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Amanda’s review roundup

In addition to blogging here at TLT, I have my own blog, too. At Cite Something, I blog primarily about what I’ve read and can’t wait to read. Every month I’ll be sharing a snippet of some of my reviews with you. Follow the links at the end of the reviews to head on over to Cite Something for the full review. All brief summaries from WorldCat. Read some of these titles? Tell us what you think in the comments or over on Twitter (@TLT16 for all of us and I’m @CiteSomething).

 

Wildlife by Fiona Wood

ISBN-13: 9780316242097

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication date: 9/16/2014

Summary: 

Two sixteen-year-old girls in Australia come together at an outdoor semester of school, before university–one thinking about boys and growing up, the other about death and grief, but somehow they must help each other to find themselves.

From my review:

Here’s a version of the plot: some teenagers go into the woods and act like teenagers. You’re in, right? Because you just know that plenty of interesting things will happen. This is another book where the characters completely carry the small plot. Pretty much every emotion a person could feel is wrapped up in the weeks these characters spend in the wilderness. Another version of the plot could be: some teenagers discover that love, sex, friendship, and grief are complicated beasts. (See entire review here)

 

Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes 

ISBN-13: 9780062313645

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date: 9/2/2014

Summary:

The third most popular girl in school’s choice between the hottest boy in town and a lonely but romantic mistfit ends in tragedy and self-realizaition.

From my review:

This one didn’t work for me. That said, I just looked online at some reviews and see that I am in the minority with that opinion. I set it down twice and considered DNFing it, because my TBR pile is towering and did I really want to continue with a book that I was struggling to get into? I’m really curious to hear from someone why they may have liked it. The potential for this one was great—a capable and clever writer had an interesting premise, but the execution fell completely flat for me. (See entire review here)

 

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

ISBN-13: 9780385376525

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Publication date: 7/22/2014

Summary:

Relates the adventures of a family with two fathers, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets as they make their way through a school year, Kindergarten through sixth grade, and deal with a grumpy new neighbor.

From my review:

Mr. Nelson, the crotchety neighbor, can’t stand the Fletchers. They’re always kicking balls into his yard or being too loud. Me? I’d LOVE to live next to the family Fletcher. One of the common problems with a large cast of characters, particularly in a family, is that often they blend together. You don’t need to worry about that here. Sam, Jax, Eli, and Frog are distinctive and memorable characters. Their interests are wide-ranging, helping them stand out even further. The best thing about the characters is the diversity. The boys are white, African-American, and Indian. They are Jewish, Christian, and Hindu. They celebrate a variety of religious holidays. The boys have two dads and it is never once a “thing,” as in there isn’t any weirdness or judging going on. (See entire review here)

 

God Loves Hair by Vivek Shraya and Juliana Neufeld 

ISBN-13: 9781551525433

Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press, Limited

Publication date: 9/9/2014

Summary:

A story collection that celebrates racial, sexual, and religious diversity.

From my review: 

This slight volume is an important addition to the field of LGBTQ YA books. It’s far too infrequently that we see diverse characters in these stories, so Shraya’s Indian and Hindu narrator is especially refreshing. Told with raw honesty, these bits and pieces of one boy’s life make for an affecting look at sexuality, families, culture, shame, and acceptance. (See entire review here)

 

Words and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett

ISBN-13: 9780738740294

Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Publication date: 9/8/2014

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Anna O’Mally is a gifted writer but for the past year, since her beloved uncle Joe died, she has been wrapped in grief that seems impenetrable until a strange email suggests she did not know Joe as well as she thought–and he was not the saint she believed he was.

From my review: 

I was absolutely blown away by this book. Here are some places I cried while reading it: my kitchen table, my bedroom, my car, and the pharmacy. Anna’s uncle Joe died last year, at age 19. Joe was more like a brother to Anna (who is 17), as his parents died when he was a toddler and Anna’s family (her father is Joe’s brother) raised him. Early on Anna tells the reader that “Joe is a dead person because of me.” We see that Anna carries some secret and heavy guilt about Joe’s death, but we don’t understand why for a very long time. Now that her one year mourning period is up (one year seeming like enough time to shut down and not deal, according to her parents and her therapists), Anna is supposed to try to get back to normal. It’s either that or be shipped off to Hell–no really, Hell, Michigan–to a boarding school for “the afflicted, suicidal, and otherwise broken tween and teenage souls.” (See entire review here)

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  1. […] week at Teen Librarian Toolbox, I rounded up some of the reviews I’ve posted recently on Cite Something. Find out what I thought of books by Fiona Wood, Andrea […]

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