Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni

2011 Alex Award Winner

Sebastian is one of those eccentric kids who has been raised by his grandma in a geodesic dome.  You know the type--shy, awkward, brilliant, and sheltered. His life is turned upside down when grandma has a stroke. Luckily a family he just met is willing to take him in, mainly out of selfishness.  For that family has Jared, a moody heart-transplant survivor who doesn't have any friends. Jared and Sebastian become friends, luckily, since they don't have anyone else besides family. 

Over the next few weeks, Sebastian comes out of his shell--falling in love and learning about friendship and family. This is a sweet, sweet look at family and a great coming-of-age story. Lots of great punk rock references, too!

Give this to The Fault in Our Stars fans!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Return of the Mountain Man by William W. Johnstone, Book #2 in the Last Mountain Man Series

Sometimes a man has to do what he has to do. If someone kills your wife and kid, you take care of the problem. And Smoke Jensen, the fastest draw in the West, knows how to take care of problems.

I'm not sure why I love these Westerns so much--easy read? the good guy wins? men are "men" except for the evil ones? I'm watching Longmire on A&E, too.  Maybe next year I need to take my girl out to a dude ranch for a week so I can get all this wrangling and riding out of my system!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Sugarless Plum by Zippora Karz

Having a daughter with Type I diabetes means that you read all about it, even in novels.  So I interlibrary loaned this adult memoir about a professional ballet dancer who discovered she had Type I diabetes in her early 20's.  What stands out about her story is that her doctors were STUPID.  They really thought that a young dancer in wonderful physical shape could have developed Type II diabetes--the kind that overweight and out of shape people get.  WHAT?????  So she was mistreated for years. She even thought that by following an organic and healthy diet, she could "fix" her diabetes. Um, no.  She needed insulin, and, once her body got through the honeymoon stage (where the pancreas produces a bit of insulin on its own before going kaput), she was screwed.  This really is a great book about ballet, though, too, and I enjoy reading about the beauty and hard work.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen

Someone on Goodreads recommended this to me, so I thought I would take a look. Why wouldn't I read to read a historical mystery about an Irishwoman who comes to America? This is an example of the kind of book I would have absolutely loved in high school.  Now, I thought the characters were a bit stereotypical and the plot was expected.

However, it was a good summer read for me--short, interesting, and taking me to another world, even if it's a dirty NYC back in the day!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I see what the fuss is about with Rick Yancey's newest novel. It's dystopia, similar to the action of Hunger Games and the kick-buttedness of lots of books out right now.

Cassie is a typical teenage girl before The Others make their presence known. But once the aliens appear, she becomes a survivor. The first wave takes out electricity and engines. The second wave kills. The third wave is pestilence. The fourth wave is soldiers known as silencers who take out humans. And then their is the fifth wave, which the readers have to figure out.

Best part? The action. Give this to readers who want plot, a conspiracy, and teens that can conquer the world!

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

NetGalley ARC. In store date 9/10/13.

So, I was on the Printz Committee that gave Wein's book Code Name Verity a Printz Honor, so I was pretty hyped about receiving this title via NetGalley!

And I wasn't disappointed. Like CNV, I kept wanting to look stuff up as I was reading, which I couldn't do because I'm in a cruise ship this week and didn't pay for wifi. Wein is so darn good about throwing interesting facts in that I feel like she'd make a great history teacher!

Rose Justice is an American pilot serving in England. She delivers planes and is friends with Maddie, one of the main characters in CNV. Rose's story is just as shocking as Maddie's, except worse. This is a story of friendship and survival, too, but this book involves German concentration camps. For women.  Did you know there were such things? And that American and English and French and all sorts of women were used as slaves during World War II?  And don't forget about the young girls used as medical experiments. Ugh. Honestly, I had to turn my kindle off at times and think about this book.  I was a history minor and didn't learn about these hidden histories of war. Female histories.

Read this book. I can't wait to look at the final copy and see how it looks--the advance readers copy was gobbledygook at times.