Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

High school student Clay Jensen finds a map in his locker from Hannah Baker, a girl he likes, one day. He stuffs it in his backpack not sure what to make of it. Then a few weeks after Hannah commits suicide, Clay receives a shoe box with no return address full of cassette tapes. The tapes are Hannah's voice outlining the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. As Clay listens, he follows the corresponding map.

I loved this book. Some students were reading it and passing it around and kept saying how good it was so I grabbed it from the library. I will definitely look for more from this author.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Breaking Dawn and Loser

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

In this fourth book in the Twilight Saga, much changes for Bella and Edward. I am not really sure what to write because I don't want to give anything away for those of you just starting the series or those have yet to read any of them. I liked this book but it wasn't my favorite of the series. I had heard so much about people being unhappy with it and the way Meyer's wrapped up the saga and I am not sure why people felt that way. It went the way I assumed it would.

Loser by Jerry Spinelli

I read this book with some students. I enjoyed it and thought parts were funny, parts heart-warming, and some parts a little sad. I think it is a great book to show that it is okay to be different and the effects of bullying.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
3rd book in the Twilight Saga

Why do I feel so torn between Jake and Edward? Loved this one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Testimony by Anota Shreve

Testimony by Anita Shreve

A scandal at the small elite private school, Avery Academy, rocks a small Vermont town when a video of a 14 year old girl and three upperclassmen basketball stars finds it's way into the headmasters hands. Aftershocks of the scandal are far-reaching and have disastrous affects on lives of all in involved in one way or another.

I have read several of Shreve's books and enjoyed them all. This was no exception. I enjoyed the story and liked the different points of view.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Deadly Night by Heather Graham

Kendell Montgomery, psychic, took loving care of the dying Amelia Flynn, heir of the Flynn family plantation in New Orleans. Upon Amelia's death, the plantation is left to three unknown Flynn nephews, Aiden, Jeremy, and Zach who come to New Orleans to restore their newly inherited property. When eldest brother Aiden, a private eye, finds human bones, the brothers begin investigating a string of missing persons cold cases with the help of Kendell. Ghost sightings, foggy nights, and Halloween on Bourbon Street add to the atmosphere.

Another fun paranormal romantic suspense story from Heather Graham.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye

Abby Cooper is a psychic intuitive. A woman comes to her office and Abby gives her a warning to watch for the dark haired man. When the woman is found murdered, Det. Dutch Rivers, who is suspicious of Abby's knowledge of the murder and victim, warns Abby she may be in danger.

This was a really fun book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Twilight and Just Who Will You Be?

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Bella Snow has just moved to the small and rainy town of Forks, Washington to live with her father. She begins her new high school and quickly makes new friends, particularly male admirers but is most intrigued by the Cullen family. A group of siblings (all adopted) who are quiet, mysterious, and a little feared.

Most people are familiar with this series. I noticed a bunch of the 8th grade girls were reading the books and decided to go ahead as a way to try to "connect". Like them, I was quickly sucked in! Right now I am reading the second in the series, New Moon.

Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver is a woman I have looked up to and admired for much of my life. I saw her on Oprah discussing this book, which is mainly a speech she gave at her nephew's high school graduation. As usual, Shriver is inspiring and thought provoking. It is nice to hear a woman like her say she is continually trying to discover who she truly is and what kind of person she wants to be.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Catching Up on Books I finished...

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

Everything in Trixie Stone's life seemed great. She was in love, popular, and a great student. All of a sudden Trixie's life begins spiraling when her boyfriend breaks up with her and then she becomes a victim of rape. At the same time, Trixie's parents, David and Laura Stone, are battling their own demons and their own pasts.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

An account, written in verse, of Billie Jo's life in Oklahoma during the dust bowls of the 1930's.

Great book.

The Revealers by Doug Wilhelm

Russell, Elliot, and Catalina are tired of being bullied day in and day out at Parkland Middle School. The three band together to not only form new friendships but also fight back.

The school I am at is reading this book for a One Book One School event and will include an author visit. I think the sixth graders will be more into the book than the eighth graders.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Arnold "Junior" Spirit lives on the Rez. His family and all the people he knows on the reservation are poorer than poor. Arnold wants more out of his life than to be just another poor alcoholic Indian, so he convinces his parents to let him go to the "white" high school, Reardon, 22 miles outside of the reservation. Arnold works to hide his poverty, become accepted, and make friends at Reardon while friends and family on the reservation call him a traitor.

This is a great book. Very heartwarming and funny.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Deanna Lambert was 13 (8th grade) when her father caught her having sex in a car with her brother's friend, Tommy Webber, a high school senior. Ever since, Deanna's life revolved around running from the instant reputation - never getting a chance to discover her true self.

I really enjoyed the honesty of this book. It showed how one mistake can consume a teenage girls life and how she can lose herself because of it.

Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot

Katie Ellison can't stop lying. She is making out with two boys, lying to her friends, her parents, and her town as she vies for the Quahog Princess crown, or at least a runner up slot. When Tommy Sullivan comes back to town, Katie must face up to her lies and set things right.

