I really have been reading bunches of books of late, but I haven't been posting my reviews lately, so here's a whole slew of great summer choices:
Swim the Fly - Don Calame. This was a very funny book that I think older boys would enjoy. It's about some kind of geeky boys who are friends and their goal for the summer is to see a naked girl. As if they've got a chance of that. They're all on the swim team, and in an effort to impress one of the girls, Matt volunteers to swim the 100 yard butterfly for the team. Small problem, he cant do it. Now I don't know if you've every tried to swim the fly, but it's DANG hard, and I can't even imagine 100 yards of it. Neither can Matt. All kinds of hilarity ensues as he and his friends try to realize their goals.
City of the Beasts - Isabel Allende. Had this book on my list for quite a long time, and finally read it just before I was going to hear the author speak downtown few weeks ago. That woman is hilarious, and I loved the story. It was full of suspense and excitement. Set in the Amazon it has elements of the supernatural, and a mix of the traditional and the modern world. A fascinating tale.
Brava Valentine - Adriana Trigani. A grown up book that continues the story of shoemaker Valentine Roncalli. I really enjoy this series, although I didn't like this one quite as much as some of Trigiani's others. I thought Valentine was a little annoying in this one.
Runaway - Meg Cabot. This is a continuation of the Airhead series. Emerson's brain was transplanted into supermodel Nikki's body, and she's just now getting to the bottom of the mystery. But it's fairly dangerous for her, since what's going on is highly illegal and if the people behind it are exposed, it will be really bad for them. This book is based on an interesting idea, but I only like this series, I don't love it. It's not terribly compelling - I'm not dying to read the next one, you know. I think it's better for older readers, but I think there are better series books out there.
After Ever After - Jordan Sonnenblick. This book continues the story begun in Drums, girls and Dangerous Pie, but several years later, and it focuses on Jeffrey, the younger brother who had leukemia in GDaDP. Jeff's older brother Stephen, who was the main character in DGaDP has gone off to Africa to study drumming, and although Jeff longs for him, we don't hear much from him in this novel. This novel is more about how Jeff is coping with his post leukemia life, and his friendship with a classmate in the same situation. Jordan Sonnenblick is the master of taking a really difficult topic and presenting it in a way that infuses just enough humor into the situations to take the edge off the pain. It's beautifully done and another fabulous story from this author.
The Opposite of Me - Sarah Pekkanen. Another grown up book about twin sisters Alex and Lindsey. Lindsey always felt she had to be the perfect twin, so when she gets fired and has to move home with her parents, she doesn't tell anyone the truth about why she's there. Both Alex and Lindsey have secrets they're keeping, and it's not until they begin to share their real feelings and fears with one another that either of them are able to find peace.
It's Raining Cupcakes - Lisa Schroeder. Loved this sweet little story, but I am telling you that if you are on the Game On! Diet, you should definitely not read a book where every chapter is another kind of cupcake, and the main story is about opening a cupcake shop. I don't even really LIKE cupcakes,and all I wanted to do was go to St. Cupcake and buy one of very flavor! Twelve year old Isabel dreams of traveling, but she never really gets to go anywhere. She hears about a baking contest and the grand prize is a trip to New York, so she decides to enter. The problem is, Isabel's mom really wants her to bake a cupcake recipe, and Isabel's mom is pretty fragile, so to appease her mother, she decides to do that, even though it's not what she wants. I thought this story was very clever and a great middle grade book. Thanks to the author for sending me a copy as a winner in her online contest!