Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Reading check in...

SUMMER!!!  So much time to read!

I am currently reading The Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black, and Unnatural Creatures, edited by Neil Gaiman.  

16248246The Darkest Part of the Forest

Make the most of your summer and READ.  

On the beach...           At the pool...

During a Florida summer thunderstorm...
(my favorite!)

Now is the time to read what YOU want to read! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Sky is Everywhere

The Sky is EverywhereThe Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cried like a baby!

It isn't that this book is so sad- I mean, yes, it is sad but that isn't why I cried. This book makes you FEEEEEEEEEEEEL. If you can remember just a drop of what first love is like, this book will kick you in the feels.

Also, Nelson gets bereavement. People have a preconceived notion about how the process of mourning should play out- but unless you are the one mourning you can never judge. Nelson portrays the cloudy haze of grief with realistic accuracy.

When someone close to you dies, you seek out ways to feel like you are with them. If that means doing things you would never have done when they were alive, that's okay. It is okay to smell their weeks old dirty laundry just to sense them. It is okay to want to wear their clothes to be nearer to them. It is even natural to want to be close with those who were close to them- even if that gets confusing.

Grief is a process of redefining what life means without someone who was central to your life. Part of that means redefining who you are because you cannot be the same person without them. There is no predetermined way to do this.

Lennon Walker is a teenage girl with RAGING hormones, superb musical talent, and a recently deceased sister (Bailey) who was her best friend. Her life has been upended.

Joe Fontaine is the GORGEOUS new kid at school who is part French, a musical genius, and never knew Lennon's sister. He is never not smiling (especially at Lennon).

How could Lennon possibly allow someone into her life that never knew Bailey? How can she allow herself to be happy when Bailey is gone? Why would she rather be around Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, than face her emptiness? God, she must be selfish...or maybe, she is alive despite the fact that so much of her has died. Life continues with the living.

Jandy Nelson writes beautiful, emotive, novels which capture the heart. You will fall in love with every character in this book and weep for them.

PERFECT for high school libraries.

Ages 14+

Mister Monday

Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #1)Mister Monday by Garth Nix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anything written by Garth Nix is golden. The Keys to the Kingdom series is perhaps based off of Matthew 16:19 in the Bible: “To you I shall give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; everything that you will bind in the earth will have been bound in Heaven, and anything that you will release in the earth will have been released in Heaven.”

This is a deeply spiritual adventure/fantasy story about a young asthmatic boy named Arthur Penhaligon (Assumedly in honor of Arthur Pendragon?) who narrowly escapes death only to be awarded a partial key to the Kingdom. This key grants him access to the "House" of the "Architect" which has fallen into disarray since the Architect's disappearance.

Upon her depature, the stewards of the house disobeyed the Architect and locked her Will away in seven different places. There are seven stewards, all named for a day of the week, and all have fallen prey to one of the seven deadly sins. The "House," as a result, is suffering.

This first book "Mister Monday" is about the portion of the "House" that has succumbed to Sloth. A portion of the Architect's Will has escaped from Mister Monday's prison and is trying to regain control of Monday's Key through a natural heir- Arthur Penhaligon. Monday has illegally entered the Secondary Realms (our Universe) and has brought a plague upon Arthur's town. It is up to Arthur, and the friend's he makes along the way, to find a cure for the plague and discover how to defeat Monday without getting killed.

While this series is deeply layered with spiritual symbolism and moral ideology of an Agnostic and Humanistic nature, this doesn't detract at all from the excitement of the story. This series has been written for older children yet holds enough depth to interest teens and adults. There are seven books in the series which will keep readers engaged from "Monday" to "Sunday."

I highly recommend this series for Middle School Libraries. 

 Ages 10+.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just when you think you have this series figured out, Maggie Stiefvater adds another layer. Originally, this series is about a rich boy who is running from death and obsessed with a dead Welsh King. But now... Now, it is clear that Richard Gansey III is just a player in a much more complicated game of which Blue Sargent is the epicenter. Adam, Ronan and Noah also have more important roles to play in this story as magician, dreamer, and spirit of the ley line. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is darker and more magickal than its predecessors. It answers some questions but creates many more. There is great loss and great joy and LOTS of mystery. I am looking forward to the concluding novel which comes out in March 2016.

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and ParkEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eleanor Douglas is a thick-set redhead with a bizarre style of dress and a quirky way about her.

Park Sheridan is slight and dark haired, loves comics, Tae Kwon Do, and is the only Asian kid in his school.

Eleanor Douglas comes from a broken home, has been kicked out in the past, and recently moved back in with her mother, her a$$hole stepfather, and her four little siblings.

Park Sheridan comes from a loving bi-racial family, with only one sibling, two parents who adore one-another, and grandparents who dote on him.

Eleanor Douglas wears men's clothes from goodwill, doesn't have a toothbrush, and sometimes has to wash her hair with dog shampoo. She also lives in constant fear of her stepfather's temper.

Park Sheridan has a water bed, a walkman with the latest tapes, and cool clothes like band t-shirts and black jeans. He lives in the constant security of knowing he is loved.

Eleanor loves books and music- so does Park. Eleanor is fierce, so is Park.

Eleanor needs a place to sit on the bus on the first day of school. Park offers her a spot.

Enter destiny...

Eleanor and Park is equal parts true love story and tragic reality. This book is pure emotion. 5 stars.

Ages 14+ for content.