Friday, February 28, 2014

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

I picked this book up because my friend’s daughter recommended it. I am so glad that I did. Jessica is a high school track star, and she’s just run her personal best in the 400 meter. Right after the race, her team is in a horrible bus accident. One of her teammates dies in the accident, and Jessica loses a leg. The Running Dream is about Jessica’s fight to recover. Jessica is told that she’ll be able to walk again with a prosthetic leg, but what she really wants to do is run. Her recovery doesn’t happen as quickly or as easily as she’d like it to, but she learns some important lessons along the way.

I really liked this book. It’s told completely from Jessica’s point of view. Even though some subplots could be told by other characters, Van Draanen sticks with Jessica’s story. I like that we hear her story throughout the book, because it makes it easier to connect with her. This book is sad, emotional, funny, and uplifting. Try it and let me know what you think.

If you liked The Running Dream, you might also like Wonder by R.J.Palacio


Monday, February 24, 2014

More Than This by Patrick Ness

More Than This by Patrick Ness opens with Seth drowning, fighting for his last breath. Then he dies. But then he wakes up. Seth doesn't wake up in the same place he died though. He wakes up in England, in a childhood home he's tried to forget, covered in a strange tape, and completely alone. Is he dead? Is this desolate, abandoned, run-down version of the town he was born in, hell?

The story of who Seth was when he was alive, and the mystery surrounding his family's sudden and hurried move to the States, and the mystery of where he is in the present are interwoven expertly, keeping the reader turning the pages even when present Seth is just acclimatizing to his strange surroundings.  The possibilities of Seth's present range from hell to a post-apocalyptic world, and as more is uncovered, more questions are raised. Once the book really starts gaining momentum it's hard to put down. Just as you think you have a grasp on what is going on it makes you question everything.


Friday, February 7, 2014

New YA Books in the Library This Week (02/03 - 02/07)

Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
The dead do not rest easy.  Most of the people of this world live on the sunlit, treeless prairies. But a few carve out an uneasy living in the forest towns, keeping the dead at bay with wards made from magically knotted cords. The women who tie these knots are called binders. And Otters mother, Willow, is one of the greatest binders her people have ever known. In a moment of desperation, Otter casts her first ward, and the results are disastrous. But now Otter may be her peoples only hope against the shadows that threaten them.

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government. When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America's children-and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts-has survived every attempt to destroy it. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.

Elegy by Tara Hudson
A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths in the French Quarter of New Orleans-- Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now she's back in Oklahoma, and all she wants to do is spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua Mayhew. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does. As the body count rises, Amelia thinks she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can no longer save the people she's lost to the darkness . . . and she can never see Joshua again.

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe
For 16 years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they're sending her brother to an institution without consulting her Daisy's furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. But one person won't let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal.

Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
Some things are permanent. Indelible. And they cannot be changed back. Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room - right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same. Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink's chosen one and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both.

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy
Danny Wright never thought he'd be the man to bring down the United States of America. In fact, he enlisted in the Idaho National Guard because he wanted to serve his country the way his father did. When the Guard is called up on the governor's orders to police a protest in Boise, it seems like a routine crowd-control mission ... but then Danny's gun misfires, spooking the other soldiers and the already fractious crowd, and by the time the smoke clears, twelve people are dead.

Of Beast and Beauty by Jay Stacey
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret... In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city's vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds. Isra wants to help the city's Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan's enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.