Posts Tagged ‘young adult literature’

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Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

January 20, 2009

Title: Skeleton Creek

Author: Patrick Carman

Release Date: Feb. 10, 2009.

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 186.

Grade: B

Contains: Coming-of-age, Relationships, Drama, Suspense, Mystery.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Writing: 8

Plot: 9

Characters: 8

Wow Factor: 8

Summary (scholastic.com): Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek … and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation takes two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah uses her videocam to search things out … and then emails the clips for Ryan to see. 

In a new, groundbreaking format, the story is broken into two parts — Ryan’s text in the book, and Sarah’s videos on a special website, with links and passwords given throughout the book.

Review: This book is the first of its kind. Targeted to reluctant readers, it asks that you read twenty pages of Ryan’s thoughts and adventures and your “reward” is to watch a video made by Sarah that relates to it. It’s a ghost story. I bet you’re wondering if it’s good enough to make your knees shake? I truthfully was scared throughout the book. I think the videos had a great impact in my whole perception of the book because I could view what Ryan was talking about in his journal. The videos just make it that much more like you’re really there, witnessing whatever this ghost is.

While I was reading it I had the sense that it was kind of like National Treasure meets lonelygirl15. It was short, quick, and effective. 

But I did have some problems with it. What if you’re not by a computer when you’re reading? This happened to me more than once. So I tried watching the video through my iPhone, but it didn’t work. Another thing is that I wished the supporting characters had been more developed. I felt as though I didn’t truly know them as much as I knew Ryan and Sarah and hope that in the next book there will be more explanation about them.

The ending was a total cliffhanger. But I do think it’s one more step to getting reluctant readers to pick up the second book in the series. And perhaps the piece that makes it that much more interactive is that this book is being speculated to be real over at skeletoncreekisreal.com

I recommend this book to boys 9-13 who don’t really enjoy reading. But if you’re like me– a total ghost stories and suspense fan– you’ll really get a kick out of this.

Want to watch a book trailer? Here ya go:


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Books I Read in Dec. 2008

December 31, 2008

Here’s what I read this past month in chronological order:

By the way, reviews for all of these will come shortly.

1. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers: Violent, sad, and good (at the end, especially).

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling: Really amazing. I am so late… but better late then never.

3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom: Inspiring, sad, beautiful.

4. Girl vs. Bear: Stories from the 80s by Lisa Kerr: I really enjoyed this! 

5. Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman: Scary and interesting.

6. In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg: Less than I expected, but still good.


 

Needless to say, it was a very productive month. Thank you, Winter Break, without I wouldn’t have read three of these.
NFL New England Patriots from Fanzz
 

What did YOU read? Leave it in the comments 🙂 Happy New Year, btw!

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Fly On The Wall by E. Lockhart

December 26, 2008

Title: Fly on the Wall

Author: E. Lockhart

Edition: Harcover

Number of Pages:182.

Grade: C+

Contains: Coming-of-age, Drama, Romance, Relationships.

 

Anaylis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):
Writing: 7
Plot: 9
Characters: 8
Wow: 7

 

Summary: This book deals with a girl named Gretchen Yee who is very much antisocial. She only has one true friend, Katya, until she starts “being busy.” Gretchen is the ordinary girl at Manhattan High School for the Arts, a school where everybody strives to be different. On a usual day Gretchen is flustered-maybe about her ex Shane who is not “the new guy” anymore but the popular one or that her dad is divorcing her mom because he found a new girlfriend- and wonders why guys are the way they are. As silly as it may sound, she says she wishes she could be a fly on the boys’ locker room. Little does she know… the next day she wakes up and she’s a fly! She uses her new-found body to spy on the males in her class and home, including her crush Titus. She sees that guys do have problems and even feelings. If and when she turns back into a human, will she see things differently?  

Review: I enjoyed this book, sure, but it was definitely not E. Lockhart’s best. It was whatever, truthfully. I thought the characters were different than the typical ones used in YA books. They were cool, and I could relate to Grethen. I especially liked Titus. One thing that I kinda don’t understand is what happens with Carlo/Xavier/Gunther. What’s the point in having them in the book? I do kind of want to be a fly… because who doesn’t want to know what the boys in our lives do. The ending was rather predictable but still happy and cute. It was quick and easy, so I recommend it for a nice summer read.

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Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

December 23, 2008

 Title: Far From You

Author: Lisa Schroeder

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 368

Grade: B+

Contains: Coming-of-Age, Drama, Fantasy, Relationships, Romance.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 10

Plot: 9

Writing: 10

Wow Factor: 9

 

Since Sunday, a very special release has been in the making… leading up to today. First Liv posted her VLOG, reading her favorite excerpt from the book. Then I posted my VLOG yesterday. And today Lisa has posted her VLOG. I hope you have checked those all out and entered the contest. Lisa’s book Far From You released today. HAPPY RELEASE DAY, LISA!!!! (Wish Lisa a happy release day at the link of her VLOG.) Make sure you go to the bookstore today or ask Santa for the book under the tree. Just make sure you read this book, because you will NOT be disappointed.

 

Summary (from lisaschroederbooks.com): Do you believe in angels? FAR FROM YOU is a story of love and loss, and reminds us what’s really important in life. Fans of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME are sure to enjoy this novel-in-verse feauturing 16-year-old Alice, a singer/songwriter who’s had her share of hard times, and unfortunately, has more to come. What will pull her through? Her music? The love of her boyfriend, Blaze? Or perhaps, an angel, here on earth?

 

ReviewIf I could sum up this book in one word the word would be “beautiful”. We’re told this heart-wrenching story of a girl named Alice who lost her mother to cancer and isn’t as connected to her dad now that he has remarried and is expecting a new baby. Alice’s emotions definitely come across strongly. I felt bad for Alice, I wanted to do something to help her.

