling with their own demons and a town that has many secrets in their history--Black's book of faerie does not disappoint. There is horror, love, lies, and lots of dark fantasy---very alluring read.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book on my kindle and LOVED it! Afterward, I went out and purchased the book to share with my friends--and I have to say, I feel readers really miss out on the COVERS of books when they read kindles and nooks. I found the front and back cover of this book so important---Violet and Finch used post-it notes throughout the novel and the 9 post-its on the back cover are a very good summary of epic Finch talking to withdrawn Violet and planting the seeds of excitement about living, loving, and all the bright places they will wander to and experience. Finch and Violet meet on a ledge at their high school; both of these characters are going through some things...Finch stays does not sleep for prolonged periods of time. Violet's best friend/sister died the year before in a car accident and Violet feels responsible. By talking Violet down off the ledge, Finch begins to protect her and then maybe he will be protected too...When they are paired in a school assignment to see the great Indiana wonders and writ about them, Finch pulls Violet into wanting to live- he has terms of endearment for her beginning with Ultraviolet and then progressing to Ultraviolet Remarkey-able. As Theodore Finch saves Violet, the reader is compelled to read about their friendship, their families, their friends. No matter what we think about these two kids---this book speaks volumes about teens and what they grapple with on a daily basis-bullying, death, suicide, depression, mental illness, labels, stigmas, family dysfunction, drugs, you name it! Don't miss Jennifer Niven's Author's Note at the end - it is a very meaningful read. I highly recommend this book to students, parents, school nurses and guidance counselors, and adults.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley

The Carnival at BrayThe Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my final read in the Morrison finalist award of The Hub Challenge and oh was it so, so GOOD! I rooted for Maggie as she traversed the many ups and downs of her sixteenth year. Uprooted from Chicago and jettisoned to Ireland, due to yet another one of her mother's marriages (failed relationship, results in another union), Maggie mourns leaving her grandmother, Ei, and her beloved godfather-uncle musician, Kevin. But life in Ireland holds surprises for Maggie-a constant friendship with nonagenarian, Dan Sean, falling deeply and truly in love with Eoin, questioning her relationship with her mother, and ultimately dealing with unbearable loss, all the while questioning who she really is. Maggie's voice was honest and full of contradictions. While she yearns for peace, a normal family, and acceptance--Maggie can't forget what her Uncle Kevin wrote: "Live and then Live some more." With Kurt Cobain tickets in hand from Uncle Kevin, Maggie embarks on a life changing adventure. I recommend this book for adults (adults will really get what Maggie (teens) wrestles with) and young adults will love the drama, angst, and romance of first love. Maggie is one rockin' protagonist, I will not forget!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Laughing at My NightmareLaughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shane's voice is funny, heartbreaking, and totally honest and positive as he relates his life dealing with the devastating spinal muscular atrophy, level II. He has a blog with a title same as the book and the blog is what spurred him to write his memoir. I also listened to him at the YALSA webinar and he is the real deal. Everyone should read this book and live life like Shane. He has a fantastic family, wonderful friends and a unique perspective on everything. He is humble, irreverent, and just a guy living life day to day and writing about it to over 500,000 viewers.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Aca Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava LavenderThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another finalist I am reading for The 2015 Hub Morris Challenge. This first novel by Leslye Walton is sweeping in its coverage of family history, trials and tribulations of the family members and their enthralling romances. Ava and Henry Lavender are the final members in Beauregard Roux's family tree and oh how I enjoyed Walton's descriptions of her characters, their homes, the climate, their food (OMG, I salivated while reading about all of bakery pastries and breads!!!) and the tragedies of love that permeate this family. The magical realism that is Ava's wings and the many ghosts that follow Emilienne are just a few reasons this book must be read, savored, and luxuriated in...Read this work of art to find out what the strange and beautiful sorrows really are of Ava Lavender, Viviane, and Emilienn. You will not be disappointed!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

All the RageAll the Rage by Courtney Summers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press and St. Martin's Griffin for the ARC, All the Rage by Courtney Summers. Wow, what a gripping read! Students will be mesmerized by the self-loathing Romy endures as she navigates losing her friends and gains the anger, ire, and hostility of many around her when she accuses the sheriff’s son of rape and is not believed. Romy is a victim and this book is explosive as it ignores her truth and instead believes those with power , like the police, and student athletes. What will happen to Romy as the abuse and tensions grow? A must read for teens and adults as rape, sexuality, identity, and failure are scathingly explored.


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