Elena is the most beautiful, and the most popular, girl in school, but she has always felt like something was missing. She returns from her summer vacation in France determined to break up with her quarterback boyfriend Matt, who she loves, but only as a friend. Then Stefen shows up at school. He’s Italian, mysterious, superhot, and does not even take a second look at Elena. Or so she thinks.
While Elena is becoming more and more obsessed with Stefen, Stefen is doing his best not to stare. He has enough problems trying to control his thirst and his powers, and now this girl, this girl who looks exactly like his lost love Katherine, is sitting in front of him in World History. Then, just as Stefen thinks he is getting control of himself, people start dying all over town.
The Vampire Diaries is a fun vampire romance, with a lot of horror mixed in. Elena is petty, superficial and vain, but she becomes more likeable as the book progresses. Stefen is brooding, but genuinely loves Elena for herself. Aside from Elena and Stefen’s romance, there is lots of intrigue and drama- both of the high school and the centuries-old-vendetta varieties. Fans of the The Vampire Diaries on the CW, or of Twilight, will want to check this book out.
Once the Baldersons’ moving truck pulls away, Spencer Honesty is the last kid in his town. In fact, he and his mom are the last family in town. Spencer’s mom works as a postal carrier, and she keeps her job, even though their house is the only place left to deliver mail. Mostly she just watches TV. As a result, Spencer is on his own a lot- with the exception of his imaginary friend Chief Leopard Frog. When Chief Leopard Frog suggests that he take up photography to keep himself occupied, he digs out his dad’s old camera and discovers that he has an undiscovered passion. Then, with no rational explanation, photos start coming back that he could never have taken. Photos that shouldn’t exist.
Ghost Town is a story about a guy who is stifled in a deserted town. Without anyone to talk to, or anything to occupy his creative and intelligent mind, Spencer discovers his talents. Throw into the mix an eccentric collector from the Cayman Islands, an ambitious magazine writer, the former girl-next-door, some lawyers and a FedEx delivery guy, and you have a funny and quirky story about lonliness, fame and fortune. This story is a fantastic read with an unexpected ending and a vibrant cast of characters.
Destroy all Cars is one of the funniest books I’ve read in awhile. James has a huge hate-on for cars, which he considers to be the gas guzzling, environment destroying symbol of everything that is wrong with Consumer American lifestyle. James is also a bit of a slacker and he cuts the elbows out of his sweaters to make them look cooler, so it’s hard to take him too seriously. The book is written as a series of essays James writes for his long-suffering English teacher, the subjects of which range from four page rants against his ex-girlfriend (Write About A Person Who Has Influenced You) to discussions about how much he wants to move to Norway to descriptions of his failures dating girls. The essays are intermixed with scenes from James’ life and his conversations with friends and family.
“Went bowling with Gabe on Friday Night. We were meeting a girl named Renee, who Gabe likes. He wanted me to be his wingman. Though I do not possess extensive “wingman” skills I agreed to go.
Gabe’s mom drive us in the Ford Expedition. I felt like an evil warlord sitting in the back of it, looking down on smaller more fuel-efficient cars. I said nothing, though.”
Set in modern China, Orange is the story of a high school girl growing up in the city. She feels deeply alienated from everyone around her: her guy friends are promiscuous, her girl friends are superficial. Surrounded by fakes, she feels alone. One morning, she decides to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of an apartment complex. Before she can jump, she is interrupted by a guy she’s noticed before. He is different from everyone else. Deciding not to kill herself, she needs to get rid of her suicide note, but finds she can’t throw it away. She sneaks it into the bag of the man who found her on the roof, creating an obsessive connection between them.
Orange is a disturbing graphic novel that explores authenticity, alienation and depression in a changing world. The art and story are both by Benjamin, an amazing Chinese graphic artist who has worked on artwork for a number of video games and movies.
