Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

My third Sarah Dessen book and I think the best I’ve read yet.  She has this great talent that allows her to capture the teen’s perspective in such a beautiful and yet very down to earth manner.  As parents we’re always told there is no manual to help you deal with some of these more difficult situations, such as teenage pregnancy and teenage sex, but after reading this book I would argue and suggest that parents read “Someone Like You”.  With all the different angles presented, it’s a great book – I think one that many teenage girls should be reading along with their parents.  This could be one of those books that would open doors of communication between mothers and their daughters about a topic that is very scary and one that we all wish would go away until marriage.

The story is about Halley and Scarlett, two girls who have been best friends from the first day Scarlett moved into the neighbourhood.  They know everything about each other and spend most of their time together.  The summer before their last year of high school Halley is sent away to camp while Scarlett stays back, meets Michael and falls in love.  One night at camp though Halley is called to the office for an emergency call, Michael was killed in a motorcycle accident and Scarlett needs her at home.  Once they’re back in school, Scarlett discovers she’s pregnant with Michael’s child.  The story revolves around choices that young female teens make before they decide to have sex and the consequences they need to deal with if they become pregnant.  It’s also a great story of the love and friendship shared between these two young ladies.

This is one book I highly recommend to both teens and their parents.

Recommended

Ages:  14 and up


Dessen, Sarah.  (2004). Someone Like You. New York, NY:  SPEAK

Book Website: http://www.sarahdessen.com/someone-like-you

What do teen readers want?

If you think about it – most of the seminars in our course have really been dealing with this question in one form or another.  We have been learning about the different types of material that Teen Readers or YA Readers are believed to be interested in and the different formats.  But seeing what they really want via the results of a survey is another thing.  While browsing Stephen Abram’s blog Stephen’s Lighthouse for my Advocacy course I found a Blog entry linking back to the Sassy Librarian and to a Publisher’s Weekly article discussing the results of a survey.  Take a look if you haven’t already seen it!

When I read through the survey results, what I was very interested in was the “Influencers” section of the survey – what influences a Teen to read a particular book?  Friend’s recommendation was at the top of the list, followed by family / siblings, then teachers with librarians at the bottom.  Hmmm – wonder why?  The other aspect of these results that I found surprising was the value Teens placed on book reviews and websites.  Really gets me thinking that maybe this is something that Librarians need to take advantage of…  adding more book reviews and/or recommendations online – or finding a way to link local teens with book reviews or creating local book reviews?  not sure – but there are a number of ideas that come to mind.

To see the survey results and thoughts on it please see:

What DO Teens want? by the Sassy Librarian

What Do Teens Want? By Carol Fitzgerald

Hooked on the Blog …

So I figured I’d better change the Blog Theme to something that I could live with for a while.  I’ll admit that at the beginning of the semester I was convinced that I would do the Blog for the course and that was it.  That’s why I chose a strange and out there name and a profile to match – Really bright green?  It was fun while it lasted.  After doing this for the past 3 months – I’m hooked and hope to continue this Blog – so I’ve chosen a theme that better reflects who I am and the way I work…

Hope you enjoy the new look and look out for more on tags and categories – I’m hoping to use these a bit better to allow for more efficient searching.

Enjoy and see you in the Blogosphere   🙂

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

What a great ending to the Mortal Instruments trilogy.  OK, I’m sad to see it end but couldn’t think of a better way to end it.  Looking back at the three books, I can now see how Clare very cleverly dropped breadcrumbs from the first book through to this one that could have helped you make the leap to the end – but you just could never be sure with all the twists and turns.   Ah…  I don’t want to give anything away – but I’m so excited about this….

Clary goes back to Alicante to try and find a book that holds the cure for her mother.  She discovers that nobody really wanted her there and begins to waver, but resolves to cure her mother no matter what.  In the meantime Valentine is setting things in motion for a big war between the Demons and the Shadowhunters, placing Jace or rather Jonathan in the middle of it all again.  The pace of this story keeps you on your toes and wanting more at the end of every chapter.

I really appreciated the author’s approach to these books, at no time was I left with the feeling of “I’ve read this before” or “why are you telling me this again”.  You could probably read each of these books separately, so not as a trilogy, but I think you would miss out on the character development and the overall plot.

In class the other day, someone mentioned that we should be on the lookout for books on Zombies and Angels – since this is where one stream of YA books is going.  The mortal instruments trilogy combines the whole bad-guy world with the good-guys.  YOu see the vampires, faeries, werewolves and warlocks in these books, but one of the key themes that really comes out in the last book, is the Angel aspect.  I think Clare did a wonderful job of incorporating these out of this world characters in one excellent trilogy.

