Friday, December 01, 2006

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Bella and Edward are back in another adventure but this time Bella is on her own. That is until she discovers Jacob Black's secret.

Highly Recommended
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Colin is a child prodigy who wants to be a genius and has a thing for Katherines. After he is dumped by Katherine XIX, his friend Hassan convinces him to go on a road trip where he tries to discover the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability. There's lots of footnotes but the math is optional.

Highly Recommended
Street Pharm by Allison Van Diepen

Tyrone Johnson is only 16 but he's already got his life on lock. He's taken over the family drug-dealing business and everything is running smoothly. That is until someone tries to muscle in on his territory.

Highly Recommended

Friday, November 10, 2006

How to be Popular by Meg Cabot

Ever since Steph Landry spilled a Big Gulp on the most popular girl in school, her name has been synonymous with screwing up. But all of that is going to change now that she has found the secret to popularity.

Highly Recommended
Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser

The story of a school shooting told by those who experienced it with lots of gun and school shooting footnotes.

I found it very didactic and boring.
The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank by David Plotz

When The Repository for Germinal Choice was started, it was meant to be a way to breed better humans by using sperm from Nobel Prize winners to impregnate MENSA women. What actually happened to the men who donated and the women who were impregnated is much more interesting than that.

An insightful look at what was intended to be an experiment in eugenics but became more of a study in nature vs. nurture.

Highly Recommended

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dancing in the Void by Robert Edward Levin

Dr. Hubble Webster is an eccentric psychiatrist who gets caught up in a web of murder, sex and drugs that threatens his pursuit of happiness.


Monday, October 09, 2006

King Dork by Frank Portman

Tom Henderson has varied interests: making up bands, listening to bubble-gum pop and investigating his father's life/death. In between all of this, and avoiding torture at the hands of his classmates, Tom discovers something unexpected.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain

When Harper lies to her friends about why she's not going to NYU it sets off four adventures that will change their lives forever.

Like a more grown-up Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Highly Recommended
Coraline by Neil Gaiman

While exploring one day, Coraline finds herself in an alternate, more exciting world but she decides to go home. Unfortunately her alternate mother is not letting go so easily and in order to go home, and save her real parents, Coraline must use all her skills.

Highly Recommended
Whisper in the Dark by Joseph Bruchac

Maddy likes scary stories but she never expected to live one.

A fast-paced, scary thriller based on a Narragansett legend.

Highly Recommended

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone

When Kayla Callaway loses the lead in the senior ballet because of her non-balletic figure, she feels she must decide between her breasts and her passion.

Highly Recommended
The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Bushton

Due to family tragedy, the Dashwood sisters are forced to move from their ancestral home in Sussex to the sleepy, little sailing village Norfolk. Fortunately there are cute boys there.

Malpractice in Maggody by Joan Hess

The latest installment in the Maggody series brings a wanna-be detox retreat for the Stars to this rural Arkansas locale. Mayhem ensues.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Insatiable: tales from a life of delicious excess by Gael Greene

An epic memoir of the sensuality of food and sex in New York, Europe and beyond as only the Insatiable Critic can tell it.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Lizzie Nichols has big mouth that frequently gets her in trouble. After her latest slip-up almost lands her would-be boyfriend in jail, she knows she has to leave. Unfortunately she's visiting him in England. Luckily her best friend is just across the Channel in France. Hilarity ensues as she navigates falling for a taken man, helping save a wedding and finishing that pesky thesis on the history of fashion.

Highly Recommended
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

When Isabella Swan AKA Bella moved from sunny Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington she never expected to be happy there. That is until she meets Edward. Edward is beautiful, charming and a vampire.

Highly Recommended

Monday, July 31, 2006

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

When three totally different teenage girls get thrown together in Georgia peach orchard, anything can happen and it probably will.

Highly Recommended
Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

The latest installment of Jessica Darling's story takes us to Columbia while Marcus Flutie is off at Buddhist college in California. Jessica's trials and tribulations include: falling for a married man and trying to figure out how to fund college when her parents cut her off. Hilarious and real.

Highly Recommended
Sixteen: stories about that sweet and bitter birthday Edited by Megan McCafferty

17 stories by some of the best YA writers around, including Zoe Trope, Carolyn Mackler and Steve Almond. Includes a new Jessica Darling story.

