|How to Be Bad||E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle|
This book should be retitled: How to Write Good Teen Characters. The three protagonist's voices really shine, and all of them are complex and totally believable. This book is about a road trip that three teen girls go on, but the road trip is only secondary to the way that each girl changes. Not to mention the way that they change together. A fun and well done read. 4 stars
|Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story||Gillies, Isabel|
I wanted to like this book more than I did. Isabel Gillies has a strong and engaging voice and I was interested enough to read the whole thing. But I don't identify well with the situation. A woman who thinks her life is perfect is devastated when her husband walks out and falls in love with someone else.
As an unreformed pessimist, I was frustrated by her original "life is perfect and love solves everything" mentality. And she does admit that she missed red flags, like the fact that she married someone who cheated on his first wife while she was pregnant.
Just reading that last sentence made me frustrated all over again. But despite my reservations, it did draw me in and keep me reading. 2 stars.
|Foundation (Valdemar, Collegium Chronicles, Book 1)||Lackey, Mercedes|
I have read every Valdemar novel that Mercedes Lackey has ever written, so you can imagine how excited I was to see this on the shelf. Hint: there may have been a happy little jig involved.
And I wasn't disappointed. This book is as engaging as the others, and features one of my favorite types of characters; the outsider with an unusual mindset and unique skills.
In this case it's Mags, an orphan who's worked his whole life for a cruel and stingy mine owner. Mags has never owned anything, and until he's Chosen, he's never even had a decent meal. He's wary, intelligent, and possesses a fascinating knowledge of gemstones as well as the ability to keep his mouth shut. For me, this is comfort reading at its finest. 5 stars
|A Girl, in Parts||Paul, Jasmine|
The best word I can come up with for this book is refreshing. It follows a girl named Dorothy from nine onwards as she grows up in the early 80's. The book is told in vignettes., which makes it surprisingly powerful.
Mostly what I liked about this is that it was completely unsentimental about childhood. I think sometimes we gloss over the 10-12 range, but this book clearly portrays Dorothy's struggles with identity, peers and family.
I found this honesty refreshing because I remember I felt just as smart and grown-up at ten as I did as a teenager. It also reminded me a quote I saw on Twitter the other day: "Kids are living stories every day that we wouldn't let them read." 4 stars
All right fellow book people, I'll see you Monday!