Friday, July 14, 2017

A Kiss in Time review


A Kiss in Time
by Alex Flinn
HarperTeen
April 2009

First line: "If I hear one more syllable about spindles, I shall surely die!"

Princess Talia from the kingdom of Euphrasia is somewhat of a drama queen. All her life, she's been incredibly sheltered, because everyone knows that she's been cursed to fall asleep after pricking her finger on a spindle. Under guard at all times, and not allowed to leave the palace, her only way of rebelling is to speak rudely to all of her servants. In a way, she really can't help it when she is finally tricked into touching a spindle - she's never seen one before and doesn't know what to avoid!

Three hundred years later... spoiled rich kid Jack is thoroughly bored with his all-expenses paid European vacation. While trying to avoid a tour of yet another museum, he breaks the curse and awakens Talia quite by accident. Figuring it will make his ex-girlfriend Amber jealous, he brings Talia back with him to Miami.

One of the aspects to the Sleeping Beauty story which always had me wondering was... how does the princess adjust to the world after she wakes up? Imperious, haughty, totally unprepared for American informality and lack of respect for inherited titles, Talia really struggles to get along, although her mean-girl spirit serves her well when dealing with the popular girls in an American high school. Any and all technology is completely foreign to her, and she has several humorous misunderstandings concerning taking Jack's cell phone messages. To be honest, I found both Talia and Jack difficult to like. Like a lot of Flinn's characters, Talia is a spoiled brat who takes the long way around to finally getting over herself.

Even though I found the main characters a bit trying at times, I think teens who feel stifled by rules, full of energy, ready to get on with their lives and stop being told what to do at every turn by "grown-ups" will find them relate-able. I'll recommend this to anyone who enjoys fairytale retellings.

Compare to:
Spindle's End - Robin McKinley
Wisdom's Kiss - Catherine Gilbert Murdock
A Long, Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan
Briar Rose - Jane Yolen

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Read in June




Last month I read the following:


1. Leaving Fishers - Margaret Peterson Haddix



picture credit: Little Girl Reading Book, 1899

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.

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