Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Few Small Reviews

There are a few books I've read recently that, for one reason or another, I'm not going to be writing full reviews of. I did want to share them with you guys though, so I'll be doing a couple of mini-review posts to give some idea of what these books are about and who might be the right readers for them.

Andrea Seigel
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
After Ingrid's cousin manages to convince her extended family that she's a budding psychopath, Ingrid Bell has to find a way to not only convince them that she actually has emotions but also figure out what to do about her growing attraction to one cousin's boyfriend while helping another cousin with the problems in her life. Though Ingrid may have been a somewhat unreliable narrator (it's really hard to tell), I really enjoyed this book. The extended family aspect, especially the closeness between Ingrid and her five cousins, really appealed to me and I loved the format of the book as it's written around five big family events. This is Andrea Seigel's first young adult novel and I recommend it especially to those readers who like offbeat protagonists and family-centered stories.

Gwendolyn Heasley
When the recession hits Corrinne's rich New York City family in a big way, she's pulled out of her exclusive private school and sent to live with her grandparents in rural Texas. This is your classic fish-out-of-water tale featuring a character who is, at least at first, ridiculously spoiled, superficial, and selfish. However, Corrinne grows up a lot through out the story; she develops a healthy attitude and a new perspective. In short, she's a character worth rooting for. The story itself is told with humor and I really like that the book reflects the current economic climate of the United States as this is something I haven't seen in many books before. It's a great lighthearted read for those looking for a fast and fun story.

Kimberly Marcus
Random House Books for Young Readers
After a horrible fight one night, Liz Grayson's forever-best friend will barely look at her and Liz isn't sure how to fix things. When it comes out that something much worse may have happened to her friend, Liz's loyalty to both her family and her friend is tested. The protagonist here is a photographer and the verse style of the writing reflects moments captured as if in a snapshot. I'm a fan of novels written in verse, but I was looking for a bit more details to this story. However, in spite of that this is an emotional book that I recommend to readers interested in a book that deals with family loyalty and issues of trust and friendship. I'm deliberately leaving out a huge plot point so as not to spoil anything but this book definitely deals with a heavy issue.

Jenny Moss
Walker Books for Young Readers
Set against the backdrop of the 1986 Challenger explosion, this book tells the story of a girl struggling to find her own way in life. When she meets Christa McAullife, the schoolteacher going into space, Annie is inspired to find a way to go after her own dreams. This is a beautifully-written book that was so different from what I expected; Annie is a wonderful and inspiring main character and her journey is both universal and personal. This book is especially great for readers interested in the Challenger space shuttle and that period in time, but really I recommend it for anyone who might want to read a book about someone finding their way in life.

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