Friday, October 17, 2014

Raven Boys continue to enthrall

If you've been waiting for the third book in the Raven Boys series, here's what I think you should know. I don't think it's over. In fact, (and I don't think this is really a spoiler), they haven't found Glendower by the end of Blue Lily, Lily Blue. But three's such a magical number, as expressed in the novel several times by various characters. So, where will the series go? Four is a number that could be seen as complete, as in four seasons to a year, etc. But five is more magical. But then there's mystical seven.
As the search for Glendower continues, school starts again, Maura remains missing and the Gray Man fights with his former boss. New characters are brought into the story. Some die or go missing, and still others do reappear. I may actually need a character guide at this point. Through it all, the tale of these four friends (and one ghost) on a quest continues to build up to a climax to appear at some point in the much anticipated future. They are each changing as a person due to the events of the story and the relationships that they are involved in. These relationships are a unique thing for today's teens to discover- very much unlike their reality in my opinion. I hope they pick up and adore these books as I do.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer reading

I may have taken summer off from blogging, but not from reading! I'd love to share with you tidbits that might entice you to pick up one of these great titles in our library:
A Matter of Days- Like Life As We Knew It, this story made me want to rethink my apocalyptic preparedness as I followed the journey of Nadia and her brother Rabbit across a ravaged America in search of family and safety. Lone Star title. 
One Dead Spy -part of a graphic novel series called Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, this Bluebonnet has much to recommend it- fighting, humor and real historical facts!
For Darkness Shows the Stars- This romantic scifi will appeal to fans of Matched or Jane Austen. Teenage lovers Elliot and Kai have been separated for years when he returns to the estate a new man. 
Tut-Coming out in September, this will be the latest from last year's visiting author PJ Hoover. This exciting read about the boy king in modern day Washington DC will appeal to Percy Jackson fans with its Egyptian mythology basis. 
The Last dragonslayer-Every year the Lone Star list includes a pure fantasy title and that is what we have. Unexpectedly, it is also packed with laughs, so check it out. 
Nest- this new book is a sweet story about a friendship between a boy and a girl during difficult times in their lives. If you loved Bridge to Terabithia, this is a book for you. 
One Came Home- another Lone Star but this one historical. It is the journey of a heroine to save her sister in pioneer days- a borderline wild west story. 
Everything Leads to You- Set in Hollywood, this story is unique in many ways, from its characters to the plot. An unexpected, modern- day romance. 
School Spirits- I believe this is a sequel to Hex Hall. Like Paranormalcy, the main character  a high school girl who hunts down things of the supernatural world. In this story she is battling a school's ghost while learning what it's like to attend public school for the first time. 
Nineteen Minutes- By Jodi Piccoult, this suspenseful story switches from the current story of a high school shooter to the past, where readers sympathize with the boy as he is constantly bullied and suffering unrecquited love. 
Pickle- A Bluebonnet nominee for this year, this book is likely to appeal to fans of the Wimpy Kid series. 
The Rithmatist- This might be steampunk with its alternate historical setting and affinity for clockworky things. Also reminded me of Harry Potter, so fantasy fans should give it a go. 
Peter and the Statcatchers-another title for fans of Harry Potter, this fantasy is the story behind Peter Pan. Try the audio- same narrator as Harry Potter audios. 
The Elite- In a cross between The Bachelor, Hunger Games, and a British royal wedding, a futuristic America searches for a girl to marry the prince. This follows The Selection as second in the series and provides a few unexpected twists and turns. 
The Testing -Cia has been selected for the testing to attend University. In this sci fi, it's a bit more deadly than what students currently face!
Odette's Secrets- Another Bluebonnet nominee, this novel in verse tells the story of a French girl who must hide in the countryside during the Nazi occupation of Paris in World War II. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Some new books!

I had been doing so well. Then a post I tried to write got deleted and other stuff happened, and now it's already the end of the year. We'll, I'll throw out a couple of suggestions for summer reading at least! First we have Girl Parts, an interesting scifi story where all of our technology has led to the invention of lifelike robots  to help people learn to socialize. So sad. But it's a bit intriguing as the dissociated people are teenage boys and the robots are all female companions. The guys can't even touch a girl robot whom he hasn't spent enough time with to know without getting a shock. Doggie training for boys:)
Counting by 7s is one of this year's Bluebonnet titles that might intimidate some readers with its size and others with a blasé cover. But the story is a great tale of loss and love. The characters are quite the unique assortment that readers will remember long after. Very satisfying read.
Tabula Rasa was a cpid- can't put it down. I read it in three days- which is really fast for me! Imagine an experimental hospital where people are given a second chance at redeeming their lives by having some of their memories removed. Yes, it requires brain surgery.... And then there's a power outage, strange findings, people attacking, escaping, remembering, and then realizing you have to go back for one pill or you'll never get fixed. Boy do I see a movie being made out of this one!
Last but not least, who doesn't love Kate DiCamillo? Especially when her book won the Newbery? Flora and Ulysses is also on the Bluebonnet list and is full of amusing illustrations to add to its charm. Ulysses, the squirrel who types out poetry after a vacuum incident, steals the show. Again, a cast of characters to remember!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Printz winner Midwinterblood

Since seven is a number of completeness, it is fitting that Sedgwick chose to divide this novel into that many stories. Each takes place in different time, but on the same island and with unnervingly similar characters. You'd think we'd start at the beginning and work our way into the present, but instead, the tale of these interwoven fates begins in the future and extends back into a time unknown. The major players are a man who in the present is named Eric Seven and a woman named Merle, although names frequently change to fit the time. Eric did not even live on the island in several vingnettes, but was sometimes visiting or stranded there. He was always in love with Merle, although sometimes she was of a different age, and at times his daughter, mother or sister. Each story is hauntingly beautiful, with symbols and phrases tying together the tales in unexpected ways. But the completeness comes from the connection that ties one story to another, such as how the bones of 2 people became intertwined that is an archaeologists' greatest discovery. Quite a worthy Printz award recipient.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New mythology fiction

A new novel I just read is Solstice, by Tricia Hoover. We are lucky to have this author come for a visit to our middle schools next week. For all those fans of Percy Jackson, I think this will be a great suggestion. It is full of characters from Greek mythology who happen to be living in Austin, Texas. The main character is a girl named Piper, who is turning 18. Her world suffers from global warming so out of control the city has built glass domes that can protect its citizens when temperatures soar. But the weather is behaving unpredictably, producing ice storms, fierce winds and thunderstorms. In the midst of the chaos, Piper appears to be the single most eligible bachelorette in town. Men materialize out of thin air to woo her. The obstacle to her fairy tale romances is her mother, overprotective with a capital o. There's a history there... And you mythology buffs might know it! Check out Solstice!