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Posts Tagged ‘young adult’

March Copy Alotment: what’s coming up

May 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Welcome to the WRT (Who’s Reading This) What’s Coming Up portion of this blog.  Each month, after I finish cataloging the month’s PICS download from NLS I will highlight a few titles that are coming up.  These will be fairly random is selection.  I will try to avoid the popular authors and series as they get plenty of attention in our collection.  My goal is to try to show off a few titles that caught my eye but may not get many direct requests from readers.  It’s also meant to bring your attention to some titles that may help that one picky reader this month.

With no further ado, here’s March 2014:

yogaDB077925 The Yoga Store Murder: The Shocking True Account of the Lululemon Athletica Killing by Dan Morse

Washington Post reporter dissects the March 2011 murder of a young saleswoman by her coworker in an upscale yoga-apparel boutique in Bethesda, Maryland–a killing overheard but ignored by employees in the Apple Store next door. Violence and some strong language. 2013.

Washington Post review praises the book for its detail regarding the crime, those involved, the investigation, and the families affected. However, they also bemoan the same attention to detail when the author relates seemingly obscure facts about the victim’s mother and the medical examiner. Good Reads provides access to user-driven reviews. Some reviews are more professional level while others are more gut-reaction. What’s nice about Good Reads is that you can get a quick idea of how actual readers like or dislike a book. With nearly 4 out of 5 stars overall the readers enjoy the book. It’s full of detail and really tells the story about the crime. It would seem that anyone who enjoys true crime stories in the style of Ann Rule will like this book. Finally, take a look at the review at crimelibrary.com. It would be nice if this site gave a quick thumbs-up, thumbs-down rating, but at least the review is brief and to the point; they liked it and found it engaging and not dry at all.

someoneDB077947 Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

When William Ashe steps between Shandi Pierce’s three-year-old son and an armed robber, Shandi believes destiny has brought her and William together. It has, but not for the reasons Shandi believes. Some strong language. 2013.

USA Today gives immediate gratification in their review article: 3 out of 4 stars! It begins by trying to jump right into the story–the way the actual book begins—in media res. A young woman, a chaotic situation, lots of “mahem,” and possibly a little bit of magical realism. The Good Reads readers give the book almost 3 out of 4 but it’s important to note that when a reader doesn’t like this book, they really don’t like this book. There is a date rape scene (apparently drunken-roofied, non consensual sex) near the beginning of the book and the haters feel like the author is sympathetic to the rapist and downplays the act. Finally, DearAuthor.com featured this book as a “recommended read” in November 2013. The reviewer won’t give up much besides the basics of the story, southern set, but not stereotypically southern, characters with issues…but not your typical love story. All she will say is that it’s a worthwhile book and that there is a payoff at the end…do not skip ahead!

cityDB078003 City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte

A year after the events in City of Dark Magic (DB 75832), Sarah Weston returns to Europe. She must convince a doctor to give thirteen-year-old blind musical prodigy Pollina Rutherford an experimental alchemical treatment for her rare autoimmune disorder. Strong language, explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2013.

I selected this book because of the interesting author name and the reference to “experimental alchemical treatment.” Turns out, Magnus Flyte is a conglomeration of two authors and City of Lost Dreams is book two in a series. No worries! Tor.com’s reviewer found the book weak but an enjoyable read nonetheless. The story is fantasy that does not take place in space or in the future. It’s not a steampunk alterative reality fantasy either. It is however “absolutely swimming with badass female leads.” And, while this is a follow up, be sure your reader has read DB75832 first; she doesn’t recommend Lost Dreams as a stand-alone.   Good Reads readers give it almost 4 out of 5 stars (I’m noticing a pattern). One reader review calls it a “great smart-girl-slightly-smutty-beach-read.” The Kirkus review calls the book an “amusing romantic mystery” and then goes on to describe it much like the Tor.com review but adds at the end that it is “sensual, witty, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.” So, there you go.

sistersDB078005 The Sisters Weiss by Naomi Ragen

Rose Weiss rebels against her ultraorthodox Jewish parents in 1960s Brooklyn and runs away from home. Forty years later, Rose–who is now an award-winning photographer–is stunned when her niece Rivka appears, seeking refuge from her traditional family. Some descriptions of sex. 2013.

