yay! this is the week my readers either love or ignore (traffic tells me many are in the latter camp). i have found that writing reviews of the books i read really helps me remember them. and i hope it helps some of you make reading choices (and avoid others). i allow myself two sentences for each review (unless i’ve already written an official endorsement): the first sentence is a summary of the book, and the second sentence is my opinion of it.
here’s the plan for the week!
monday: 8 young adult fiction books
tuesday: 2 fiction books, 2 non-fiction books, and 2 graphic/illustrated books
wednesday: 10 christian living and theology books
thursday: 10 parenting, church and ministry books
Young Adult Fiction
The Half-life of Planets, by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
a teenage girl and a guy with asperger’s wrestle with identity, friendship, and love. halpin’s YA fiction has mostly been way subpar to his otherwise fantastic books, but the voice of this character with asperger’s brings this one up a click or two.
Divergent, by Veronica Roth
in a dystopian future chicago, a teenage girl is forced to choose a lifetime with one of five personality-driven factions. sure, dystopian future YA faction is getting overplayed, because it provides, as does this book, a magnifying lens into the real internal searches of today’s teenagers.
Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
in part two of the trilogy, our heroine uncovers the plot to overthrow “the way things are.” part two of trilogies are rarely the best slice (but while i haven’t read the third part yet, i’ve rarely seen such vitriol on amazon reviews).
Requiem, by Lauren Oliver
part 3 of the Delirium trilogy finds the government’s physiological suppression of love, starting at age 16, blown apart and dismantled. the story wraps up somewhat predictably, but is still satisfying.
After the Snow, by S. D. Crockett
yup, another dystopian future–this one told from the perspetive of a teenage boy trying to survive in a chaotic world of almost-perpetual winter. culturally insightful and brilliantly written, this is now one of my top 10 favorite YA fiction books.
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
you know: super smart kid is recruited for a space training academy to prepare him to lead an alien battle. one of the many cases where the book is SO MUCH better than the movie.
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
high schoolers at a boarding school bond in the first half, then struggle to find meaning and explanations for pain in the second half. highly recommended, john green’s insight into teenagers and creativity with plot and word proves that young adult fiction doesn’t have to be predictable or cheesy.
Somebody Up There Hates You: A Novel, by Hollis Seamon
teenage guy in hospice wrestles with who he is and why he’s dying. full of pain and beauty.