Book Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

When the ship the Persephone is attacked and everyone aboard is killed, Frances is shocked to find out that the only other survivors of the accident are claiming that it was a rogue wave that destroydaught of deep silenceed the ship. Perplexed, she assumes the identity of her friend Libby; who also made it to the raft with her but didn’t last long enough to survive. Frances is determined to exact revenge on those who caused the death of everyone she loved, essentially stealing her life in the process.

If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’m a huge Carrie Ryan fan. I wasn’t able to go to TLA this year, but the lovely lady I’m mentoring in library school brought me back an autographed copy. Squee! This book is another masterpiece of story with plot twists and complex characters. Those who read the Forest of Hand and Teeth series know that not all monsters are zombies. That theme holds true in this novel as the truth is blurred and sometimes it is hard to know what is right and wrong.

Quote:

He’s looking at me as though I’m the one to answer his everything. The last person to look at me that way was Grey, and just thinking the name causes an angry rod of steel to slide down my spine.

Sometimes the best lies are wrapped in the flavor of truth.

Recommended Grades: 8 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Book (had requested a Netgalley ebook but got the ARC first)

Book Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

everylastwordBook Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Samantha is struggling with Obsessional OCD, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her. In therapy she’s working on dealing with ways to handle her frequently cruel friends and the constant self guessing that plagues her thoughts. When Samantha makes new friends, she is pulled into a group where words and poetry have the power to heal.
It’s interesting, because this is the second book I’ve read recently on OCD, but this one had a totally different focus. The focus on this was more the internal struggle not the OCD that manifests in visible ways. I LOVED this book. Probably biased because I’m a poet and struggle with some of these same OCD tendencies myself, but I loved the candor and relationships in this book. End had me mesmerized.
Quote that took my breath away…I’ve been there…I’ve written this poem too.
When I’m done, we have a poem that doesn’t say “I’m sorry” in so many words, but it talks about regret and second chances, a fear of not belonging that runs so deep it changes you into someone you don’t want to be. It’s about seeing what you’ve become and wanting-craving-to become someone different. Someone better. It’s me, asking him to let me in. Asking all of them to give me a chance to show them that deep down, I’m not who they think I am. Or, maybe I’m exactly who they think I am, but I no longer want to be.
Recommended Grades: 8 or 9 and up (does have a little language and some sex)
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion: Highly Recommended
Source: eBook from Netgalley

Book Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

letsgetlostBook Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Leila is traveling across the country and up into Alaska to see the northern lights. Along the way she meets strangers whose lives she impacts in dynamic ways. Told from the viewpoints of those she meets until the last section.

I had to read this book after watching my students respond to this author at a book signing. Not only was he gracious with my students, but they were actually in tears when they met him. One of the girls commented that the book changed her life. How can you not want to investigate that? The book is well written and a beautiful commentary on relationships and forgiveness. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

Quote

“People hurt each other, ” Leila said without much inflection in her voice. “It happens to everyone. Intentionally, unintentionally, regretfully or not. It’s a part of what we do as people. The beauty is that we have the ability to heal and forgive.”

Recommended Grades: 10 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Book

Unlikely Hero ImageBook Review: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Unlikely Hero ImageBook Review: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

In an effort to end his OCD, Adam Ross joins a support group. He isn’t thrilled about the plan to choose a superhero persona until he realizes that he can be Batman. Not because he particularly cares about Batman, but because he notices his crush Robyn has chosen to be Batman’s sidekick Robin. Now Adam/Batman plans to overcome his compulsive behaviors, fix everyone else in the group; and oh yeah, win the girl! His family isn’t making that easy though, between a little brother who struggles with similar issues and a mother who is a hoarder.

First, the audio for this book is FANTASTIC. I loved the characters in this book and the subtle humor that is woven throughout…even when somewhat inappropriate (you’ll know the scene when you get there). As someone who has family with OCD tendencies, I appreciated the way the characters were more than just a stereotype. Adding the mystery of the letters makes this a story to appeal to both boys and girls.

Quotes

None, but only because of this…there are some beautiful passages but I didn’t feel like I could legally script them all out and stay in copyright. There was a lot of eloquent wordsmithing going on in this book. Plus a few I could quote gave too much away. Just read it for yourself people! He he.

Recommended Grades: 8 and up (only because of one topic really-but the scene is hilarious)
Genre: Realistic Fiction (with lots of humor)
Overall Opinion:  Highly Recommended
Source: Audiobook

Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

panicBook Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Everyone is afraid of something. The creators of the competition know how to tap into your innermost fears. When a group of seniors decide to compete in Panic they all know the costs, but they all have reasons they have to win. Adversity builds relationships though, and soon enemies are hard to turn your back on when you care.

This novels jumps perspective frequently which keeps the game interesting because it gives you sneaks at what is really going on. I loved the first 5/6th of this book and then it was like “boom” it’s over. The last Panic challenge scene was unrealistic to me, but I will say that student’s I’ve talked to usually don’t agree. The storytelling is well done though in all the other areas.

Quotes

“Dodge felt vaguely disappointed, as he often felt when interacting with other people when the reality failed to meet his expectations. Or, in this case his fantasies. “

“No one had ever told her this basic fact. Not everyone got to be loved.”

“When you love someone, when you care for someone, you have to do it through the good and the bad. Not just when you’re happy and it’s easy.”

Recommended Grades: 10 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Average
Source: Book and audiobook

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French KissBook Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna thinks that leaving everything behind to spend her senior year in Paris is going to be a disaster. That is until she makes friends and meet Etienne St. Claire. Sure, he has a girlfriend, but they have an incredible connection, and soon France doesn’t seem so strange. First book in a trilogy.

More than just a love story (and it is a beautiful one at that), this is a touching story about love, friendship, and ultimately, self-acceptance.

Quotes

On wanting
“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

On home
And for the first time since coming home, I’m completely happy. It’s strange; home, how I could wish for it for so long, only to come back and find it gone. To be here in my technical house and discover that home is now some place different…is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?

Recommended Grades: 10 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Book

Book Review: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre

queenSage loves to leave sticky notes on peoples notes to encourage them when they are down. It started with one, but now it has become almost a compulsion as a part of her desire to be as perfect as possible. She fears what will happen if she is not. Her best friend Ryan isn’t making things easy, and then when she meets Shane, she starts to fall hard.

Flew through this book! Loved that truths in the story naturally unfolded at times that seemed right and that the characters were just complex enough to love and still be relatable. Perfect for fans of romance or tough stuff…it has plenty of both.

Quotes-hang on there are a few. Aguirre is a master wordsmith

“…but high school is full of people who think that what they wear matters more than who they are.”

“His head jerks up: he was totally into the book and didn’t even hear me at all, which makes me like him instantly. I know all about the transportive power of fiction.”

“This is me, melting like butter on the sidewalk. Somehow I keep my knees from turning to total jelly.”

“Just…for the first time, I want so bad for someone to like me back. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had crushes before, guys I’d never meet or ones I knew would never look at me like that. Sometimes it’s safer to pin your dreams on somebody who’s never going to see you. While it’s sad, it’s also safe. Because there is no chance he’ll ever break your heart for real.”

“I’m the queen of bright and shiny things, eternally looking for positive and seeking a silver lining in the dark.”

“Yesterday was perfect; yesterday was before. This is why before is a magical word.”

Recommended Grades: 8 and up (there is sex, but it isn’t graphic)
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: ebook provided by Netgalley