Sunday, May 9, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Here are my thoughts:
Young Adult Literature is unique. While a lot of adults do read YAL, it is marketed for the young adult. It is written with that specific age group in mind. That means, the book needs to be written in a way that teens will believe in the world the author creates. In many cases, parents aren't the driving force in their childrens' lives. They are forced to act as the adult in the relationship and become self-sufficient.
Another thing to consider is this...in a young adult novel, it is important for the young adult be the one to solve the problem of the story. Teens need to see examples of other smart, resourceful teens thinking for themselves. What fun would it be to read a story where all the problems are solves for the kid by the adults? Think about THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton. Would it be the classic that it is today if the police or school officials gathered the "Greasers" and the "Socs" up and sat them down to a friendly mediation meeting? No, the kids, as violent and dangerous as it was, handled the situation themselves. That is what we want to read.
So, what do you guys think? Do you miss having a responsible parent in the forefront of the young adult novel of today?
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Adele of Persnickety Snark posted her thoughts on the positives of the YA Blogging Community. I wanted to post something about it right after I read it, but never got around to it. Well, this weekend I was giving some thought to this blog and finally made a decision about what I am going to do with it.
Since I finally got my original blog transferred to a self-hosted, dedicated domain (Karin's Book Nook), I decided to keep it as my primary blog for book reviews and such. I have had it for over 3 years and feel it is established. So, The Book Jacket will contain SOME book reviews, giveaways, book news, and commentaries about books and the blogging community.
As I mentioned above, I've been blogging about young adult literature for over 3 years. In that time there has been several instances of back-handed comments, hurt feelings, and jealousy between bloggers. I definitely don't get involved in the drama floats around the blogosphere. I'll occasionally read the controversial posts or comments, but rarely comment on them myself. In a way, this puts me in a self-created bubble, but...it allows me to just have fun.
Here are some of the reasons I'm thankful to be involved and included with the young adult blogging community.
- Having a blog has provided the motivation I need to read, read, read. By reading and reviewing young adult books, I'm better able to do my job as a middle school librarian. Being able to suggest books to students is very important. There is nothing like the feeling of handing a kid a book one day and having them come back to you a couple days later to tell you how much they loved it.
- Even with reading book review journals like School Library Journal, Booklist, and VOYA, it is impossible to know about all the books that are released each month. Blogging provides another resource for me. I have had a much better knowledge of upcoming releases since reading blogs.
- Authors - I love talking to authors. I've had the pleasure of interviewing several. My favorite interviews were with Maggie Stiefvater and Patrick Ness. In addition to the interviews, I had the pleasure of communicating with some authors by using Twitter. Kami Garcia always has nice things to say and the awesome Carrie Ryan really came through for me when I had some questions about revising a manuscript.
- Other Bloggers - I enjoy swapping books and exchanging messages with several of my fellow young adult book bloggers. I'd like to have more of a relationship with some, but I don't really know how to go about it. I don't want to come off as stalkerish and creepy, so I kind of just keep to myself. Maybe after meeting and socializing with some of them at BEA I'll feel comfortable calling them my friends. At this point it seems a little presumptuous of me to call them friends. I have no idea how they feel about me, so... Anyway, I'd like to include the following bloggers as my acquaintances (hopefully soon-to-be friends): The Ravenous Reader, Reverie Book Reviews, The Story Siren, Sharon Loves Books and Cats, Mrs. DeRaps, Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf, Kristin @ Bookworming in the 21st Century.
- Information - I tell you what. News travels fast. When a book cover is released, it shows up on several blogs. I love how we all share information.
- Reading Suggestions - I will never be at a loss for something to read. Even though I have piles and piles of books around the house, I'm not always in the mood for what I have. With all the blogs I follow, it is easy to get suggestions for things to read. Both in and out of my reading comfort zones.
