Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Almost forgot I read this one before a couple of others. The reason I forgot is because it wasn't available on Kindle and I've already passed it on to a friend. Out of sight, out of mind..

Anyway, I gulped it in two days. Devin, recovering from his first love, takes a summer job in North Carolina working at an amusement park. There he meets people who will change his life.

I liked it! It wasn't creepy. There is a nice mystery. The characters are well drawn. Devin attends UNH and that's the college I graduated from. He lives in Maine, not far from our summer home. He's about my age. Just a good, entertaining read.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mistress, Orphan Train, and Eleanor and Park

Yeah, yeah, I know, another James Patterson novel. But, dammit, they are just so readable! At first, I didn't think I was going to like this one. The main character is kind of weird because he keeps spouting all this presidential and movie trivia.

Then, he grew on me and by fifty pages in or so, I was hooked. Ben is obsessed with Diana before she falls from her sixth floor balcony. After her death, he is even more determined to find out as much as he can about her life and death.

The usual formula but an engaging hero. Good book!

And, then, this one! OMG! So good! Catherine Baker Kline mixes a troubled teenage girl in modern day Maine with a young orphan in the late 1920s and makes it work.

Molly has been in and out of foster homes for years. When she has to perform community service, she meets Vivian, an elderly woman who has her past stored away in her attic. While Molly organizes all the boxes, Vivian narrates the story of her ordeal as an orphan forced to ride the Orphan Train to the Midwest.

They learn and change with each other. Loved it!

I don't know why I've been reading so many YA novels this summer but they've all been great! Interesting and unique characters, poetic writing, and surprising plots.

This one is a love story but not your usual romantic one. Eleanor is overweight and dirt poor. She tries to hide all this behind outrageous outfits and a smart mouth.

Park is a short Korean/American who reluctantly let's Eleanor sit next to him on the school bus. Slowly, they become friends. There's a lot more to this book. I took it to the beach with me yesterday and stayed until I finished....with tears running down my cheeks.

I used to read YA novels so I could recommend them to my students; now, I read them because I just like them!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


This book is amazing! It's about August Pullman, Auggie for short. He was born with major facial deformities and has been homeschooled through fourth grade because of all the surgeries he's had to endure. But, the doctors have done just about all they can for now, so Auggie's parents decide it's time for him to attend regular school.

He's not happy about it. He knows he'll be bullied. How much can a kid like him take?

Told through Auggie's voice and the voices of different people around him, this book will have you cheering for this kind-hearted kid. I loved it!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Lock Artist

A friend gave me a book calendar and I can't tell you how many good books I've read that were recommended on it. This was one of them. We find out immediately that Michael is in jail, that he doesn't talk, and that something really awful happened to him when he was eight.

He decides to write about his life and alternates between his early life and his life of crime. He has two gifts: he can unlock anything and he's a decent artist. He's also a decent person.

I gulped it in two days!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility and The Fort

I love a good YA novel and this one fit the bill. Nastya has just moved in with her aunt and is attending a new school. Something really horrible happened in her hometown and she's hoping dressing like a hooker and being mean will keep everyone away from her by not talking. She doesn't want any involvement with people and hates everyone....except Josh, who is also a loner. The two strike up an unusual friendship that helps them both recover from traumatic events in their lives.

If I were still teaching, I'd definitely recommend this one to my students.

This is another YA novel that reads like an adult book. It involves three twelve-year-olds who witness an abduction. No one believes them, though, so they must try to find the missing girl by themselves. The boys are believable, the parents, too. I really liked it!