Week 23 – 2016

And we’re on to Week 23! Week 23 covers June 6 – 12. I started a new job this week, so bear with me if I get even further behind in my posts. As always, feedback is not only welcome, but avidly encouraged. I love hearing from you!

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. In this YA novel, Simon is a teen that’s just not ready to come out yet, though he is having an online correspondence with a classmate whose identity is also a secret. Another kid in the school finds out about this after Simon leaves his profile up on a school computer (never do this) and tries to blackmail Simon into setting him up with one of his friends. When the blackmailer gets annoyed, he outs Simon via social media. This seems fairly typical of the sorts of situations that teens face in the modern world. It is very well written and highly entertaining. I strongly recommend it. I’m giving it 5 stars.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This had been on my list for quite a long time. I saw that the author had a new book coming out and decided that it was time to tackle this one. I believe that this is most likely considered YA fiction because of the age of the main characters. I had already seen the movie, so I was not shocked by the turn of events. Bruno’s family moves to a new house because his father has a new job. Out in the country, there isn’t much for Bruno to do, so he takes up exploring. He makes a new friend who wears striped pajamas and lives on the other side of the fence. I’m not going to give away the ending. I recommend this to everyone and I’m giving it 4 stars.

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Forever… by Judy Blume – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. A friend recommended this to me as a book that she loved as a teen. In the intro, the author explains that one of her children wanted her to write a book without a happy ending. This is the tale of young love. A pair of teens think they will be together forever. I won’t totally spoil the ending, but let’s just say that it’s more realistic than novels of this sort tend to be. I’m giving it 4 stars.

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Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This book is weirdly similar to Taft 2012, which I talked about here, but not quite as good. Obviously this is Hitler. You can tell by the cover (which I actually thought was very clever). Hitler wakes up from a slumber and it’s 2011. He does some pretty crazy things and brings out the good and bad in people along the way. Most people this he is an actor and this is all satire, but most of what he says seem to align with what Hitler actually believed. Definitely read Taft 2012, maybe give this a pass unless it’s your thing. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett – I borrowed this as an actual book from the BPL. This was a really random book club pick. The way this was chosen was that we decided that too many historical fiction novels in a row is a bit much. I, personally, could read them all of the time, but the problem with that is the plots all start running together and then I’m complete crap when it comes to be time for discussion. One of the other members had this on her list (probably the movie, actually), so we picked it. It’s the diary of Alan Bennett’s encounters with a homeless women who he ends up letting live in his garden (probably closer to the American equivalent of the yard). It’s very dry, but quite interesting, nonetheless. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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Night Shift by Charlaine Harris – I borrowed this as an actual book from the BPL. This is Midnight, Texas #3. I sort of love these. They are sort of supernatural mysteries. There are vampires, weretigers, angels, psychics, and witches. There are even some sort of borderline normal people too. In this one, people are committing suicide at the crossroads and the residents need to figure out why. I can’t tell you a lot about it without giving it all away. Start with the first book, which I wrote about here, and then continue with the series. Actually, it may help to read a few of the author’s lesser known series before even beginning. As far as I know, all of the characters are drawn from previous novels (she may have added some or there may be some that I have yet to identify). I’m giving it 4 stars.

And that’s it. I bet the next post will be shorter, as that is usually how it goes. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Even if you just like what you read, it’s great to get feedback.

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