Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl

A super fast read about that boy. You know the one. For some reason he seems to be able to charm every girl. Regardless of what clique she belongs to.

Josie, Nicolette and Aviva couldn't be more different. Freshman, experienced girl and clique hopper. Yet somehow, in a period of weeks, they all end up with the same popular senior. He dates Josie first, and she soon is falling for him. She is wary...she doesn't want to be like one of those girls...the ones who lose their minds over some guy. But soon she is ignoring her friends, and fretting by the phone. When Josie wants to slow things down, she soon finds herself dumped. Knowing now that this boy only had one thing on his mind, Josie tries to warn the other girls. Afterall, if he tried so hard with her, there are sure to be others.

Writing a warning in the back of the school library's Forever, Josie starts a bit of a movement. Unfortunately, many girls have warnings to write about this boy - including Nicolette and Aviva.

Told in free verse, this speedy read will appeal to highschool girls who have been there...and may serve as a bit of a warning to the girls who have not. There is a bit of sex in the book, which I was uber aware of as my 16 year old niece was reading it across the room with me. Her recommendation is for 12 and up. I'll keep mine at 14 :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Amazing Grace

I read this before I headed out on vacation. I have the arc, and it's about a year old, since the book was actually published in September, 2005.

Grace "Ace" Kincaid has it all. She is a tennis star at the top of her game. She's got loads of sponsors, and is the teen sensation in the sport's world.

Here's the thing.

She wants out.

Away from the pressure and the paparazzi. Away from the practising. Away from being told every moment of the day what to do and how to do it.

She's on the floor, puking the the bathroom when she tells her mom the news. And her mom's okay with it. She is going to take care of everything.

Before she knows it, Grace is chopping off her hair, piercing her nose. changing her name and moving with her "Aunt" Ava to Alaska. To be noone in a nowhere town. Just a girl.

Grace soon meets local hunk Teague, and fireworks abound. Can Grace manage to pretend to be Emily and still be true to her heart? Will the press hunt her down?


Boy, oh boy, did this book ever read like a screenplay. Not that I didn't enjoy it. It's over the top in that teen movie way. Did author Megan Shull really have to change Grace's appearance and have her go into hiding? I don't know, but it made for a fun read!

A great title for that girl who loves a romance and adventure!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Too tired... blog. 15 hours (FIFTEEN HOURS) in a car will do that to ya!

I only got 2 books read. Which is either a good thing (gee, I was doing so much other stuff, I didn't have time), or a bad thing (lug, lug, lug the books across the borders!)

But I did manage to read A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, and Peeps companion The Last Days. Woohoo!

Reviews to come!

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Vacation...all I ever wanted!"

...So, I am off! To Muskoka! Can't wait.

But I have to reiterate! I love the women I work with. Just got a bag full 'o' books. (Thanks Karyn! Thanks Jen!) Hopefully when I return, you can expect some reviews on some cool books.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Shug... Jenny Han is over at Tweendom!

Academy X

Since I work in a private school, and a NYC private school at that, when I read a description of this title in the Times, I knew I had to pick it up. A Nanny Diaries, if you will, for the private school set.

John is an English teacher at the tony Academy X. He explains to the reader the difference between new and old money, between religious groups and their money, and the insane NYC experience of getting your child into the right nursery school, so the child can go to the right elementary school, then the right highschool, and into the Ivy League. We hear of baby yoga and testing as well as ridiculous amounts of extra curriculars.

We are introduced to John's Austen class, and two girls who make his teaching worthwhile. Caitlyn Brie has everything. She is the girl that buys all the designer clothes, has the most popular boyfriends, the penthouse on the park...everything. Laura Sturding is middle class and gets her fashions from the outlet malls in Jersey. She works hard for everything that she has.

Then there are the parents. The parents for whom money is no object and when tution is $27000 they expect a return on their investment. And generally speaking, their kids are not putting in the hard work for the return.

We follow John through the last couple months of the school year, when acceptances have already been given out, new chairs are being appointed in departments, and scandal is sure to hit the senior class.

I found the beginning of this book very entertaining as it was structured somewhat as an expose of the Manhattan private school scene. I was reading the unspoken thoughts of many folks who work in NYC schools. Then Trees turned the story into John's story of unrequited love, a teacher's worst fear, and the politics behind the scenes at his school.

The degree to which the parents interfere and throw money around to "fix" problems is totally unbelievable and is nothing like I have ever encountered or heard about. It adds to the fun factor of the story, however. Just think, what would you do if a parent offered you six figures to make a problem disappear?

It was entertaining, but not as tightly written as I would have hoped. A first novel. A good summer read...especially if you work in an environment like Academy X!

100th Post! / Winter is the Warmest Season

Wow! Who would have ever thought that I would get to this point? Hurrah!

Now, I need to decided whether to post about a lovely picture book, or an adult book that makes me giggle because of the industry that I work in.


Winter Is The Warmest Season is a comfy picture book that my daughter has really taken to. When I first told her the title, she laughed and said, "But Mummy, snow is cold NOT warm!"

But Winter IS the warmest season! It is when wool sweaters and hot chocolate appear! It is when we cozy up around the fireplace and snuggle with our kitties. Baths get hotter and PJs get warmer.

Lauren Singer's rich illustrations make the reader feel like s/he is sitting in a comfy chair with a duvet around the legs. I call them big fat illustrations because of the warmth and richness contained.

My daughter and I have already started playing the Summer is the Coolest Season game. Glasses of cold lemonade, cold sprinkler water and shady spots under willow trees have shown up in our version.

Lovely, lovely!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing About Me

So I decided to post this over here since I think it's too young to be a tween book.

Lucy Rose is the perfect character for those readers who are finished with Ramona and Judy Moody.

Lucy Rose has just made the move to Washington D.C. from Ann Arbor, MI. Her parents are separating and Lucy's mom's folks are in D.C. So this means a whole new school, trying to make new friends, and negotiate the move from suburbs to city.

Lucy Rose is what her Pop calls an original thinker. Outspoken, feisty and fun, she tells her story through journal entries with the boring days left out. Lucy Rose is in 3rd grade in Mr. Welsh's class, and her ambition for the year is to take care of the pet guinea pig, Jake. We follow her throughout the school year - finding friends, rethinking enemies and coming to accept her parent's separation.


I came to this story through illustrator Adam Rex. Author Katy Kelly has written a fun character who is wonky enough to be interesting in a way that is not a copy of Ramona et al. Lucy Rose's friends Jonique and Adam Melon have interesting homes and families as well.

This book has a decidedly Southern feel to it eventhough it takes place in Washington. The rhythm of language is asking to be read aloud.

A fun read!