Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rescued From the Archives #2

Shug by Jenny Han. Originally reviewed in January 2007.

What is a twelve-year-old girl to do when she falls in love with her best friend who doesn’t even notice her in that way??? Jenny Han’s narrator, Annemarie Wilcox (aka Shug) is about to take such a journey. As the summer of her twelfth year comes to a close, she knows that her first kiss must be just around the corner. And she knows that her best friend, Mark, is just the boy to give it. But separating reality and fantasy are just some of the things our young and spirited narrator must learn as she begins to grow up....

It's Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Originally reviewed in January 2007.

Craig Gilner thinks his acceptance into an elite high school will be the beginning of the best years of his life. But when the pressures of high school overwhelm him, he has no where to turn but to drugs. Thus his downward spiral begins at the height of his success. As academic and social pressures build, can Craig find a healthy way to cope with the anxiety? Or is he doomed to sleepless nights and days of vomiting? Can therapy and prescription drugs really be the answer? Or does the answer lay within himself? Is there a way out of his seemingly hopeless situation?

Larklight by Philip Reeve. Originally reviewed in February 2007.

[I'll be honest. I didn't *love* this one. I think it was a timing issue. In fact, I'm sure it was. Why? Because I just love, love, loved the second and third book in this series. It is a series that I would DEFINITELY recommend.] Set in the Victorian era, it answers the question...what could have happened if scientists like Isaac Newton had discovered space flight. The answer, the British would have sought to colonize and rule outer space much like she was known for colonizing earth. (Hence, the saying that the sun never sets on the British empire.) Arthur “Art” Mumby and his sister Myrtle live with their father in a rather unique house ‘Larklight’ that orbits the moon, I believe. With robotic servants and ancient gravity devices, the house is unique in many ways. When our story begins the children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a visitor. But with the arrival of this visitor, the danger and adventure begins. With aliens of every shape and size, some ‘good’ and some ‘bad,’ the two must find a way to save the British empire before its too late.

Home and Other Big Fat Lies by Jill Wolfson. Originally reviewed February 2007.

Whitney is a narrator with a way for words. A foster kid all her life--from two months of age--she is as prepared as she'll ever be for her new foster home in the country. Full of advice on how to survive the worst, she is unprepared to give advice on how to expect the best. Hope is a dangerous thing when you're a foster kid and Whitney doesn't want to take any chances on getting hurt. But Whitney's luck may have just changed. Suddenly, in this new school she finds out she's not alone. There are other kids in her class--five or six at least--who are all foster kids. It seems the whole school is full of foster kids. Kids who understand her. Who know the rules of how to survive. Who welcome her. Life has never seemed so good...but can it last???

Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle. Originally reviewed February 2007

I've mentioned this before, but let me repeat myself...a test of a good book...particularly a good historical fiction book is when the reader picks up a book ABOUT a subject or event that they have had little or no interest in reading about before and having the book completely draw them in. In that regards, BLACK DUCK by Janet Taylor Lisle is a great book. [You'll have to read the review to find out more. It's way too long to cut and paste here]

Chris Wooding's Poison and Storm thief. Reviewed in February 2007.

Storm Thief: Orokos is a chaotic place to live--but it’s also the only place to live--at least that is what everyone young and old has always been told. But is that just one of the many secrets or lies that is being told to the public by the Protectorate? Rail and Moa are our young hero and heroine whose lives depend on what they don’t know. In this futuristic society there are three kinds of people: the wealthy citizens who live in fine houses, the so-called ‘worthless’ contained in the ghettoes, and the Taken.

Poison: Once upon a time there was a young lady who lived in a marsh, and her name was Poison. Life in the marsh--or the Black Marshes--isn’t exactly exciting. Sure, it’s full of dangers...swamp fever, poisonous creatures of every shape and size, etc...but what Poison longs for is real adventure. She wants to venture outside her community in the marsh. She wants to see the world outside. What’s left of it anyway. Set perhaps centuries after a disastrous war--the Many-Sided War--humans have become divided, weak, and fearful. They’ve gone to hiding in the mountains and living in marshes. Poison knows what is expected of her: to marry and have children year after year the rest of her life. But Poison wants more...needs more. But even with this dream for more, Poison never actually expected to leave her life in the village and go on a quest like in a storybook.

So what do you think of this week's picks? Have I convinced you to check out any of these from the library? Or to buy them for that matter!? Have I been a 'bad blogger'? I hope so!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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Erika Powell 5:11 PM  

I already want to read Shug but the rest of your list looks great too

Staci 8:16 PM  

I read Shug during the Read-a-thon and totally loved it. Adorable read!!

Kailana 4:53 AM  

Okay, so, yep, you were totally a bad blogger! lol

Unknown 12:35 PM  

I wonder if my reaction to Larklight was a timing thing too. Either that, or the first one isn't just as good as the other two (which I haven't read). And I really need to read Shug.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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