Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Keep me in Mind by Jaime Reed

Publisher: Point
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Rating: 4 stars

Ellia Dawson doesn't recognize the handsome boy who sits in tears by her hospital bed. He claims he's her boyfriend, Liam. But to Ellia, he's a stranger. She remembers her name. Her parents. Her best friend, Stacey. But Liam is a total blank in her life.
Liam McPherson is devastated. His girlfriend, Ellia, suffered a terrible accident--maybe because of him--and now she's lost her memory. But the harder Liam tries to reach Ellia, and remind her of what they had, the more she pulls away. As Ellia begins on the slow road to recovery, Liam begins work on a secret project that he hopes will bring back the girl he loved.
But can there ever be a future when the past is in pieces?

I think I saw this book in the back of another book, and as someone who's always looking for books featuring African American females in non urban settings (basically people I can pretend to be) the cover of this book is what did it for me. Ellia had an accident while running with her boyfriend and can't remember the last two years of her life. If that's not bad enough, during those two years, Ellia did a lot of changing. It was during those two years that she met and began dating her boyfriend Liam, it was when she decided she wanted to make and design clothes as opposed to being an engineer like her dad wanted her to, she had also began to sneak around and act in ways that no parent would approve of. What's interesting about this book is that, as Ellia begins to learn more about who she became over the two years that she didn't remember, she didn't the "old Ellia" and wasn't sure how to handle it.

Liam... that poor kid. I'm honestly not sure what to say about him. So let me sum it all up. This is a great book. Ellia and Liam are incredibly realistic characters. I like that their racial differences were acknowledged, but didn't take over the book (FINALLY!). Learning about Liam and Ellia's relationship from the book that Liam was writing was a nice twist although I wish we could have seen more though. SPOILER. We learned that at one point Ellia and a friend ran off to a frat party and had to call Liam to pick them up and I guess there were covered in feathers. And Ellia and Liam drove around with a homeless man in the trunk. Where were those stories!!!

Anyway. This is a good book. Everyone should read it. While the ending squished my heart a bit, I thought it was 100% appropriate, realistic, and very mature. This book is appropriate for younger teens. I would have no problems giving this book to a 6th grader.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Publisher: Pointe
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Rating: 4 stars

While spacing out in Chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk, and added a message to her. Intrigue! 

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters -- sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she's kind of falling for this letter writer. Only who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery, and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can't always be spelled out... 

Well, I have to say, the title of this book alone would have been enough to send me packing if I hadn't read the description first. I'm a closet romantic. I love romance novels, although I would prefer some kind of plot, like running for you lives, or solving some kind of mystery. That being said, something about this idea of this book really got to me. Misunderstood girl writes song lyrics on her desk, only to have someone else complete them. Who doesn't want that to happen in real life. Secretly, everyone wants that to happen. So characters:

Lily: Our main character. I wouldn't say she's a hipster, more like hipster adjacent. She does her own thing, and while I can't say that she doesn't care what other people think (because she is a teenager, they all care), she's willing to march to the beat of her own drummer regardless of others. She wants to be a song write, but has crazy writers block. That is... until she starts her pen pal excursions with the someone at her school. I decided that I liked Lily when I saw how she interacted with her family. I have younger siblings. My sister and I are 12 years a part, I know what it's like to have them burst in your room, interrupt your time with your friends, having to constantly babysit. It's exhausting, and let me tell you, Lily handled it waaaaay better than I did. She was a great sister, a great daughter, and a pretty good best friend. Also, props to creating an amazing and vivid family dynamic. I loved reading about them.

Cade: The mortal enemy. While this was Lily's story, and it was sweet. I feel like I wish there was more interaction between Cade and Lily. We saw Thanksgiving, that car ride, a few hallway moments, and the pool. but I don't know... I think I needed a little more. SPOILER ALTER IF YOU COULDN'T FIGURE IT OUT IN THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS We learn a lot about Cade from his letter, but I feel like we didn't really get to see it. There was a slight disconnect.

It was obvious to me from the beginning that Cade was the person writing ti Lily, but as I always say when it comes to book, it's not always the ending, it's the journey. I liked it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Outlander is the best!!!

I started reading the Outlander books a while ago. And by reading I mean listening to the audio books. I spoke to a lot of people as I started listening to the books because as soon as  Clare traveled through the stones, I thought the books was AWESOME. I'm on the fourth books now. A lot of people say they stopped reading during the 3rd book and I think they're crazy. There is romance, but for the most part, the book is about two people trying to live their life in 1700's. There's action, adventure, pirates, betrayal, family, jail, some brutal stuff, and a ton more. This story is the best!!!! The books are very long so I'd definitely suggest the audio books. The audio book reader is perfect, although she does struggle with the american Boston accept that pops up in the second book.

