Archive for the 'Young Adult' Category

The Radleys

Thoughts tradbymh The Radleys  by Matt Haig, Free Press 2010, 285 pages, eBook/Kindle

“Irresistible… Full of clever turns… darkly hilarious spins… Even if you’re suffering from vampire fatigue, you’ll find The Radleys is a fun, fresh contribution to the genre.”   — Associated Press

Nancy the BookFool told me about this one. She tells me about a lot of great books but sometimes the stars align and I immediately get a book in my hands and read it before I really even know what its about. I obviously missed something here. Or my memory got wiped clean along the way. I think I downloaded because I recognized the author name from Twitter. I had ZERO idea this was about vampires until I was a page or two into it.

Guess that doesn’t say much about my discernment skills but might say a whole bunch about the persuasion powers of the Fool. (OK, I will tell you what happened. I saw her review, read the title of it and that Matt Haig wrote it and so I immediately went to goodreads or maybe even Amazon and bought it. I never read Nancy’s thoughts until just before writing this post. Though, I must have seen that she didn’t hate it? Hmmm. Anyway…)

A family drama, a romance or two. Bad choices (on the part of the adults) and lots of well-done teenage angst about deciding “who am I?”  I loved the thoughts of the kids but not so much the mother. I didn’t ‘get’ her and her motivations. I did like the dad. Full of humor and fast-paced plotting. I recommend for a fun quick read.

BUT THE KICKER!??!  I swear this is set in the very same spot in England that Georgette Heyer’s Venetia was set!  So that was just… ODD. And somewhat disorienting. And cool – I love the coincidences that pop up between book choices.

Do you like the cover? I do. Which I never really looked at until I finished because it was an eBook. Another quibble I have about eBooks – they hide the copyright page.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Thoughts tkonlgbypn The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Walker Books 2008, 479 pages.

First book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy.

MUST READ! If you love dystopia and frantic pacing. But mostly ONLY IF YOU LOVE SERIES BOOKS.

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But.

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If you prefer stand alone books,

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DO NOT READ THIS.

You will positively hate the ending because you have to read the next book(s?) to find out what the hell is going on.

I do not like series books. I have endured a few books presented in a series and have not minded them too much. Like Harry Potter. And the Hunger Games. (Though I am waiting until I see Catching Fire the movie before I bother with reading Mockingjay.)

I am so mad at this book and Mr. Ness that I don’t even want to read on. I will go to my grave not knowing why poor Todd Hewitt had to run. What he was running from. What the stupid Noise is.

Before I got to the last page of this book (it wasn’t an ‘end’), I was thinking it a five star read. I was captivated, compelled, breathlessly curious what was happening and needed to know why why WHY WHY?!?!

But since I didn’t get much of any kind of satisfaction when at the point (“End of Book One”) when I was told to go find The Ask and the Answer and keep reading, I gave this one star in goodreads. Seriously. I wanted to physically throw the book across the room.

Read on in CHAOS WALKING if you want, but I won’t be bothering with it. I’m too pissed off. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know now.

634HIdeinWhit

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Thoughts ttwihbycrb Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, Blackstone Audio 2012, 11 Hrs 46 Min

Question: Why is there a bear on the cover? I don’t remember a bear. I’ve already forgotten things.

I’m not going to tell you what this is about. I didn’t have a clue before I started so why should you? I just know it is getting fabulous reviews. Jill loved it, Sheila loved it, and it seems everyone loves it.

The audio was well done.

Yes, I cried.

I give it 4 slices of lemon meringue pie. fourpie

 

AND HAPPY PIE DAY!!!! I will be making Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie this afternoon.

Harry Potter. The Finale.

hpathbp hpatdhbyjkr

I’m done! I’ve read them ALL!  I’m thrilled to have this personal challenge complete. Thank you to everyone who has cheered me to this finish line, who encouraged me to keep at it, who loaned me copies of their own books or even just considered and decided I was not worth the risk. Thank you to everyone who envied my reading-for-the-first-time because once done, can never be done again. And thank you to the few of you who wondered why I would bother. I did it!  I enjoyed the whole experience.

I feel this to be a tremendous accomplishment. I’m quite proud of myself.  It only took me 16 months (funny, I thought it took longer.) I sought out borrowed non-library books, by the way. I had book #7 waiting a long time and then suddenly over Columbus Day I was presented with book #6 and swoooosh! I was done. They read SO fast.

I am not going to bother with any review. I liked the stories and loved the characters and even cried a little at the very end.

Now I get to watch the movies!

