Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Stone Girl

The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
high school & up

Sethie is in danger and she doesn't even know it. She is dissatisfied with her life and to compensate she is coming perilously close to an eating disorder. It seems easier to control what she eats (or doesn't) than to deal with life. One of her problems is her not-quite-boyfriend. There is also the stress of applying to college and keeping up her grades.

I read this because I loved Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia & emotional eating) are way too common.
I like that it gives a different view of the eating disorder. Instead of focusing on a girl who has already developed a full blown problem, this one is about a girl who is headed in that direction but hasn't arrived yet. I also thought it seemed very realistic. Sethie may not be the most kick-ass strong female but I imagine there are plenty of Sethies roaming the halls of any high school.
At times, I just wanted to shake Sethie about the guy she liked. As much as it bugged me it was probably realistic too. High school is a time when girls, especially the insecure ones, will ignore a lot of their common sense to have a boyfriend.
I would recommend to parents of high school girls and to the girls themselves.

Verdict: must getPin It

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Poetry Roundup

Welcome to Poetry Friday. This is a weekly roundup sponsored by the folks over at A Year in Reading

What with one thing or another
(including a visit from mother)
this post almost slipped my mind
but I think that you'll find
some poems here 
that will make you cheer. 

For starters I want to share the only real poem I've ever written. I don't remember why I wrote it, it wasn't a school assignment and I've never actually been fond of poetry. This was way back in high school. I wrote about a subject that was very important to me all through my schooling. I just never seemed to get enough. 

If you're looking for more poetry, I've got a nice long list of recommendations for you. Starting out with: 
Diane Mayr-- The first day of the Olympics--what a great day to host! At Random Noodling I have an Olympics poem, "Ode for the London Olympics 2012," and an awesome photo from the Olympics 100 years ago.
Kurious Kitty shares "Lines" by Martha Collins, and, Kurious K's Kwotes' P.F. quote is by Goethe.
Violet N.--My poem has an Olympic angle... It's an occasional poem, written in honor of a friend's 60th birthday. (The Olympic angle is that he's newly into doing triathlons. Triathlon is an Olympic sport, isn't it?)
Charles Ghigna--Thanks for hosting! Our "Summertime" poem from Cricket is posted at The FATHER GOOSE Blog

If I've missed anyone or you suddenly feel inspired leave us a comment and a link to what you want to share. 

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Thursday, July 19, 2012


Delirium by Lauren Oliver
middle school & up

Love is illegal. Soon after your 18th birthday each citizen is inoculated against the sickness of love called amor deliria nervosa. Lena is eagerly looking forward to her cure but nervous about the evaluation first. At her evaluation, a group of "resisters" break into the labs and release a herd of cattle. During the chaos she spots a guard just standing around laughing. So she's extremely confused when she spots the guy again at an illegal party. As they slowly get to know one another, she finds out his secret: he has never been cured.

I've been wanting to read this for awhile. I like the title and the cover is pretty. (Yes, I do judge books by their covers.) This story is a perfect example of the dystopian genre: 1- government outlaws something. 2- main character is fine with the government restrictions. 3- until he/she meets someone who defies the government. 4- MC comes to realize the government in wrong. 5- both try to find a way to be together outside of government control.
I liked all the main characters; my favorite was Gracie even though she barely said a word and was mostly uninvolved in all the action. At the beginning of each chapter is a snippet from one of the government's informative books on the dangers of love. I like that because it gives insight into the culture that all the characters are a part of.

VERDICT: recommendedPin It

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Touched by Cyn Balog
middle school & up

On his way to save a girl he knows is about to drown Nick accidentally saves another girl. By doing this, the little girl dies, and Nick loses the future he's had for the last three months. Nick can see his own future and every action creates new futures for himself. The shifting futures are constantly playing in his head and cause excruciating headaches. Nick's mother has the same ability and will not tell him how they came to have the power. But the girl he accidentally saved, Taryn, claims that her grandmother is responsible for Touching him with the Sight of Eagles.

Great book. The best thing about it: the main character is a BOY! Usually, these types of paranormal/star-crossed lovers stories have a girl protagonist. This was such a nice change. It could really open a new audience. I haven't done a poll or anything (hey, not a bad idea) but I'm pretty sure most teenage boys don't go around reading books with female leads.
I really liked Nick. He tries hard to do the right thing even when he doesn't want to. His ability or affliction is interesting. Nick's mom has the same problem and the way the two handle it is very different from each other. I liked the way information on how they got this ability came out. It was just the right amount of slow. The curse on Taryn's family was interesting; especially the way it played into Nick's curse.

Verdict: recommended.Pin It

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TBR redefined

  Hello there. These photos indicate a problem I've been having. TBR usually is understood to mean To Be Read. Both of these bookcases have twins who are similarly filled with books. I've read some of them and am planning to read the rest. (Duh!) 

Now, on to the redefined part. Next you'll see a photo of my Kindle.  I opened up the category I call "Blog this." So TBR also stands for To Be Reviewed. I've really got to get better about writing up the review as soon as I'm done with the book. I tend to just add it to my blog collection and then start another book. Starting a new book is just so easy. And then I get into the new book and want to get it read. Which means I put off the previous book's review until I finish the current book. Rinse and repeat. 

I'm going to try to get those reviews done sometime this week. Of course, some of them y'all still won't see since the majority of the books in my Blog This category haven't been released yet. 
I love being a blogger.  
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Saturday, July 7, 2012


Narc by Chrissa Jean-Chappell
high school & up

Aaron is offered a choice when his little sister is caught with weed by the cops. Either work as a narc or sister gets arrested. He reluctantly agrees and begins trying to discover who is the biggest dealer at his school. This is difficult because he's never really made many friends before. Aaron is more of a loner stoner than a party person.

I had a problem with this book. Aaron goes on and on about how he's only doing the narc think to protect his littler sister. He then proceeds to spend almost no time with her at all. He barely even talks to her. She's basically left to her own devices yet every now and then he tells himself how he is all she has. There just wasn't really enough evidence of that for it to ring true for me.
The lifestyle did seem more realistic. Urban high school and not enough parental supervision. These kids stay out all night, crash at each other's houses and have no trouble getting their hands on drugs. Every high-schooler knows who the druggies are. So, the police wanting a 17 to act on a narc isn't a stretch. It makes perfect sense to me.
I also understood part of Aaron's character. Not the stoner part. The part where he sees himself as human wallpaper in his school. Not too many friends, not too many enemies. Just kinda wandering through the social scenes without making too much of a fuss. Most kids probably feel that way.

Verdict: suggested, especially for a large urban schoolPin It

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fever 1793

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
middle school & up

Yellow fever is sweeping through the town of Philadelphia. Those who can are fleeing to the countryside in hopes of escaping. Those who can't are staying put trying to survive. The city is low on food since farmers can't get in and high on fever victims.

I love this author. She is definitely on my favorites list. I've actually been wanting to read this for a while now. I first saw it in a B&N and was really intrigued by the girl's yellow eyes. So I was happy to run across it at a used bookstore while on vacation. Hooray!
This is great historical fiction told in a diary/journal style. Mattie is my kind of character. A regular kind of girl who steps up when she has to. At the start of each chapter is a quote from people who lived through the actual events.
The focus is on Mattie. There isn't a lot of focus on the disease itself. More of the aftermath of the disease. What happens to the kids whose parents die? What happens when the farmer's markets are empty? How do you communicate when there is no mail delivery? When it is all over, how do you rebuild your life?

Verdict: highly recommendedPin It
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