August 2019–Meeting 1

Hello all,

We’ve been reading and reading so here are our reviews!

Stepsister by Jennifer Donelly

Stepsister by Jennifer Donelly is a retelling of Cinderella from the point of view of one of the “ugly” stepsisters. Told through the eyes of the stepsister, Isabelle, and the Greek god Dionysus, the story follows Isabelle after her stepsister Ella became queen. I like this book because it has themes like the meaning of ‘beautiful’ and redemption as well as changing your fate. The only reason I wouldn’t nominate this book would be the ending. However, the rest of the book was well worth reading.

–Recommended by Anonymous

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

A dead girl helps her father solve crimes and move past his own grief. A surreal yet heartfelt story for mystery lovers and supernaturalists alike.

–Nominated by Caleb

Lovely War by Julie Berry

“Lovely War” by Julie Berry is a romance taking place in World War I as told by Aphrodite. The book starts with Hephaestus catching Aphrodite and Ares in an affair in a golden net. He then puts them on trial and Aphrodite tells two stories of romances she helped to build during the war. I loved the writing style, the dialogue, and the perspective on Aphrodite’s work. This was a beautifully written book and I would highly recommend it, especially to those interested in Greek mythology.

–Nominated by Jackie

Slay by Brittney Morris

“Slay” by Brittney Morris is a story of a teen girl who developed an online video game celebrating black history and culture. She develops this came called Slay to create a safe space for black players, but after a murder over a Slay dispute occurs in the real world, the game is debated all over the media. I liked the character development and how the plot was developed. This was a good read and I would highly recommend it.

–Nominated by Jackie

 

We’ve got one more meeting in August and then school will start again so our reading habits might drop as we are inundated with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, jobs, and balancing our lives this year. We’ll keep at it though, and post again after the second August meeting.

 

Happy Reading!

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July 2019 Meetings

Hello again,

The summer seems to be flying by and we’ve got a few more recommendations and nominations of 2019 YA books. We’ve had some really great discussions about what we do and don’t like in books, what characters we like and why, and what pacing we prefer as readers. Here are our reviews:

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mieja

An interesting dystopian society with complex characters.

Recommended by Anonymous

Lovely War by Julie Berry

An interesting and unique story about love in times of war and told through the eyes of Greek gods and goddesses. A long read, but completely worth it.

Recommended by Anonymous

The Transhuman Project by Erin Rhew

A really unique story with memorable and interesting characters that keeps you captivated from beginning to end.

Recommended by Anonymous

The Cerulean by Amy Ewing

A unique fantasy with relatable characters.

Recommended by Anonymous

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams

A heartwarming story about a girl’s hard life.

Recommended by Nicole

Dig by AS King

I loved the funky uniqueness of this book and the way the various plot lines foil and converge in the end. The characters are deep and authentic and the writing is amazing.

Nominated by Anonymous

Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern

A wonderfully written, yet sad story of a girl with astrocytoma, AKA brain cancer. Along with her best friend a boyfriend, she goes on a road trip for her last chance to live.

Nominated by Anonymous

Our next meeting is on August 9th and we all took home plenty of reading material to share our thoughts next post. Stay cool, it’s getting hot out there.

Happy Reading!

June Week 1

Hello again friends,

We’ve just finished our exams and are starting up summer jobs, summer internships, summer adventures, and of course, summer books! Below are a few books we read during exams and enjoyed!

 

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan

A great world with interesting characters and wonderful magic.

Lauren Recommends

 

The Devouring Grey by Christine Lynn Herman

A strong mystery with realistic characters and an interesting monster.

Caleb Recommends

 

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

It was alright, the plot was interesting, and there were scenes between the characters that felt raw and real, but other than that, the writing style was dull. It was okay so I put recommend, maybe someone else can read it and see if it’s interesting to someone else?

Anonymous Recommends

(Further review with spoilers below)

 

We have another meeting this Friday and with our members travelling, working, interning, and more, hopefully we’ll have a few reviews for you then.

 

Happy Reading!

 

After this there are spoilers for ‘Opposite of Always, so please stop reading now if you don’t want to spoil the book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

May Meeting 2

Hello again,

Summer approaches as the school year comes to an end for most of our bookclub members. As this is the case, we’re all pretty swamped with upcoming exams, final projects, AP testing, and general end-of-school chaos. We have been reading, but don’t have a ton of time to do it right now. We should get into gear in June, but for now here are 2 reviews!

Bloom by Kevin Panetta (Author), Savanna Ganucheau (Illustrator)

It was very gay and cute. Recommend.

–Caleb

 

 

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

A profound look into what makes us human.

