Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (GN)
Surprise, she posts!!
Favorite YA, in no particular order:
Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Life as We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
What Happened to Cass McBride by Gail Giles
Diva by Alex Flinn
The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory
(Yes, some of these were published in 2006, but sometimes it takes me a while to catch up!)
There have to be more that I enjoyed, but I am drawing a blank. You know, I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions, but I already have one for '08: Self, keep better track of what you read! :)
Austenland by Shannon Hale
The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Cross my heart and hope to spy by Ally Carter
The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Spells & Sleeping Bags by Sarah Mlynowski
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
The PLAIN Janes by Cecil Castellucci
Bella at midnight by Diane Stanley
Firegirl by Tony Abbott
Other books I enjoyed reading this year...
Antonement by Ian McEwan
The Gossip Girls series by Cecily Von Ziegesar
How I live now by Meg Rosoff
The book is set in
One Good Punch is filled with life’s gray areas. Do you only tell part of the truth to get yourself out of trouble? Or is loyalty more important? Should you bank everything on what you thought was your future? Or are there alternate ways of getting there? Do you take your time to figure out your own mind on a subject? Or do you do what others want of you? The first person narration was very strong even though this is a very short novel, 114 pages to be exact. It’s what I would call a quiet novel even though it has the drug bust drama – it’s much more focused on how Mike determines his life’s direction than it is a problem novel per se. There will be setbacks, but Mike and
"Of course back then, I still thought of history as a full and frank collection of facts. Now I understand that it is only a story, one of many, or many parts of several different stories."
"I felt no particular shame, having encountered dozens of chippy little
fascists in my time, but continued to wonder at their delusions."
"From behind him a small gray cat gazed, its tail erect and twitching, as if testing the atmosphere for spies.
(2nd favorite. this cat gets some great lines.)
"None of what I felt could be explained by what I generally understood
about sex. The ceaseless tangle of emotions confused me, forced me to wonder what I was. There was no one to ask."
"By Friday I had come to the conclusion that I was crowding him, so I made myself as small as possible, stifled the desire to burble over with enthusiasm for each new discovery or to follow him around like the adoring hanger-on I was."
"Sometimes I thought about the content of those lives, the intangible things that leave no fossils and no marks on history. Would people from the future excavate traces of passion? Of hope, disappointment, despair? Would they uncover layers of love and layers of loss? Or would the entire human race end up drowned and forgotten, buried under waves of melting ice with no on left to dig us up or wonder a what was or what might have been."
“My lack of distinction was mainly restricted to photographs andRosoff’s writing is spectacular. This is her third novel, her first for adults, and the writing in my opinion left very little to be desired. I’d love to post entire sections to show how wonderfully she is able to describe the setting both social and physical. It was her ability to describe that drew me into the story rather than the characters themselves. I found the narrator to be off-putting and not sympathetic in the least. But the landscape was breathtaking. It was at the mercy of the tide, the weather, and gravity. The coastline was slowly sinking, quite literally into the sea and had already reclaimed medieval towns. Simply put, it had a history so rich I wanted to know more than just the glimpses she offered me.
schoolwork. When it came to opinions, I was (I am) like the sword of Zorro:
swift, incisive, deadly. My opinions on the role of secondary education, for
instance, are absolute…
…I will, however, grant them something. Without the first, I would not
have ended up at the second. Without the second, I would not have attended St.
Oswald’s. Without St. Oswald’s, I would not have met Finn.
Without Finn, there would be no story.”
I couldn't help thinking as I read that this would make a terrific movie. The writing was extremely visual and it would transfer easily into a slapstick type comedy. You could take dialogue verbatim from the book and it would be fantastic. It even comes complete with a bittersweet sweet romance. My one complaint is with the cover. Why did they change from the British cover? Its really cute and I personally find it more apealing.
When describing Alice's aunt Ursula:
"To take her mind off her brother-in-law's execution, Ursula had been tying
pink-and-green ribbons in her bright yellow wig and the effect was, to say the
When talking to Uncle Frank post-beheading:
"It felt odd to be addressing a disembodied head, but not as odd as she
thought it might."
When Dan the hangman addresses Grandma's refusal to pay for services rendered:
' "They do their job," said Dan, still unforgiving. "Do you know, sometimes
they're given oatmeal instead of silver as their pay?" He peered out the window
too. "And some of them don't even like oatmeal," he hissed very close to Alice's
The author stuck close to the story of Hamlet, but wasn’t afraid to branch out and change details which was much appreciated by this reader. I especially enjoyed the new twist on Olivia (Ophelia) and the river.
Occasionally the Shakespeare references seemed a little heavy handed. For instance, all of Horatio’s sisters are named after various heroines from Shakespeare. The town play that summer just happens to be Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. And the two characters in the book based on them even attend the play (although of course it is highly confusing for them). Horatio even states that, “Personally, I’m a little tired of every author without a bright idea of his own putting a modern spin on a ‘classic.’ ”
What made the story work is that Horatio is a witty guy, he’s got some terrific one liners, and the plot moves along at a good pace. Important, since this appears to be the first in a series of mysteries. I do wonder if Horatio will continue to reenact various Shakespeare plots or if this was just a starting point.
It would be fun to pair this with the original in an English Class, but would work just as well for teens who are only looking for a fun mystery to pass the time.
He was a violent man. Had be been a cruel boy?
I admittedly didn't want to read it when the ARC was delivered to my library and even after talk surfaced about how amazing it is and how it is a shame that it's a "teen" novel. [note: If anyone can find that quote, I'd appreciate it.] I mean, really, "before I die"... how lame. And depressing. I wasn't in the mood to have my emotions manipulated so easily. Also, the publisher writes such a lusty introduction on how this book is "gold dust" and you must read it. Another turn off. But last night after I finished Skin Hunger I was, well, hungry, to read more and this was on my bookshelf.
I read this article in the NYT last month and looking at it now, I am completely taken back by the fact that the ONE passage I marked to quote here is the exact same one the reviewer quotes. As well as 7-IMP!! This is a wonderfully written novel. I read it all last night. I started at 10 and finished around 2. I didn't turn into a weeping pajama bag until Tessa had sex with Adam... and then it was every other chapter for the rest of the novel. This rarely happens with books for me. In fact, I'm trying to think of the last book I cried over and can't. I will also admit to you, dear reader, that last month I stayed up until 2 A.M. watching Beaches. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed but would not turn the TV off. This book had the same effect. I had to get through it. I was wrecked and it felt good.
There's nothing new here storywise: sick girl dies. Downham's language is spot-on fantastic and it lifts the novel out of the realm of "one of those hideous book where the girl dies." This is most certainly a teen novel. Of course adults will like it, just like my girlfriends and I watched the adult drama Beaches over and over and over back in the day. No one is far from the mystery of death and the fact that your life will end. Your loved ones will go on and you will not. Unlike the car accident that she sees, Tessa has a little time. She is a perfect guide on this journey to "the edge" as she calls it. She'll haunt you like Liz and what a beautiful spirit she'll be.
"This is grown-up stuff. It’s not that teenage readers should be forbidden it, just that they’re unlikely to be interested. They will almost certainly be sympathetic to Listen’s problems, which do not involve romance but rather the situation of entering a new school and finding that your old friends want to leave you behind: “It’s just that we all agreed on this, O.K.? It’s no offense at all.” Oh, sure."