Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lots of Book Reviews - That Summer, H.B.S., Geek Charming, etc.

Woo! Next week is spring break in Baldwin County!

Many of you will be here, many of you are hitting Disney. I expect lots of funny pix on Facebook.

So I reported a while back that I've been updating my knowledge of current YA fiction for girls since deciding to hit the market with Debut Novel. And I have to gush, it's been so much fun!

I seriously love this stuff. I grew up addicted to Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Francine Pascal, you name it. Pretty much anything like that I devoured.

Naturally, Debut Novel falls into that category of books. However, I was also a Nancy Drew fan, so I wanted to throw in a little mystery. I think it works. Now I'm trying to convince the gatekeepers...

Since I've been reading so many of these books lately, I felt I should share in case any of you out there are looking for a fun, beach read.

First, That Summer, by Sarah Dessen is amazing. I could not put the book down, and it was not at all what I expected. Loved it. Go out and get it now. Don't be misled by the cover image--not once does any character do a cartwheel on the beach...

Loved, loved, loved the book. That being said, I also read The Truth About Forever by S.D., and loved it, too-! I discussed this one earlier under "eerie conicidences" because it has similar themes to DN. Anyway, S.D. might become a favorite author.

Bloom by Elizabeth Scott was good, but I felt like it was unfinished. There were details I would've liked to know about the characters, and I didn't really feel like the story concluded. More like it just stopped. But it stayed with me, and that's a great thing for any book.

I'm looking at another of Scott's books, Something, Maybe, to read next. It's recommended by S.D., so I'm optimistic.

Robin Palmer has a fun sense of humor and her books are very clean for all you parents reading. Geek Charming turned out to be super-sweet, although I didn't like the ending. Little Miss Red wasn't as tight as G.C., but it was funny and entertaining. Her books are like the literary equivalent of Clueless.

On Monday I finished Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon, and I'm still trying to decide if I'd categorize it as YA. Some situations described are v. adult. I suppose a 16 year-old could handle it, but I'd be selective if I had a sensitive reader.

It took me a week to get to Page 130, and I almost put it down a few times. But at last it took off and soared through to the end. I didn't think it was as scary as it was billed, but the conclusion was satisfying.

Before that I read Forever by Judy Blume. Being a fan of hers, I was surprised I'd never seen this title in my private school library. Richard informed me it's her "sex book."

Hello! He's right. Now how did he know that, and I didn't? Clearly even the boys will read J.B. if there's sex in it. Ha ha.

Yesterday I finished Deb Caletti's Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, and yes, if you're keeping track, that's two days after finishing Promise Not to Tell. My taste in books is showing...

H.B.S. just flew out of the gate. I was on p. 155 after two hours just loving it, but then it sort of got lost on the way to the bathroom. I mean, I get it that D.C. had to figure out a way to resolve the love situation she had created, but I wasn't sure I bought it.

Somebody that emotionally powerful isn't so easily gotten rid of in my opinion, which is what she set up through the mom and the Lillian character. And I kept wanting some verbal show-down. The one we get is a bit unsatisfying.

But it was a fun read. I definitely recommend picking it up. I laughed, I cried. And it's a National Book Award finalist. Bonus!

Also interesting to me was that Caletti was a journalist before becoming a novelist, although I'm not sure how long she worked as a journalist. I also read that her first four books are still unpublished. bluh...

So there you go. And I'd love to hear any recommendations from you guys!


Anonymous said...

excellent blog!!! So insightful!!!

LTM said...

uhh... Mom???

j/k--Thanks, Anon! :o)