Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

“The views expressed are of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective institutions.”

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Not Exactly a Love Story

High School Fiction
G/A. Couloumbis, Audrey. Not Exactly a Love Story. Random House, 2012. 288 p. 9780375867835 $16.99           

Vinnie's parents are getting divorced and his mother has married his High School gym teacher. They have moved to Long Island right next door to Patsy, the hottest girl in school. Vinnie immediately develops a crush and tries to call her. What starts out as a series of awkward hang-up calls turns into an obscene phone call. The calls continue every night at midnight where Vinnie portrays himself as the smooth-talking Vincenzo. As they both open up, Vinnie realizes he needs to reveal himself but will Patsy still like him?

This book is set in the 1970s before Caller ID, cell phones and Facebook but teens still deal with the same issues of first love, bullying and abusive relationships.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Janie Face to Face

General YA Fiction
F/A. Cooney, Caroline B. Janie Face to Face. Random House. 2013. 345 p. 9780385742061 $17.99 

The Face on the Milk Carton was a favorite of mine as a young teen but this ending is just too happily ever after. The writing is repetitive and the characters are flat. The addition of current technology and social networking is shoehorned in. Janie/Jennie is still conflicted about which parents she should spend more time with. The only interesting part is seeing into the mind of her kidnapper, Hannah, as she plots her revenge on the girl she believes stole her parents and had the easy life she should have had. Only hardcore Janie fans will read this.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Hallowed Ones

G/M  Bickle, Laura.  The Hallowed Ones.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.  311p.  978-0-547-85926-2.  8.99.

Katie is looking forward to Rumspringa. She can’t wait to explore the world outside of her small Amish community. What she doesn’t know is that something has gone terribly wrong outside the fence and life will never be the same for anyone. When she finds a hurt young man by the fence she brings him inside, knowing that the Elders would not approve. But with his knowledge and help she learns about what is happening outside and how to deal with it. There are definitely some gory, cringe worthy moments in this twist on vampires, but it’s an original tale worth reading. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

Summer of the Mariposas

General YA Fiction

VG/A. McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. Summer of the Mariposas. Lee and Low, 2012. 352 p. 9781600609008 $19.95

Odilia and her four sisters have been struggling since their father left to pursue his music career. Their mom works long hours at a restaurant to support them. When they find a dead man by the creek with a photo of his family in his wallet, they are determined to reunite them in Mexico. With La Llorona serving as Odilia’s guide, the girls set off on an adventure that combines elements of Aztec mythology with Homer’s Odyssey.

Sarah Mae Harper, CoLAPL- AC Bilbrew