Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper

As you might have guessed from the title, this is a modern take on the Romeo and Juliet story. It takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio. Julio is a Mexican-American transfer student from Texas and Romiette is the African-American girl he meets in a chat room who happens to go to his school. They hit it off immediately but not everyone is happy. A new gang called the Devildogs doesn't think Romi should be with anyone who is not black and they are determined to keep it that way.

Highly Recommended
Fab by Kieran Batts Morrow, Tiffany Anderson, Adreinne Carter & Tracy Richelle High

A chick-lit novel for African-Americans. 4 upper-middle class Black women, two of whom write for Eve, write about 4 upper-middle class, Black, ivy-league women trying to find love and work they enjoy.

It's decently written and enjoyable but definitely fluffy.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar Schell is a precocious nine-year-old whose father died in the World Trade Center on September 11th. This is his search for peace. But it is also the story of his grandparents who survived the bombing of Dresden.

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

A beautiful, heartbreaking novel about searching for the past and finding yourself. Alex is the young Ukrainian who helps Jonathan on his search for the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Alex writes to Jonathan with his chapters about the search and Jonathan intersperses them with chapters about his family's history. Incredibly sad and really makes you think about the real meaning of good and evil.

Highly Recommended

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Alice on Her Way by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

The latest installment in the Alice series. Alice is getting ready to turn 16 and she has a lot to deal with: learning to drive, a new boyfriend and maybe even sex!

Always real, always good.

Highly Recommended
The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher

Billy Bartholomew is dead but that isn't keeping him from helping out his best friend Eddie Proffit and narrating this story. Eddie has lost both his father and his best friend in less than a month's time and now he has stopped talking. That is until the ultra-conservative Reverend Tarter decides to use him to help ban a book.

A really simple story about complex things, classic Crutcher.

Highly Recommended

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Y: The Last Man (volumes 1-4) by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra

The premise of this comic book is that a sudden plague has hit the earth, killing every human, and other animal, with a Y chromosome. Somehow Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand, have survived. What follows is their adventures as they travel with Agent 355 and biologist Dr. Mann to try to figure out a way to repopulate the earth. Parallel story lines involve Yorick's sister, Hero, joining the vigilante Amazons, his Congresswoman mother, and Israeli soldiers on a mission.

Highly Recommended
Brooklyn Rose by Ann Rinaldi

15-year-old Rose is the daughter of a plantation owner in Turn-of-the-Century South Carolina. After her older sister gets married, she finds that she also has a suitor: Rene Dumarest, the handsome, much older, French silk importer. Even though she marries him because of her family's financial situation, after they start making a life in Brooklyn, NY she realizes that maybe she loves him. Based on stories about the author's grandparents.

I didn't like it as much as some of her other books. Too slow and not enough conflict.

Recommended if you want a simple, chaste, period romance.