–Caleb

 

Short, sweet and to the point! We have our digital review submission form up now, so hopefully that will allow us to get some reviews done in between exams, papers, projects, and tests. It’s hard to get recreational reading done when school is throwing all of this at you!

 

Happy Reading!

May Meeting #1

Hi again all,

We talked a lot this meeting about how many books we still had to read on the ever-growing list of Mock-Printz books. Because it’s been a month, many of the books we read in April didn’t get reviewed until just now, so our memories were a little fuzzy. The librarian is working on a submission system that would make submissions easier for us to do from home, so hopefully by next meeting we should be able to get more reviews on the blog.

Today, we have just one review, a nomination.

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau

Literally the cutest, most natural romance I’ve ever read and the characters are so relatable. It has a boy who wants to leave a small town falling for a boy who’s hired to work in the bakery owned by the first boy’s family and their progression from friends to lovers is so adorably natural.

–Nominated by Ash

‘Bloom’ has gotten a lot of positive buzz in our club and I think we’ll be getting more reviews of it as the summer goes on. We’ll have more for you next time, but for now, welcome back and happy reading!

March 15 & 22 Meetings

Hello Everyone,

April is an ‘off’ month so no Printz meetings until May, but we have the last 2 weeks’ meetings and our reviews.

Before we get to that, however, let’s talk about our most recent book that sparked a discussion. On a Scale of One to Ten by Ceylan Scott is a story about a teen in a psychiatric hospital following the disappearance of her best friend. It is at least partially based on the author’s experiences as a teen with Borderline Personality Disorder. We received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the publisher. The first person who read it had a lot of critiques, including the lack of people of color. The teen passionately declared that “Mental illness does not discriminate,” and we discussed how in the setting (London), it didn’t make a lot of sense for there to be no people of color, especially since London has a large immigrant population. The teen also disliked how the teen characters interacted with the hospital staff and the effect that one of the more chaotic characters had on the rest of the cast. I took it home to read and we discussed the book again at the meeting on the 22nd and I offered my thoughts as well. We have another teen reading the book over April so I’m looking forward to having another discussion. Throughout our discussions about On a Scale of One to Ten, the book club members had a really good talk about mental illness, how it is depicted, and how different people react to experiencing it and reading about others experiencing it.

In our March 22 meeting, we also discussed if we should add award categories as well as voting for our Printz nominees. Some suggested categories were ‘Best of’ and ‘Worst of’ heroes, villains, and supporting characters. We’ll talk some more about adding other categories in May.

Reviews

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Gancheau

“It was a sweet idea, but I felt like the characters were kind of annoying and weak. I also didn’t like the consistently blue coloring, it didn’t show much and I felt like it was mainly for the aesthetic attempt but it got old very quickly. The story also got kind of boring as it went on and I really lost interest.”

–Anonymous (Recommended)

 

Nominations

Voices by David Elliot

“A wonderfully styled story in verse with a natural flow that carries the book well.”

–Caleb

 

Nocturna by Maya Montayne

“An amazing story for any fantasy-lover, it follows a thief and a prince’s journey to save their kingdom from a dark magic [that] they accidentally released. The story takes place in a well-described Latinx kingdom, this novel is a page turner!”

–Shreeya

 

The next month will not have any new posts or reviews but we’ll be reading and should have plenty for you come May.

Happy Reading!

Reviews from March 3rd Meeting

Hello Again,

Our past meeting was certainly an interesting one. In addition to several new reads and reviews, some of our members had an intense debate about ‘Four Dead Queens’ by Astrid Scholte. One of the teens who read it was a fan, the other had lots of critiques of the book. Another person took it home at the end of the meeting, so we’ll see what they think! A book that gets people riled up and arguing is always a fun thing to have in a book club and I’m looking forward to future debates about it!

Our Recommendations

In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

“Intriguing and meaningful historical fiction story with a good balance of romance, humor, and teenage fun.” –Shreeya

96 Words for Love by Ava Dash

“An amazingly written coming-of-age story including traveling to another country, falling in love, and finding yourself.” –Nicole

Spectacle by Jodie Lunn Zdrok

“Nathalie Baudin’s life is turned upside down when she begins having visions of a serial killer murdering their victims. This book is wonderfully written and the characters are greatly developed.” –Lauren

Our Nominations

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

“A heartwarming and moving story of a Muslim teenager and her journey to stay with the girl she loves despite the conservative wishes of her homophobic parents. This book and its characters are incredibly real and well-written”–Shreeya

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

“A wonderful story of two guys navigating the world around them together and helping each other find themselves.” –Jacqulyn

We’re meeting again on March 15th, but because it’s only been a week since our last meeting, there might be a few less reviews in the next post. Less time between meetings means less reading gets done!

Happy Reading!