Thursday, September 30, 2010

Confessions of Grace

I picked up this book on the bus to NYC thinking that it would be a light and silly ready. I was pleasantly surprised. I should have known that the author of HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT wouldn't disappoint.

I loved the interweaving stories and the fact that she created a real blog --! Hilarious.

The end was a little abrupt, but sweet.

Now THIS is the Elizabeth Scott I know and love! This book was absolutely stunning. I am in awe of how she writes so sparingly. In the same way that LIVING DEAD GIRL got under my skin for days, GRACE also stayed with me. This is one of those haunting stories that will make you think about war and terrorism and right and wrong... and what it all means. She really tears apart the concept of evil and hate.

I'll never look at a train the same way again.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

So I stayed up WAY too late last night to finish this gem. and WOW. Just WOW. Wonderful coming of age story of a girl who is struggling to overcome her "destiny" and DNA, while dealing with the abandonment of her mother, and the ultimate betrayal of friendship by her lifelong best friend, who then died. Vera loves Charlie as much as she hates him. Vera's voice is fresh and honest. I loved the snarky, saracastic but spot on life observations. I especially liked the relationship between Vera and her dad as they both basically refuse to deal with their abandonment by Vera's mother and their determination that Vera not make the mistakes of her parents.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Extraordinarily Spectacular

Ok, so I love Nancy Werlin and I adored IMPOSSIBLE. But EXTRAORDINARY just wasn't that remarkable. I read the author's notes about how she wanted the story to reflect the way that friends can change each other forever and how she was inspired by WICKED... but, for me, it was just a faerie story. And I wasn't impressed by the conversations in the Faerie realm that are sprinkled between the chapters.

If you want faerie angst, read WICKED LOVELY. :)

I was SO hoping that THE SPECTACULAR NOW would round out my list of hilarious boy books. It didn't. :(

I found the writing to be witty and honest and funny, but was very disappointed by the overall message in the story. The main character is clearly an alcoholic and there are never any consequences for his antics. He crashes cars and destroys property and is failing school and all he gets is a little summer school. Not only that, but Sutter's whole relationship with Aimee has no point in the end. He thinks he's some kind of savior, bringing booze and craziness to her life. But in the end, he's just another jackass.

Now, for adults, I think the story is funny, though the end is lacking closure. For teens, I worry about the messages it sends.

I LOVED this book. It's a solid tween read... excellent for kids who aren't ready for the angsty stories like BURN JOURNALS or STUCK IN NEUTRAL. This is a quiet story about a boy who meets a girl who is horribly disfigured. I love the intimate look into his thoughts. He's frightened and horrified and doesn't want to stick out, but he also likes her and doesn't want to be like the other kids.

The end is perfect and sweet and believable.