Thursday, January 22, 2015

On My Bookshelf

I told myself that in January once all my final line edits were done on my current Work In Progress, that I would go on a book binge. And I have, and ya'll, it has been wonderful. Here's a sampling of what I've been reading.

Stitching Snow: by RC Lewis

This I loved. It's a Sci-Fi retelling of Snow White, and it is so well done. Essie lives on the planet Thanda, making money by beating up boys in boxing matches and tinkering (aka 'stitching' up) machinery. She has seven little robots (there's the dwarves!) with names like Cusser because, well, he has a cussing malfunction. Essie is smart and lovable, and I adored her from page one.

The storyline here was really well done. Essie's not a damsel in distress but she isn't all She-warrior either (a theme totally overdone in YA right now in my opinion). She's brave but vulnerable and ends up confronting some horrible things from her past and some truths she can't keep pretending don't exist. Really well done, and it's a stand alone (AKA, no trilogy, which is nice sometimes). Definitely recommend!

You can read the blurb here.  

(buy it!)
A Mad, Wicked Folly: by Sharon Biggs Walter

Ah, I love good historical fiction that shows the history through the fiction (and not the other way around!) This was good. It's set in Victorian era London and focuses on Vicky, an upper class girl who gets kicked out of school and has her reputation tarnished because she poses nude for the art class she attends in secret (scandal!). This sheds great light on Victorian times and as Vicky tries to get back in her parent's good graces and attend art school at the same time, she gets caught up in the women's suffrage movement. This was great because of it's historical accuracy and because Vicky is such a believable character. She doesn't blow off her family in a gung ho "I shall be who I want to be!" crusade, and she has to walk that fine line between keeping important relationships and following her dreams. Really well done, and I adore this cover! 

(buy it!)
The Future of Us: Jay Asher

Ya'll, you need to read this.

It's 1996, and Emma and Josh are neighbors, and used to be best friends before Josh confessed his more-than-friend feelings, which Emma did not reciprocate. Awwwwkkkward.

So, now Emma's dad gives her a computer with good old dial up and AOL. And somehow Emma and Josh end up having access to Facebook and their future selves on it.


Yes. Imagine being 16 and seeing what your 30ish year old self is putting on Facebook. Oh, and then seeing how the decisions you make today can change your Facebook...aka, your future.

Great concept, and this is so well done. Especially if like me, you are in your 30's, and remember dial-up and all the things circa 1996. (some teens reading this now probably have no idea what some of these things are. A Discman? What the heck is that??!)

What I particularly loved was the reactions of these two teens to the things their older selves are putting on Facebook. 

"Why would someone put that online where everyone could see it?" they ask.

*Cue good dose of "Please stop being so melodramatic on Facebook".

This one was great. An easy read, but thought provoking. If I taught High School, I would have my students read this and use it as a catalyst for conversation on social media and living life versus broadcasting it. 

Go read it!!  It's charming and sweet, and will make you think. Triple Win!

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