Sad ending to Funny Story

Vizzini, N. (2006). It's kind of a funny story. New York: Miramax. Genre: Realistic Intended audience: Mid-teens and older Personal reaction to the book: This has strong overtones of One flew over the cuckoo's nest. It's not quite in that league, but a good read. Somehow the book is both less dismissive of and less… Continue reading Sad ending to Funny Story

Mostly harmless

Turner, M.W. (2005). The thief. New York: Greenwillow. (First published 1996.) Genre: Fantasy Intended audience: Tweens / young teens Personal reaction to the book: The thief got the Douglas Adams review: Mostly harmless. You have read better fantasies; you have read worse fantasies. It is appropriate for younger teens / tweens and is a safe… Continue reading Mostly harmless

Presto! C’est chic

Tobin, P., & Coover, C. (2013). Bandette, Volume 1: Presto! Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Comics. Genre: Graphic novel Intended audience: Mid-teens and older Personal reaction to the book: A fun option to the dark violence and manga subgenres that dominate so much of the graphic novel scene. Bandette is a very French protagonist (think Amelie,… Continue reading Presto! C’est chic

Tapping at my chamber door

Stiefvater, M. (2012). The raven boys. New York: Scholastic. Genre: Supernatural, adventure Intended audience: Mid-teens and up. Personal reaction to the book: Loved it. Well-rounded characters, believable motivations, good dialogue; by turns funny and emotionally satisfying. It does not talk down to its audience. The only book for the course thus far (out of six)… Continue reading Tapping at my chamber door

Stargirl abides

Spinelli, J. (2002). Stargirl. New York: Scholastic. (Originally published 2000.) Genre: Realistic fiction Intended audience: General YA Personal reaction to the book: It's sweet without being sappy; it's a quick read; it's got enough fun to blunt the angst. It's everything good about YA fiction. Stargirl is one of those characters (Owen Meany) who it's… Continue reading Stargirl abides

Mighty Maus

Spiegelman, A. (2008). Maus, I: A survivor's tale: My father bleeds history. Paw Prints: Charlotte, North Carolina. Genre: Graphic novel / memoir Intended audience: Older teens, adults. Personal reaction to the book: Originally published in 1986, Maus pretty much set the standard for “serious” graphic novels, and it's hard to separate reputation that from the… Continue reading Mighty Maus

Perfectly dreadful

Sones, S. (2013). To be perfectly honest: A novel based on an untrue story. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Genre: Romance, realistic, verse Intended audience: Teenage girls Personal reaction to the book: Colette, the protagonist, is one of the most annoying characters it has ever been my displeasure to see through… Continue reading Perfectly dreadful

Sweet 16 ain’t so peachy keen

Shepard, S. (2008). Unbelievable. New York: Harper Teen. Genre: Mystery Intended audience: Mid-teen girls and older Personal reaction to the book: Surprisingly good (it is the basis for an ABC Family TV show) little thriller. Combines lots of social infighting/gossip with just a touch of violence to produce a book with a lot going on.… Continue reading Sweet 16 ain’t so peachy keen

He’s a magic man

Scott, M. (2007). The Alchemyst: The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel. New York: Delacorte. Genre: Fantasy Intended audience: Teens/young adults Personal reaction to the book: This is a worthy follow-up to J. K. Rowling for YA readers who have memorized Harry Potter and are looking for another fantasy series to pick up. Scott has… Continue reading He’s a magic man

Long black veil

Satrapi, M. (2003). Persepolis. New York: Pantheon. Genre: Graphic novel Intended audience: Mid- to older teens Personal reaction to the book: I enjoyed this. The art is done in a distinctive style, almost minimalist, and the black-and-white presentation adds to the tone of the book. The subject matter is equally distinctive, telling the story of… Continue reading Long black veil