Friday, June 23, 2017

Boyfriends with Girlfriends review

Boyfriends with Girlfriends
by Alex Sanchez
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
April 2011


First line: "Lance tapped the beat of A Chorus Line's 'What I Did for Love' on Allie's bedroom door. 'Hi, it's me!'"

In this contemporary ensemble story, four high school friends; gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning, wrestle with their identities. Lance is comfortably out of the closet and is blessed with a very supportive family. His best friend Allie is straight. He brings her along on a group date to meet Sergio, a new guy that he's interested in. As far as Lance is concerned, Sergio's insistence that he is bisexual is only a minor hitch - surely Sergio will come "all the way" out of the closet, soon, right? In the meantime, Allie is intrigued by Sergio's best friend Kimiko. Allie's been dating lovable yet lunk-headed athlete Chip for some time. Allie's always liked manga, and she and bookish tomboy Kimiko connect right away. Allie and Kimiko do end up kissing, which has Allie wondering maybe she's not so straight after all? Kimiko's disapproving Asian mother is the main reason why Kimiko decides to remain in the closet for now.

I wished that the characters had been more distinctly drawn. Each of the four teens are somewhat socially awkward, and of course spend a lot of time thinking about their sexuality. All of them have a constant, restless scheming quality, "How can I tell if so-and-so likes me?" "If I say such-and-such thing, will that impress the person I have a crush on?" "How far can I get so-and-so to go with me? How far do I want them to?" After a while, the characters collective angst becomes exhausting; 
many of the characters' inner monologues felt repetitive and forced. Still, the book is notable for its frank discussion of teen sexuality and inclusiveness of several different orientations.

Compare to:
Geography Club - Brent Hartinger
Everything Leads to You - Nina LaCour
Pink - Lili Wilkinson
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom - Emily Franklin

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Pride display

I put together this display in our YA area for Pride Month. I was glad we have such a nice selection of titles!


Friday, June 9, 2017

Build A Better World display

Summer reading is in full swing! This year's theme is "Build a Better World." Here is a phenomenal display put together by some of my staff. We invited patrons to write how they would "build a better world" on our bulletin boards. People left some very inspiring and heart-warming messages!



Friday, June 2, 2017

Read in May



Last month I read the following:


1. Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Brawsome Bagpipes - Alan Dapre
2. Porridge the Tartan Cat and the Bash Crash Ding - Alan Dapre



picture credit: Portrait of a Young Woman Reading, Dean Cornwell 1924

Friday, May 12, 2017

Outside In review

Outside In
by Maria V. Snyder
Harlequin Teen
February 2011

First line: "My world changed in a heartbeat."

Trella's journey through space continues in this sequel to Inside Out. As before, time is referred to in weeks - characters are so many "weeks old" events happened a certain number of "weeks ago." It gives the whole book a bit of alien flavor. The ship's estimated time of arrival, one million weeks, means they'll actually be spending nearly 2,000 years in space! The mystery of where they are has been solved: the crew of their generation spaceship will be spending the rest of their lifetimes (and their children's lifetimes) traveling towards a planet where they can finally live "Outside" again.



In the meantime, Trella is facing the hard work of reuniting the "scrubs" and the "uppers" on board the ship. Frankly, the same kind of loner, adventurer spirit that enabled her to explore the ships air ducts for hours on end, eventually discovering the "Gateway" airlock to Outer Space, as well as additional levels of the ship, planned by their ancestors for the inevitable population crowding that they face, is exactly the same kind of spirit that makes her a stunningly inappropriate choice to be on the ruling council. She regularly skips out on council meetings in favor of poking around the ship's tunnels as she used to do.

Engine problems on the ship create chaos, just as Trella is dealing with being reunited with her estranged mother Dr. Lamont as well as her deepening relationship with her boyfriend Riley. It turns out that the ship's mechanical problems are due to outside interference. But who or what could be harassing the citizens of Inside from so deep in space? 

I'll recommend this for tween readers who aren't quite ready for Across the Universe by Beth Revis. The plot moves quickly, and the romance is fairly tame.

Compare to:
Across the Universe - Beth Revis
Glow - Amy Kathleen Ryan

Enclave - Ann Aguire



I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Read in April



Last month I read the following:


1. March: Book Three - John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell



picture credit: Jeune fille lisant, Charles Chaplin 1857

Friday, April 14, 2017

Frozen review


Frozen
by Robin Wasserman
Simon Pulse
October 2011

First line: "Lia Kahn is dead. I am Lia Kahn."

Teenager Lia Kahn leads a charmed life until a car accident robs her of everything, including her body. Her wealthy and pushy father has her memories downloaded into an android body. Lia is horrified at she's been turned into but still makes an effort to try and adjust. Wasserman mines a lot of ethics questions here including what makes us really human, our bodies or our memories? While Lia is coping with her own overwhelming feelings over the accident and adjusting to her new body, there are also a lot of sibling rivalry issues. Her younger sister Zoie, who should have been in the car that day, has spent her whole life being overshadowed by Lia, who has always been daddy's favorite and a bit of a Queen Bee. It's finally Zoie's turn to shine at school as Lia is shunned as freak; Zoie even goes so far as to steal Lia's old boyfriend. Talk about a shocking betrayal!

Having her life turned upside-down in this way really changes Lia - and makes her parents wonder if she really is their daughter anymore, or just a close simulacrum of her. Her brusque and demanding father practically admits that he regrets pushing for the procedure. He thought he was saving his daughter, not dooming himself to having to live with a robot who reminds him of what he lost. Ouch!

In the meantime, Lia meets a group of underground rebels who are campaigning for mechs' rights. They're a desperate and sad group, taking wild risks just to prove that they can and are angry that doctors won't "upgrade" them with vision or hearing that outperforms human standards. There's just a hint of a love triangle. When things don't work out with Lia's odious ex-boyfriend Walker, she finds new friends: nerdy technology-loving human Auden and intense skinner Jude. With her new circle of friends, 
she may not be the old Lia Kahn, but she reasons that she's still a sentient being with hopes and dreams for the future. Just as Lia is just starting to pull herself together, the book ends on a shocking cliffhanger.  Not realizing her own strength, she seriously injures her friend Auden in an accident. Will he recover or die? Or will he become like Lia? Frozen is the first book in the Cold Awakening trilogy and was originally released under the title, Skinned.

Compare to:
The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E. Pearson
Feed - M.T. Anderson

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Being Nikki - Meg Cabot


I borrowed this book from the library.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails