Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tilt by Ellen Hopkins (September 11th)
Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt…. Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby? Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened? Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be. Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.
Butter by Erin Jade Lange (September 18th)
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?
Can the living coexist with the living dead? That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites. Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety. Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target. As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.
Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her. Now Parker wants a new life. So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty? But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv. The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.
Passenger by Andrew Smith (October 2nd)
Jack and Conner have a plan. They think it's the only reasonable way to deal with the Marbury lens. But the four boys - Jack, Conner, Ben, and Griffin - end up scattered in different places at different times. Jack is lost in a Marbury that isn't Marbury, a Glenbrook that isn't Glenbrook, pursued through every crumbling not-world by an uncaring cop trying to solve the mystery of Freddie Horvath's murder, and a deceitful kid named Quinn Cahill who believes he is the King of Marbury. Jack's universe is collapsing in on itself. He finds his friends. He finds his home. There's always just one thing, and Jack knows it. This can't be it.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (October 23rd)
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past. She can’t. She used to think her problems were all in her head. They aren’t. She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. She’s wrong. In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (October 23rd)
Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better. In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Erica: Oops, sorry I'm a few minutes late. I got distracted reading.
Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
Lissa: Katy, I had to wonder about his reliability too. He seemed vague about things and then he seemed dishonest about a ton of things
Alexandra: I had a hard time with the narration in total, truth be told, and ergo I often had a hard time understanding what Charlie did see or understand, because he jumped around topics SO often
Alison: I also felt part of his wallflower-ish-ness was how introspective he was
Alexandra: Here's what I wrote in my book about the introspectiveness: "This is why I don't like first person narration. I can't get any space. My face is smashed up against the glass of his thoughts and I want to step back but he won't let me." I was so in his head the whole time I felt stripped of my ability to imagine anything.
Katy: That's pretty perfect, Alexandra. He was a particularly suffocating narrator. Oddly, though, I didn't hate him
Lissa: Alexandra, I think that was probably the intention of the narrative though. Charlie's being trapped by all his thoughts and he's writing them out to someone to try and sort them out, and while that doens't make for a very assembled reading experience, I think it was totally intentional and worked, characterization/narration wise
Alexandra: Lissa, I see your point, and I agree. I think it was intentional, and it conveyed a certain kind of reading experience and perhaps what it was like to be bogged down by his muddled thoughts. I didn't hate him either, I just had a hard time with the structure
Lissa: I really dislike letter-format in books. I've never read a book where I've appreciated that format
Alexandra: Structure is a make it or break it for me--if you guys notice, every time I say I hate a book (Wuthering Heights, looking at YOU) I moan about the structure. So there's that
Alison: I actually was very okay with the structure. But I can see the letter thing and how honest and in his head made for a tough read
Alexandra: I have a friend who used to make mix cds for all her friends--a couple favorite songs of mine came from the cds she made me. I love receiving playlists or mixes from friends because it says a lot about them and a lot about how they think of me. I'm terrible at giving them, though.
If you’re curious as to my thoughts on the book, I’ll be
Have YOU read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? What are your thoughts? And what would YOU put on a “mix tape” for a friend?