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.