Book Blog: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint AnythingThat moment when the list of book reviews you need to do is over one page…and you realize that you haven’t blogged since October…and you can’t decide where to start…yeah. Sooo….without further ado:

Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

When Sydney’s brother is arrested, she is left to deal with the aftermath. She is conflicted because she feels a sense of duty to both the victim and her brother. Normally hiding in the shadows, Sydney struggles to find her place in the family now that the roles are starting to change. When she meets new friends, they help her face the future by first better understanding herself. 

Quotes
It wasn’t that I’d broken down, but that I hadn’t been alone when I did so. You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together.

I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close. I wasn’t shiny and charming like my brother, stunning and graceful like my mother, or smart and dynamic like my friends. That’s the thing, though. You alway think you want to be noticed. Until you are.

Recommended Grades: 8-12

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Overall Opinion: Recommended

Source: Audiobook

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Book Review: The Geeks Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

geeksBook Review: The Geeks Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

Graham has been in love with Roxy most of his life. The trouble is that she doesn’t know. This year, he plans on telling her at Comic Con, after he arranges the perfect day. Will things go as planned? Of course not, or no one would want to read the book! HA HA.

First, can we just take a moment to love on this cover. You have to admit this is stunning! I think my students who love all things geek will really like this book. It was cute and true to comic con/sci-fi fans. You can tell that some research was done! The plot was quick and will have appeal for reluctant readers. For me, I loved the love affair with writing more than the love affairs in the book!

Quote about writing

“I know what is has to feel is epic. But also sweet. Like the romantic subplot of a superhero movie. Like that rainy, upside-down kiss in Spider-Man. But knowing what something is supposed to convey and actually getting it to do that is hard. Ask any writer.”

Recommended Grades: 12
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Average
Source: Book

Book Review: Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

wordsBook Review: Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

Set after the Taliban have left Afghanistan, this novel is a beautiful story of a girl named Zulaikha. Zulaikha’s story involves learning to read, meeting an American soldier who arranges for a surgery to help fix her cleft lip, and the realities of life for a woman in her culture.

This story is sure to capture your heart. The audio for this book is very well done and the story moves quickly. My heart broke for Zulaikha and her family and my head shook at how sometimes we get things wrong even when we try to get them right. Great for fans of Shabanu, but a quality book all on its own.

Quotes: None

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Above Average
Source: audiobook from Audiobooksync.com

Book Review: Summerlost by Ally Condie

summerlostBook Review: Summerlost by Ally Condie

When tragedy strikes Cedar’s family, they buy a home closer to her extended family to spend the summer. There, Cedar takes a job working a Shakespeare festival and meets Leo. Together they have some adventures and learn about friendship and love.

I picked up this book because A) Ally Condie is a great writer and B) I heard her talk about why she wrote this book on an author panel. It is a very honest book without being forced. I loved the quiet friendship between Leo and Cedar, but I also loved the brother sister relationship in this book and the complexity of the characters

Quotes

On why Cedar liked to hang out with Leo:

I wasn’t sure why. But if I had to guess, I would say it was because I liked talking to Leo. He always seemed to be thinking about something. His brain was very busy.

I wanted to go along with him, tag along with his mind like a hitchhiker, so that I could keep my brain busy too.

On missing someone

“You don’t have to know someone all the way to miss them,” Leo said, “Or to feel bad that they’re gone.”

On tunnels…and so much more.

As we came out of the hallway, I pretended that the whole world had secret tunnels, where people could walk straight to wherever they really wanted to be and ignore all the meanness in the middle.

I wiped my eyes on my sleeve before Leo could see.

Recommended Grades: 5-8
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Recommend
Source: Book

Book Review: A World Without You by Beth Revis

worldBook Review: A World Without You by Beth Revis

When Bo’s girlfriend Sofia commits suicide, he is unable to come to terms with her loss. Instead, he believes that by learning to control time, he can somehow save her. The story gently unfolds as Bo learns more about himself, his family, and Sofia.

I listened to Revis talk about how this book helped her deal with something in her past. That is evident by the honesty in the characters she created. Loss is tragic, and the author managed to capture the pain and helplessness that survivors of suicide often feel, while still allowing for the joy of hope.

Quotes: None that I pulled out, but think that was because I read it too fast. Lots of beautiful word choice.

Recommended Grades: 9th and up
Genre: Realistic
Overall Opinion:   Recommend
Source: ebook from Edelweiss

Book Review: I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

princessxBook Review: I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

Libby and May were inseparable friends who worked on a comic together called Princess X. When Libby is killed in a car crash, all the pictures Libby drew are suddenly gone. May tries desperately to find them, but is unsuccessful. Then, one day when she is out and about, she sees their heroine on a sticker. With the help of Patrick; local IT guy, May follows the clues to see if Libby is somehow alive, or if it is all just a trick.

I loved this book and totally understand why it is a Texas Lone Star winner this year. The plot is quick moving and keeps you hooked. I loved the comic graphic novel and text format that seemed so appropriate to the story. I think the cover is beautiful and naturally has high girl appeal. My manga guys will pick it up, but I had to con a few boy into picking it up, before it caught on with that audience. The audio for this is well done because it narrates the illustrations. I listened to part on audio, but liked looking at the novel so switched over to the book.

Quote that cracked me up~

Which meant he had about eight weeks to pull something amazing out of his butt.

His butt wasn’t being terribly helpful.

Recommended Grades: 6-10
Genre: Mystery (includes a graphic novel)
Overall Opinion:   Recommended
Source: book and audio

Book Review: See How They Run by Ally Carter

Book Review: See How They Run by Ally Carterseehow

Starting shortly after the incident in book one, (don’t want to give that away-read it first), this book Grace is coming to terms with her history while finding herself right in the middle of another murder…one that she might have accidentally caused.

This is book two in the Embassy Row series. I flew through the first book in this series. This book, while very different, is just as intriguing. The story of this novel is above average. I only gave it an average rating because there were one or two laggy moments in the story and a character relationship that seemed a little awkward. I still am anxiously awaiting book three though!

Quote on feelings:

I have no right to feel this way, but that’s the thing about feelings. You never get what you deserve.

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Mystery
Overall Opinion:  Average
Source: eBook from Edelweiss