Author Archive

Trouble in YA Publishing

March 12, 2019

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Recently a YA novel that I had ordered got pulled by the publisher – this isn’t the first time this has happened. Over the past two years I’ve had three or four books that I had planned on adding to the collection suddenly disappeared from my lists. Why? Read this article to find out why this book joins the others in an era where the internet directly effects the Publishing market.

Summer Bird Blue

March 3, 2019

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Akemi Dawn Bowen’s newest – Summer Bird Blue – is not an easy read. Similarly to her last YA novel, there are unlikable characters. Most unlikable is the main character, Rumi who has just lost her younger sister in a car accident in which her and her mother survived. On top of dealing with the loss of her sister she must cope with new surroundings – her mother has sent her to live with her Aunt in Hawaii while she grieves. But Rumi is not normal (although she isn’t quite sure why) and she can’t stop thinking about her sister and her mother. Her sister who was the only person on earth who could tolerate her and her mother who abandoned her in her time of need and grieving. Rumi feels like she needs to finish what her and her sister started: they were a song writing duo and were writing a song in the car when the accident occurred. But her spiraling thoughts about her mother wishing that she had died in the accident instead of her sister keep her from accessing her feelings and her creativity.

Although she is a difficult character, Rumi is relatable if you have ever suffered such a terrible loss. When you find out more about what makes her who she is you begin to understand her attitude and sympathize with her. I PROMISE that this book is worth the payoff. When she eventually finishes the lyrics to the song her and her sister had begun it is beautiful and heartbreaking. I have found myself re-reading the song many times in the months since I have read this book. Please give it a read!

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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