The Jewish Book council not only calls this novel “riveting” but includes a set of discussion questions at the end of the review! One of the most interesting things pointed out in this review is that, while the novel is noteworthy, it will also be educational for people unfamiliar with the “laws of strict Orthodox life,” which should be comforting for our Jewish readers and interesting for our readers looking to expand their world-view. The Goodreads readers? Nearly 4 out of 5 stars! That almost never happens. RTbookreviews.com (Romance Times) gave The Sisters Weiss 4 out of 4 stars. Their reviewer praises the novel’s “clear prose” and says that “women of different faiths can connect with [the story] as they struggle to find their personal heaven.”

truthDB078085 All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

Judith and her best friend disappear for two years without a trace. One day Judith returns, scarred and with her tongue cut out. The townsfolk want to know what happened, but she is afraid to share the truth. Some violence. For senior high and older readers. 2013.

The “by kids, for kids” reviewer at theguardian.com calls this book a “dark and chilling tale of abuse and secrets, of love and loss, of silence and courage.” Overall, this young reader was very impressed by the story in this book. Unfortunately, beyond reading her full review of the book, there is not a “star rating” to share here. Sounds like one of those great unrequited love-drama-feelings kind of books that teens and young adult readers will eat up. Good Reads ruins a perfect track record by giving All the Truth 4.01 out of 5 stars! The Good Reads reviewers called it stunning, compelling, unlike any other, intoxicating…they basically love it. The New York Times review is worth the read. While the annotation alludes to the historical fiction nature of the story, the rest almost sounds too modern. The NYT review gives a much more detailed picture of this story, the conflict, and the characters. Once again, no star rating, but it’s clear that the reviewer recommends this read.

Absolutely Too True for School

June 21, 2011 5 comments

Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time IndianSo, today I feel the urge to write about a book that I consider a non-turd.  The book is the Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  The book parallels a part of Alexie’s own life story in which a young Spokane Indian leaves the “rez” school to attend high school at a “white” high school 20 miles away–and off the rez.  Arnold Spirit faces discrimination from the kids at the new school, discrimination from his neighbors that he leaves behind every day, extreme poverty, and alot of sadness.  But-hey-this is just normal stuff for a kid from the rez.

Anyway, of course the book has been challenged, like, everywhere.  It has profanity, sexual content, and some overall anti-social behavior.  In other words, it’s a peek into what it’s really like to live on and leave the reservation.  I’m posting today because the most recent school district to “challenge” [read: banned] this book is the Richland Washington School District in Eastern Washington.  At one point in my life my home address was Richland WA 99352, and I’ve actually met Sherman Alexie and think he’s a totally rad dude.  Additionally, Richland sits, literally, right between the Spokane Reservation and the Yakama Reservations–and two or three others, but I’m showing my own ignorance here.

At the bottom of this post I’ve included a link to the Tri-City Herald’s news story about the banning of the book.  I had several, “oh REALLY” moments while reading this article, but as a former English major, this one is my favorite:

“I get the feeling that language arts is an opportunity to talk about these issues and problems that are rampant in our society,” said board member Phyllis Strickler. “But is that really (its) purpose?”

I guess the kids of Richland WA will just have to wait to discuss literature as it relates to real life when they get to college–assuming their moms and dads approve.

In addition to wagging my finger at the Richland School Board, I’m “for shaming” the parents of Richland WA 9th graders.  Apparently, the English teacher who taught the book last year sent a letter about the book to parents and encouraged them to read the book and send in reviews to the School Board.  Of his entire 9th grade set of students, one parent read the book.  Of course, he or she gave it a thumbs-down.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK.  It is not a thumbs-down and it is not, what Wall Street Journal Reviewer Meghan Cox Gurdon lists as an example in her list of YA books that are “…hideously distorted portrayals of what life is.”  Oh, really?