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Monday, November 4, 2013

Things I've Read Recently (8)

As a reminder, Things I've Read Recently is a post series I do of mini-reviews, basically, of either books I don't have enough for a full post on or that I need to return to the library because they're overdue and I'm already having library card issues or whatever reasons.

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

Published: 1981 by HarperCollins
Genre: MG/Children's Poetry
Page Count: 169 in my copy
Part of a series: No.
Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound

Summary (from goodreads): Here in the attic of Shel Silverstein you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

From the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up, here is another wondrous book of poems and drawings.

Thoughts: This is another one I got for the kid I baby-sit and ended up reading myself. They're just amazing books. I think this one, Falling Up, and Where the Sidewalk Ends would be an amazing set to buy as a gift for the kid in your life (hey, Christmas is coming). I think they'd really appeal to reluctant readers because the actual poems are smaller so it's not so daunting. The pictures are great, too. Those three would also be quite interesting as a schooling unit, I think.

Don't Bump the Glump! and Other Fantasies by Shel Silverstein

Published: Originally in 1964, by HarperCollins
Genre: MG/Childrens' Poetry
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 64 according to goodreads and there aren't page numbers in the book so we'll go with that!
Part of a series? Nope.
Amazon / Book Depository

Summary (from goodreads): It's a zoo in here!

Have you ever...
Seen a Gritchen in your kitchen?
Dared to dance with the One-Legged Zantz?
Declined to dine with the Glub-Toothed Sline?

You haven't? Well then, step inside—but only if you are ready to be amazed, tickled, astonished and entertained by this most unusual bestiary of silly and scary creatures.

Thoughts: This actually isn't my favourite Silverstein book. I like the coloured pictures. I think it works well for this collection, although I am fond of the black and white illustrations of the other books. I believe they are coloured with watercolours and it's very pretty. I also think kids who liked the format of On Beyond Zebra! by Dr. Seuess but are needing something a little more challenging would have a great time with this one. Reluctant readers might have some struggles with some of the stranger names, though, and this isn't my favourite of his work.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Published: June 14th, 2012 by Dial Books according to goodreads and Speak which is a division of Penguin books according to my copy.
Genre: YA Contemporary
Binding: Paperback (baby)
Page Count: 394 (Ha!!)
Part of a series: There is going to be a companion novel that'll come out in 2015 but it reads like a standalone and as it's a companion novel telling a side-character's story, it's not really a sequel. So, yes, but if you don't normally read partial series, don't worry about it?
Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound

Summary (from goodreads): The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

Summary: I actually WoW'd this, which was what made me grab it when my library showed it on the "New Books" shelf. As I said in that post, I thought it sounded like a cute love story. And it was, but I was honestly really surprised by it. The characters had surprising depth and had wide and varied life stories, which I like. Also, SHOCKER, there was sex! That was realistic! And nobody got pregnant, or an STD, or died. Like magic! *cough* Okay, okay, I'm turning the sarcasm off now. I honestly was surprised by how much I liked this one because I am harder on contemporaries. I really liked that not every problem, while not left on a cliffhanger, wasn't perfectly solved, because it was realistic. Not everything does work out perfectly.

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

Published: September 4th, 2012 by SimonPulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 325
Part of a series? I don't think so, no.
Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound

Summary (from goodreads): There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....

Thoughts: I liked this one. It actually reminded me of Jumping Off Swings in that it was several POVs dealing with an event that changed their sitatuions greatly. Some of Ellie's characterization came off a bit lazy to me, like the author was using all the stereotypical "bad girl" behaviours to show how "troubled" Ellie was. And I know that can be realistic but sometimes I feel like when you use ALL THE ISSUES in a book, it can come off a little... exagerated. But that is just me and if you liked Jumping Off Swings, you'd probably like this one. And one of the four POVs featured a LGBTQA character which is almost nice to see.

I have to return this and it's 2 in the morning so that's about all I've got XD

Peace and cookies,