H

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PS – After finishing book #7 but still not having a very good memory of what number is which title and late the night I decided I should watch a movie, I couldn’t figure out which of the films I’m supposed to watch next since they don’t put the number in IMDB… I decided to watch the one with Sirius Black. Had NO idea that it would be the scary mean guy from The Professional (must see if you never have – Jean Reno as the ‘good’ guy and a young Natalie Portman – a top 5 favorite movie for me. I wonder if it is based on a book; must find out…) and of course — GARY OLDMAN! A nice surprise. But the movie was TOO SHORT.

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Face on the Milk Carton

Thoughts IMG_1166 The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson #1) by Caroline B. Cooney, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group 1991, 184 pages

I was fortunate enough to be asked to read aloud a few chapters of this book while I was subbing for the Special Education Department at the High School and it just happened to be Read Aloud Day! Nifty.

And then I was firmly entrenched in the story and just had to find out what happens next but they wouldn’t let me take a book home with me so I had to wait until I was subbing again the next week.

And…    fourpie

I give it four slices of pie for its addictiveness and charm of characters and the urgent sense of drama! Four slices of HONEY PIE due to the milk ingredient as featured in my year’s project book.  IMG_1229

But was mildly upset with the ending. Such a cliff-hanger and obvious setup for the next book. Boo.

Still, it was quick and engaging and I enjoyed the chance to read while at work AND help with the students.

Synopsis:  A happy daydreaming young girl sees her face on one of the milk cartons at school lunch and it sends her into quite a tizzy with the What Ifs. What if her loving parents kidnapped her? Does she have another “REAL” family? Are these new flashback memories TRUTH? Why won’t her mother let her see her birth certificate?

Her awesome boyfriend-next-door is adorable and he helps her ‘face’ the dilemmas.

Will I be reading on?  Probably not. I’m just like that. “Book One of a Series and Done.” It’s how I roll…

I started with the copy above and finished with a new edition; this cover is MUCH creepier, wouldn’t you agree?  tfotmc2

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Speak

Thoughts speakbylha Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, publisher??? (orig 1999), 198 pages (according to the goodreads page I link to here from the book cover image)

I subbed last week for an English teacher. For two of her classes, I led vocabulary discussion of Speak; covering a range of pages in the first third of the book, pushed play on the audio CD and then passed out a questionnaire. LOVE! I can’t truthfully admit that I read every word but I skimmed through and hit many highlights and read the last few pages desperately and thoroughly engaged. Tears in my eyes.

NOTE: in another class that day, I read aloud from The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B Cooney but was not capable of finishing that one by skimming. I want/need to get back to this one! Also, it was Read Aloud Day and I was very excited to have been able to participate.

Back to Speak. What a great book! I feel privileged to be a part of sharing such important relevant books with our young people.

If you don’t know, I will spoil it all for you. Don’t HIGHLIGHT if you don’t want to know. This is a book about a young girl who was raped at an end-of-summer party and calls 911. The cops break up the party and so now all the kids hate her. She ended up running after placing the call so NO ONE KNOWS. She does not understand clearly what happened, how it happened and certainly not the best way to deal with it. She turns inward and SILENT. She starts high school – never easy but now she is considered a freak, she has no friends and — oh! it’s just so hard!  
 

And I am sad that the author tells in the back of the book that she often has students ask her why the girl didn’t just enjoy being assaulted. Whoa. Seriously messed up. Bless authors and teachers for presenting these tough subjects through literature.

And now a fun quote about pie!

“Oh, if you put it in a slice of pumpkin pie, it could be a desserted island!”  -p64

Four slices of Pumpkin Pie (page 64) fourpie

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Catching Fire

Thoughts cfbysc Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic Press 2009, 391 pages, eBook

For the What’s in a Name 6 Challenge: FIRE Category

FIRST SENTENCE:  “I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Assuming my dear readers have already read this or at least have read The Hunger Games #1, then this is continuation of Katniss’ story. I will offer spoilers here so if you want to read book #2 and don’t want to know what happens, go away. I am shocked I managed to avoid what this book contained, but I did. Let me ruin it now (assuming you are still on this page!)

OK, so Katniss won the games in book #1 and she goes back home. She lives in a Winner’s Village House; Haymitch and Peeta & Family have their own Winner’s Village House. Katniss still hunts in the woods outside the fence because she needs something to do. She’s supposed to be – so the publicity machine is telling – designing clothes as her new hobby but she’s leaving all that to Cinna. (I love Cinna.) She is still conflicted if she loves Gale or not and has been managing to avoid Peeta most of the time but she still likes him, too. I kind of liked that we still don’t get a grip on her feelings about this triangle because, hey! It’s complicated. 

However, Prez WhatsHisName (I can only picture Donald Sutherland) has it out for Miss Katniss and shows up one day to tell her to toe the line or everyone she loves will perish. Blahblahblah. Tensions are rising across the country. Meaner guards and police are sent to the district so she is no longer able to go hunt in the woods. And then!

egads!!!  the craziness!!!

