Monday, October 24, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Here's a quick summary from Ms. Forman's website:  It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.
Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, powerful prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My Take

Okay, the's lovely.  Not totally how I pictured Mia but I do love the cover nonetheless.  I have been waiting what feels like forever to find out what happens to Adam and Mia.  I really loved this book.  I really liked If I Stay and I know that I enjoyed Where She Went just as much.  It was tough to see these two characters struggling to know what they wanted and trying to determine if that might involve each other.  At times it was almost frustrating.  I won't give away the ending but wasn't disappointed by this book at all.  I'm giving this one 4 1/2 kisses!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Here’s a quick bit from Ms. Turner’swebsite:  The most powerful advisor to the King of Sounis is the magus. He's not a wizard, he's a scholar, an aging solider, not a thief. When he needs something stolen, he pulls a young thief from the King's prison to do the job for him

Gen is a thief and proud of it.  When his bragging lands him behind bars, he has one chance to win his freedom--journey to a neighboring kingdom with the magus, find a legendary stone called Hamiathes's Gift and steal it.

The magus has plans for his King and his country.  Gen has plans of his own.

Newbery Honor Book Award, 1197
ALA List of Notable Books, 1197
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Blue Ribbon List
Horn Book Fanfare List
Selection of the Junior Library Guild

My Take

I was so very fortunate to have won a copy of this book from the author in the hope that I would pass this along so that others could read it.  I am giving my copy to the library at my son’s school.  They are thrilled to be getting it and I know that many other kids will be reading it for some time to come. 

Now, about the book itself… I can see why this book has won so many awards.  It’s quite a tale.   I do feel it’s geared towards middle school age kids but older teens are just as likely to enjoy it.  I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.  I see that there are a couple more books planned beyond what’s out there now as well. 

This book was suspenseful and interesting.  Gen, the main character, was not terribly likeable in the very beginning.  However, as the story went on, he became much more endearing.  Ms. Turner’s writing pulls you in and takes you along on the journey.  I’m excited to see where Gen’s adventures take him next.  I’m giving this one 5 kisses!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Want to Go Private? by Sarah Littman

Here’s a blurb from Ms. Littman’s website:  When Abby meets Luke online, she can’t believe her luck. He’s nice. He’s funny. He listens to her and he thinks she’s pretty. He even gets jealous of other guys, which is adorable. Without Luke, Abby’s not sure how she’d make it through her first year of high school. Everyone, including her mom and her best friend, Faith, tells Abby that if she just made more of an effort, she’d be having fun instead of dreading each and every day as if it’s a prison sentence. But there’s nothing fun about being the lowest link in the social food chain.

Abby knows she’s not supposed to chat with random guys online. But Luke isn’t random, and he isn’t a stranger. Best of all, he really loves her. So what if she never goes out with her friends anymore and her grades are slipping? All she needs is Luke. Luke is her secret, and she’s his — it’s perfect that way. So when Luke suggests that they meet each other in person, Abby agrees. And then she’s gone. Missing. Without a trace. And everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don’t, they’ll never see Abby again...
My Take

It is so frightening to think about a child just disappearing.  And worse, you know they are with a sex offender and you’re left behind, helpless.  How terrifying.  Abby’s descent down the rabbit hole was difficult (to see as a parent) but absolutely realistic as well.

I can fully see how teens get sucked into the vortex of communicating with these predators.  Abby was a great character.  It was scary to see her separating herself from her friends and family.  Similar to watching an accident happen.  Her friends and family were all wonderful characters as well.  I think Ms. Littman did a wonderful job relaying a story that is a very real concern for teens today.  Her characters were likable, relatable and very human.  It would be a great book for teens to read and discuss with friends and family.  Maybe giving them pause to consider what they would do given the same situation.  This is another one of the books on the Contemps Challenge for this year as well.  This one gets 4 ½ kisses!

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