Friday, August 3, 2018

May Books

It's now officially August, and I am just getting around to posting my May books!  I read 9 books in May, so I am still on track to read 100 this year.

The Heir

This is book 4 in the Selection series.  Again, think Hunger Games meets The Bachelor.

If you think that sounds amazing, you will not be disappointed.

And if you think that sounds miserable, then why are we friends?  No, I'm just kidding.  But seriously, if that above description doesn't sound good, you probably won't like this series.

I don't want to say too much about this book, because the whole plot hinges on the end of the 3rd book in the series...

The Crown

And then this book, book 5 in the series, also hinges on all of the others.  Let's just say, I really enjoyed this whole series.  It was delightful in all of the best/worst ways.

One of Us Is Lying

This spring, I was a part of a school book group for this book.  One of my biggest takeaways was that to become strong readers students need two things: time to read and engaging books to read.  A week or two after we finished the book group, the literacy coordinator at our school emailed the ELA teachers and said that there was a little extra money in the budget and did we need anything.

Let me be classroom library was not good.  I haven't built up a strong library, and all of my old middle school books are a tad dated.  I asked if I could spend some money on 15 new YA books.  And she said yes!  I looked for new, current, diverse, and engaging.  I tried to cover all genres.

This book is the first of the 15 that I read.  I would describe it as Mean Girls + Breakfast Club + 13 Reasons Why.  I could not put it down!

Five students walk into afternoon detention (all ostensibly set up), but only four walk out.  The police think one of the four is the murderer.  This book chronicles the investigation plus the unlikely friendship these four begin.

If you are looking for a book for your teenager, this is a good pick.  While it did deal with some more intense issues, the book was not too graphic at all.

My Cousin Rachel

Another Daphne du Marier!  I read Rebecca last year and really enjoyed it.

My Cousin Rachel is about a young man who is the heir of an estate.  His uncle, due to illness, travels to Italy to recuperate and falls in love with a younger woman before, mysteriously, passing away.

Rebecca comes to the English estate.  The young man is prepared to hate her, but...

I should stop there.  I don't want to give it all away!  If you enjoyed Rebecca, I think you will also love this book!

We Are Okay

The second from my 15 YA books.

Honestly, I chose to read this book next because it has a gorgeous cover.  Okay, fine, I think I chose to even order this book because I love the cover.  It's not a bad reason, right?  It's how I pick out my wine...

I really enjoyed this read.  Marin grew up in California, but she has left the West coast to go to school in New England.  But she also left other things, her past, her best friend, dealing with the death of her grandfather.  This story is told in flashbacks.  The ending was totally unexpected, but I wouldn't call this book a thriller.  It's a little slow at times, but beautifully written!

Provence--To Die For

Ah, a Murder She Wrote book, my favorites!  Talk about guilty pleasures.  These books are just delightful.  Jessica Fletcher is back to solving mysteries, just like in the show.

As you might have rightly deduced from the title, Jessica is off on a trip to Provence, France.  She is in the middle of a cooking class when the chef is murdered!

This book is perfect for the 80 year olds at heart.

The Woman on the Orient Express

I am a HUGE Agatha Christie fan, so, when this book magically appeared on my kindle, I knew I had to read it!  

Don't expect a Christie style mystery.  This book is historical fiction based on some events in Agatha's life.  I have read most of Christie's books, and I really enjoyed seeing how biographical events led to actual books.

I think you could not be a Christie fan and still enjoy this book, but being a fan would make it even better.

Love, Hate, and Other Filters

The past couple of years, I have been all about adding diverse YA books to my life, so that I can then recommend those books to my students.  This is a book I just saw on the shelf at the local library and wanted to read.

Maya is an American born Indian Muslim living in the midwest.  Tough enough, right?  Now throw in senior year, an arranged relationship, and a secret relationship!  I love how this book dealt with identity and prejudice, while also handling basic teenage issues too, like parents, boyfriends, friends, college choice.

Another point in it's favor?  This book is pretty clean.  I would feel comfortable giving this to my 7th and 8th grade students.

The Dry

The sequel to this book was on Anne Bogel's summer reading list, so I decided I needed to start with the first one.

If you enjoy Tana French, especially her first one, Into the Woods, you'll love this book.   Aaron Falk, a federal agent in Australia, goes back to his small, rural hometown to investigate the murder-suicide of his childhood best friend, the wife, and their child.  But wrapped into that investigation is a missing girl from his past.  

I love how this book had a present and past mystery, just like French's books sometimes have.  I also loved the setting.  I don't often read books set in Australia.  

Alright, that's May.  Now time to work on June and July's posts.

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