Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Unbelievably, this marks the 25th book of the YALSA challenge!  While I will continue to read as many of the list as I can, this book was truly the perfect note to end the challenge.  Each chapter reads as a stand-alone short story, yet each one is interconnected as the reader is steeped further and further into the history of this remote norther island, following the ancient roots of the complex relationship between Eric and Merle.  With inexplicable sensations of déjà vu for the characters, the reader is given small clues to help weave the experiences together, making the book captivating as well as haunting, a love to withstand the test of time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Zombie Baseball Beatdown

This peculiar story of the zombie apocalypse stemming from contaminated cow livestock is laughable and oddly lighthearted.  Still, Paolo Bacigalupi captures the frustration many children feel regarding mean, foolish, or absent adults as well as highlighting the much more serious societal issues of illegal immigration and the food industry.  Listening to the audio book of the story only added to the humor and enjoyment of the book.  While definitely geared towards younger readers, it was definitely a fun read.


While not my typical book selection, Winger by Andrew Smith was impossible to put down.  Beyond the rugby team nuances of boarding school culture, Ryan Dean is an instantly likable character with problems any teenager can relate to.  Making choices that are sometimes foolish and sometimes selfless, the journey of Ryan Dean and his friends is an emotional one.  Mixed with funny cartoons and drawings, Winger is a special book that shouldn't be missed!

Etiquette & Espionage

What a delightful combination of supernatural characters, nefarious behaviors, and a steampunk setting!  Add the British accents for extra enjoyment in the audiobook, Gail Carriger has created a work that will have you circling the block just to hear more.  Saphronia is a clever and curious girl whose bravery helps her accomplish more than she ever thought possible.  One of my favorite aspects to her character is her ability to see beyond social and racial boundaries in order to forge real friendships, which often come in handy during her adventures!  I will definitely be listening to the second book.

Audrey, Wait!

Robin Benway has created a fun and entertaining look at teen life through her character, Audrey, who unwittingly becomes famous after her ex-boyfriend writes a song about their breakup - and it becomes a huge hit!  Despite the outlandish scenarios, the overall ideas hit home for a lot of teenagers.  While sometimes you just want to shake Audrey into making smarter choices, the story is heart-warming and engaging and I love it even more for being a stand-alone book!

Saturday, May 3, 2014


In a world divided between the haves and the have-nots, Syd is a Proxy who struggles to make ends meet while keeping a low profile whereas Knox is the Patron who owns him.  Obvious mayhem ensues, rebels attempt to rise, and Syd and Knox become entwined despite their opposing worlds.  Though it follows the general dystopian fiction rules, London creates a plausible (albeit worrisome) future US populated by realistic characters who make mistakes, learn from their errors, and make interesting life choices.


Ash by Melinda Lo is an interesting retelling of the traditional Cinderella story - though with more magic and an unexpected prince charming and fairy god mother.  Consistent with the quick pace associated with fairy tales, Ash moves very quickly - perhaps too quickly since there was not much connection to the characters.  Still, it was a good twist with a satisfying conclusion.