I could totally relate to the story because I have a stepmom and half-siblings also. Everything Alice goes through in the book, I understood how hard it must be for her and for her family. I truly believe girls in this world are like Alice proving that Lisa Schroeder knows how to create authentic characters. Oh, and yes there is fantasy in the book… it’s just very subtle. That is something I was very glad to see because you all already know I’m not a fantasy-junkie. It was a good amount and it entailed a phenomenal message.

Since it is told in verse, it is a quick read. I read it in one sitting. But truthfully, I had to stop more then once to think about what was occurring. This is not a cute summer read; it is really an impacting read. Lisa Schroeder KNOWS how to write. She knows how to write very well… the words she chooses, the way she organizes them s l o w l y and carefully. I want her to continue writing… I’m definitely a fan. 

In the end, I was a bigger person. I cried, but I was still a bigger person. I felt more of a connection even with my own stepmom and went and told her about the book. This book is something I veryyyyy highly recommend. So, what the heck are you waiting for? Go BUY IT!

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Girl Week Over At Reviewer X’s Place

December 17, 2008

Steph is freaking amazing. She’s having a week-long (awesome) event called Girl Week. Basically superb authors are stopping by with guest blogs and interviews… all pertaining to feminism and strong females! Of course, she couldn’t have stopped there… so she’s bringing in a crazy amount of book reviews and of course contests! 

Click here to see the Table of Contents (aka everything that is happening). 

So check on over until Dec. 21 and celebrate WOMEN! (Because uh, we rock.)

 

Edit: Here are some great things I’ve found so far on her blog:

This interview with Melissa Walker.

This guest blog, which is awesome, by CK Kelley Martin.

This interview with Libba Bray. She’s so cool.

This interview with Megan McCafferty. Amazing much?

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Teen Tuesday (12.16.08): Roll The Credits

December 16, 2008

 

Teen Tuesday is a place for readers of Young Adult literature to interact with other YA readers. Here at Teen Tuesday, we post blogs, host live chats, and hopefully have a good time!

 

Hi Teen Tuesday-ers.

Site: whatvanessareads.wordpress.com
I feel as though I’ve come back into my book blogging. I wasn’t very active for about three weeks and now I have a bunch of posts scheduled for this week including reviews, memes, and a very special contest (read the end of this entry!). Stay tuned on my blog for all of this!

Basically all I have this week is Harry. I finished Harry Potter on Friday and liked it very much. I wonder how my review is going to go. I want the rest of the series now!
I’m currently reading and will soon finish Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom which is very good. I feel like I’m learning a lot. The story is so great and yet so sad at the same time. [Edit: I finished Tuesdays with Morrie and wow…. I bawled like a baby. How can I possibly write a review for this?]
Next up on the line will be The Mrs Marriage Project by Pauline Fisk or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (it all depends on my friend giving me Harry Potter books or not).
I recently put up two new reviews: An Abundance of Katherines and That Was Then, This Is Now.
Also, click here to read about Lisa Schroeder’s release party contest for her new book Far From You which she asked me to take part in. I think that basically explains everything.
Yay. That’s it.
See you next Tuesday,
Vanessa
whatvanessareads.wordpress.com
whatvanessareads (at) gmail.com
This is crossposted at teentuesday.blogspot.com and my blog.

What have you read since last Tuesday? Did you enjoy it?
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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

December 14, 2008

Title: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Edition: Paperback

Number of Pages: 256

Year: 2006

Grade: B-

 

Contains: Drama, Humor, Coming-of-Age, Relationships, Romance.

Analysis of Book (1-10 on each aspect):

Characters: 9

Plot: 7

Writing: 9

Wow Factor: 8

 

 

 

Summary 

(from Amazon): Colin Singleton believes he is a washed-up child prodigy. A graduating valedictorian with a talent for creating anagrams, he fears he’ll never do anything to classify him as a genius. To make matters worse, he has just been dumped by his most recent girlfriend (all of them have been named Katherine), and he’s inconsolable. What better time for a road trip! He and his buddy Hassan load up the gray Olds (Satan’s Hearse) and leave Chicago. They make it as far as Gutshot, Tennessee, where they stop to tour the gravesite of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and meet a girl who isn’t named Katherine. It’s this girl, Lindsey, who helps Colin work on a mathematical theorem to predict the duration of romantic relationships. The laugh-out-loud humor ranges from delightfully sophomoric to subtly intellectual, and the boys’ sarcastic repartee will help readers navigate the slower parts of the story, which involve local history interviews. The idea behind the book is that everyone’s story counts, and what Colin’s contributes to the world, no matter how small it may seem to him, will, indeed, matter. 

 

Review

: Coming into this book I had a lot of expectations. I have heard so many great things about John Green, I have seen so many Brotherhood 2.0 videos and made an account on nerdfighters. I was both happy and disappointed. Truthfully, I just liked the book. I expected it to be this story that just stayed with me forever….

I loved the characters: Colin, Hassan, Hollis. Lindsey got a little annoying for me, what with her boyfriend and how she was different with different people. I really enjoyed the whole “let’s get into Satan’s Hearse and drive the country” kind of plot. I thought that the footnotes were amazing. It just made it that much better with the history, the foreign words, the pop culture references. John did put a lot of work into it and I can see that. I think Hassan and Colin’s relationship was the most interesting. To reiterate, I thought it was a very good book. It just didn’t blow me away like I thought it would. I think this is because it’s a summer book more than a thinking book like Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska seem to be. Don’t be discouraged from reading the book by my review. And BTW- the book is going to be a movie!