July 26, 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day follows best friends Emma and Dexter over a 20 year period as they stumble through their 20's and 30's.  The story only enters their lives one day a year, July 15th.  Their witty banter to the longing and the tension between the two of them makes you love this pair.  However, sometimes the decisions and the paths they take leave you frustrated (as only an outsider looking in can be).  From the back of the book, Tony Parsons describes it as, "the best weird love story since The Time Traveler's Wife" and I can only agree.  This story gets in your head and stays there.  It has really left an impression on me.

July 18, 2011

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

This is another YA book I love.  I loved it so much I made sure Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was a stop on my recent road trip.  It's the first in Verday's Hollow Trilogy.

Abbey’s best friend, Kristen, has been missing for 68 days when a funeral is held with an empty casket.  The town of Sleepy Hollow has been spreading rumors about Kristen’s presumed death while Abbey is adamant her friend is not dead.  Memories of their friendship envelope Abbey; sharing a thermos of egg nog with Washington Irving and dangling their feet over the Crane River.  Outcast by her classmates, Abbey spends a great deal of time in the legendary Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where she meets her new friend Caspian.  While Abbey continues to search for answers to her friend’s death more questions arise.  You’ll love the spooky tie-in with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Abbey’s teenage humor. 

July 14, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Christine Lucas wakes up every morning with no memory of her previous day and more troubling for the past 20 years.  She has had a mysterious accident leaving her with amnesia and robbing her of the majority of her life.  After meeting her husband, Ben, for what she believes is the first time, he gives her a quick introduction to her life as it is now. Dr. Nash has secretly advised Christine to keep a journal in order for her to help herself with past memories rather than hearing them from others.  Reading her own words every day helps her start over faster.  However, journaling before the end of the day becomes difficult without her husband getting suspicious.  Some of the memories she reads each day are confusing when she starts realizing her husband does not tell her these things each morning.  Especially when, one morning, Christine finds she has written the words "Don't trust Ben" at the beginning of her journal.  Unsure of who to trust Christine attempts to unravel the secrets Ben is keeping from her before she goes to sleep each night.  This fast-paced thriller will have readers jumping to the beginning to start all over again. 

July 11, 2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

This was my first booktalk for a great Young Adult novel.  Shiver is the first in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.  

“She waited to change, and I waited to change, and we both wanted what we couldn’t have.”
            One shivering winter day a nine year old Grace is dragged from her backyard tire swing by a pack of wolves to be devoured.  After an almost human reaction to the bloodshed a yellow eyed wolf stops the pack and saves the girl from death.  Years later, Grace remembers those eyes and often sees them peering through the woods watching her.  She comes to think of this wolf as her wolf and waits each winter for a glimpse of him.  
            After a recent wolf attack on a high school student, leading to his death, the people of Mercy Falls are ready to kill the wolves once and for all.  Grace becomes terrified as the gun-wielding townspeople make their way through the woods in search of the wolves.  Her wolf.  As she clambers her way home through the woods, she finds him on her back porch, shivering and bleeding.  In human form. 
Sam has been living two lives since he was bitten nearly 9 years ago.  He explains to Grace that every summer he returns to his human self but once the weather turns cold, Sam is back on four legs.  Each year the wolves’ human stretch of time grows shorter and shorter.  Now that Sam and Grace are finally together they must fight to keep him warm, to keep him human, but the increasingly cold temperatures plus a couple protective pack members threaten their connection.  
Sam knows this will be his last year as a human.