Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Seventeen-year-old Tyler has always thought of himself as a 'loser.' Taunted and abused by bullies all through grade school, he finally does something that gets him some notice - he gets caught vandalizing the school. After working all summer with the school maintenance department as part of his sentence, Tyler is strong and pumped. This gets him the notice of the girl of his dreams - Bethany Milbury, whose father is his dad's boss. The budding relationship between Tyler and Bethany create a stream of unfortunate events that changes both of them and causes Tyler to finally confront his angry father.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Literary Leydenites: Wench: a novel by Dolan Perkins-Valdez

Literary Leydenites: Wench: a novel by Dolan Perkins-Valdez: "Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly..."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

From the opening page, where 15-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi, the book is a fascinating story about the possibilities of the afterlife. Liz wakes up in a place called 'Elsewhere' which is both like and unlike Earth. Though Liz mourns her mortal life, she slowly adjusts to her new 'life' as she opens herself up to the promise of new experiences. A compelling read!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave's Little Bee works because the unflinching, brutal story balances an outwardly political motive with rich, deep character development (and even some welcome humor), focusing narrowly on events before broadening to reveal some larger truths. Cleave's firm grasp of human nature and his unsparing disdain for injustice allow him to articulate lives as different as those of Little Bee and the less-likeable Sarah; both characters, though, are unforgettable. Comparisons between Cleave and fellow Brits Ian McEwan and John Banville are apt. All others agreed, however, that Cleave's sophomore effort is, as the Chicago Sun-Times succinctly put it, "a loud shout of talent."Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC