A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

She Picks Her 2013 Favorites

It's that time of year again! That's right. It's time to tell you my top 10 favorite books I read in 2013. You can click on the title to go to the Goodreads link for more info. Happy New Year, and here's to another great year of reading! :)

Here we go...in no particular order:

1. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

2. P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

3. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

4. The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett by Tom Angleberger

5. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

6. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

8. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

9. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

10. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Title: Let It Snow
Authors: John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Pages: 352
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: October 2, 2008
AR Levels: Book Level - 4.7; Interest Level - 9th-12th; Points - 10.0
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6883008-let-it-snow

In a nutshell: On a snowy Christmas Eve in Gracetown, North Carolina, six unsuspecting teens will find love in the strangest places. Three of YA lit's biggest hitters each compose a short-ish story that blends beautifully into the plots of the other two. This trio of intertwined holiday novellas is a Christmas miracle!

I'd recommend it to grades: 8 and up

I'd recommend it to: anyone in need of a good old-fashioned Christmas romance, fans of non-sappy, laugh-out-loud romances...and Nerdfighters ;)

What I liked most about this book: Let me break it down this way. John Green's is my favorite (of course), but I liked the other two too. Maureen Johnson's story gets the medal for best character (Jubilee), John's wins for cutest couple, and Lauren Myracle's story gets the cutest teacup pig award. Overall, it's the perfect blend of laugh-out-loud humor and not-too-sappy-sweet romance.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): As someone who grew up in the Deep South, currently lives in North Carolina, and is terrible at driving in the snow, I got more than a giggle out of the scene where Tobin, JP, and The Duke are trying to get the car up the snow-covered hill and out of the neighborhood.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 4 stars
(the gold kind that go on top of Christmas trees!)*

*Individually, I'd rank the novellas this way: John Green - 5 stars, Maureen Johnson - 5 stars, Lauren Myracle - 3 stars

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald

Title: Odette's Secrets
Author: Maryann Macdonald
Pages: 240
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
AR Levels: TBD
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12969636-odette-s-secrets?ac=1

In a nutshell: Odette is a young French girl of Jewish decent who lives in Paris during World War II. After her father joins the French army and the persecution of the Jews worsens in Paris, Odette's mother sends her to live in the French countryside to pose as a Christian in order to protect her. This verse novel fictionalizes the true story of Odette Meyer, one of many of France's hidden Jewish children.

I'd recommend it to grades: 4 to 7

I'd recommend it to: poetry lovers, historical fiction fans, and students who aren't quite ready for Anne Frank's diary (or as a complement to her diary)

What I liked most about this book: The language is beautiful yet age-appropriate/childlike, and the breadth of emotion is both realistic and stunning for such a young girl. Many of the adults in Odette's life stand as excellent role models for her and for readers, especially her neighbor/godmother, Madame Marie, who as a Christian helps protect Odette and her mother. It's a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful read that's also a quick read due to its verse novel format, so even struggling readers could enjoy it. 

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): It saddened me to find out that Jews were banned from many public places including libraries in Paris during that time, but Odette and her cousins find a loophole and end up spending an afternoon in the library trying to retain some normalcy in the midst of the chaos around them, illustrating how books can be tools of peace and joy even on the darkest days. Books, stories, and poetry all play key roles in Odette's readjustment to her new life.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 4 stars