I *may* have recently joined a YA book club that is totally out of my league. I mean, I did join the book club. Now, I just need to keep going and not 100% embarrass myself. This week, we got together to discuss The Smell of Other People’s Houses, by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. It’s not a typical YA read, at least not for me. Set in 1970s Alaska, the book follows four alternating teenage narrators. Stealing from the back cover: Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger. Four very different lives are about to become entangled. Continue reading
My friend and writing partner, who conveniently (for me!) works at Simon & Schuster slid an ARC copy of Tell Me Something Real, by Calla Devlin, when I was working on this list of 100 books featuring sister relationships. Reading has been slow for me this month as I’ve been catching every flu & cold friend I come into contact with. But when I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. The specificity of detail completely sucked me into the world of the Babcock sisters in 1976 San Diego. Adrienne, the oldest, is the most beautiful and outrageous. Marie is the baby and obsessed with Catholic Saints (even though they aren’t Catholic). And the middle sister, and narrator, Vanessa is a piano prodigy who is trying to keep the family together as their mother battles Leukemia. Throughout the summer, the girls often travel to Mexico where their mother receives an unapproved, experimental treatment. Its a summer of making future plans, falling in love, and preparing for an unimaginable loss. Continue reading
My list this week feels a little broad or random. It is full of books I both love and love to talk about. We’ve got a mixture of realistic and speculative on the list. If someone asked me for a list of YA books for their book club, the list would definitely look something like this. Continue reading
Reviewing these two books would probably be more appropriate around Valentine’s Day than a few days before Halloween (although if you are looking for something spooky this weekend maybe check out The Graces by Laure Eve). Still, after reading both Arrows and The Romantics this month, I knew I’d review them together. From the covers (blue featuring hearts and Cupid’s arrow) to the unique narraters (you’ll see), there is a lot, a lot these books have in common. Both books also take on the theme of love in pretty intense ways. They go beyond romance stories to examine questions of what love is. These similarities only make the differences feel more stark. So let’s dive into these two love-filled, YA romances. Continue reading
High school junior Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend, but she has been in love. She’s been in love with the cocky, popular boy who “stole” her first kiss, the boy from summer camp who saved a kid from drowning, the fashionable classmate who everyone thinks is gay, and even the family friend who dated her older sister. She’s been in love with them, but she’s never told them. Instead she’s written them love letters to get over her feelings and stored them, unsent, in a hatbox her mother gave her before she died. When the love letters mysteriously are sent to all the boys, she has to deal with all the emotions she’d thought she’d sealed away in five little envelopes.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, really made me think about what books I want to read in the next few months. I’m proud to say that I read nine of the ten books from my autumn list, so hopefully I will have an equally good success rate this season. What books are you looking forward to reading this spring? And which book from my list should I start with? Continue reading