Sensationally told story that made me feel all the panic, frustration, fear and anxiety along with Norah the main character. Under Rose-tainted Skies was a book I just couldn't put down. Don't want to spoil the ending for you but I can tell you that the saying, "Bad is never good until worse happens" fits perfectly. Just when I thought things were as bad as they could get, they got worse. I'm certain my heart was beating 200 bpm while I was reading Chapter 35. Highly recommended with one small warning for those who like their YA books free from profanity; the F word is sprinkled quite liberally throughout the book.
This is the perfect book for girls who crave angst mixed with romance. Mallory's past as an abused foster child has left her an emotional mess, and as a result she has extreme difficulty talking to strangers or groups bigger than one other person. She's been homeschooled up til now but when The Problem With Forever begins, she's starting her senior year at a public high school. Although it was Mallory's decision, she's having second thoughts. Then, on her first day, she meets the boy she grew up with in the foster home, the boy who basically saved her life over and over again; Rider Stark.
The majority of the book deals with Mallory trying to sort out her feelings since Rider has a girlfriend and is off limits, but obviously still cares for Mallory. Mallory eventually realizes that she wants to be more than friends. While this is all happening, there are several subplots including bad choices about running drugs which affect someone like a brother to Ridrr, and a best friend, Ainsley, who's losing her eyesight. Not long after they officially become boyfriend and girlfriend, Rider breaks up with her because he feels that he's not good enough. Mallory ends up saving him by pointing out some hard truths. There's a very touching speech scene near the end of the book and it did make a few tears well up.
The grade eight girls will love this story.
Although the book took a little longer than I thought necessary to get going, the action did pick up enough to have me interested in what happens next. We've got four teens all with newly acquired bracelets and we really only know fully about the capabilities of one of them. I think my middle school students will enjoy this series once it's out.
I think it is auspicious that the first book I read in 2017 turned out to be fabulous. I had read Megan Shull's "The Swap" and enjoyed it, but admittedly was surprised to see her tackling the idea of being in someone else's life yet again in Bounce. However, I found Bounce to be a much more serious and deeper story than The Swap. Bounce is told with such exquisite detail and raw honesty that I really felt Frankie was living those lives. It's the kind of book that will stay with me long after I've closed the pages. There's a great lesson to be learned from The Bounce without it being preachy, and although NOT at all the same, it kind of had a Dickens Christmas Carol feel to it for me. I also love that Frannie's actual life didn't magically become perfect when she returned to it and that she didn't crumble. It's been a while since I read a book that I loved, and I'm excited that the first book of 2017 was a winner. Yay!
The premise of this book is interesting; set in a future when humans have eliminated death by wars, disease, age and crime, it has become necessary to cull the population through the use of Scythes; specially trained and appointed humans who are basically responsible for gleaning (selecting and killing) humans to keep the population down. CItra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe, and neither of them are eager to take on the job. They are even less thrilled when they find out that only one of them can become a scythe and the successful candidate will have to glean the other.
I can almost guarantee that the fast action and simple language combined with the mystery of the dead body will entice my reluctant readers. Will be interested to see if it flies off the shelf as I suspect it will.
As you might surmise from the covers, these books are very similar. They are both written in a free verse, hip hop poetry format, they both involve main characters who are male athletes, and they both involve some sort of personal challenge which interferes with the athlete's focus. Where the books differ is that one is about basketball and the second is about soccer, and the nature of their problems is different, although both obstacles originate from family.
I am quite excited to share these stories with some of my reluctant readers since I think the format of the text combined with the content will be a winning combination. If you've used these books with reluctant readers, I'd love to hear how it went.
So sometimes I just have to go on a crazy reading blitz, and this weekend was one of those times. Between Friday and now, I read these five books. Yes... I neglected everything else including lesson prep, housework, my husband, my son and my dog, but sometimes, I am seized by the reading addiction and I binge.
Each one of these books has merits, although I did prefer some more than others. Here's a brief description in case you're interested in finding these @ our library on Monday.
Eleven and holding - Macy does not want to turn 12 if her father can't be at the celebration, and it looks like he won't be able to be there, but she doesn't understand why he is staying away from his home, and she doesn't understand what the "important business" could possibly be.
Orbiting Jupiter - This is one of the books chosen for the 2016 Global Read Aloud.
Jack gets a new 14 year old foster brother, Joseph, and he only knows a few things about him; he almost killed a teacher, he's just gotten out of jail, he has a baby daughter named Jupiter and he wants help to find her.
The Scourge - Ani Mells, one of the River People, gets captured by a town warden and tested for the Scourge, a contagious virus that results in death. Though she is certain that she doesn't have the disease, to her surprise she tests positive, and is sent to a quarantine colony on Attic Island, with her best friend, Weevil.
It's a Wonderful Death - Taken by mistake by the Grim Reaper before her time was up, Rowena Joy (R.J.) is determined to protest loudly enough that they let her back to Earth and to her old life. When Death himself makes a deal for her, she is given the chance to redo three critical moments in her life to determine whether her life was significant enough to make it worth their while to turn back time and let her live. Who doesn't love a chance to do something over again?
Pax - This is one of the books chosen for the Global Read Aloud this year, and it is fabulous. I love how Pennypacker takes the intimate emotions of a character, and describes them to a tee. Highly recommend this story. Loved it even though the cover didn't grab me and so it sat on my TBR pile for a long, long time!
Jill wakes up in the hospital to find out that she has been in a terrible car crash in Italy while on a school trip she doesn't remember, and that she is under suspicion of having killed her best friend Simone. The book plot is revealed through a series of interviews, emails, blog posts and typical narration. Well I found it a bit slow in spots I did enjoy the twists. Due to the content it's probably best for older teens.
Raim has waited all his life to become a member of the elite patrol called the Yun and dedicate his life to protecting the Khan and the kingdom of Darhan. He does not know his parents since he was abandoned and fostered by Loni, a man who has become like a grandfather to Raim. The only memento he has from his early life is a promise string tied around his wrist, but Raim has no memory of making a promise to anyone.
Something disastrous happens on the day Raim should becoming a Yun, and he is forced to flee Darhan and seek some answers.
I enjoyed this book, and will definitely read the conclusion (The Shadow's Curse). I especially liked the originality of a promise sealed with a knot, and having powerful magic protect that promise from being broken. (Imagine if such a thing really existed! People might take their promises more seriously)
Middle School Teacher Librarian - I believe there's a book out there for everyone!