Two YA

First, a Cybil, Still Life With Tornado was a book about a teen who has a breakdown triggered by some stuff that happened at school but also by stuff that’s happened at home. It was an interesting book, A.S. King does a good job with teens and dysfunctional families. I wasn’t all that thrilled about the art teacher and the student… I’m not sure that was necessary to the story line. Otherwise, I liked it and recommend it.

Next, Goodbye Rebel Blue. I liked it a whole lot more than I expected to. Misfit kid finds herself drawn to complete the bucket list of a dead schoolmate — a girl she didn’t really know at all. Good read, really.

Related: After I finished it, TW asked me what I thought of it. I told her I liked it and asked her what was on her bucket list. She said nothing. I said NOTHING? She said no, nothing really matters. I replied… are you reading Still Life in Tornado right now? (She was.) The juxtaposition between the two books was interesting, to say the least.

When the Sea Turned to Silver

We listened to When the Sea Turned to Silver on audio. It’s a Cybil finalist in the audiobook category so you’d expect it to be good, right? Well it was. It was very good. I think it was even better than Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (if you’ve read that.)

I highly recommend it on audio.

#FakeReadathon: 7 Books

Sharon and Chris joined us on Sunday for #FakeReadathon and it was fun. I also managed to finish seven books, which was also fun.

Happily Ever After: short stories about characters from The Selection series. It wasn’t bad, a lot of repeat of what happened in earlier books so the stories could be read as a stand-alone.

The Crown: The final book in the selection series. I’m glad it turned out the way I thought it would turn out.

There Is No Darkness: I finally finished this ebook that I started months (a year?) ago? I generally just read a chapter or two every time I traveled, while waiting for inflight wifi to kick in. Yesterday, I decided I was doing to finish it and I did. I don’t really love Science Fiction but I definitely enjoyed it. An interesting coming of age story. (Someone in an Amazon review said the Haldeman brothers wrote this in 1955, almost 20 years before Joe wrote The Forever War. I’m all… Wait, what!?! Goodness… Lorena wasn’t even born? Wait, what?!!! Is this true. Someone remind me to ask Lore about this.)

I checked four children’s picture books out of the library, two picture books and two board books (both Cybils), because I thought I might have a chance to read some new books to Pippin and Squshy when they were hear a couple of weeks ago. I also thought even if that didn’t happen, these might be books I would want to buy them for Christmas. Turns out… it was a mixed bag.

– Dinosaur Dance was boring. Unless your child really LOVES dinosaurs, in which case it’s still boring but your kid will still love it because dinosaurs.
– Look, Look Again was cute and interesting. It’s a fold out style book. The first page shows one… something (a mushroom, a strawberry, an apple, etc.) but when you fold out the connecting page, you see more than one something (and it’s actually a counting book.) Pretty cute. I liked it. I’d buy that.
– A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals. This book is troubling… if you buy it or check it out of the library, read it before you share it with your child. It might be fine, it might not be. Great illustrations but the “hungry lion” eats the cute animals… after the story tricks you into thinking that’s not what is going to happen, it wants you to believe the little animals have just created a surprise party for the hungry lion. Jokes on you because, yea, the hungry lion at the cute animals after all. Very troubling.
– Strictly No Elephants was a good story. Again, great illustrations and nobody gets eaten. The beginning is sad because the child with the pet elephant isn’t allowed to go to the club or party or whatever that the other kids with pets go to. But the child with the elephant meets a child with a skunk who also doesn’t have anyone to play with. They build their own club and make sure EVERYONE is welcome. Really nice story. I’d buy this.

The Weight of Zero

The Weight of Zero is on the YA Cybils shortlist and it’s good. It’s also probably very triggering for a lot of people. TW started reading it and before she got too far, she made me tell her whether Catherine dies or not…it’s a rough story. Definitely worth reading.

When the Moon Was Ours

Well… When the Moon Was Ours is beautifully written. I appreciated the transgender characters and the Latinx influences.

The mystical realism genre just isn’t my thing, sometimes — particularly when there’s not a lot of plot to keep the story moving.

Beautifully written mystical realism needs a good plot — this one didn’t have the plot.

This Is Where It Ends

Ouch. What a painful book. This Is Where It Ends is on the Cybils shortlist. I reserved it at the library a few months ago and could not bring myself to read it. Too busy and absolutely not up for a book like this.

So, I tried again and I almost put it back down because ugh. School shooting. Ugh. But, I convinced myself to read it … and I’m glad I did. I ended up reading it pretty much one sitting, late into the night because… how can you not?

I’d love to know some teens who read this. I’d love to know what they thought of it.

Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale is on the Cybils shortlist in the audiobook category — so we listened to it on audio and I loved every single thing about it. I chuckled at the 70s southern characters. Little Miss Central Florida Tire… baton twirling… hahaha.

But it wasn’t all amusing, either. The three girls had a lot to deal with and they did it together. LOVED IT.

March Book 3

I finished John Lewis’s March series. Book 3 was just as well-written and well-drawn as the first two books in the series. If you and your kids have not read this series, do it now.

Salt to the Sea

We listened to Salt to the Sea (a YA Cybil) on audio and it took awhile. It’s tough to listen to this kind of book on audio – the subject matter is SO depressing and it’s not really something you are dying to listen to while driving to/from Walt Disney World, ya know?

It was well-written, good character choices and development, good ending (you know what I mean, since there really aren’t good endings to WWII historical fiction), and it’s definitely worth reading.

TW says it’s going to be a movie. I hope they do the book justice and don’t turn it into a WWII version of Titanic. I really hope they don’t do that. Maybe you should read the book before the movie comes out, just in case.

The Voyage to Magical North

Another middle grade fantasy Cybil, The Voyage to Magical North was ok. I wanted to really love it but didn’t particularly like any of the characters until the end of the book.

Maybe I don’t love pirates? Or maybe I don’t love pirate satire for kids? I don’t know, this one just didn’t do it for me. (If you read the next book in the series, I’d love to know why Brine sneezes(d) around magic.)