Because it is a Quell Year – (I won’t explain it, you already know or you wouldn’t be reading this, right?), the new fun twist is that each district will be submitting candidates for the games from PREVIOUS WINNERS. Yep. Not good for our Miss Katniss because she is the only chick from District 12 so no surprise which female will be sent. Peeta gets to go again, too. They attempt to protect each other.

Katniss is once again her adorable cheerful friendly self (do read that in your best sarcastic tone) as they train and she is suspicious of all. The games happen…

Alliances and mutiny.

(Bring on Mockingjay – Book #3.)

Three slices of pie. (I really am enjoying the series, but Katniss drives me up a wall sometimes.)

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Thoughts tpobawfbysc The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, MTV Books and Pocket Books 1999, 213 pages

I read the eBook on my iPad with the Kindle app and the very next day, rented the movie. I thought the casting was very good. In fact, Charlie’s words in the book seemed too young for his intellect but the movie character was very believable.

I loved both.

Four slices of pie. fourpie

“I just wish that God or my parents or Sam or my sister or someone would just tell me what’s wrong with me. Just tell me how to be different in a way that makes sense. To make this all go away. And disappear. I know that’s wrong because it’s my responsibility, and I know that things get worse before they get better because that’s what my psychiatrist says, but this is a worse that feels too big.”  ~63% or page 141

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Copyright © 2007-2013. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Beauty Queens (AudioBook)

Thoughts  Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Scholastic 2011, 12 discs or 14.5 hours (per Audible)

Whaddya think? Should I add the (AudioBook) words to the title of the post? Helpful? Are you ambivalent? Just curious…  

WHY I read this? Because Laurie’s review turned me from NO-WAY-NOT-MY-KIND-OF-BOOK doubt into GOTTA-READ-NOW!!! fervor. And since she works at one of my local libraries and I would have the chance to stop and say hi to her, I checked out the CDs. Also, I needed something fun after all the horror I’ve read lately.

WHAT’s it about? A plane full of teen Beauty Queens crashes onto a tropical island and they must learn how to survive. But don’t worry, the island isn’t without distractions and diversions. This book attacks everything wrong with modern society and throws in lots of elements to make sure the book is never boring.  We meet pirates and TV celebrities, get commercial breaks, run wild in the jungle and fight evil corporations.

What’s GREAT? The author is the narrator. She nails it. I was forever impressed with her ability to do every different voice and even if we get every stereotypical accent, it is over the top funny and enjoyable. Of course, this is my opinion? But I really enjoyed listening to this one and thought the whole thing great fun.

FINAL thoughts? A perfect way to cleanse my brain after American Psycho.

RATING:  Four slices of coconut pie. With gummy bears sprinkled on the whip cream. 

Don’t forget to weigh in on whether or not I should include the tag AUDIOBOOK in my post title! and if I should say REGULARBOOK in the other post titles?  

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Fault In Our Stars

Thoughts  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, DUTTON BOOKS An Imprint of Penguin Group 2012, 313 pages

Why I read this:  For The Bookies Book Club.

Fact: This is the 4th book I’ve read by John Green. This places him in a small group. Only a few authors can claim that I’ve read more than 3 of their books.  (yea, like any are keeping track.)

I enjoyed this book very much, finding all that I love about John Green’s books to be included;  the words I don’t know and then are defined within the conversation so I don’t have to look it up, travels, the loving well-meaning and usually respected parents, the reckless rule-breaking but not quite tragic and always smart teenagers, and yes – I take it back – the tragic. But always ends with a good cry and tons of hope that life really doesn’t have to suck even it if does.  I don’t quite know how he does it.

I don’t have my “THOUGHTS” post-writing skills yet dusted off so I won’t tell you what this book is about. It often gets debated that it is about cancer and that appalls some and thus they want to avoid it but cancer is everywhere and what we need to know how to do is – uh oh, I’m preaching?! – is to learn how to relate to people through the good and the bad. I loved how this book does that. With humor, with love and with respect.

I also resent the implications of some of the goodreads reviews that seem to question Green’s authority to write a book about kids with cancer and think it is totally unequivocally absurd.

Here are more reviews or you can click on the book cover above and read the goodreads.com stuff.

Nymeth says, the author ‘hoped this would be a novel that would make readers feel ALL THE THINGS, and I think it succeeds very impressively on that regard.’ Her review is actually quite brilliant and I always learn so much from her. Truly, I want to quote from every one of her paragraphs.

Softdrink had a few problems with the book and her points are valid. She also references another review so you may want to follow that trail.

and Ti’s review where she simply says, “An amazing, life affirming read.”.

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I think my favorite of the JG novels will forever be Looking for Alaska; I still had to rate this 5 slices of pie. I rounded up since I don’t give half slices…

“FOREVER WITHIN NUMBERED DAYS.”

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Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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