Monday, June 22, 2015

BOOKS: Young Adult Titles

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

For no good reason, this one took a while to read, but it was easy to pick up and get right back into the book. The narrator had a strong voice, 16 year old DJ who is looking after the farm, and peace-making with her parents and brothers, and having teen-age angst. She agrees to 'train' the rival quarterback before the season, but it only serves to make her realize she wants to play football too. For an easy to read, quick novel, there are lots of topics dealt with here, including a teenager coming out, teenagers dealing with adult problems, and realizing your parents are people too. Pretty good read, easy to recommend.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (audiobook) book 2 of 3 in the Divergent series

The factions are falling apart; the dystopian world not working out; surprise! Tris and Four are dealing with their divergent qualities, their parents, and betrayers all around. Because I am listening, I am not as into the characters as I probably might be, but it is a simple divergence (ha!) and I'm planning to listen to the final in the trilogy this summer. It's no Harry Potter or Hunger Games, but it's a good teenage dystopian series.

The Dead & the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
A number of years ago, I read Life as We Knew It, and found it a very compelling read. It was just reasonable enough to be scary and realistic future world building. Pfeffer writes realistic characters that are easy to cheer for. (I confess, I spent months after the last book imagining how I would deal with a disaster like this - how would I get food? would I survive? would I think of the things I'd need to get for my family? Should I have a wood stove?) I took a long time to get to this book, dealing with my usual trepidation - would this next book be as good as the first? And it is. This isn't so much a sequel as a companion book. At the same time as Miranda in Pennsylvania (Life As We Knew It) is dealing with the natural effects of an asteroid hitting the moon, Alex is dealing with the same problem in New York City in The Dead And the Gone. Alex's parents are both away from home when the disaster strikes, and Alex is left to look after his two younger sisters. The realism of these books is what makes them so scary and tragic and Pfeffer writes great stories. I waited seven years between books, and both books were fabulous. There is a third book, where Alex and Miranda meet up, This World We Live In, and I think it may be part of my summer reading.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl (audiobook)

YA Sync 2015 is back! Two free audiobooks each week, pairing a classic and a newer young adult book. This was the first book I listened to, and it was a ridiculous, fun mess. [This was paired with Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier which was unavailable in Canada, to my extreme disappointment!] Narrated by a 16 year old Ethan, there are witches and vampires, and southern history (Confederate flag type history) and he is the perfect first boyfriend!. The plot is crazy and predictable but still it was a blast to listen to. This is book one of six in The Castor Chronicles (six?) and while I have no intention of seeking out any more in the series or watching the movie, it was still enjoyable enough. The narration was perfectly Southern and dramatic.