two sentence book reviews, part 2 (young adult fiction)

getting caught up on book reviews. i allow myself two sentences: one for summary and one for my review.

Young Adult Fiction

that's not a feelingThat’s Not a Feeling, by Dan Josefson
4 stars
a teenage boy is sent to a residential school for troubled teens, where the strange systems and burned-out staff do little to help him. good characters and a unique setting, but it would have been nice if one or two of the adults weren’t idiots.

it's kind of a funny storyIt’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini
5 stars
post-suicide attempt, a high school boy learns about himself while spending a week in an adult psych ward. insightful and honest, a rare gem of a book for teenage readers.

miss peregrine's homeMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
4 stars
fantasy about a boarding school for strangely gifted children who exist in some sort of parallel space. fun and quirky reading, even though it’s not particularly life-changing.

notes from the blenderNotes from the Blender, by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
3 stars
a metalhead outsider and a popular girl become step-siblings. surprising mediocrity from one of my previously favorite authors (halpin, when he wrote adult fiction). *note: a church youth group factors in, though.

colin fischerColin Fischer, by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz
5 stars
a high school boy with asburger’s syndrome finds his way through being mainstreamed in a public school, while using his unique thinking to solve a crime. one of the best young adult fiction books i’ve read in a couple years (i would give this to any teenager who reads).

eleanor & parkEleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
5 stars
the gentle and believable love story of two teenage misfits. i don’t know that i’ve ever read a teenage love story with such insight into the world of teenagers.

5 thoughts on “two sentence book reviews, part 2 (young adult fiction)”

  1. Marko — I read “That’s Not A Feeling” last fall on vacation (based solely upon the fact that DFW blurbed it), and would probably give it 3 stars. I felt like I wanted to really like it, but it just didn’t get all the way there for me.

  2. josh, i doubt it. :)
    jake, i might be overstating it with 5 stars (particularly when i compare it to Colin Fischer and Eleanor & Park, and other YA Fiction books i’ve considered 5 stars). so i’ll bump it to 4 or 4.5 stars. but i still really enjoyed it on multiple levels, much more than a 3 star (i think of 3 stars as a disappointing read that i wouldn’t really recommend).

  3. Thanks for this…gonna give my teenaer a couple of these for upcoming BD. I find that many adults I come in contact with are idiots in some ways, so that sounds pretty real to me! Have you ever looked at Dead White Guys or The Book Smugglers? I find they are great in reviews (don’t always agree though) and BS does loads of YAF.

  4. tracey — The Book Thief (assuming you mean that, and not The Book Smugglers, which, if it’s a different book, i haven’t heard of) is one of the all time best YA fiction books. i think of it as a standard to measure others. on a 1 – 5 star range, i’d give it a 6.

    i haven’t heard of Dead White Guys, and it doesn’t show up on amazon. wondering if you have that title wrong also?

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