Book Review: A World Without You by Beth Revis

worldBook Review: A World Without You by Beth Revis

When Bo’s girlfriend Sofia commits suicide, he is unable to come to terms with her loss. Instead, he believes that by learning to control time, he can somehow save her. The story gently unfolds as Bo learns more about himself, his family, and Sofia.

I listened to Revis talk about how this book helped her deal with something in her past. That is evident by the honesty in the characters she created. Loss is tragic, and the author managed to capture the pain and helplessness that survivors of suicide often feel, while still allowing for the joy of hope.

Quotes: None that I pulled out, but think that was because I read it too fast. Lots of beautiful word choice.

Recommended Grades: 9th and up
Genre: Realistic
Overall Opinion:   Recommend
Source: ebook from Edelweiss

Book Review: I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

princessxBook Review: I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

Libby and May were inseparable friends who worked on a comic together called Princess X. When Libby is killed in a car crash, all the pictures Libby drew are suddenly gone. May tries desperately to find them, but is unsuccessful. Then, one day when she is out and about, she sees their heroine on a sticker. With the help of Patrick; local IT guy, May follows the clues to see if Libby is somehow alive, or if it is all just a trick.

I loved this book and totally understand why it is a Texas Lone Star winner this year. The plot is quick moving and keeps you hooked. I loved the comic graphic novel and text format that seemed so appropriate to the story. I think the cover is beautiful and naturally has high girl appeal. My manga guys will pick it up, but I had to con a few boy into picking it up, before it caught on with that audience. The audio for this is well done because it narrates the illustrations. I listened to part on audio, but liked looking at the novel so switched over to the book.

Quote that cracked me up~

Which meant he had about eight weeks to pull something amazing out of his butt.

His butt wasn’t being terribly helpful.

Recommended Grades: 6-10
Genre: Mystery (includes a graphic novel)
Overall Opinion:   Recommended
Source: book and audio

Book Review: See How They Run by Ally Carter

Book Review: See How They Run by Ally Carterseehow

Starting shortly after the incident in book one, (don’t want to give that away-read it first), this book Grace is coming to terms with her history while finding herself right in the middle of another murder…one that she might have accidentally caused.

This is book two in the Embassy Row series. I flew through the first book in this series. This book, while very different, is just as intriguing. The story of this novel is above average. I only gave it an average rating because there were one or two laggy moments in the story and a character relationship that seemed a little awkward. I still am anxiously awaiting book three though!

Quote on feelings:

I have no right to feel this way, but that’s the thing about feelings. You never get what you deserve.

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Mystery
Overall Opinion:  Average
Source: eBook from Edelweiss

Book Review: The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

honesttruthBook Review: The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

Mark and his dog Beau take off on an adventure as Mark comes to terms with his sickness. Tired of hospitals and treatments, Mark runs away to complete one final task with the help of his trusty sidekick.

Told in alternating points of view between Mark and his best friend Jessie, this book is a beautiful tribute to friendship and the perseverance of the heart. Some great wordsmithing without getting too lofty, and sure to appeal to middle grade students. I love how Mark talks about how his poetry helps him view the world.

Quote on crying:

“Sometimes crying is easier when someone is crying with you. But sometimes that only makes it worse.”

Quote on writing

So there was a beautiful quote on writing, but my camera cut off part of it (operator error) and I don’t want to misquote. In the middle I love this part: “An idea came, slow and shy.” What a great look at how ideas form!

Recommended Grades: 5-8
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Recommend
Source: Book

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Madeline is born with a disease that makes it impossible to go outside or have normal relationships. It is sometimes called “bubble girl” disease. Her life is forever changed when a new boy Olly moves in next door.

While there aren’t many characters in this story, the is a lot of depth to the story. Not ever plot curve will be a surprise, how you get to the final conclusion is well crafted. Quick and clever read. P.S. Loved the cover for this book and the audio was really well done.

Quote on a mom’s love:

I’ve always felt her heart reaching out to protect mine. I hear lullabies in her voice. I can still feel her arms rocking me to sleep and her kisses on my cheek in the morning.

Recommended Grades: 9-12 a little language and sex
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Recommend
Source: Audiobook

Book Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

dumplinBook Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Willowdean accepts herself as she is, even though she knows that her mom would love her to lose weight. Things get a little complicated when her best friend starts hanging out with someone new, and the heartthrob Bo starts to express interest in Willowdean at work. Willowdean’s path eventually leads her to enroll in a local beauty pageant.

I loved this book. There is real complexity of characters and honesty in the voice. There are days when Willowdean loves her body and days when she thinks she might be ready for change. This isn’t a girl eats less and solves everything kind of book, and I think there is a little magic in that. It is more a people (Willowdean and those whose paths she crosses) look a little deeper at their lives and decide what is important enough to keep and what is important enough to change kind of book. Maybe my pear size figure is a little biased. He he. I’ve always struggled with my weight. When I was thin, I was never thin enough, and now that I’m heavier sometimes I forget that until I look in the mirror (or shop). It is strange how body image is always an ever evolving thing. Do I know I need to lose weight? Absolutely! But does it change the person I am? Not really.

Quote on friendship:

“Good friendships are durable, they’re meant to survive the gaps and the growing pains.”

Quote on finding the right person:

“There’s some kind of peace that comes with knowing that for every person who is waiting to be found there is someone out there searching.”

Recommended Grades: 9-12 (some language and sex discussion)
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Recommend
Source: Audiobook

Book Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

mosquitoBook Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

When things start to fall apart for Mim at home, she steals some money from her stepmother’s stash, and sets out via bus to find her mom. What could go wrong? The answer…lots. Mim’s journey of self discovery is touching and sometimes hard to witness. The reader will root for her even when she doesn’t have the strength to root for herself.

I chose this book to read after talking to several teens who loved it. I would have given it a recommend instead of average, but sometimes the language got in the way of the story. Some of the teens I know disagree though, so take that with a grain of salt. The story itself is crafted beautifully and I loved the quirkiness of the characters. Full of love, and not afraid to tackle more difficult topics without being patronizing.

Quote on villainy:

“The good guys aren’t all good. The bad guys aren’t all bad. And any character wholly one or the other shouldn’t exist at all. Remember this as I describe the antics that follow, for though I’m not a villain, I’m not immune to villainy.”

Quote on understanding who you are:

“And as simple as it sounds, I think understanding who you are, and who you are not, is the most important thing of all important things”

Recommended Grades: 10-12 (language and topics)
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion: Average.
Source: Audiobook