Highly Recommended
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women looks like your typical girls' boarding school except for one thing, they train spies! Cammie Morgan (AKA The Chameleon) is not just a student, she's the headmistress' daughter and her sophomore year is about to bring her first and possibly most dangerous mission: falling in love.

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Party Princess & Sweet Sixteen Princess by Meg Cabot

Volumes VII and VII 1/2 of the Princess Diaries

A musical about Genovia, student gov't debt, her boyfriend acting cold and her grandmother's bid to get her on My Super Sweet Sixteen are just some of Mia's adventures in these latest two installments.

Highly Recommended
Confessions of a Super Mom by Melanie Lynne Hauser

A fun read about a divorced, stay-at-home mom who develops super powers after a horrible Swiffer accident.

March by Geraldine Brooks

March tells the other side of the Little Women story, that of the March girls' father. This is a wonderfully written and compelling story of Mr. March's experience as a chaplain in the Union Army.

Highly Recommended
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak

A well-researched and interesting history of the Stratemeyer Syndicate and their role in the creation of Nancy Drew. But the Syndicate wasn't solely responsible for the character development and popularity of Nancy Drew and documenting the other authors and influences is where is book excels.

Highly Recommended

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sloppy Seconds by Megan McCafferty

Jessica Darling is back! It's her Senior year now but she's still as angst-filled as ever. From 9/11 to deciding on a college to He Who Must Not Be Named, she definitely has her hands full.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Translated by Lucia Graves

On the day Daniel awakes and cannot remember his deceased mother's face, his father shows him something marvelous, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There he finds The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. He is so taken by the novel that he embarks on a mission to discover all he can about Julian and why a mysterious stranger wants to destroy all his books.

Set in post-Civil War Barcelona, this story is part gothic romance, part mystery and never gives away the ending.

Highly Recommended
Specials by Scott Westerfeld

What if you lived in a world where everyone got plastic surgery when they turned 16? Would you go along and become a Pretty or would you run away?

This is an intriguing trilogy about life in the not so distant future.

Highly Recommended

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love by Maryrose Wood

Despite the racy title, this is a very chaste story. Felicia, the poet, has a crush on Matthew, the science prodigy, and decides to enlist his help for a science experiment of their own: discovering the Secret of Love. As their friends get involved it becomes more complicated than they ever imagined, and more fun.

Highly Recommended
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Annabel Greene appears to have it all (teen modeling gig, perfect family) but underneath the surface things are not so perfect. After being ostracized by her best friend, she hooks up with Owen, another outsider. Through music and Owen's unrelenting honesty, she is able to finally reveal her true nature.

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall

When Amy Rush gets to stay in Wildwood, NJ with her godmother instead of her bullying stepfather and indifferent mother and sister, she is relieved. Soon she's ecstatic because she has finagled a job at Mermaid Park. Little does she know how pivotal it will prove to be.

Highly Recommended

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Jessica Darling has just had her best friend move away and she is heartbroken. No one seems to understand, from her shallow "friends" to her overly critical parents. Told alternately in letters to her friend and diary entries, Jessica really finds out what it means to be herself.

Highly Recommended
How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life by Kaavya Viswanathan

This plagiarized book is fluffy Indian-American chick-lit. I read Sloppy Firsts immediately afterwards and even though the main characters' outlooks and tone were different, it really felt like a cheap knock-off.

Since the articles said the publisher thought her original idea was too "dark", I am curious if it would actually been better written and not plagiarized.

Not Recommended
Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

In this sequel to Snakecharm, a young Falcon must decide between loyalty to his family or to his Wyvern princess.

Highly Recommended
Girls For Breakfast by David Yoo

Nick Park is a Korean-American growing up in the WASPiest town in Connecticut. He loves girls, adores them but somehow he can't get them. Is it because he's Asian or is it something deeper?

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

my saucy stuffed ravioli by Cherry Whytock

Angelica Cookson Potts is back and this time she's going on holiday in Italy with her family and her best friends. But something isn't quite right. Her mom seems much more "normal" than usual and is always mysteriously "out." Could she be having an affair with a gorgeous Italiano?

Highly Recommended
The Healing Time of Hickeys by Karen Rivers

Haley is about to start her senior year of high school which she is convinced will be the greatest. That is until she gets labeled "hickey girl", she gets severe chicken pox, her best friends starts dating her crush, and her hippy dad gets busted. Is this year salvageable?


