Sarah Dessen’s The Moon and More


Jorie’s Store – The Moon and More By Sarah Dessen

 
Title and Author(s):  Sarah Dessen’s The Moon and More
Release Date: June 04, 2013

Publisher:
ISBN: 0670785601

Source: Harris County Public Library

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Reasons for Reading: It’s Sarah Dessen’s latest book – need I saw more? It’s even set in the beach town of Colby.

Summary: In the last summer before college, Colby native Emaline has her future set for her. She has Luke, the perfect high school sweetheart, a full-ride at a state school, a loving if not dysfunctional family, and a ticket out of Colby. Emaline thinks she’ll be able to kick back and relax before driving off to college. Soon, those plans change when her mostly absentee biological father and half-brother come in for the summer. Also, a cultured, sophisticated college guy named Theo muddles things on the Luke front. Now, Emaline faces the pulls of familiar Colby and the draw of something new. She wants it all but she must decide what she wants most.

One Thing I Learned from reading this book: I think I want to try a shrimp burger!

What I Liked: Emaline’s best friends, Morris and Daisy, were very interesting. Their appearance in the story was a very pleasant surprise. As always, characters from other Dessen books resurface – Clyde, Auden, Heidi, Maggie, and Colie Sparks!

What I Disliked: There was too much going on in this book. I think Morris and Daisy could’ve had their own book (hint, hint Ms. Dessen!)

RR - Yellow  Rainbow Rating: Yellow – Parental Guidance for Kids Under 13

Song: Cruel Summer – Bananarama (Official Promo Video) High Quality

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Sarah Dessen’s Infinity


Infinity (Pocket Money Puffin) by Sarah Dessen | LibraryThing

(Written 19 January 2013)

Dessen, S. (2010). Infinity. London: Puffin. 9780141330778

Title and Author(s): Infinity by Sarah Dessen
Release Date:
May 6, 2010
Publisher:
Pocket Money Puffin
ISBN: 0743496728 
Pages: 33
Source: Inter-Library Loan (ILL)

Reasons for Reading: Going through Sarah Dessen withdrawals, I happened to see the title Infinity. When I saw that I could request the book through Inter-Library Loan, I did so.

Summary: A nameless heroine talks of going in circles. She now faces two daunting teen rites of passages. She can now drive. Will she be like her father and take on the town roundabout that long ago scared her mother? Also, Anthony, her boyfriend of six months, wants to make a home run. So, our heroine must decide when she wants to stop and when she wants to go on these endless lines.

One Thing I Learned from reading Sarah Dessen’s Infinity: This book was written in “British English” which made me wonder if Dessen wrote it that way or that the editor(s) added the extra “u” to certain words. 🙂

What I Liked: I liked that Dessen quickly drew me into the story. This sympathetic teenage girl faces these challenges. Also, she loves her mother even if she thinks the woman’s been silly about avoiding the roundabout. She’s sympathetic and likeable.

What I Disliked: This was way too short! I wanted to know more about the narrator. A name would have been most excellent! Come on, the silly boyfriend gets a name but she doesn’t? I also missed the references to characters from other Dessen books.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Make New Friends – YouTube

Setting : Unnamed College Town (Lakeview?)

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Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer’s Between the Lines


Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer | LibraryThing

Picoult, J., & Leer, S. . (2012). Between the lines. New York: Simon Pulse/Emily Bestler Books/Atria. 9781451635751

Reasons for Reading: I attended the American Library Association Annual Conference last summer where I saw authors Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. This mother and daughter team wrote a book called Between the Lines which sounded very different from any other Picoult book I knew. When I returned to Houston, my mom and I requested this book from HCPL.

Summary: Quiet high school loner Delilah would rather read than contend with her fellow students. This is how she becomes immersed in the fairy tale “Between the Lines.” Delilah falls in love with the valiant hero, Prince Oliver. It’s as though he’s real!

Then, Prince Oliver DOES speak to Delilah. He’s a teenage actor confined to a storybook. More than anything, Prince Oliver wants to escape and live in the very real world of living, breathing love  – Delilah.  

So, these two work together so they can exist in the same world.

 What I Liked: The concept was awesomely original! I liked reading the pieces of “Between the Lines” as well as the perspectives of Delilah and Prince Oliver.  I appreciated the collaboration of the authors as well as the characters within the book. Lastly, the illustrations were beautiful.

What I Disliked: Without spoiling the end, I felt it was a little rushed. On the whole, I was satisfied with the conclusion but I found it bittersweet.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah” – YouTube

Places : United States

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Siobhan Vivian’s The List


The List by Siobhan Vivian | LibraryThing

Vivian, S. (2012). The list. New York: PUSH. 9780545169172

Reasons for Reading: When perusing other bloggers’ Top Ten Tuesday lists, I stumbled upon Siobhan Vivian’s The List. The conflict described appealed to me so much that I sought the title at my library. When I found the book online, I requested in via HCPL.

Summary: Every year, some anonymous soul posts The List all over Mount Washington High during Homecoming Week. The List shares the names of eight girls, two from each grade – the prettiest and the ugliest. As the summary inside the book says:

ABBY’S joy at being named to the list is clouded by her sister’s resentment.

DANIELLE worries about how her boyfriend will take the news.

LAUREN is a homeschooled girl blindsided by her instant popularity.

CANDACE isn’t ugly, not even close, so it must be a mistake.

BRIDGET knows her summer transformation is nothing to celebrate.

SARAH has always rebelled against traditional standards of beauty, and she decides to take her mutiny to the next level.

And MARGO and JENNIFER, ex-best friends who haven’t spoken in years, are forced to confront why their relationship ended.

