Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Weekly Reads: You Know Me Well

I love David Levithan. I love Nina LaCour. You Know Me Well is their novelistic love child. Spoiler alert: I LOVED IT. Every teen should read it. Every adult should read it. Twice. It made me miss being a teen trying to figure out life, and then immediately be thankful that I'm no longer a teen trying to figure out life (I'm now an adult trying to figure out life, thankyouverymuch). So good.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weekly Reads: Every Exquisite Thing

Every time Matthew Quick comes out with a new book, I have to read it. They're always a little dark, and Every Exquisite Thing is no exception. I wouldn't be able to give this bok to just any teen in my library, but that's not a bad thing. This book made me uncomfortable like only Andrew Smith's YA books usually can.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Nanette O'Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bugglegum Reaper--a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic--the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Weekly Reads: Not If I See You First

Not If I See You First is the first book I've read by Eric Lindstrom. I'm 100% over the teens dying books, so I was happy to see that this wasn't one. Parker is blind, but she's also a kick ass strong chick, which I love. And the book doesn't go a typical route in the storytelling, which is refreshing.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

The Rules:

Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.

Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react—shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened—both with Scott, and her dad—the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Eric Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Weekly Reads: Highly Illogical Behavior

I received an e-ARC of John Corey Whaley's newest novel,  to read and promote at my library if I enjoyed it. I get excited every time he has a new book, Highly Illogical Behavior, and this one was no different. Despite the story being something I've never experienced before, or subject matter I haven't read about, the teen problems that the characters faced on top of those issues were so realistic and true to teens these days. It was amazing and had me in tears. I would highly recommend this to readers who loved The Fault in Our Stars but are now over the "dying teen" trope.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there?

Solomon is the answer.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Weekly Reads: Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon

Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathonwas such a fascinating read (technically a listen, since I caught it on audiobook). It was fascinating from a running geek standpoint, but the book also did a great job of breaking down and explaining some of the information for the non-runner geeks of us. It's definitely worth a read (or listen) for other runners or science geeks out there.

My rating: 4 stars

Summary from goodreads:
Just published to extraordinary acclaim in Britain as “Hoop Dreams for runners” (The Spectator) and “a celebration of the human spirit” (The Observer), Two Hours is the first book from a blazing new talent who “has established himself as perhaps the best new long-form magazine writer since the arrival of John Jeremiah Sullivan” (The Guardian) and whose “reportage has the wonderfully old-fashioned feel of the very best of American journalism” (The Sunday Times).

Two hours to cover twenty-six miles and 385 yards. It is running’s Everest, a feat once seen as impossible for the human body. But now we can glimpse the mountaintop. The sub-two hour marathon will require an exceptional combination of speed, mental strength, and endurance. The pioneer will have to endure more, live braver, plan better, and be luckier than anyone who has run before. So who will it be?

In this spellbinding book, journalist Ed Caesar takes us into the world of elite marathoners: some of the greatest runners on earth. Through the stories of these rich characters, like Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, around whom the narrative is built, Caesar traces the history of the marathon as well as the science, physiology, and psychology involved in running so fast for so long. And he shows us why this most democratic of races retains its brutal, enthralling appeal—and why we are drawn to test ourselves to the limit.

Two Hours is a book about a beautiful sport few people understand. It takes us from big-money races in the United States and Europe to remote villages in Kenya. It’s about talent, heroism, and refusing to accept defeat. It is a book about running that is about much more than running. It is a human drama like no other.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Weekly Reads: Meternity

Every once in a while I like to read really fluffy chick lit. It used to be almost ALL I read, but then I got sick of it being so predictable. But I still like to check out Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, and Beth Harbison's new books each year. When I read the description for Meghann Foye's Meternity I thought it looked like the perfect book to read after reading some heavy teen books. I was right. It was a fun light read, that surprisingly had some good meat to it. Definitely a good read for fans of the aforementioned authors.

My rating: 4 stars*

Summary from goodreads:

Not quite knocked up… 

Like everyone in New York media, editor Liz Buckley runs on cupcakes, caffeine and cocktails. But at thirty-one, she's plateaued at Paddy Cakes, a glossy baby magazine that flogs thousand-dollar strollers to entitled, hypercompetitive spawn-havers.

Liz has spent years working a gazillion hours a week picking up the slack for coworkers with kids, and she's tired of it. So one day when her stress-related nausea is mistaken for morning sickness by her bosses—boom! Liz is promoted to the mommy track. She decides to run with it and plans to use her paid time off to figure out her life: work, love and otherwise. It'll be her "meternity" leave.

By day, Liz rocks a foam-rubber belly under fab maternity outfits. By night, she dumps the bump for karaoke nights and boozy dinners out. But how long can she keep up her charade…and hide it from the guy who might just be The One?

As her "due date" approaches, Liz is exhausted—and exhilarated—by the ruse, the guilt and the feelings brought on by a totally fictional belly-tenant…about happiness, success, family and the nature of love.

*I received an e-ARC of this book to read and review to the publisher, as well as promote to library customers if I like it! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekly Reads: We Are the Ants

I had heard quite a bit of buzz about We Are the Ants and I was so excited to get my hands on the book. And it did NOT disappoint. I think this book has such a strong chance at recognition from the Printz committee. I've been recommending it left and right at the library.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from goodreads:

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.