Monday, May 25, 2015

Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting by Tommy Greenwald

Release Date: February 17, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Roaring Brook
ISBN: 9781596438378
Ages: 10+

No matter what our age, we all need a reminder to put down our electronic devices and just enjoy some honest, face-to-face communication. It seems that we are on our devices 24 hours a day. In school, it's a constant struggle with my high school students to gain their attention long enough to teach a lesson, and as soon as I'm done, they've picked up their phones. Even as an adult, I can say that I'm on my phone way too much, and after reading this book, I'm working on cutting back.

Katie Friedman is in middle school, and that comes with a lot of awkward territory. Her best friend is Charlie Joe Jackson (and you may have read Greenwald's other books featuring Charlie Joe), and her boyfriend is Nareem, the sweetest guy you could ever meet. But there's a problem: Katie really isn't "into" Nareem anymore. Finally deciding to break up with him, Nareem quickly interrupts and tells her that he has backstage passes to the upcoming Plain Jane concert, which happens to be Katie's favorite band. Deciding to hold off until after the concert, Katie puts the breakup on hold.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher & ARC: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9781250021915
Ages: 14+

It's never easy being a girl. Awkward adolescent moments that give way to even more awkward moments at home, being a girl is an endless cycle of gossip, drama, and bullying. Romy Grey knows what it's like to be all of the above. Raped at a party, Romy has lost everything because no one believes a policeman's son could be guilty. In the midst of questioning herself, Romy's every day life is a mix of hate, cruel stares, and distrust.

The only way Romy can find any peace of mind is working at a local diner. Far enough away from everyone who hates her, Romy finds solace in the hustle and bustle of diner life. Plus it doesn't hurt that a cute guy named Leon has taken a special interest in her. Of course, trying to trust another guy isn't easy, and Romy struggles with this relationship for the entire book.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rebellion by Stephanie Diaz

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher & ARC: St. Martins
ISBN: 9781250041258
Ages: 12+

Volume two in the "Extraction" series finds Clementine alive after seven days of being in hiding. Safe with rebels after Commander Charlie attempted to eliminate everyone on the planet, Clementine is still not out of the woods as the Commander promises to enact revenge.

Despite her trauma, Clementine is chosen to infiltrate the underground bunker where the remaining people have gone into hiding. Once there, Clementine must convince them to rebel against the Commander. Of course that isn't as easy as it sounds as she is easily recognized by those she once fought beside.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Candlewick
ISBN: 9780763663230
Ages: 10+

Homelessness is a topic often ignored by many in society, especially that of children and teens. Perhaps it is because we believe if we ignore it, it doesn't exist. Just today, I read a news report where two missing South Carolina teens were found panhandling in California. Whether fiction or non-fiction, anyone who sheds a light on the subject is obviously thinking in the right direction by bringing an awareness to a topic that needs to be discussed so solutions can be found. 

Ari and her nineteen year old brother Gage lost their mother four months prior to the beginning of the novel. Her mother left instructions that Ari and Gage should not separate and that Janna, her longtime friend, should become their guardian. Gage is stubborn and hotheaded, and he's also an adult, so living under Janna's roof isn't working out. Knowing that her mother's wish was to stay together, Ari knows that she must leave with Gage when he decides to move out. This decision puts Ari on a path that will change her life forever. Two roads diverged...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Tor
ISBN: 9780765336613
Ages: 14+

The premise of this book, girls who are sold for breeding, reminded me a lot of The Handmaid's Tale, which I was fortunate enough to read in high school. Unfortunately, I kept thinking of the book while I was reading this one. Not that the plot is the same per say, but the general idea hearkened to my high school classroom. I also just finished watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome a few minutes ago, so wild children were also on my mind.