A fun summer read
Best friends, Jess and Vicks, aren’t clicking like they use to, so Jess has a plan that will bring her and Vicks close again - a road trip to see Vicks’s boyfriend, Brady, who is at University. There’s only one issue, they don’t have enough money to fund the trip. Enter Mel, the new girl. Mel volunteers to help them fund the trip as long as they take her along with them, much to Jess’s dismay. What follows is a hilarious and endearing tale of friendship and love with a couple of crocodiles. Lauren Myracle writes as Jess, E. Lockhart as Vicks and Sarah Mlynowski as Mel.
I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Jess, Vicks and Mel are all well fleshed out and relatable. Since each character is written by a different author, each voice is very distinct, yet, the story is cohesive. In the beginning, I was a little skeptical at how Mel would have fit in - what exactly was her story and why was she so keen on hanging with Jess and Vicks? How to be Bad explores these friendships, the road trip serving to bring out the good and the bad in each of them. For these girls, the trip is definitely about the journey, not just the destination.
While it’s light and fun, How to be Bad has a lot of depth to it, walking a balance between hilarious and serious. It’s a heartwarming story of the love of friends. I love the character growth, it made the book feel more like someone’s diary than the imaginations of three authors. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more from these ladies and hopefully their future work together.
Publisher: HarperTeen || Details →
Of the 69 books that I’ve read in 2011, these are on the top of my list as the best:
Only Brian Selznick can write about automaton, an orphan boy, a retired movie maker and a train station in Paris and create a wonderful story. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a beautifully illustrated book with a wonderfully touching story.
See more about Brian Selznic on the blog
See more about Brian and Hugo online.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone tops the list of books I’ve read this year and takes it for the fantasy category.
Laini Taylor is traveling up my list as one of the best author’s I’ve read so far. I adore her descriptive and imaginative writing.
See more of Laini Taylor on the blog
See more of Laini Taylor online.
Scott Westerfeld is one of my favourite authors. His stories are so imaginative and smart. His Leviathan trilogy takes WWI as we know it and adds an imaginative twist that Scott pull off smoothly and quite believably.
Goliath is filled with steampunk fun and the illustrations are brilliant. I cannot wait for The Manual of Aeronautics, a companion piece of the trilogy.
See more of Scott Westerfeld on the blog.
See more of Scott Westerfeld online.
I’ve always though of Holly Black as the mistress of Faery-tales but White Cat shows that Holly isn’t just a Faery expert but a wonder story-teller across genres.
White Cat starts the Curse Workers trilogy where magic is illegal and used by the mafia for their own gain. With a wonderful world-building and a twist that I did not see coming, White Cat was a gripping read from start to finish.
See more of Holly Black on the blog.
See more of Holly Black online.
Birthmarked, the debut novel of Caragh O’Brien, is a strong and well thought out dystopian novel that delves into what-ifs that don’t seem far off. From this she spins a realistic tale of a young girl who questions whether everything she ever grew up believing in is really accurate. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but a great dystopian novel.
See more of Caragh O’Brien on the blog.
See more of Caragh O’Brien online.
I can tell that Shine was a great book, because there are days when I still remember the story that Lauren Myracle told. It’s a very hard story to read, but it’s real and it makes the reader think.
I loved this story and thought that Lauren did a wonderful job in raising questions without forcing answers on the reader. It’s a book that makes will haunt you for days after the cover is closed.
See more of Lauren Myracle on the blog.
See more of Lauren Myracle online.
Witch Song is a story about singing witches. That may sound comical, but Amber Argyles debut novel is no laughing matter.
I followed her blog before her book was published and I was lucky enough to receive a digital arc and a hard copy of the published book sits on my shelf - that’s how much I liked it. It’s more a high fantasy novel than most YA novels out there. It’s also a great read and a wonderful adventure. I cannot wait to see what else Amber has in store.
See more of Amber Argyle on the blog.
See more of Amber Argyle online.
This week is a freebie, so I get to create my top ten of anything! So, I’ve decided that I’ll be post my top ten books of 2011 - that I’ve read so far. I’ve only read 41 books to date, but, while it’s not a wide universe, I’m hoping that it gives you some books to look into - if you haven’t read them before.
I’m cleaning out my bookcase and so I’m giving away 10 books that I’ve read to make space for some new ones. Depending on the number of people who enter the lucky ones will receive a book or two.
Since reading is fun, I do encourage you to spread the word - you aren’t required to follow this blog to enter, so anyone can. I have a few restrictions, so please check those below!
(paperbacks, unless otherwise noted. Click on the title to see photo & condition of book on Flickr)
To enter, simply fill out the » Spring Cleaning my Bookcase « form by June 22nd.
[comments? questions? leave them in the comment box below]
A gripping story of friendship and betrayal.
Release: 1st May, 2011
Publisher: Amulet Books
Details: When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.
Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author. [via amazon.com]
Cat lives in a small town in North Carolina, where the poverty level is high and the options are low. The story opens up a week after Cat’s childhood best friend - and kindred spirit - Patrick, was attacked at the Come ‘n’ Go, where he worked.
The story unfolds slowly, and Lauren Myracle takes that time to build the relationships and explain Cat’s past while also developing the characters that Cat interact with throughout the novel. Cat had an experience three years prior that caused her to turn away from her friends, Patrick included. However, she feels compelled to find out what happened to Patrick, who was the victim of a hate crime and by doing so it opens doors that she closed three years before.
Lauren handled the telling of the crime and its resolution well. As I am not from a small town I don’t fully understand what that experience might be, however, Lauren details her story in such a way that I feel as though I’m living right next door to Cat. I was concerned that there might be religious bashing or that the story might turn out to be judgmental, however, this was not the case. While she did not candy-coat the emotions, or the effects of the crimes throughout the story, she approached it realistically and somewhat journalistically, allowing the reader to form their opinions about each character. I did not see the end coming until it was unfolding, but I do see now how it was a great ending.
There are a lot of points that could be discussed in this book. Prejudices, self hating and narrow-mindedness to name a few. I highly recommend reading this book! Then, perhaps discussing it with a friend over tea.
[review of arc via netgalley]