- Blog Designs - I'm not very good at this yet, but after seeing so many beautiful designs out there I have decided to learn. I can't wait to take a class on design or Photoshop or something.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
2. I would have liked more drama between Cameron and Mina.
3. The excitement needed to start sooner. Mina’s crumbling, while warranted, took up too much of the beginning.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Walker Books for Young Readers – February 2, 2010
Lucy lives in conditions many people can’t even imagine. The kitchen is unusable, there isn’t any hot water in the house, and the furnace is broken. There are piles and piles of papers, plastic bags, and boxes littering every corner of the house. In order to maneuver, Lucy and her mother have to navigate through a maze of cleared paths just wide enough for a person.
Lucy feels her life is made up of lies and secrets. She lies to her friends about why they can’t come over. She avoids any topic of conversation that will bring attention to her or her family. Lucy is scared to death when she hears a knock at the door – knowing she could never allow someone to come inside to see what her house looks like. This is the reason her mother can’t call a repairman to fix the heater.
After another one of their usual fights where her mother accuses Lucy of moving something, Lucy packs an overnight bag and leaves to go to the movies and spend the night with her best and only friend. She doesn’t know it yet, but life is about to get a lot more complicated for her. When Lucy comes home the next morning, she discovers something horrible. Will she be able to deal with the tragedy and keep her secrets in tact?
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS is a book that will suck you into the story. Your heart will hurt for Lucy as she reveals memories from her past with the reader. This book will certainly cause you to take a look at the clutter around your house and ask, “Do I really need those old magazines?”
I couldn’t give DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS 5 glasses simply because of the implausibility of the way Lucy handled the situation – it seemed more like denial than a plan. However, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.
Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the book.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Feiwel & Friends – May 25, 2010
As the curtain rises on Act 2 of the Thèâtre Illuminata, we find Bertie at the beginning of her quest to rescue Nate from the clutches of the evil Sea Goddess from The Little Mermaid. As the new Mistress of Revels, it is her job to put pen to paper and create the story of the journey. With Ariel, the air spirit from The Tempest, and the delightfully mischievous fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bertie attempts to navigate her way through the world outside the Theater.
Complications and obstacles appear at every turn and Bertie’s emotions aren’t making matters any easier. Her feelings for Ariel have evolved into something harder to define, but her loyalties to Nate leave her feeling guilty about her closeness with Ariel. In order to save Nate, she’ll have to explore her true feelings and decide which man she loves the most.
PERCHANCE TO DREAM is very different from EYES LIKE STARS. Lisa Mantchev introduces many new characters and a completely new setting. The reader gets to experience what life is like outside the theater. Readers will be relieved to know the fairies provide the same comic relief as they did in the first book. Lisa Mantchev leaves readers ready for the third installment in the series.
If you were a fan of EYES LIKE STARS, you’ll definitely want to read this wildly, creative book. It isn’t completely necessary for a person to read the first book to enjoy PERCHANCE TO DREAM, but… it would probably be best.
Book rec’d as part of Traveling ARC Tours.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Young Adult books are filled with turmoil and angst. Secrets are a big part of teenage life. I’ve read some great books that share a theme – the characters all have something to hide. In some instances, the secret is something they wish they could scream from the top of the rooftops, but in others they just want everything to go away so they can lead a normal life.
THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard
WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS by C.J. Omololu
LUNA by Julie Anne Peters
DULL BOY by Sarah Cross
CANDOR by Pam Bachorz
KEEPING YOU A SECRET by Julie Anne Peters
SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson
WAKE by Lisa McMann
AFTER by Amy Efaw
TEACH ME by R.A. Nelson
What else should I add?
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Holiday House – April 15, 2008
Maxo Strang is one of the most perfect people in the Polis, an exclusive district where only genetically enhanced people can live. He is the GenOff (offspring) of the most important scientist in the Polis. Igo Strang, Maxo’s father, is the lead scientist for the Polis. It is his job to continually improve the enhancements. He is always striving for perfections. With the model, GemX, he thinks he is as close to perfect as he can get. Maxo is a GemX.
Maxo enjoys a luxurious life in the Polis. He never gives much thought to the Dreggies that live outside the check points – until he sees Gala on the video screen. Maxo’s life is turned upside down when a flaw in the GemX model is discovered. It seems “cracks,” a.k.a. wrinkles, are appearing on many of their faces and it is up to Igo Strang to figure out what is causing the unexpected early aging in thousands of the most promising young people of the Polis. The problem is, the leaders don’t want to give him the time it will take. Their solution is much more drastic.