These eight girls struggle throughout the book, confronting their social stature as defined in print in eight different ways. While written in third person, the reader becomes privy to the thoughts of these eight girls.

What I Liked: The mystery of who was posting The List compelled me to read this so quickly I nearly suffered paper cuts. While I figured out the culprit well before I hit the back cover, I wanted to know the motives. Author Vivian formed intriguing characters and dealt with true issues such as: popularity, bullying, eating disorders, and self-esteem. I cared about some of these girls, especially Lauren and Danielle.

What I Disliked: The ending (which will remain unspoiled by this reviewer) left me dissatisfied. I wondered if this was the birth of the series as there were some thread left looser than I would’ve desired. Also, eight different characters was at least four too many characters in my opinion. The author could’ve pleased me by focusing on the story of ex-best friends Margo and Jennifer. Lastly, I sure didn’t like most of the parents featured in this book. Dishonorable mention goes to Abby’s parents, Lauren’s mother, and Candace’s mother.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved – YouTube

Setting: United States

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Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby


This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen | LibraryThing

Dessen, S. (2002). This lullaby: A novel. New York: Viking. 9781101175613

Reasons for Reading: When I discovered Sarah Dessen after seeing How to Deal back in 2005, I read all of her published books. I’ve kept an eye out for her books as they hit the bookstores and request them at the library. I read This Lullaby during this period. During Summer 2012, thanks to the wonderful Friends of Freeman Library’s support, I attended the American Library Association (ALA) Conference and entered my name into many drawings. I became the lucky owner of a Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet (compliments of ALA, Ebsco, and Barnes & Noble. Then, I perused  HCPL’s Digital Media Catalog and saw Dessen’s This Lullaby available for checkout. Thus, I reread it on my brand new Nook.

Summary:  Remy Starr gained much from her parents. From her late father, she was honored in the pop hit “This Lullaby” which she detests. She has also learned from her mother’s mistakes. As Remy plans her mother’s wedding to husband number five, she’s also plotting a clean break from her current boyfriend before she heads to Stanford University in the fall. Remy lives by the creed that relationships should be short-lived. As she pines for a fun last summer before college with her friends Jess, Lissa, and Chloe, sloppy musician Dexter doggedly pursues Remy. He’s sloppy, clumsy, and a musician – definitely not Remy’s Mr. Right. So, why can’t she get rid of this guy?

What I Liked: I liked the rich, dimensional characters Dessen creates. Imagining Dexter’s band, The Truth Squad, was simple. Even some of the over the top character such as Remy’s mother, romance novelist Barbara Starr, seemed natural. Also, it was nice getting to see Scarlett Thomas from Dessen’s Someone Like You.

What I Disliked: Both times I read This Lullaby, I had a hard time warming up to Remy. I thought she was a bit rough on people in general. Also, she was cynical enough to make me flinch. However, I appreciated her realizations by the end of the book.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Shawn Mullins – Lullaby – YouTube

Setting : Lakeview North Carolina, Palo Alto California

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Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez’s Haters


Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez | LibraryThing

Valdes-Rodriguez, A., & Parker, J. (2006). Haters. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books. 9781428122031

Reasons for Reading Right before Easter break, I needed a short audiobook to keep me company on my way home from work. That’s when I noticed Haters on the shelf in the Teen Zone. So, I checked it out from HCPL.

Summary High schooler Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta (“Paski”) lives with her graphic artist father in Taos, New Mexico. Nearby lives her grandma, a well-to-do psychic who communicates with the dead. Paski rides her mountain bike, hangs out with her best friend, and just began dating the cutest guy. Then, her dad drops the bomb; Hollywood picked up his graphic novels for movies and they’re moving to California. This news makes Paski miserable. Adding to her agony, Paski falls for the hottest guy at her new school, Chris Cabrera. He just happens to date Jessica Nguyen, the reigning queen of the Haters. To top it off, Paski must also deal with her own psychic abilities.

What I Liked: The fact that this was Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez’s first young adult novel left me amazed. She created identifiable characters, particularly Paski, and such a rich understanding of teen life. I completely believed the portrayal of her dad, too.

What I Disliked I absolutely loathe “abridgements.” Once I realized the audio happened to be such, I asked myself if I had truly read the book. Then, I requested the print edition and found several details didn’t make it onto the CDs. Seriously, abridged books should be illegal.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: GWEN STEFANI – RICH GIRL VIDEO – OFFICIAL – YouTube

Setting : Taos New Mexico, Orange County California

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Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist


Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn | LibraryThing

Cohn, R., & Levithan, D. (2006). Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist. New York: Knopf. 9780375835315

Reasons for Reading : Okay, as a music lover, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to read a book about other music lovers. I requested Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist through HCPL.

Summary : Nick sees his ex-girlfriend heading his way at a concert. He turns to the girl next to him, Norah, and asks her “Will you be my girlfriend for the next five minutes?” Thus, the adventure of Nick and Norah begins.

What I Liked : The idea of a five minute relationship has potential for a great novel. Mostly, Cohn and Levithan navigated this concept well.

I appreciated how Cohn wrote from Norah’s point of view while Levithan handled Nick’s angle. Also, I liked that Cohn wrote the part of the female character and left the male character to Levithan.

It was cool seeing how Nick’s bandmate came through for him, too.

What I Disliked :  While I know a few things about music, I barely knew of the existence of “queer core.” Also, I didn’t like the dig at Weezer.

I doubt Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist would be good for the less mature teenager. There’s lots of cussing (i.e. the name of Nick’s band) and sexual situations.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: (Where’s Fluffy Music) – Last Words – YouTube

Setting : New York City

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