Monday, June 29, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a great YA novel. I saw quite a few of my students reading it so decided to buy it when I was at a Barnes & Noble last week.

I love the format. It's basically a series of 13 audio tapes narrated by a junior in high school who commits suicide. She sends the tapes to the first person she blames with the instructions to pass them on to the next person on the list, etc.

But, there is another narrator. Clay Jensen is on the list and his story is interwoven with the story on the audio tapes. What results is a mysterious trip into the last few weeks of Hannah's life and the events that led her to take her own life.

The ending is perfect, too!

All teenagers should be required to read this book!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back from Florida

We had a great vacation using our retirement home in Florida. In two more years we'll be there for seven months each year. It was even hotter than usual last week but we rented a boat for four days and that made it bearable.

Our friends, Dottie and Stan, went with us and Dottie and I took off without the guys one day and found a Barnes & Noble where I bought a magazine on DSLR photography, a package of multi-colored stationery, a book of poetry called Ballistics by Billy Collins, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, a YA novel.

I read Cry Mercy all the way down in the plane and at the airport. This is the second in a series; I didn't read the first one but I don't think that matters because each one centers on different characters who work at Mercy House, which is an organization set up to find missing persons. In this one, their new investigator, Emme, is tryng to find a missing college student but she has secrets of her own. Namely, her name isn't Emme and she's hiding from the father of her adopted daughter. This was a quick and enjoyable read.

For a change of pace, I read this book of poetry by Alison Townsend. It was so mesmerizing! She writes about very personal subjects and the poems are easy to understand on a first reading but open like flowers on a second reading.

This is another paperback I picked up for our vacation. This one is also part of a series and I haven't read the beginning ones but, again, it didn't matter. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are private investigators looking into the death of a matematician that took place on CIA-owned land. What had the victim discovered there and what secret had he shared with his eleven-year-old autistic genius daughter? I finished this one yesterday at the beach back up here in Maine.

The morning after we went to the bookstore, I woke up early and took this book of poetry outside on the porch to read it while the sun rose. I love Billy Collins. Like one of the characters in 10 Things I Hate About You says about Shakespeare, "We're involved." I really like his poetry that much!

And this volume is no exception. It hits with the velocity of a bullet and your brain explodes with images and truths. I'll definitely be rereading this one several times.

It's nice to be back in our summer home. It's a fifth-wheel camper in a campground about a mile and a half from the beach and I hop on my bicycle almost every day and pedal there. Doesn't get much better than that!

Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Plum Spooky and Intent to Kill

It poured all day today in Maine! But I didn't mind. Kylie was with us and it gave me a chance to play and read with her.

Every once in a while I have to have a dose of Stephanie and the odd balls around her.

This was just a nice diversion that made me chuckle all the way through.

I'm almost done this one and loving it. Ryan James (My dad's name was James Ryan!) is just about to make it big in the major leagues of baseball, when his wife is killed in an automobile accident. How he handles it and searches for her killer makes for a story I don't want to stop reading but I also don't want to finish. Such a dilemma!

School gets done on Tuesday then we are going to Florida for a week to use the house we built for our retirement (in two more years!) a few years ago. I love flying because I just sit and read. After that we'll be in Maine until the end of August.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Red Leaves and Look Again

This book was so good! It is narrated by Eric Moore whose 15-year-old son is suspected of abducting and killing the eight-year-old he was babysitting. It is disturbing and hard to read but I couldn't put it down. The writing is wonderful and the characters are human.

I'll be looking for more books by this author!

Two good books in one week. Whoo!

This is another one that grabbed hold and wouldn't let go until the last page. Ellen Gleeson notices that a "Have you seen this child?" flyer in the mail looks an awful lot like her adopted son, Will.

The more she looks into it, the more convinced she becomes and the higher the danger to her son and herself.