Monday, April 10, 2006

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

Told in verse, three high school girls fall to charms of a popular senior buy only to find that he's just using them. To get back, and warn others, they write about him in the endpapers of the school library's copy of Forever.

Highly Recommended
Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd

New York Times columnist Dowd takes on gender relations in a variety of settings, from politics to the mall, in an insightful, thought-provoking and funny way. You may not agree with her but she'll certainly give you something to think about.

Highly Recommended
Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Heather Wells is a former teen pop star who is now working as an assistant director of an undergraduate dorm, I mean Residence Hall. As if dealing with being dumped by her boy-band boyfriend and rooming with his hunky, older, PI brother isn't enough, now there are girls mysteriously dying at work. Can Heather solve the mystery before another girl dies?

The first in the Heather Wells mystery series.

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch

Keir is a good guy. Everyone says so including his childhood friend Gigi. That's why he doesn't understand why Gigi is saying he raped her. He loves her and good guys don't do things like that, right?

Highly Recommended
High Heels and Homicide by Kasey Michaels

Another book in the Maggie Kelly mystery series. This time Maggie, St. Just and crew are headed to England for the filming of a movie of one of her St. Just books.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Peeps are parasite positives or, for those of you not in the know, vampires. Cal is a carrier working for Night Watch. He has just tracked down the last of the girls he infected but he still has to find the girl who infected him. But something else is going on, something Cal has never seen before. Can he figure out the mystery before it's too late.

Highly Recommended

Monday, March 13, 2006

Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005

Another great edition with an intro by Beck. One of my favorite pieces was "The Death of Mustango Salvaje" by Jessica Anthony

Highly Recommended
Avalon High by Meg Cabot

The teenage daughter of Medieval scholars finds herself smack in the middle in a modern day version of the King Arthur legend when she starts school at Avalon High in Annapolis, MD.

Highly Recommended

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley

It's sick, it's twisted, it's hilarious. Cartoons of bunnies committing suicide.

Highly Recommended

Thursday, March 02, 2006

how i live now by Meg Rosoff

Evil stepmothers, anorexia, terrorism, forbidden love, and war.

Do I have your attention yet? how i live now touches on all of this and more when Daisy moves in with her English cousins just as war breaks out.

Highly Recommended

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Emily's Reasons Why Not by Carrie Gerlach

Emily is in her thirties and having trouble finding love. She decides to go to therapy. It is there that her doctor tells her to enumerate the 10 reasons why she shouldn't have dated her exes in the hopes that it will help her choose someone more appropriate.

A Heart Divided by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld

When wanna-be playwright Kate Pride is forced to move to Tennessee from New Jersey for a year she is not pleased. That soon changes as she gets involved in the controversy over the high school mascot, the Rebels, and the flying of the Confederate flag.

Highly Recommended

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson

A very dark, suspense-filled mystery that starts with the brutal killing of a wealthy businessman. But as the death toll mounts, Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon starts finding connections to his recently dead father. And as he reads more of his journals, he realizes that things are not always what they seem.

Highly Recommended
Who's Sorry Now? by Jill Churchill

Another Grace and Favor Mystery. This time a German man fleeing from the Nazis moves into town to live with his granddaughter and someone decides to try to run him out of town. Then, a much liked train porter is found dead. What will happen next?

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Goodbye Body by Joan Hess

The latest in her series of Claire Malloy mysteries.

When Claire and her teenage daughter Caron need to evacuate their apartment for debugging, they are in seventh heaven when Claire's wealthy acquaintance Dolly offers to let them house-sit her manse. Everything is going well until a dead body appears and disappears.

Highly Recommended
Diary of a Married Call Girl by Tracy Quan

I really liked her Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl but this one got kind of old after a while. I just wanted to shake her and yell, "Why are you still hooking?!?" The sub-plot of her friend in the NY Council of Trollops was interesting but kind of unsatisfactorily resolved.

I finished it so I guess:

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Position by Meg Wolitzer

What if you and your husband wrote a sex manual ala The Joy of Sex? How would it affect your 4 kids, your marriage, your life? Told from all points of view, this novel is alternately erotic, funny and sad.

Highly Recommended