Friday, May 24, 2013
I'm sure most of you already know, but Book Expo America is in New York City next week (Thurs. May 30 - Sat. June 1)!! I will be attending on Fri. (the only day I could go this year), so right now I'm contemplating what authors to try and meet, what galleys to try and pick up, what shoes to wear... LOL, all very important decisions.
It's so much fun to go to, I can't even stand it! This year, I'm attending and then hopefully blogging (over on YALSA's the HUB) about the Children's Author Breakfast...with Octavia Spencer, Mary Pope Osborne, Rick Riordan (*squee!) and VERONICA ROTH *jumps up and down flailing* I am beyond excited to see two of my favorite authors speak. There are a bunch of other authors doing great signings when I'll be there and I love to just stop by the different booths to check out what's what.
This past year or so I've been totally wrapped up in a lot of professional reading and unfortunately, that's left me a little burnt out. So, my goal this year at BEA is just to get happily wrapped up in the swell of reading joy. To rediscover my love of all things bookish... and to let the stress fade away. I want to pick up books based solely on my gut reaction, not "needing" to read it because it's the next up and coming thing. I want to be swayed by a cover, an author's enthusiasm, my friends' gushing...everything.
I want to remember my annual "Book Christmas" love.
I hope to see as many of my blogger, librarian, and author friends as possible. It's one day to cram in a ton of chatting, gushing, and book swapping, but I can't wait to do it all! In case we haven't met in real life yet, here's a small pic of me.
Hopefully we can bump into each other and say "hi!" See you next week!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Please Ignore Vera Dietz
by A. S. King
Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to? (Description from Amazon.com)
Okay, I give you this review full of trepidation. Why, you ask? Well, not only have I been recommended A.S. King's books by, well, just about every librarian I know, but this book in particular has been lauded over and over. It won a Printz Honor and has made COUNTLESS award nomination lists. One of my librarian friends (Heather, you know who you are!) actually grew up with A.S. King and has been hounding me because I'd never read any of her books.
So, what's the problem? ...the book didn't really do it for me. *braces for shouting and slapping*
I liked it...mostly, but I in no way experienced the deep love that I had been anticipating. I have no idea of that's in part due to the high bar I set for the book or because I listened to it on audio, so couldn't completely immerse myself in Vera in the fifteen minutes here and there that I was listening... I just didn't get it.
I found Vera to be a very real and fully formed character. I liked the storyline and thought that it was very thoughtful...but I was never "wowed."
I am hoping to pick up ASK THE PASSENGERS soon. I've heard again that this is a stellar book, so hopefully that one will hit me the right way. If not, I guess it may be that A.S. King's books aren't for me. We'll have to see...
Full disclosure: Audio book borrowed from my Library
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
by Marcus Sedgwick
Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.
An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? (Description from Amazon.com)
I've never read anything of Sedgwick's before, but I'd heard nothing but good things, and now, I'm not surprised. His writing is...sophisticated? I'm not sure if that's exactly what I mean, but this book was definitely intricate and beautifully dark. In fact, while I was reading, I kept thinking that this book is what I usually define as a "YA/A crossover" book...one that is meant for the oldest, most sophisticated teen readers and for adult readers.
I really enjoyed this book, but it read "adult" to me themewise. I loved the intertwining stories of the reincarnated characters. I thought that the theme of sacrifice was really well done and things were revealed at just the right points in the stories. I would definitely recommend this book, though, not to the audience I had originally expected.
Full disclosure: Borrowed through interlibrary loan