Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2013. Reviewed from ARC. The Plot: It’s the summer after high school graduation, and EB and Lauren are both looking forward to college. EB is looking forward to leaving her small New Jersey beach town, her mother, her circle of friends and their [...]
A few final books we wanted to squeeze in: Reality Boy, which received some buzz early in the year but seems to have fallen off everyone’s radars despite three year-end Best lists; More Than This, a book that has picked up some traction recently as a buzz book and potential contender; and Black Helicopters, which [...]
Today, I’m talking about two books that are in my personal top 10 of the year. And both revolve around death and love, two primal, powerful pieces of life. And they’re both fantastic. Other than that, they’re really different, and I suspect neither of them has much chance at a Printz nod, which is sort [...]
I thought we’d kick off the New Year with two of the biggest books of 2013. Both couple length with accessible, engaging prose that seduces the reader all the way to the end. Donna Tartt made her name with The Secret History over 20 years ago, and it has since gained cult status. The Goldfinch, [...]
‘Tis the season, and gift-giving is on our minds. Here are three nonfiction titles that would make welcome presents for the right teens.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Little, Brown. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. As promised in August, this is my spoilerific post about Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. At this point I assume knowledge: you read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock; you read my initial review; and/or, you don’t care about spoilers. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is [...]
Sherman Alexie’s award-winning young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indiancan no longer be taught in classrooms at West Virginia’s Harpers Ferry Middle School, English teacher Dawn Welsh—who had assigned the book to approximately 120 eighth graders—tells SLJ. The often-challenged title was removed from the curriculum at Jefferson County Schools after parent Misty Frank objected to its profanity and sexual content.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. Little, Brown. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: Tana wakes up after a party to a house filled with the dead. She is one of three survivors: the others are her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, and strange vampire, Gavriel. As the sun slowly sets, the vampires who killed [...]
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers always offers interesting programs at its book previews in New York City, courtesy of Victoria Stapleton, director of school and library marketing, who builds the excitement at each event with the tease of a special guest appearance. Who was it this time?
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Matthew Quick Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, August 2013 Reviewed from ARC True confession: I had never heard of Matthew Quick until Silver Linings Playbook became an Oscar contender last fall, but then Sophie reviewed Boy 21 for the blog, and then in true Baader-Meinhof fashion, the ARC for Forgive [...]
The Lucy Variations, Sara Zarr Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, May 2013 Reviewed from ARC If you stop doing the thing that defined you and made you special for most of your life, who are you and can you ever move on? The Lucy Variations is a meditation on the classic young adult themes of [...]
Leonard Peacock has big plans for his 18th birthday….to kill Asher Beal and then commit suicide….This is a difficult, yet powerful, book. Quick’s use of flashbacks, internal dialogue, and interpersonal communication is brilliant.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Little, Brown. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: It is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. No one remembers. He has wrapped up four gifts, to give to his four best friends. And he is bringing his grandfather’s handgun to school. Today is the day he will shoot Asher [...]
The inclusion of Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian—winner of the 2007 National Book Award—on a required summer reading list for sixth graders has raised the ire of a group of parents in Belle Harbor, NY, who have successfully called for its removal, the Daily News has reported.
Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin. Little, Brown. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Ritchie Sudden is locked up for ninety days. He’s about to tell you why he got here. Well, eventually. Ritchie is about to tell you about his senior year. And how he and his best friend, Elliot Hella, started a [...]
The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr. Little, Brown. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Eight months ago, Lucy Beck-Moreau stopped playing the piano. Teens do that all the time, right? Except Lucy Beck-Moreau, 16, isn’t your typical teen. She was a concert pianist, who was in Prague for a major event when she [...]
Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler. Little, Brown & Co. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. It’s About: Aaron Hartzler’s memoir about growing up in an ultra-religious Christian family. It is funny; touching; rebellious; believing; and loving. The Good: I have a bit of a fascination with religion, especially those that say they have the answers. [...]
Some books receive more “buzz” than others in the lead-up to publication. Today we review three books that have received more than their fair share. First, our starred review of the day – The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. Wolitzer’s fiction is always excellent and often provocative. Everyone, from the New York Times to EW and People, [...]