Maxo is thrown into an unknown world when he attempts to save himself and others from the secrecy and lies of the Polis.
GEMX didn’t live up to it’s description. The speed at which Maxo and Gala become obsessed with each other is unbelievable and the story didn’t move fast enough. I felt like I was forcing myself to get through it.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
People found out about the relationship in the worst way possible. Deanna’s father caught her with Tommy in the back of his car. The next day, everyone knew what happened. Mostly because Tommy told everyone. Since that terrible night, Deanna’s father hasn’t really looked at her or talked to her and home doesn’t comfort her at all.
Sadly, school isn’t safe for her either. Daily, she hears taunts like slut and skank, suffers unwanted advances from guys, and endures dirty looks from the girls. Her only bright spot is her best friend, Jason.
THE STORY OF A GIRL isn’t a pick me up. I felt sorry for Deanna through the entire book – even in the end. Deanna definitely grew as a character from beginning to end and there is even a small glimmer of hope by the final page. It is a valuable addition to young adult literature in the sense that it shows a girl making it through an extremely tough time. Deanna doesn’t give up – even when she keeps making mistakes.
I would have liked to see the story extended a bit. I wasn’t satisfied with where Deanna’s story left off. Also, I listened to THE STORY OF A GIRL on audio book and the author, Sara Zarr, was the reader. It might have been a little better if a professional reader would have read it.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
In honor of Valentine's Day the theme of this Read-a-Like is Romance. The following books include a deep, loving relationships between the main characters.
WONDROUS STRANGE and DARKLIGHT by Lesley Livingston
WICKED LOVELY, FRAGILE ETERNITY, and RADIANT SHADOWS by Melissa Marr
SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater
LAMENT and BALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater
WINGS by Aprilynne Pike
HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick
FALLEN by Lauren Kate
SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman
JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey
GRACELING and FIRE by Kristin Cashore
EVERNIGHT and STARGAZER by Claudia Gray
ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith
OLD MAGIC by Marianne Curley
As you can see, all of the books on my list are romance mixed with fantasy. So, does anyone out there have any suggestions for contemporary fiction romance books? If so, please leave a comment.
Ali/Alley/Gonk (short for Algonquin) is the touch music critic of the high school newspaper. There isn’t anything she loves more than a good song and there aren’t many people out there her age that appreciate the quality of singers like Cole Porter as she does.
Alley’s latest assignment takes her to one of Cornersville’s local music scenes. A band is set to play a gig that includes a band member from school – oh, he’s also a vampire. Yep, in this world people are aware of the existence of vampires and zombies – and the popular crowd wants to either become one themselves or at the very least date one. Alley doesn’t see the attraction. She is one of the few that has no interest in the supernatural side life.
Alley doesn’t intend to get stuck in her small town for the rest of her life so dating isn’t that important to her. She doesn’t want to get too attached to a guy that will keep her in town. She’s all for having fun and making out, but…that’s about it. Her attitude toward guys changes drastically when she sees Doug sing a few songs during the gig she’s reviewing for the newspaper.
Doug catches Alley’s attention when he sings a Cole Porter song. His interpretation of the classic is unique and sexy. It doesn’t take long for Alley to fall head-over-heels in love with Doug. It doesn’t matter to her that he wears the same suit every time she sees him, can’t talk for very much at a time, or has a strange smell about him (Doug tells her he has a sickness). The way he makes her feel makes up for his strangeness.
When Alley finally puts the pieces together she is forced to make some BIG decisions. Is her love strong enough to overcome the obstacles of their love?
I KISSED A ZOMBIE, AND I LIKED IT is okay. The world Adam Selzer created for the novel is fun and interesting, but Alley is an unlikable character. If you can get over that, then you’ll be okay. In terms of quirky, light, romancy zombie books, here is where it would fall:
NEVER SLOW DANCE WITH A ZOMBIE by E. Van Lowe is worse at 1 glasses.
YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME by Stacey Jay is better at 4 glasses.