Another light, cute, fun story from Meg Cabot.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Read Two YA's

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Colin Singleton, brilliant prodigy, has been dumped by nineteen different
Katherine's. To mend his broken heart, Colin and best friend Hassan hit the
road. They land in Gutshot, TN. LOVED IT!

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

I am not even sure what to say. This was a very powerful and very difficult book to read. In a way, it took my breath away.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

Rex, his brother Patrick, and their father Sheriff Shellenberger go out in the middle of the night during a blizzard to search their ranch for newborn calves so they won't freeze to death when they come across the body of a murdered teenage girl. The Sheriff, town doctor, and town judge, all close friends and their children, Rex, Mitch, and Abby all simultaneously hide and seek bits of truth about the unidentified murder victim.

This is the first Pickard book I have read and I really enjoyed it. It was a good mystery and I also enjoyed the small town Midwestern characters.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Glass by Ellen Hopkins

This is the powerful follow up to Crank. Hopkins tells readers what happened to Kristina Snow after she gave birth to her son. How Kristina got trapped back in the clutches of addiction. How she continues on the downward spiral of destruction.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scream for Me by Karen Rose

Special Agent Daniel Vartanian is back to work with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation just one week after helping to capture and kill his serial killer brother Simon and burying his parents. Daniel is immediately thrown into another serial murder case which appears to have ties to Simon's past taking Daniel back down the dark path of family and small town secrets.

I really enjoyed this book a lot, as much as Die for Me. Now I must go back to the beginning and read all of Karen Rose's books.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank, written in verse, is the story of Kristina/Bree's decent into the world of addiction. I found this book very powerful and loved the free verse style.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ghosts Among Us by James Van Praagh

Ghosts Among Us contains a lot of basic information about ghosts, spirits, the fourth dimension, what happens when people die, etc. Van Praagh also tells a lot of personal stories about ghosts/spirits he has encountered, people he has met, and various situations. The personal stories were the best parts of the book for me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

Kate Mckenzie enjoys her job as an HR Rep for the NY Journal. She loves helping people and works with her best friend Jen Saddler. The one thing Kate does not love is her evil gym rat boss, Amy Jenkins, otherwise known as the T.O.D. (Tyrannical Office Despot). Since Kate just left her rock-star in the making boyfriend, she is currently apartmentless and boyfriendless. Things go from bad to worse when the T.O.D. forces Kate to fire a beloved food service worker and then Kate winds up losing her job because of a deposition debacle involving Amy, her attorney fiancee Stuart, and Stuart's very hot brother, Mitch.

Cute, fun, light, and quick. Perfect for reading alongside The Historian!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner

Special Agent Kimberly Quincy teams up with GBI Sal Martignetti to look into the disappearances of at least ten prostitutes. There is no evidence to warrant a task force and full investigation so Kimberly and Sal go at it alone after a possible witness comes forward with information. Soon, Kimberly and Sal find themselves chasing a serial killer who not only preys on prostitutes, but young boys as well.

I like all of Lisa Gardner's books and this one is no exception. However, the details about spiders in the book was really tough for me to read. Major creepy crawlies!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sail by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

Dr. Katherine Dunne takes a two-month vacation in order to reconnect with her kids. Their relationship had been strained since losing her first husband (the children's father) and remarrying renowned defense attorney, Peter Carlyle. They embark on a sailing journey with her ex-brother in law, Jake Dunne. Soon after setting sail, things begin to go terribly wrong. The family must work together through one harrowing event to the next, fighting for their lives.

As with most of Patterson's newer books, Sail received a wide range of mixed reviews. While the writing may not be top notch, it is nonetheless an entertaining thrill ride that had me turning page after page. I couldn't put it down until it was done. I am always entertained by Patterson's books, which to me is the most important quality of reading.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Disturb Not the Dream by Paula Trachtman

Disturb Not the Dream opens as five year old Jessica Desmond wanders the families large seaside mansion in the Hamptons (1938) discovering the brutally murdered bodies of her family members one by one. 40 years later, Dr. Bradley, a prominent psychiatrist, and his family rent the seaside home for a summer getaway unaware of the horrors that took place there. Soon, the Bradley's presence triggers paranormal activity and the ghastly events of 1938 begin to unfold.

This book is twisted, disturbing, and at times shocking, but I could not avert my eyes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Latest Reads

I just finished Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot. It was a cute, light, and fun read. Typical boy meets girl, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl argue and try to convince themselves they still hate the other, boy and girl suddenly realize they are madly in love and live happily ever after kind of story.

This morning I began reading Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon. I really enjoyed McMahon's first novel, Promise Not to Tell, so I am excited to get into this one. So far I am liking this one as well.

Edited to add: I really liked Island of Lost Girls. It was a compelling story of family secrets, the depth of friendship, grief and loss, and discovering oneself amidst the drama.

Books Books Books, I Love Books

Barbara convinced me to start a book blog to discuss the many wonderful books I read as well as what I plan to read next. So here I go....