Monday, December 20, 2004

Who Am I Without Him? by Sharon G. Flake

A collection of short stories about young, black women and men dealing with relationship.

Interesting, funny, and sometimes depressing.

Our Lady of The Forest by David Guterson

Didn't enjoy it as much as Snow Falling on Cedars. The narrative style was sort stream of consciousness and it really annoyed me. Plus it seemed really long.

A teenage mushroom picker in the forests of Washington State claims to have visions on the Virgin Mary. In the process of the investigation and ensuing publicity the small town and the lives of its residents are irrevocably changed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Macker

A great story about a teenage girl basically dealing with her life.

When her best friend moves away and her brother, whom she idolizes, is accused of something horrible, Virginia's world comes crashing down. As she deals with it and moves on, she realizes that she is stronger than she thinks.

Highly recommended

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

I loved these books! They're fast-paced thillers with short chapters that just make you want to keep reading. Also, the history and art references are very intriguing. Character development is so-so but that's okay. I hope he writes more with Robert Langdon.

Highly recommended, except to those who will be offended by historical interpretations of the Bible, Christianity, Jesus, etc.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Great Halloween book! Kind of slow but interesting story of two boys who fight the evil that arrives with a traveling carnival.
How to Make Love Like a Porn Star...a Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson

An interesting but kind of depressing biography of a porn star. Contains abuse, drug use, and mucho sex.

What's especially interesting is that she doesn't quite seem to realize how screwed up her childhood was.
My Cup Runneth Over: the Life of Angelica Potts by Cherry Whytock

In the same vein as Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging but much less annoying. Angelica Potts is a high school student who loves to cook and is NOT model thin. She and her friends deal with boys and deciding what careers they want.
Highly recommended.

Our Vampires, Ourselves by Nina Auerbach

The premise that every age gets the vampire it deserves is interesting but my interest was not kept by the very scholarly tone of the book. Maybe if I was an English major I would have enjoyed it more.
The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Follows the interactions of a group of high schoolers in Australia whose lives are dramatically changed when they are assigned pen-pals from a rival school. Told through letters, notes, and e-mail.
I highly recommend it.
heart on my sleeve by Ellen Wittlinger

A great new novel by the author of Hard Love. Tells the story of high school seniors preparing to go off to college through e-mails, im's, and letters. Focuses on Chloe Gillespie and Julian Casper, two musicians who meet and hit it off at a weekend college visit. Much drama ensues as they deal with their budding relationship, their friends and their families. Includes a playlist at the end of all the songs referenced throughout the book.
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

Another great book with her signature style. A group of four young men and women from different countries meet and bond when tragedy strikes the Greek town they are visiting.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Here's a list of the books I've read over the last months: (later I'll write about some of them)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Act I, Act II, Act Normal by Martha Westin
A Cool Moonlight by Angela Johnson
Princess Lessons by Meg Cabot
Everything you never wanted your kids to know about sex (but were afraid they'd ask) by Justin Richardson, MD and Mark A Schuster MD, PHD
13 edited by JAmes Howe
The Last Manly Man by Sparkle Hayter
Friction by E. R. Frank
Perfect Princess by Meg Cabot
Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Best Enemies by Jane Heller
The Chelsea Girl Murders by Sparkle Hayter
A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw
Leap Day by Wendy Mass
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Bad Girls Series by Cynthia Voight
Lady, My Life as a Bitch by Melvin Burgess
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Naked Brunch by Sparkle Hayter
The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars by Steven Brust
Jack the Giant Killer by Charles de Lint
White as Snow by Tanith Lee
Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost
Doing It by Melvin Burgess
The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Vox: a novel by Nicholson Baker
The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
Love and Other Four Letter Words by Carolyn Mackler
The Girl's Life Big Book of Short Stories
The Princess Bride
Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys by Eric Garcia
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
Promise You Won't Freak Out by Doris A., Natalie, and Greg Fuller
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Hot and Sweaty Rex by Eric Garcia
Please Don't Kill the Freshman by Zoe Trope
Am I Blue: Coming Out From Silence edited by Marian Diane Bauer
Strangers in Paradise: the Complete Collection Vol. 1
Strangers in Paradise: High School
Maggie Without a Clue
by Kasey Michaels
Wearing of This Garment Does Not Enable You to Fly: 101 Real Dumb Warning Labels
Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Angels by Marian Keyes
Pop Princess by Rachel Cohn
Hot Flash Club by Nancy Thayer
Fallen Angels by Tracy Chevalier
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
How to Make Love Like a Porn Star...a Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson
My Cup Runneth Over: the Life of Angelica Potts by Cherry Whytock
Our Vampires, Ourselves by Nina Auerbach
The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Period Pieces: Stories for Girls selected by Erzsi Deak and Kristin Embry Litchman

