Wednesday, January 2, 2019

November Books

November was not a big reading month.  I was wrapping up the end of the trimester with grading.  We also did some BIG house projects this month, which took up a lot of time.  But I had read enough earlier in the year, so I knew I would still be able to reach my end of the year goal even with a light reading month.


A YA book, of course.  Ya'll, just get ready to see a plethora of YA books for the next three years.

This book is sort of dystopian.  Dee, a 17 year old, has been unjustly accused and found guilty of the murder of her step-sister.  She's sent to Alcatraz 2.0, where her death, at the hand of a band of crazy executioners, will be live streamed to viewers all over the country.

This book is really clever, albeit not amazingly written.  The book has twitter post scattered throughout it.  I wouldn't rush out to read this book, but definitely give it to your teen readers.

Anne of the Island

Oh, Anne girl.  I love to dive back into Anne Shirley's world, especially in the fall.  This book is about Anne's college years, her relationship with Royal Gardner, and then finally her reconciliation with Gilbert Blythe.

Nine Perfect Strangers

The new Liane Moriarty book!  Somehow I was magically second on the hold list at my local library.

I knew NOTHING going into reading this book.  I just knew that I love this author's books.  It was wonderful to read with no idea of the book, so I am going to do the same to you.

Just read it.  It was great.

What You Left Me

I have mixed feelings about this book.  It has a strange premise, and I didn't love the ending.  But I did enjoy the middle parts.

Martin and Petra are graduating from a huge high school and are somehow seated next to each other.  They have a flirtation and plan to see each other later, but Martin is in a horrible car crash and ends up in a coma.  While he's in the coma, he communicates with several friends through their dreams, including Petra.  

See what I mean?  Just a little strange.  I also didn't love that there was a big event in Petra's past that isn't quite dealt with.  It felt a little unresolved.

Odd One Out

Nic Stone's new book!  Again, I was lucky to get this book.  I walked in to get the Liane Moriarty book, and this was just sitting on the library shelf.

I loved Nic's first book, Dear Martin.  I was super pumped to read this new one, and it was just okay.  Odd One Out is about a love triangle between a straight male, his lesbian best friend, and a new girl. I liked that this book had lots of LGBTQ characters and there were lots of conversations around all of those issues.  I didn't like some more explicit scenes.  I also felt like Nic tried to be too trendy with the writing, and it came off weak.

Kingdom of the Blind

Let's end this month with a win.  Louise Penny is one of my very favorite authors.  I don't think I have ever pre ordered another author's books, but I've been preordering her new book since 2013.  She comes out with a new one every fall.

I won't do a synopsis, because you need to read the series.  You can skip the first one, Still Life, because it's sort of slow (although, once you know the characters, you will want to come back to it).  Just read her!  

And this book was great.  I was so happy with it.

October Books

Ahhh, SO many YA books this month...

People Like Us

I don't like adult thrillers, but there is something about a YA thriller that has been really appealing to me lately.  This book is a great YA thriller/mystery.

Kay is a main character at a boarding school; she's popular, athletic, etc.  But a classmate dies on campus and somehow leaves Kay a timed website instructing Kay to discover other's secrets and reveal them in order to protect their own.  

I couldn't stop reading this book!  I don't know if it's award worthy, but it's definitely an interesting read.

Ban This Book

This book is middle grade, so give it to your elementary school and middle school students!

Ban This Book is about a 4th grade girl, Amy Anne, who LOVES to read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler--but suddenly the book is missing from her school library!  A school board member has challenged it as well as a slew of other loved books.  

Amy Anne decides to fight back by opening a banned books library in her school locker.  Of course, she gets caught, and the normally shy 9 year old learns to stand up for what she believes.

Glass Houses

Ah, a reread.  I just love comfortable rereads.  

Louise Penny's new novel came out at the end of November, so I wanted to read her last novel again to be ready for Kingdom of the Blind.  You don't have to read Louise Penny in order at the beginning, but you do need to later on in the series.  I don't want to say anything about this book and ruin it, but SO GOOD.

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade

A student lent this book to me.  Sasha Cade is a high school senior when she passes away from cancer.  She leaves a series of surprise adventures for her best friend, Raquel.

Again, I don't want to give away the plot, so I won't ruin any of the surprises!  But this book was good--realistic fiction, a tear jerker, lots of character development.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Thanks to the kindle gods, this book appeared on my kindle app.  I've seen this author talked about in other places, but this book and the next were my first of hers to read.

In this book, Emily Benedict, a 16 year old, is now parentless, so she moves back to her mother's small southern hometown to live with her quirky grandfather.  She immediately strikes up a friendship with a forbidden boy.

Allen writes southern magical realism, and this book was just delightful!

Garden Spells

I actually ended up reading two books by this author.  This one is also set in a small southern town.  Amazon just informed me that this book is Allen's debut novel, and it is a wonderful one!

The Waverly family is just...weird.  They are strange, and their whole small town knows it.  When the younger Waverly sister comes back into town with her young daughter, some of their secrets come out into the open.  Again, another wonderful read!  I will add more of her books to my list for this upcoming year.

Neverworld Wake

Oh, this book was my FAVORITE this month!  It's up there in the favorite list for the year.

Marisha Pessl wrote Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which is another book I just loved.  This book, and her other one, both reminded me of a YA, less dark Donna Tart.

In this book, Beatrice is a year out of her private boarding high school and a year separated from her boyfriend's mysterious death.  She meets up for a night out with her four best friends from high school in hopes of finding answers.  But after a car accident, the five college freshmen are trapped in a "Neverworld Wake," from which only one person can awake.

This book was intense and a little dark, but also not too fast paced.  Seriously, I just LOVED it.  

Lies You Never Told Me

Ah, another YA thriller/mystery.  This book was amazing.  Not only was it super engaging, it also addressed some big issues in a very authentic way.

The book tells the story of two different teens, one who begins a relationship with her teacher and one who is trying to get out of a manipulative relationship.   I loved the way the stories intertwined!

The Astonishing Color of After

This was maybe my second favorite book of this month, and it's another YA.

Leigh Chen Sanders has never known her Taiwanese grandparents.   But after her mother's suicide, she becomes convinced that her grandparents will be the key to understanding the why's.  She travels there and learns about her mother's past.

This book was beautifully written, woven with culture and color.  It's definitely a read!