Thursday, April 24, 2014

9 More Books

Seriously. Nine. I've been on a reading roll lately. Here are some brief recaps.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - This was my first book by Rainbow Rowell. I loved her writing style and should really probably bump this up to a 5 out of 5 because I've spent every library trip since reading this trying to find another book by her that is available at my library! It just stuck with me. It's definitely worth reading!
I gave it 4 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - This was just a cute young adult book. It's nothing heavy, just fluff really, but enjoyable enough! I went through a little young adult fluff phase here for a few books.
I gave it a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - I love the way Stephanie Perkins writes the setting into her story. The first book I read, Anna and the French Kiss, was set in Paris & left me really wanting to visit Paris ASAP. This one was set in San Francisco & again I felt myself wanting to find a flight immediately. She just makes the setting a part of her whole story. It's weaved into every aspect and I really enjoy that. There is another of her books coming out in May called Isla and the Happily Ever After. I'm definitely reserving a copy at my library!
I gave it a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesay - This one I'm kind-of torn on. It's not a young adult book and it's a retelling of Jane Eyre, which I've always liked. I really enjoyed the book Jane by April Lindner, which is another retelling of Jane Eyre, but it's a young adult version and I liked it a lot better. I did like that this explored the idea of independence & not relying on those around you to make you complete, but I just didn't totally connect with Gemma Hardy and I got kind-of down about her whole situation.
I gave it a 3 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

A Beautiful Wedding (Novella) by Jamie McGuire - I read Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster, which are the 2 actual books in this series. This is a novella that goes along with it and it's just as great as the other 2 books. It left me wanting to reread both books!! I just love this series. It was a quick read, but super fun.
I gave it a 5 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

The Perfect Game by J. Sterling - This was kind-of an "eh" book for me. It was fine, I read it quickly, but I don't think I'm interested in reading the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. It just didn't really grip me.
I gave it a 3 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry - I liked this one. It was a unique story and you're trying to figure out what's happening through the whole thing. I enjoyed the relationship between the 2 main characters and I liked seeing how the story develops & finding out what had really happened to Echo. It's a young adult book and not the best one I've read, but it's good enough!
I gave it a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Okay this one...whew. This will go down as the year I discovered John Green. I had read Paper Towns before and I liked it fine, but it didn't knock my socks off or anything. I knew that I liked the way he wrote his characters and the uniqueness and quirkiness of them. I just relate to that, I guess. I was really nervous about reading this one because I just didn't know how well I'd handle a love story about 2 high school kids with cancer, but wow I LOVED it. I have talked about it with several people since reading it and I keep thinking about it. He has such great quotes that I have found myself wanting to find a copy of the book at Half Price Books so that I can own it and write in it and highlight all my favorite parts! And it's another one that left me trying to find any John Green books at my library.
I gave it a 5 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr - This was another interesting one. I really liked the exploration of a young girl who has made a tough decision and had to live with the social consequences. Man, it's a book I would love all high school girls to read when they are entering high school. It's another one where I'm trying to find more books by this author! Definitely worth picking up, but it's tough to get me to give a book a 5 out of 5 lately, so it didn't quite make that cut, but it's worth reading!
I gave it a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads & Shelfari

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Young Adult and Children's Literature

I'm taking a Young Adult and Children's Literature class right now, which I've mentioned a couple of times already. I have read several books for this class that I'm counting toward my 50 because they're chapter books and I've really enjoyed them! I already talked about The One and Only Ivan and Paper Towns. 

Three Times Lucky
This was another of the books I read for class. It's about a little 6th grade girl who is an orphan in Tupelo Landing, NC. She lives with the 2 people who found her floating up the river as a baby. The first is the Colonel, who named her Moses because of how they found her, and the second is Miss Lana. The book features really colorful and interesting characters, a small town with lots of gossip and relationships, and then a murder mystery! It's great for kids 10 and up. I've recommended it to students in my class. It does have the murder mystery aspect, but very kid-appropriate. It's really adorable and I loved the characters! The second book has come out called The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing and I've ordered it on my Scholastic Book Order to have in my classroom! I definitely recommend this one to anyone with kids about that age!

Turtle in Paradise
This is also a great book for kids about 9-12 years old. It's about a little girl named Turtle who has to move and live with her aunt in Key West, FL during the Great Depression. It's a historical fiction piece and it definitely captures the feel of the Great Depression at that time. It also features the hurricane in Key West about that time. Turtle is a feisty kind of girl who speaks her mind and I like that a lot. In both Three Times Lucky and Turtle in Paradise, you find strong female characters in the lead who struggle through things and figure things out on their own and they're great little models for other girls reading the books. I enjoyed this one a lot as well!

Anna and the French Kiss
This is the last book I've had to read for my Young Adult and Children's Literature class, although there are several more I will be reading anyway that I've put on my list for the rest of the year! But this is the last one I'll be writing about in class. This book is about a girl named Anna, whose dad is a sort of Nicholas Sparks type of writer who sends her to an American boarding school in Paris to help her and himself look more "cultured." This book is aimed toward high school students and is more grown up that the other 2 mentioned in this post. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to high school girls because it's very different than the normal young adult books you find that are focused on relationships. For one thing, they stay friends for the majority of the book and their relationship grows and changes as they get to know each other - not that there isn't sexual tension, but it definitely wasn't one of those "we met and immediately we're in love" kind of things. I enjoyed that aspect of it. I also like that both the girl and guy in the story aren't the typical dreamy types. The guy is pretty short and the girl has a gap between her 2 front teeth. It's just an adorable, really real view of a high school relationship. Nothing really unrealistic or silly or far-fetched. I just thought it was a great, sweet story that adults as well as high school students would enjoy! The one thing I didn't like was the name. I hate when great books have silly names that make me feel stupid when I tell people what I'm reading...but oh well.

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

On a side note, there is one book I started, but wasn't able to finish. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray was one that I got about 14 chapters into, but it took me 2 1/2 weeks and I just wasn't loving it. Maybe I wasn't really in the mood for something magic-related or maybe I just didn't get invested enough in the characters right off the bat, I'm not sure what it was exactly, but I put it down after 2 1/2 weeks and I picked up Anna and the French Kiss at 4:00pm one night....and I finished Anna and the French Kiss at 11:00pm the same night. Couldn't. Put. It. Down. So there ya go.
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