Monday, August 25, 2014

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Emily and Sloane have their summer all planned. They are dating best friends, are planning on getting a summer job in the same place, and have plans to just do a lot of hanging out and having fun.

But at the beginning of summer Sloane disappears and no one knows where she is. Her cell phone goes to voice mail and her house is empty.

One day a letter comes in the mail from Sloane. The only thing in the envelope is a summer to-do list for Emily.

Apple picking at night.
Dance until dawn.
Kiss a stranger ...

Morgan Matson is one of my favorite authors for girls, right up there with Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.  Her characters are so believable. Girls will love this!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

Edited to add: Finished this book and think middle school students will love it and will eagerly await book 2. As for me, I'm going to make sure I have plenty of water, batteries, and food supplies in my basement - scary book because it does seem so real!

I'm only half-way finished with this book but wanted to briefly write about it because I know many students are looking for books for summer reading. Our library received this book at the very end of the school year, and the one boy who read it said it was one of the best books he's read. If you are looking for a believable dystopian book, pick this one up!

What seems like a typical day at school changes very quickly when all the computers and cell phones shut down. At first it seems like an every day power outage, but when students are dismissed, they find the only cars that start are the very old ones that don't rely on technology.

At first I thought this book would be a typical dystopian novel, but what sets it apart from many, is how believable and real it seems.

More of a review to follow when I finish the book, but right now, I would recommend The Rule of Three to students grade 7 and up.  I think this will be a really, really popular book in our media center next year.

to all the boys I've loved before by Jenny Han

By the author of The Summer I Turned Pretty (which I also really enjoyed)

If you are looking for a great summer read, look no further! I loved everything about this book and read it in two days. I know  many girls will pick this book up and declare it as one of their very favorites.

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean has never had a real boyfriend, but she has been in love exactly five times. Each time, she writes a letter to the boy and pours out all her feelings and emotions.  She can be very honest because when she finishes the letter, she seals it in an addressed envelope and hides it away. The boys will never see these letters, but it is a way for Lara Jean to get over her obsession with them.

This seems like a very healthy way to deal with her emotions, until the day she arrives at school and heart-throb Peter is holding her letter and wants to know why she wrote it. 

I loved the characters in this book, especially Lara Jean and her two sisters. This book could have been just a fluffy, beach read, but each character was complex and interesting. I would recommend this book to girls,  eighth grade and up, looking for a contemporary romance. There is no overt sex, but there are some brief conversations about when teenagers should be sexually intimate.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Wow, I read this book a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. It's not action-packed, but if you like a book that makes you think (and messes with your mind), you'll love this one. The ending was jaw-dropping and shocking. I was stunned!

The Sinclair family has everything. They are attractive, wealthy, and even own a private island off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. Cadence, along with her extended family, spend every summer together on the island. Cad, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and their friend Gat are the "four liars."
The setting is idyllic, but the reader soon becomes aware that the Sinclair family is very, very dysfunctional.

I loved the writing style, but this book is not for everyone. I think some readers will be upset with the dark subject matter. I recommend this to mature readers grade 8 and up. And after you read it, please either talk to me about this book or leave a comment!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I can't believe I never reviewed this on this blog - I've been recommending this book to students for years and all have loved it!
Thirteen babies are found on a plane with no crew, no captain, no adults. No one claims any of the babies and they are put up for adoption. Jonah is one of the babies and has lived a happy, uneventful life until the day when a note is found in his mailbox:
"You are one of the missing."
Another note comes shortly after:
"Beware! They're coming back to get you."
Found is a wonderful dystopian book - read it!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Red Madness by Gail Jarrow

It's 1902 and many Americans living in the South are coming down with a very strange disease. Scientists named this strange sickness Pellagra. Victims came down with a strange rash on their face, hands, and neck. Thousands of people, including young children died - but why?

There were many theories. At first doctors blamed the diet in the South and blamed it on moldy corn. Other people thought it was passed from person to person.

Pellagra was known as the 4 D disease: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, death

If you like mysteries and are at all interested in the medical field, you will thoroughly enjoy reading this book. I couldn't help but make guesses as to the cause as I read.