Great collection of short stories about girls in different situations and different cultures dealing with getting their periods for the first time.
Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Carly Alexander

Chick Lit

Main character is haunted by her past Christmas relationships as she tries to find love.
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

This takes place in the same school as Speak and has a passing reference to that protagonist.

The story focuses on Kate, the daughter of a minister, who is desperately trying to finish her senior year. As she deals with her boyfriend and worries about getting accepted to college, tragedy strikes her community and she is sucked in.

Well written and true to life.
The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith

The latest in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

Babe in Toyland by Eugenie Seifer Olson

Chick lit

The main character is an employee of a toy company in Philadelphia who falls in love with a local weather forecaster. When she decides to let him know, hilarity and hijinks ensue. Love is eventually found.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Outsiders of 19 Schuyler Placeby E.L. Konigsburg

Another great novel by the author of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This one deals with being an outsider, both as a child and as an adult. After Margaret leaves her summer camp to stay with her eccentric uncles, she is sucked into a campaign to save the towers they have been creating from destruction.
Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

This light, amusing story is told through e-mails, phone messages and other correspondence. The main character works for the personnel department and is embroiled in a controversy over the firing of a beloved employee. Havoc and of course love ensues.
The V Club by Kate Brian

Four girl friends compete against each other to win a college scholarship where "purity" is one of the requirements. As they deal with the pressure of staying "pure", their friendships grow and mature.

Very cool look at high school students and "purity".

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Messenger by Lois Lowry

The last of her 'trilogy' that started with The Giver.

Jonah from The Giver is now the head of a new society that welcomes everyone. But things are changing, the villagers are becoming restless and less inclined to accept new people. Does it have to do with the new trading? And what's happening to the forest? Only Matty, a young boy with incredible healing powers, can solve the mystery.
Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers by Alissa Quart

Really interesting look at how companies are marketing to teens by using them as advertisers.

32AA by Michelle Cunnah

Chick lit where the main character has small boobs and just got dumped when she expected a proposal. Works in NYC. Moves in with guy who later becomes boyfriend, of course.

Light, very forgettable

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

A departure from her previous novels wher she dealt with vampires, vampire hunters, etc. This one looks at two warring "cultures". Both are animal shape-changers. One changes into birds and the other snakes. Very interesting look at stereotypes and understading different cultures. I really enjoyed it. Can't wait for her to churn out the next one.

Muletrain to Maggody by Joan Hess

The latest in the Maggody mystery series. In this one, Civil War reenactors come to the town of Maggody, Arkansas, which is peopled by the inbred Buchanons (including the Mayor) and many other colorful characters, bringing with them tales of hidden Confederate gold. Needless to say havoc and murder ensues and Chief of Police Arly Hanks must get to the bottom of it.
really like this series and the books don't come out to often for me to get sick of. Plus they're a pretty quick, entertaining read. Also recommended is Hess' Claire Malloy series.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Nice Girls Finish Last by Sparkle Hayter

The second in a mystery series. The protagonist is Robin Hudson a thirty-something divorcee who works for an international cable news station. Hilarious, now I need to find the first one.

The Best American Non-Required Reading 2003 edited by Dave Eggers

Definitely continues the fine tradition of the first one. The only piece I didn't finish was "Tales of a Tyrant", just couldn't really get into it. Especially liked "The Guide to Being A Groupie."