June 13, 2013
Even after hearing all the good reviews for Eleanor & Park I was still surprised by how much I liked it. Outcasts, Eleanor, the new girl with crazy red hair, and Park, the half-Korean kid, regrettably find themselves sharing a bus seat to and from school. Soon Park realizes Eleanor has been quietly reading his comics over his shoulder and they gradually start to talk about X-Men and The Smith's. Eleanor's personal story takes time to unfold and we find out her home life is terrible; with an abusive stepfather who kicked her out a year ago. And although Park's home life looks idyllic, especially to Eleanor, Park has his own father/son issues. Their first love blossoms as their trust grows and they begin to lean on each other when life gets tough.
May 27, 2013
Darcy Jones was five when she was abandoned at a firehouse in Chicago and has been flying through foster parents since. At the age of sixteen she is finally going to the same school for a second year in a row. This new year has been great up until she kisses her crush, gets arrested and her foster mother throws a kitchen knife at her all in the same day. Darcy responds by vanishing. And by doing so she finally starts to find some answers. Fantastic book.
May 9, 2013
Celaena Sardothien, best assassin in the land, who happens to be serving out a sentence in the mines, is tracked down by the Crown Prince of Adarlan to be his chosen Champion in the King’s search for an assassin. The last man, or woman, standing in this competition receives the honor of killing for the King. Initially, the book reminded me of Hunger Games, however it took a different turn and wasn’t solely about the competition. I do recommend it if you liked Hunger Games. Anyway, back to Throne of Glass. In an attempt to regain control of her freedom, Celaena accepts the King’s challenge. When the other Champions, an assortment of assassins, soldiers, and thieves, start to turn up gruesomely slaughtered outside of the prearranged Tests, Celaena tries to put meaning to the strange Wyrdmarks and sinister-looking gargoyles that can be found throughout the Glass Castle. The action really picks up when Celaena finds a hidden passageway leading from her room to a catacomb. And also what teen book wouldn’t be complete without a love triangle!
April 29, 2013
I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reader's Copy of Nantucket Blue, although it comes out very soon, May 7th, so I don't feel too bad recommending a book not yet released. I could not put this book down and found myself forcing it to my nightstand once midnight had finally hit. It took me straight back to high school with the teen language and fights and crushes. Cricket Thompson has been madly in love with Jay Logan forever and even has a Jay playlist she constantly listens to. When her best friend, Jules Clayton, invites her to spend the summer at her family's beach home on Nantucket she couldn't be happier. Of course, knowing Jay will be on the island all summer will make this the all-time best summer vacation! When the Clayton family is hit with a tragedy and Jules tells Cricket she can no longer come to Nantucket, Cricket is beside herself. However, a rescinded invitation is not going to stop her from having the best summer ever!
March 26, 2013
Addie Coleman lives on the Compound where people with advanced mental abilities reside and work. Kind of like X-Men but with strictly mental powers. Addie is a Searcher, when faced with a decision, she can see into the future for the outcome of either choice she may make. With her parents’ divorce she must decide to either stay on the Compound with her mother or move to the normal world with her father. Each choice is laid out in alternating chapters and filled with good and bad outcomes. Knowing the possible futures in her case doesn’t seem to make the decision any easier. Addie finds love in either future however she also finds danger and betrayal. I loved this book, it kept me guessing the whole time.
February 19, 2013
I’ve wanted to learn the violin for a very, very long time now but I keep talking myself out of it. I figure I won’t be very good since I’m starting so much later in life, ok, not that much later but I’m no longer a kid. I fear that I’ll give it up right away because I’m certain I have no natural musical talent. So when I happened upon Guitar Zero: the science of becoming musical at any age, I thought I’d find out how someone who was about to turn 40 handled learning the guitar. Gary Marcus, a cognitive psychologist, chronicles his experience learning an instrument as well as sharing several renowned musicians’ own experiences. Marcus provides research findings throughout the book challenging the perception that musical talent is innate. From self-teaching to the Dalcroze method to playing in a band with 11 year olds at a summer camp, Marcus explores a myriad of techniques in learning an instrument. It’s a very interesting book for anyone considering, and possibly running away from, picking up an instrument. And as my thirtieth birthday approaches, I’ll be asking for a beginner’s violin so that I can finally get over my fear and possibly bring great joy in my life at learning something new. I’ll let you know how it goes.