Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guest Review (Kaylee): Wish

Title:  Wish
Author:  Joseph Monninger

     From GoodReads, "Bee’s brother, Tommy, knows everything there is to know about sharks. He also knows that his life will be cut short by cystic fibrosis. And so does Bee.

That’s why she wants to make his wish-foundation-sponsored trip to swim with a great white shark an unforgettable memory.

But wishes don’t always come true. At least, not as expected. Only when Bee takes Tommy to meet a famous shark attack survivor and hard-core surfer does Tommy have the chance to live one day to the fullest.

And in the sun-kissed ocean off a California beach, Bee discovers that she has a few secret wishes of her own. . . . "

     After talking about elements of great story openings last week in class, I can honestly say that Wish does not have many of the elements, but is a book that you should keep reading because it does get better after a slow opening.  Wish should appeal to readers that like realistic fiction because it is written in a way that makes you feel like you are part of the action.
     The main character, Bee, is very believable and Tommy is a sweet little boy who is pretty mature for his age, which I think is due to his life-threatening condition.  I would recommend reading this book because it makes you appreciate all of the things in life that you might take for granted.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Review: One Night That Changes Everything

Title:  One Night That Changes Everything
Author:  Lauren Barnholdt

     From GoodReads, "Eliza is in a full-blown panic. Her notebook has been stolen—the one that lists everything she wants but is afraid to go after. And the absolute worst person in the world has it: her ex-boyfriend, Cooper. 

Like it’s not enough Cooper was lying to Eliza for their entire relationship, now he and his friends are blackmailing her. They’re giving her just one night to complete the most humiliating tasks on her list or they’ll post her secrets online—including the ones that aren’t just about her.

Eliza’s sure of only one thing: she isn’t going down without a fight. Cooper may have what’s left of her dignity, but she’s not the only one with something to hide … "

     I was so excited to read Lauren Barnholdt’s latest book.  As usual she didn’t disappoint me!  One Night That Changes Everything had all of her writing qualities present.  Her books always have excitement, romance and suspense.  Every time I read her books I lose a little sleep because I can’t put it down.    One Night That Changes Everything is about a girl named Eliza and her quest to hide her most precious secrets.  To make matters worse her ex-boyfriend Cooper has to follow her around for the night. By the end of the night she learns a lot about herself and the others around her.  I would highly recommend any books that Lauren Barnholdt has written.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Review: The Duff

Title:  The Duff
Author:  Kody Keplinger

     From GoodReads, "Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley. 

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone."

     There are some books that once you pick up, it is difficult to put them down... for me, this was that book.  I started the book at 9:00 p.m. and finished at around 1:30 a.m.  The Duff was quickly paced and I couldn't wait to see what happened.  I was very surprised to find out that author, Kody Keplinger, isn't that far out of high school.  
     The main character, Bianca, is extremely sarcastic.  So much so that some people reading the book might not like her too much.  I like her sarcastic nature.  She's the girl in high school that says what's on her mind and that you wish you could be more like.  Underneath her sarcastic attitude lies a girl that is afraid to let people in, including both her family and friends.  Bianca's nemesis in the book is Wesley, the bad boy that is known for his non-committed relationships (that's teacher-speak for one-night-stands!)  The bickering between these two was constant and often hilarious.  There was always an underlying chemistry between them that made me as a reader know that something was up between these two.  
     As a parent and teacher, I was surprised by some of the language and content in the book, however, I'm sure that some teens will appreciate Kody Kepplinger's honesty and strait-forwardness regarding these issues.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review: Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Title:  Cold Hands, Warm Heart
Author:  Jill Wolfson

     From GoodReads, "Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body. In her fifteen years of life, she’s had more doctor’s appointments, X-rays, and tests, and eaten more green hospital Jell-O than she cares to think about. Fourteen-year-old Amanda is a competitive gymnast, her body a small package of sleek muscles, in perfect health. The two girls don’t know each other, don’t go to the same school, don’t have any friends in common. But their lives are about to collide."

     This novel did something that a lot of novels do not, it made me act.  Many good novels make you ponder and think of something in a different light and this novel did this as well for me, but it also made me act... by checking the organ donation box when renewing my driver's license.  I will never think of organ donation quite the same way after reading this book.  This is the amazing story of a fourteen-year-old girl who is seriously injured in a gymnastics accident.  Her family decides to donate her organs and the story continues through the eyes of the recipients of said organs and also the story of the gymnasts older brother.  This novel could have easily switched to something more sugary, but the author, Wolfson, stayed true to the characters of the book and made them heart-wrenchingly believable.  I was truly inspired reading this book and I think many others will be too.  I was happy to see that this novel is nominated for the 2012 Nebraska Golden Sower award in the Young Adult category and I am eager to get it in the hands of many readers.

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