Archive for July, 2009

July 30, 2009

I’d Buy It.

Gooey Decimal System”  would be made of awesome! I’ll definitely join the cause.

New Yorker article here.

Thanks to my friend Gabby for alerting me.

July 28, 2009

Books I’m Excited About

I was at my public library today. It was busy, which is awesome because I love my library and want to see them busy, but bad for me because I usually have the teen section to myself because of the academic calendar. I managed to grab the following  titles by authors I have been meaning to read:

Keys to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
Dramarama by E. Lockhart
and…a book by an author who I’d never heard of before:  All We Know of Love by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Can’t wait to get reading ! I’m a bit bogged down by class work right now but I’m definitely making time…and it is almost time for my two-week vacation, which will bring tons of reading time. And lots(lots!) of joy.

July 28, 2009

Book Review: Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

When I started this one, I actually put it down for a couple weeks. The first few pages were engaging but my mind kept wandering. When I picked it back up, after reading Ms. Scott’s Love You, Hate You, Miss You,  I couldn’t put it down again, and then was sad when the book was done.

Hannah’s parents embarrass her(which seems to be a theme in the books I’m reading lately…).  Her father, Jackson James, is the star of a reality show about himself & his “special girls” and her mother, Candy Madison(who was one of Jackson’s girls) starred in a risque commercial and now hosts her own internet website, where she holds chats in her nightgowns.
Hannah basically wants to go unnoticed and is counting the days until college by working at a fast food place. She thinks Josh is the perfect boy for her…but there’s another boy, Finn,  she just thinks is annoying. Why can’t she stop thinking about him, then?

My initial impression was, as I said, a little lackluster. There are genuine, funny moments between Hannah and her one friend, Teagan, and between Hannah and the boys she works with/has crushes on.

The premise of the book is really good but Hannah just didn’t grab me at first the way Kate did in Perfect You or Dani did in Stealing Heaven. They are all similar in one respect: slightly sarcastic (definitely more than slightly in Dani’s case) girls who go unnoticed whether they want to or not.  Hannah felt like a re-tread in some respects and actually made me want to re-visit Kate and Dani.

However, somewhere toward the latter half of the book, I started to feel for Hannah and her situation. Her parents are both self-absorbed and don’t seem to understand that she needs them.  Plus, there’s Finn, who is one of Ms. Scott’s best creations. He’s cute, funny, off-beat and there for Hannah when she needs him most and how can you go wrong with that? What I took away from Something, Maybe is this: Hannah learned that she can be herself, independent of her parents and that if the world judges her based on them, that’s the world’s problem.

If you’ve liked/loved, as I did, Elizabeth Scott’s other books, Bloom, Perfect You, and Stealing Heaven, I think you’ll like this one.

July 24, 2009

Book Review: The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart

My favorite teen vegetarian houseboat dweller is back. The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart is the third in a series of books about Ruby Oliver.  I like Ruby Oliver. She’s fun, funny, smart, boy-crazy and a little exasperating at times. She is easily embarrassed by her parents and is hyperverbal, quick to speak her mind, whether for better or worse.

Ruby is still Ruby, seeing Dr. Z in therapy sessions, having panic attacks, working at the zoo. She’s still figuring out how to get by in high school, be friends with both boys and girls, and maintain her dignity, often with disastrous and hilarious consequences. One can draw a comparison to Jessica Darling, Megan McCafferty’s character, but I think Ruby’s a little kinder to people and more patient than Jessica is.

With such chapter titles as “I Uncover the Secret Mental Health of Hair Bands” and “I Fight the Tyranny of Cute,” Ms Lockhart imbues Ruby  & the Tate Prep universe with humor & warmth, even when high school can be a cold place.  The novels take on a sort-of diary-style narration to great success. All the characters are engaging and I found myself reading quickly & laughing often.

At the start of the series, Ruby was friendless – mostly due to the fact that her boyfriend dumped her to date her best friend, Kim. Now she has a few friends, has a tenuous truce with Kim, and is trying to fight a crush on Noel, whom her friend Nora likes. Through an assignment that Dr. Z gives her, Ruby comes to learn some important lessons about friendship and relationships.

All in all, I really liked this installment of the Ruby Oliver series.  It has been satisfying and fun to read about Ruby & her world. And I’m very excited that E. Lockhart is working on a fourth and final book!

Check out E. Lockhart’s blog for more information – and check out her other novels.

Ruby Oliver Novels:
The Boyfriend List*
The Boy Book

*My first exposure to E. Lockhart was listening to The Boyfriend List on audiobook. It was  really fun. I actually wanted to listen to The Boy Book as well, but couldn’t find it on my library shelves, so I settled for the hardcover. If you have access to it, I’d highly recommend listening to it.