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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Maybe I'm a little biased because Mindy McGinnis is a librarian, and I practically worship the ground librarians walk on. I have been looking forward to reading this for a long, long time. I finally allowed myself to indulge and read it in between class assignments. Classes which I hope will someday allow me to become a librarian. I love Lynn. There is no other way to express it. She has become the standard for which all tough girls are now judged. What a brilliant character! She is not a white washed, run of the mill girl. She is angst and anger, sadness and sassy, toughness and gentleness all rolled into one incredible character. Her growth process was beautifully written and realistic. My favorite part is at the end when (view spoiler). I'm not bloodthirsty, it was just a defining moment for Lynn, and I am impressed that McGinnis didn't shy away from that aspect of Lynn's personality. She did exactly what Lynn would do in that situation. My least favorite part was at the end as well when (view spoiler). Why, oh why, Mindy? I thought all of the book was excellent and well written, but Lynn was my favorite part of the book. She ranks up there with Katniss (ok, I think I like Lynn better than Katniss - no it's a tie). I can't wait to see what is in store for Lynn and Lucy in the future which was hinted at in the last chapter.

There was some language and violence in this book.

Linked by Imogene Howson

I love anything to do with space or sci fi. I am also fascinated with how twins interact with one another. When I saw the blurb for this book, I knew I had to read it. It was a good read full of plenty of space and twin connections. It did raise lots of good questions about what it means to be human. Just because the governing authority declares you to be something other than a living human being does not make you any less human or deserving of life. I loved the character of Lin. She was strong, tough and totally messed up by her experience. Her sense of right and wrong is skewed, and it was interesting to see her grow as the book progressed. I very much want to read the next book!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Wow - just wow! This is by far the best book of the year, and even though it is early in the year, I feel that it will still be a contender in December. This had everything - great characters, engaging plot and some of the best world building I have ever read. This book just swept me under its spell and wouldn't let go. Eo and Maverick were extremely strong characters. I loved them so much that I really want to meet them in real life sometime. They are great examples of women who have steel in their blood, yet also have compassion and dignity. The different personalities of all the players was amazing. They were complex and well defined - even the secondary characters. Pierce Brown must be a tactical genius to be able to think up all the intricate scenarios within the "game" that Darrow finds himself in. This book was incredible and deserves to be remembered in December when the best books of the year are being decided.

Something Real by Heather Demetrios

This book will make you think before tuning into your favorite guilty pleasure especially if it is a "reality" show with children. Chloe was a great character, and I thought her struggle was portrayed in a very realistic fashion. I don't typically read realistic YA, but I was very intrigued when I read the premise. The story moved along at a great pace and was chock full of great characters. It was hard not to want to reach through my computer and ring the mom's neck - and the dad's - and the step-dad's - oh, and especially Chuck's. Our children are our most precious resource, yet they bear the brunt of all of our mistakes. Someone needs to advocate for the children who are being abused and neglected. A real life advocate for Chloe (I refuse to call her Bonnie) would have made her life completely different. I loved the whole discussion about 1984 and how our society has essentially become a nation on film. I felt it could have done with less language. I understood why some of the language was important like in the Thanksgiving scene. Altogether a good book and a great read!

When We Wake by Karen Healy

What an amazing voice Tegan has. I loved her from the first page right up until the last. It was very distinctive and spunky. It was a delight to read her story. I also loved that it was set in Australia. I have never been there, but my husband has, and I am very jealous.

The themes were many and complex in Tegan's story. What exactly constitutes life and who has the right to it? It is debated quite a bit whether Tegan deserves life after being revived. She has definite feelings on the subject, and it was hard to argue with her. Also raising the question of immigration. I know it was set in Australia, but it really resonates with me as a United States citizen. We look down on immigrants which is actually funny since the majority of us had ancestors who experienced the same prejudice when they immigrated. I don't understand how we lose the fact that they are living breathing people just like the people in Tegan's story. Immigrants are treated as a third class citizen.

This was a powerful book. It makes you think about deeper matters than your average dystopian book does. It makes you feel for those who were not born to a position of privilege. It makes an impact when you hear Tegan's words and hear her story.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I hate books that make me cry. I avoid them as if they are ridden with a deadly plague that has no cure. I even vowed never to read this book, but... I am taking a YA lit class, and you guessed it this book was on the reading list. And I was right, this book did make me cry. Fortunately, I was not in public so I was saved that embarrassment. It was touching and the characters drew you in and made you care about them. John Green has a wicked sense of humor, and it shines though in the witty banter between Hazel, Issac and Gus. I loved all of the literary and historical references especially Anne Frank. I don't know if I have been converted to be a John Green fan since I am still shuddering over the first two chapters of An Abundance of Katherines, but I did like this one.

This books did have language and sex.