I love this book. I hope everyone loves it as much as me!!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Reading for work has killed reading for fun.

So, you know how sometimes, you come up with the great idea, and you're sure it's going to change you life??? Well about 4 years ago, I had one of those ideas. I needed a new life goal, my first career choice didn't work out, so I took a look at all of the things that I was good at that I thought I could turn into a job. Funny enough, I could only think of one practical skill. Reading. Actually that's a lie. I was good at reading, and I was good at talking. That was basically it. I was also good with children, not necessarily because I wanted to be, children and I just seemed to naturally get along. From all of that, I decided I should be a teen librarian. At the time it seemed like a smart fit. I started school (the one thing I promised myself I would never do) and got a full time job working in a library almost as soon as I started looking in my second semester of grad school.

So here's a little background. Every since... let's say middle school, but it was really probably around the 4th grade, I've been a reader. Reading was what I did when we moved 3000 miles away from my family. Reading was what I did when my parents had another baby and I was 13 and people were mistaking me for a mom. And reading was what I did in Middle School when I had almost no friends because apparently people though I was gay (not that it should have mattered). Reading was my safe place, and the only thing that helped me relax. Fast forward to now. Reading has become a job. I feel like I can't read for me, because I have to read for patrons. I have to read the newest JoJo Moyoes book so I can talk about it was patrons. Most of the kids that come to me are between 4th and 7th grade so when I'm reading, I'm constantly thinking "can I recommend this book to younger kids", "is this book to violent for younger kids", "will a mom get mad at me if I suggest this book to younger kids", and as soon as a book has sex, or bad language, or violence, I begin to feel like I've waisted my time because I know that I can't suggest that book to the kids who come to be for readers advisory. These aren't the thoughts I want to have. These aren't the thoughts I use to have. These aren't even thoughts I use to have at my old job because kids normally came to the library on their own, and the parents didn't really care what they were reading, as long as they were reading.

I stopped blogging and using Goodreads because I began to hate reading. It was the scariest thing in the world because I began to wonder how I was going to distract myself from the woes of the world. Thank goodness for Pokemon Go. I'm slowly working to change my mindset. But honestly, the books I'd need to read to fit the needs of the community that I work in, aren't necessarily the books that I want to read. It's making things kind of a mess. I'm hoping to find some middle ground.

I don't know if anyone is going to read this post, but this is a blog, and in my opinion, if I can't express myself and my feelings in my own blog, then when can I do it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Review: Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Rating: 4 stars

The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S. J. Kincaid's fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy perfect for fans of Ender's Game.

The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning. The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn't seem like a hero. He's a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom's life completely changes. Suddenly, he's someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there's a price to pay. . . . (Goodreads)

I came to this series waaaaaaay late in the game but I really liked it. I was in desperate need of an audio book and I was also on the hunt for more books that I can recommend to my younger male patrons at the library so I decided to give it a listen. Not only is Tom and great and well defined main character, his friends are equally as well developed. His friends are all very different characters, but they fit perfectly with each other. It's the group of friends I always wished I could find and put together. While training to be combatants during WWIII Tom and his friends get into a bunch of mischief, but there are bigger problems to be dealt with as well. One of the instructors has it in for Tom, Tom also being to involve himself with the enemy, as well as commits other acts of treason.

Now, full confession, I audio booked this and I know that having an awesome audio book reader can make something that's not really great, seem great (such as the Stephanie Plum books, I'd never read them, but I'll listen to them for the rest of my life) but if nothing else, this book is easily suggestable to reluctant reader male children, and that's exactly what I was looking for.

But really guys, this is a great book. Action packed, and quick moving. Read it!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

I Want A Pen Pal!

Hey all! A quick plug for a girl named Jess. According to her blog, Paper Utopia, she's a student in England and she's doing something awesome She organizes this thing called book blogger penpals. or #bbpenpal. You fill out a form on her page and she pairs you up with someone, and the letter writing begins.

I've always wanted to have a pen pal. To some, I think it seems old fashioned, and unnecessary. I have this feeling that bloggers understand the appeal. It's always easier to be 100% yourself when you're not face to face with someone, and from that, great friendships can blossom. Some of you may have noticed that in books like Roomies, Because You'll Never Meet Me, and that section of Aristotle and Dance Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

Maybe my expectations are unrealistic, but it would be nice to have a friend with common interest who you can talk to without holding back.

If any of you want to check it out, here's the link. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday:The Problem with Forever

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.


For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.
Release Date: May 17, 2016

I'm dying to read it!