As a small child, Grace was dragged off the tire swing in her backyard by a pack of ravenous wolves. She didn’t die, though she has some scars from the event, but ever since she has been fascinated by the wolves. She watches them ever winter, and knows them all, but one in particular grabs her imagination: the wolf with the yellow eyes. When a guy in her class is killed by the wolves, the town goes into a state of panic. The men of the town form a hunting party, and though she tries to stop them, later that night Grace finds a boy bleeding on her back porch. A boy with yellow eyes, just like her wolf’s.
Shiver is a book for all you Twilight fans. It’s a romance, a mystery and an adventure. It’s told in alternating perspectives between Grace and her boyfriend Sam. Sam and Grace are meant for each other, but they both know they have only so much time before fate takes over. Grace’s best friend Olivia has wolf problems of her own, and nasty-but-popular Isabel is mourning her dead brother and has blackmail on her mind. Sam and Grace have to make their world safe before it’s too late
The National Book Award recognized these books as some of the best of 2009. Including biography and fiction, these books cover a broad spectrum of topics: the personal life of a famous scientist, the civil rights movement, violence, supernatural romance and graphic novels. The thing they have in common is that they are all amazing reads!
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose
|Stitches by David Small||Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman,|
|Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor||
Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
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Homecoming is the sequel to Ghostgirl, in which our heroine Charlotte meets her demise (chokes on a gummy bear) and ends up in the afterlife (Dead Ed: high school for dead teens). In Homecoming, Charlotte and her classmates have graduated from Dead Ed, and are now staffing a helpline for troubled teenagers, where the ghosts act as the consciences of the callers. In the land of the living, things are rocky between Scarlet (the BFF) and Damen (the cute boy), and Petula (the most popular girl at school) has landed herself in a pedicure-induced coma. With the afterlife somewhat lacking in excitement, Charlotte will do her best to help her friends.
The Ghostgirl books pretty much need to be read in order, so get Ghostgirl first, then Homecoming. They are funny, full of great quotes and big colorful characters. Charlotte is full of insecurities and loneliness, but she is truly a good friend and a kind person. This is an entertaining story.
This is the latest book by the author of Elsewhere, and it is even better. In Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, Naomi falls down the stairs at the front of her school, hits her head and passes out. When she wakes up the first thing she hears is James telling the EMTs that he is her boyfriend. When they get to the hospital, Naomi knows her name, but she doesn’t know why she is in the hospital, what year it is, that James is not her boyfriend, or that her parents are divorced- she has forgotten the last four years of her life. Once she gets out of the hospital, she has to try to start living her life again, but it’s not easy. Along with her memories, she’s lost her likes and dislikes: why she’s dating boring, binge-drinking athlete Ace; why she spent hours every day co-editing the yearbook; what made her mad enough at her Mom to give her the silent treatment for three years; why she hates her Dad’s fiancée. Everyone expects Naomi to go right back to her old life, but without her memories, she’s no longer the person she was.
This is a really good story, and an excellent read. It’s partially a family story, and partially a romance, but mainly it’s about a girl who is trying really hard to put the pieces of her broken life back together. While her amnesia is in no way a good thing, in some cases it gives her a new perspective on her choices and lets her try things that she might not have in her pre-accident life.
Molly and Trevor have been dating for three months, ever since Trevor dumped Barbie-doll Felicia. Trevor is pressuring to take things to the next level, but Molly’s not so sure. Kissing Trevor feels amazing, but it’s only been three months and he’s still refusing to meet her family. When Molly catches Trevor kissing his ex, she’s heartbroken but vows to move on. With Trevor trying to win her back, and her best friend trying to set her up with a string of rebound guys, Molly finds solace in the place she least expected it: her little neighbor’s Girl Corps troupe. Sure, at fifteen she looks out-of-place among the pre-teen Girl Corps, but hanging out with the troupe is giving her a sense of empowerment and identity she’s never had before.
Girl to the Core is a really fun read. Molly is a good character and her relationships with her friends and with the younger girls are interesting and authentic. She gets herself into some difficult situations, but with her strong sense of family and the lessons she learns at Girl Corps, she manages to become a stronger person because of them.