August 29, 2010

review Hunger

author Jackie Morse Kessler
to be released October 2010
publisher Harcourt Graphia

A bit of scripture first: When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come out!" Then I saw a black horse, and its rider had a balance scale in one hand. Revelations 6:5 CEV

This is a description of one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Did you ever ponder who might be sitting on these horses? Where did they really come from?

Jackie Morse Kessler does a fabulous writing about this particular horseman, oops I mean horsegirl. She is Lisa, tormented by the Thin Voice which keeps nagging inside her head "You're fat." She argues with her boyfriend and former best friend who recognize her anorexia. Her newest BFF is a pro in things-bulimic. But of course, Lisa won't use bulimia! One day Lisa gets a package, inside it is a pair of scales (not the kind you step on, but the balances as you see on the book cover).

Lisa has been drafted to be Famine, to ride the Black Horse. The other three horses carry War (a female who definitely needs Anger Management classes), Pestilence (eeeeew - don't touch me), and Death, a witty guy who channels Kurt Cobain.

This was a very satisfying read, one I thought about for days afterwards. Now I'm curious about the other Three Horsemen and their particular issues. I've added Kessler's next book Rage to my wishlist. She's writing Loss now. Waiting is ........

August 22, 2010

Compliance Tips

I've been reading Compliance Tips for Indicator 13. Before you go rush off to find out where it is offered, don't. It is for educators who write IEPs. Eeeeew you say? I agree. That's why I'll be putting that aside at the end of the month to retire.

The Terminator said, "I'll be back." And he came back again and again in sequels. So .... I'll be back here too.

August 9, 2010

review: God is in the Pancakes

God is in the Pancakes
debut YA novel by Robin Epstein
from 1 ARC Tours

Grace Manning is the feisty character-narrator one loves to read about.

I was hooked from the first page when Grace describes the bubbling holes in the pancakes on the grill. I kept thinking, this author has exquisite writing and descriptions. Pancakes come up at least three more times throughout the novel. Any wonder I got hungry for my
Aunt Virginia's pancakes!

Grace works as a candy-striper in a nursing home and becomes friends with Mr. Sands who has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Mr. Sands asks Grace to help her exit from this world. What a dilemma for a 15-year-old! Will she? Won't she?

August 1, 2010

review and giveaway: YOU autographed

The winner is Mike Rogers! We have emailed him.

author Charles Benoit
publisher Harper Teen
released August 25, 2010
ARC from Around the World Tours

Update! The author, Benoit, has said he will autograph his book for the winner of the giveaway!

A note from Benoit on Goodreads:
It's easy to forget that we spend our early teens afraid. We're afraid of fitting in, standing out, or being ignored. We worry that we'll never get a date, never get into college, and never amount to anything. Just like everyone predicts.

The book opens exactly as the cover shows --- shards of broken glass and blood. A few pages in, you realize "it is the last year of your life."
Benoit, a former high school teacher debuting as a YA author, does a fabulous job writing in the second person tense. Remember your grammar lessons in English class? First person: I, me, we. Second person: you. Third person: he, she, they. Do any of you know other books told entirely in the second person?

"You" are a tenth grade slacker, Kyle, with constantly-nagging parents, friends who are hoodies, ignorant teachers who make your life miserable, and a crush on a girl Ashley. A new student enrolls in the school and makes friends with You..... the way the student Zack dresses and talks reminds me of Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother.
As I got closer and closer to the end, my feelings of dread intensified, my stomach was knotted. I moaned at comments people said to You. Highly recommended for teens, parents, educators, everybody.
I think so much of this book and want to celebrate having 100 followers, so I'll preorder You for a Giveaway. Please follow my blog if you don't already (it is not required) and fill out this entry form. The winner will be drawn August 20, before the release date. Will pre-order from Amazon or the Book Depository if it ships to your country. Winner has 48 hours to reply to email.