I had a terrible cold last week, but the silver lining is I read a bunch of great books!
Going too Far - Jennifer Echols. This was a romance book better for high schoolers. It was about a girl who made some bad choices and she ended up on a train trestle just before a train came. She and her three friends were nearly killed. A police officer happens to see them. He is NOT too pleased about it; later on in the story it comes to light as to WHY he is so upset. In the meantime, the girl, Meg, and two of the friends are assigned to ride-alongs. One with the police officer, one with the fire dept. and one with the ambulance. Meg gets the police officer. At first she hates him because he wrecked her spring break plans, but as the week progresses she finds herself attracted to him. It's a suspenseful story that has a lot of layers to it. Mature 8th graders and up.
Borrowed Names - Jeannine Atkins. This is a book I picked up from a display at the public library during National Poetry Week, and it turned out to be quite fantabulous. It's all written in verse, adn it's three stories about mothers and daughters. One about Rose and Laura Ingalls Wilder, one about Marie and Irene Curie, and one about Madam C.J Walker and her daughter. I learned a lot of history through reading it, and because it was written in verse, it went super fast. I really, really enjoyed it.
Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles. This was a very interesting story about two very different kids who were complete opposites forced to work together at school. At the beginning of the story they pretty much hate each other, in large part because they're both hiding from the truth in their lives and they're afraid, I think, of being vulnerable. And as much as they fight it, they begin to see things in the other that make them actually like each other. In fact, they fall in love. There are giant barriers, though, especially Alex's gang involvement, and whether they can work through that provides an incredible amount of tension. Sure to be a hit with romance fans,even boys, as the male character is quite strong. Best suited to mature 8th graders and up.
Lost - Jacqueline Davies. thsi was an interesting story centered around a young woman who worked in the miserable conditions of the Triangle shirtwaist factory in New York in 1911. Many immigrants worked there, and many young women, and there was a terrible fire in this factory where hundreds of young women died as a result of the awful conditions. Most of this story takes place before the fire, though. Main character Essie tells the story, but it alternates in chapters from earlier times to later. The difference between them is clearly identified by different colored pages and different font, but still the reader needs to pay attention and may, perhaps, be somewhat confused about what's going on with Essie and her younger sister. There's also a third character that becomes a major player and adds even more mystery to the story. Readers who can follow the twisting plot lines will be rewarded with an excellent piece of historical fiction.
Love You Hate You Miss You - Elizabeth Scott. This was a tough read, but it was a good story. 16 year old Amy's best friend died in a car crash, and Amy blames herself. True, she was there, and true, she was drunk, and true, she had shown her friend something she definitely did not want to see. But does this make her responsible for Julia's getting behind the wheel and crashing the car? Amy's had some time in alcohol rehab to think about that. She really feels like it IS her fault, and so do some people like Julia's mother. Other people do not. Now it's up to her to decide how to deal with that she's feeling ,much of which she does through letters to her dead friend. This novel is definitely best for older readers.
A Season of Gifts - Richard Peck. Loved this newest book in the Grandma Dowdel books - it's a companion to A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago. Grandma Dowdel's got new neighbors, a minister and his family, and Grandama Dowdel's. Peck's fabulous character development is alive and well in this novel, obviously with Grandma D., but also with narrator Bobby, his darling little sister and various and sundry characters along the way. Super fun and a quick read!
Nothing Like You, Lauren Strasnick. This was a book best suited for high school students that I really did not enjoy. The main character in this book is grieving the death of her mother, and handling it very poorly. She seeks love from the wrong boy and in all the wrong ways. She realizes this on one level, but she doesn't change her behavior. Unfortunately, the consequences are disastrous, and she really loses the only two good friends she has. I was just so disappointed in Holly's choice and disappointed that the grown-ups around her weren't doing more to help her, that I really did not enjoy this book.