Recommended

Ages: 14 and up


Clare, Cassandra.  (2009).  City of Glass. New York, NY:  Margaret K. McElderry Books

Book Website:  http://www.mortalinstruments.com/

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

The second book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy was just as exciting and edgy as the first book.  Clary struggles with who she really is and the life her mother wanted for her.  Relationships among friends are forever changing, for the better or worse?  New friends and strange alliances are formed.  Will she ever lead a normal life again?  Jace develops an understanding about family, is it only blood relations that determine family or not?  Simon enters a new world, develops confidence and new look on life – yet he continues to safeguard Clary as best he can.

This installment of the series kept me going and wanting to see beyond the pages that I was reading.  The book ended with such a cliffhanger that even the excerpt from the third book couldn’t answer it.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

In my opinion, the author is a great story-teller and has a knack for ending a section with you craving to know what happens next.  It’s a really great read and well written.  If you enjoy mystery, romance and the world of demons – it’s all here!

Recommended

Ages: 14 and up


Clare, Cassandra. (2008).  City of Ashes. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Book Website: http://www.mortalinstruments.com/

Haunted by Barbara Haworth-Attard

When I bought this book I never realized it was by a Canadian author, let alone an author from Elmira living in London, Ontario – WoW!!!  It was a pleasure to read and a story that I just couldn’t part with.  Saturday mornings in my household is always a time when stuff needs to get done, plans that have me up at 8:30 am and in theory out the door in less than an hour – well… that didn’t happen today –  Thanks to Dee, her friends and “her” mountain I couldn’t put the book down until 11am.  Once I returned home early this afternoon, I had to rush back to my book.  It was gripping and very tough to put down.

I’m an avid fan of a good murder mystery, but add in ghosts and I’m hooked!  Twist it a little bit more to add a location that is close to home and there’s no turning back for me.  Dee, a 14-year old girl, being raised by her Grandmother loves her “mountain” and village, but dreams of a day where she may escape from Price’s Corners to attend High School and live in a place where no one knows her.  Gran and Dee share special skills, as Gran refers to them, that have members of the village questioning them after bones are found on the mountain.  I highly recommend reading Haunted by Canadian author Barbara Haworth-Attard to find out what happens to Dee, her Gran and her beloved mountain.

I was curious to read my classmate’s comments on the book reading she attended with Barbara Haworth-Attard (Fiction Addiction blog), especially the comment regarding the marketing of the book.  Once I finished the book, I questioned whether this would be or should be considered a Young Adult novel?  If I didn’t know what the author’s intentions were – I’m not sure I would have been as convinced as I was going into this novel.  I believe that there is a larger adult audience that this book would appeal to.  However, on that note I would definitely recommend it to my girls and their friends!

Recommended

Age:  14 yrs and up


Haworth-Attard, Barbara. (2009). Haunted. Toronto, ON: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Author’s website:  http://www.barbarahaworthattard.com/

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

A magical story indeed – but magic isn’t the right word – and the reader is told this a few times.  This well written and easy to read novel covers the gamut of fantasy creatures from vampires to werewolves to warlocks and faeries but I found it didn’t overwhelm me.  We’ve seen the vampires revived with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and now we’re seeing the rising of the Zombies with books like Generation Dead by David Walters, but Cassandra Clare has them beat in my opinion.  ShadowWalkers, protectors of the world against the DownWorlders, are the main theme in the first of the Mortal Instruments trilogy, but the characters and their relationships are what drew me into this world and they are also what left me wanting more.

Clary, a 15-year-old teenager and Simon, her best friend visit a Club one night, where Clary witnesses a murder that no one else can see.  The following day, one of the “murderers”, Jace unexpectedly befriends her after discovering that Clary’s mother has disappeared.  Clary learns about the ShadowWorld through Jace and is surprised to learn why she can see this world while others cannot.

The “sneak peek” feature at the back of my issue and the reviews received for City of Ashes and City of Glass has left very curious about the remaining two books in the trilogy and I now find myself looking forward to reading them. I have to admit that what I’m really looking forward to, is seeing how Clary and Jace’s relationship develops if at all.  For some unknown reason I have found myself very attached to these characters at the end of City of Bones – and I have to find out what happens next.

Recommended

Ages: 14 and up


Clare, Cassandra.  (2007).  City of Bones. Toronto, ON: Simon Pulse.

Book website:  http://www.mortalinstruments.com/