Pretty much lived in YA land the last two weeks — can’t help myself.
Eleanor & Park – A
One of those YA novels where it’s about teenagers, but they’re dealing with things that force them to behave like adults before their time. Eleanor’s life at home is pretty rough and she gets picked on a lot at school. Then she sits down next to Park on the bus and little by little they develop a friendship and a sweet little romance. Park’s nerdiness is totally lovable, as are Eleanor’s quirks. I didn’t love the ending, but overall a good read.
Shine – B
Whoo boy, are there a lot of issues packed into this book! Right before the book starts, a boy was beaten nearly to death in a small country town for being gay. The book starts with a friend of his searching to figure out who hurt him. She questions as many people as she can trying to put the puzzle pieces together, and eventually does. Along the way you see a lot of fear of the unknown, along with a bit of the desperateness that comes with being born and raised in a small town and waiting more for your own life but not knowing how to get there.
It’s Kind Of a Funny Story – B
The author of this book wrote it right after a five day say in a psychiatric ward, and it’s about a teenage boy named Craig who spends five days in a psychiatric ward. He admits himself after coming close to committing suicide, and I really enjoyed reading about how he mentally changed in those five days. It reminded me of Heather Armstrong from dooce and this post. Because of Ned Vinizzi’s experiences and Heather’s, it seems Craig’s thought process is pretty true to how many people think when they’re struggling with depression — and I found that very interesting. Plus there’s all the random characters Craig meets in the psychiatric ward with their various quirks that add to the book.
Since You’ve Been Gone – A
This book is about Emily, a generally subdued girl who’s always followed in the footsteps of her friend, Sloane. Then Sloane suddenly disappears and leaves Emily a list of things to complete — like “ride a horse”, “kiss a stranger”, “dance until dawn”. Emily first starts out completing the things on the list because she thinks they will lead her to Sloane, and, of course, winds up learning a lot about herself in the process and makes new friends. It’s a coming-of-age type of book, but I really enjoyed this particular story and the characters.
Paper Towns – A
John Green is just the best. It doesn’t even matter what this book is about, because the best part about it is how the teenage characters each have their own set of oddities, and then how well he reinforces those oddities with EVERY SINGLE THING those characters say and do. BUT, because that doesn’t tell you much about the book, here goes: Quentin and Margo have lived next door to each other for years, but they haven’t talked since they were little until Margo crawls into Q’s window one night. They then proceed to go on this crazy adventure for one night, and Q goes to bed excited to see Margo at school the next day, wondering if they’ll go back to not speaking or be friends, and then she’s not there. For days. So Q decides he’s going to find her, and my favorite part of the whole book is when he and his friends climb into a van together to go find her — it’s hilarious and exciting and wonderful.
When In Doubt, Add Butter – B
I actually listened to this as a book on tape because I had quite a bit of driving to do, and while it took some getting used to, it certainly helped to pass the time. This story is about Jemma, a private chef who cooks for different characters each night of the week. I loved hearing what she made and watching her relationships with her clients. There is, of course, a man in the book — and while things remain a mystery for Jemma for quite some time I knew what was going to happen when I was barely halfway through. But it’s a pleasant, enjoyable read, perfect for the beach!