This past week really should be called “The Week of the Free Young Adult Books”, because that’s mostly what I read. They go so quickly, that I’m keeping my reviews short, otherwise this would be become one of the longest posts everrrrrrr.
Book numero uno:
Butter by Erin Jade Lange
A morbidly obese high schooler decides to eat himself to death with one epic last meal, while everyone watches him online. I loved this. The characters were nuanced and sympathetic and the writing was smart and fast-paced. I’d put this novel up there with anything on the YA market today. I read an advanced readers’ copy. The final version of Butter will be available September 18th.
Drama by Raina Telgemeir
This graphic novel follows Callie’s experiences while serving on the backstage crew of her junior high play. She is also navigating the world of junior high crushes and sexuality. I enjoyed this, but found some of the sexuality stuff a bit shoehorned in. These kids certainly seemed older than junior high to be this comfortable with themselves! This was also an advanced readers copy.Dramawill be available September 1.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Smile is another graphic novel by Raina Telgemeir. This is an autobiographical story of Raina’s angst with her teeth (braces, retainers, fake teeth, surgeries…yikes!), puberty, boys, etc in 1989/90 San Francisco. I think young girls would love this, as Raina is incredibly sweet and relatable. Who didn’t have at least a few jerk friends in junior high, or didn’t worry about the way you looked?
Vanished by Sheela Chari
Neela’s prized veena (an Indian instrument) goes missing, just as an old curse said it would! This is a fairly simple mystery story for middle grade kids, but it was twisting enough to keep my interest. And that cover! Gorgeous!
I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
After Nora Ephron’s death this week, I figured I should actually read some of her writing. Watching When Harry Met Sally isn’t enough! This collection of essays was an entertaining and really quick read. My favorite essays were the ones about her love of reading, her love of her kind of run down, horribly expensive Manhattan apartment, how much ridiculous maintenance a woman puts into her appearance and her lists of advice. Others were less strong, but still, all in all, fun. Oh, and I appreciate my late 20′s neck now.
“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” — Nora Ephron, 1941 – 2012