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Archive for September, 2015|Monthly archive page

These Broken Stars

In YA Book Reviews on September 9, 2015 at 12:11 am

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by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Science Fiction Dystopian/©2013/374 Pages/Starbound #1/Recommended for 7th Grade+

Publisher’s Blurb (Courtesy of Goodreads):

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive — alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My Thoughts:

I keep telling myself that I am not a science fiction fan, but books like this make me such a liar! The story pulled me in from the beginning with its structure of the alternating points of view of the two main characters, along with the transcript of a mysterious interrogator. The survival/adventure story was enough, but coupled with a whole new planet to explore and some pretty eerie phenomena occurring, there was another whole level of interest. I really liked the main characters, each with their own unique backstory, but I especially enjoyed the banter between them and how their relationship developed. I also appreciated how strong Lilac was at the beginning and how she became even stronger and more capable as the story progressed. All in all, an enjoyable read. Important side note: even though this is first in a trilogy, each is a stand alone book. A very satisfying ending, but no cliff hanger here.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Goodbye Stranger

In YA Book Reviews on September 6, 2015 at 8:42 pm

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 by Rebecca Stead

Realistic Fiction/©2015/304 Pages/Stand Alone/Recommended for Middle Grade

Publisher’s Info (Courtesy of Goodreads):

Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games–or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl–as a friend?
On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

My Thoughts:

I loved everything about this book – the engaging plot with the multiple perspectives that tell the story (including the one told in email texts and another one – very mysterious – told in the second person), the truly memorable characters, and the bounty of life lessons at the core of the story. Rebecca Stead is a master at capturing middle school – the drama, the relationships, the issues with social media, and the gamut of all its ups and downs. I especially appreciate how she portrays teachers (Mr. Partridge is a composite of the best teachers I know) and how important they can be in helping kids think, evolve, and navigate the mine field that is middle school. Ms. Stead deftly covers the typical middle school experiences, and, in doing so, she takes it much deeper, helping readers reflect on who they are and who they want to be. At its core, it is a quiet story about love and friendship, but it packs a punch and makes you think. All in all, an outstanding book.

My Rating: 5/5

Other Resources:

The Classroom Bookshelf Review and Teaching Suggestions