Author Archive

Charlotte and Charles

February 17, 2019

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Anyone remember this Children’s picture book? Charlotte and Charles by Ann Tompert was published in 1988 and I remember reading it as a child. Recently it was briefly mentioned in an adult novel that I was reading so I decided to re-read it. The book is about two Giants who live on an island and what happens when Humans come to inhabit the land. Clever and sad yet hopeful- this is a good one to re-read.

Damsel

February 2, 2019

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I am writing a review of the book Damsel by Elana K Arnold because it was given honorable mention by the deciders of the Printz award.

“The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.
However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.”

I am confused as to why this book was given mention – the story is entertaining enough, and the writing isn’t terrible – but in general I didn’t find the story to be unique. The entire book I was able to see exactly what was going to happen – it wasn’t more than a mix of different fairytale tropes. The only difference to me was that it ended with the heroine breaking from these tropes and “finding her own”. This idea however is not new. I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading this book, really I enjoyed it, but, it isn’t extraordinary and if anyone can make a sound argument to me as to why it was given mention I would like to know!

2019 Book Awards!

January 29, 2019

I’m not saying that I can predict the future – but can I just say that I was so right about the book awards this year! The winner of the Michael L. Printz award was none other than The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (which was in my top five list to win). Another one of my picks, A Heart in A Body in the World by Deb Caletti, got honorable mention. ALSO Sadie by Courtney Summers won for best Audiobook (I didn’t listen to the audio I read it but this book reads like an audio book so I’d give it a listen). In any case: click on the photo below to place a hold on a copy of this MUST READ!

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A Very Large Expanse of Sea

January 22, 2019

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A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi is a unique book in that it is from the point of view of a high school-age Muslim-American girl in 2002 when tensions were high in the new post-9/11 America.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

This book surprised me. It started slow, and the issues discussed aren’t new. However, as the book went on I realized that these are still problems that many people face today – not just Muslims – and the book was so much more timely than I thought. Overall good writing and a good story.

You

January 14, 2019

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You may have heard of the popular thriller TV show You, (it is on Netflix, you’re welcome) but did you know that it is based on a book by Caroline Kepnes? The book is almost exactly like the show (but better, because the book is always better).

The plot: “When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.”

This book is creepy. Joe is the ultimate stalker and the entire book I found myself looking over my shoulder. A MUST READ!


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