“Garden of Secrets Past” by Anthony Eglin was a fairly good mystery I recently finished. The author has won awards for his rose garden and though he now lives in California, the book is set entirely in England. If you like secret codes, this book has them.
Simpson’s “graphic novel” comics, Big Nate books, Dork Diaries, Popularity Papers, optical illusion books, Rick Riordan novels, Tim Green (Football Genius, etc), Pseudonymous Bosch series, Tim Tebow bio. Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton bio., , Clique series, Wimpy Kid, Loser List, …. just to name a few. Of course, Hunger Games series has been busy lately, too. “Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading” which just came out in paperback has been popular, too. Check out the cute book trailer video on this one on Amazon.
I recently saw the documentary “Urbanized”, which I highly recommend. It focused on major cities of the world with transportaion problems. New York, Bogota, Mumbai, and others were featured. These and other cities have used unique but simple approaches to make their cities more liveable. I was especially impressed with the former mayor of Bogota’s efforts to help improve the transportation needs of his fellow citizens by de-stimatizing public transportation making it modern and appealing.
Charlize Theron gives a gutsy performance as a young adult author who does go home again in search of a fantasy that she has created. Diablo Coty of “Juno” fame wrote the screenplay, which is supposedly set in Minneapolis. If you watch carefully, however, you will be able to pick up scenes filled in Orangetown and Clarkstown. I recommend this film because of truthful acting of the major characters.
I’ve noticed this book, Fallen by Lauren Kate, hanging out on our shelves for a couple of years now. I’m pretty sure that I had checked it out before, but with all the other YA fiction piling up on my shelves, I did not read it and I now know that I missed out.
Our heroine, Luce, arrives at reform school to serve out her punishment for the shocking, fiery death of the boy she likes, Trevor. The only problem is that she doesn’t really know what happened to Trevor- all she does know is that he burst into flames after he kisses her and dies. The school is a horror- run down and dilapidated, but there are bright spots to her days in her proverbial hell. Two good friends, Penn and Arriane, plus two guy, Daniel and Cam, who absolutely fascinate Luce. Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce, even though she knows that they have some sort of connection. Cam is obviously smitten with her, but something about him attracts and repels her at the same time. Luce is trying to figure out who she is amid her guilt about Trevor, the conflict among the students and staff at Sword & Cross, and these two guys seemingly playing with her emotions. Luce soon finds out that it’s no just the present Luce that the battle is being waged over- it’s her past lives and the love affair that she has spent thousands of years dying for… over and over again.
What makes this novel interesting is that the supernatural element here is not your typical vampire/werewolf combo, but rather a look at fallen angels and the battle between angels (the side that chose God) and demons (the fallen angels that chose to side with Lucifer) that still wages today. This book takes a unique look at religious concepts and spins them into a fascinating tale.
Lauren Kate keeps you coming back for more- she doesn’t answer all your questions, or Luce’s for that matter, in one book, but answers them over the series. This would probably be driving me nuts if I didn’t currently have the first three books checked out. The final book in the series is coming out in June, so I only have the wait three months!