Friday, September 3, 2010 short.

Okay...I have read five books and have 95 left!  There was a football game last night, so no reading was done:(  Here are my five....

Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman
Teen sisters, Rosie and Skate, are left to deal with things when their alcoholic father goes to jail.  Rosie visits him often and wants to believe that he can be a better father.  Skate has given up on her dad and pinned her hopes on a future with her boyfriend.  Heartbreak, betrayal, and loss are all evident in the lives of these sisters, but they rely on each other and find that they can manage.  I have never before describe a book as "quiet," but that is the first word that comes to mind.  The struggles of the girls are told simply and even their actions, when faced with adversity, are calm and deliberate.  This is an enjoyable and quick teen read.

                                     Recommended for: Teen girls who like romance and drama (i.e. Nicholas Sparks)
                                     Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
I LOVED this novella!  Short and favorite.  This novella explores the life of newborn vampire Bree Tanner.  Readers will get a sense of what it is like on the dark side and how powerful the scent of blood is for the young vampires.  Bree explains the confusion she feels when the newbies are trained for the fight against the Cullens and how she reacts to the kindness after they find her in the forest.  I can only hope Ms. Meyer publishes more of these....

Recommended for:  Obviously, Twilight fans, but also those reluctant to delve into the series...this may make for even more book lovers!
Rating: 4.5 stars

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small
I have to admit...I am not a fan of graphic novels.  I buy them for my students, but have never read them myself.  This novel has received glowing reviews, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  David Small shares his childhood memories filled with demanding, gruff parents and a short battle with cancer.  Through the pictures and the text, the reader can be prepared to really feel for Mr. Small.  I wanted to pick his little-boy self up and give him a hug when I saw how he was treated as a child.  This is a very quick read that many readers will enjoy.

                                     Recommended for: Empathetic teens and those who love graphic novels
                                     Rating: 4 stars

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is the selection for my teen book club this month.  It was recommended to me by a colleague last year and I have to say that I truly enjoyed reading it.  I tend to be more of an action/fantasy gal, but this realistic fiction book stood out as one of the better ones I have read.  Unpopular high school senior, Tyler Miller, gets into some trouble and is forced to spend his summer doing hard labor.  The result is a new, stronger Tyler Miller.  He begins to get some attention from the school beauty, Bethany.  After a night at a wild party, Tyler is accused of doing some bad things...This novel does a great job illustrating what it is like in high school as well as what it is like having a dysfunctional family.  The reader will see how easily a story can get twisted...
                                     Recommended for: all teens
                                     Rating: 4 stars

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Seventeen-year-old Johnny is battling some serious monsters.  He is currently in rehab and although he knows he is an alcoholic, he is not sure what led him to this place.  His mind refuses to let him relive a traumatic event from his recent past, yet his therapist and small-group peers are forcing him to remember.  Johnny's journey is not unique, but the circumstances which led him to rehab are.  An interesting read...

Recommended for: Teens who can handle controversial issues
Rating: 4 stars

Now...I am going to enjoy my Labor Day weekend with my family and hopefully finish a few books.  On the list: Mockingjay (I'm so excited!), Going Bovine, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret.