After all my cheerleading for the Buy a Book, Save the World campaign, I’m happy to announce that I finally clicked the big yellow PLACE YOUR ORDER button on Amazon, loading up my stocking with a few new reads for the new year. I’m especially excited about the YA picks, despite efforts by The New Yorker and The Atlantic to sway me with their ill-informed, has-been, washed-up, lukewarm, milk-toast, “YA is weak and boring and, like, totally lame!” battle cries.
On to the goods.
The Reading List
RED GLASS by Laura Resau.
I first heard about this book during the 2008 Colorado Book Awards, where RED GLASS won in the Young Adult category. I feel especially connected to and excited about this one because Laura lives in Colorado, where I wrote TWENTY BOY SUMMER and lived for 5 years. And, RED GLASS was released on the same day I officially accepted my book deal. And… just look at that cover!
Here’s a synopsis from Laura’s Web site:
One night Sophie, her mother, and her stepfather are called to a hospital, where Pablo, a five-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Pablo was carrying the business card of Sophie’s step-father – but he doesn’t recognize the boy. Crossing the border into Arizona with seven other Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pablo and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor. Pablo comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie’s aunt Dika, a refugee from the war in Bosnia. Sophie loves Pablo – her Principito, or Little Prince – but after a year, Sophie’s parents are able to contact Pablo’s extended family in Mexico, and Sophie, Dika, and Dika’s new boyfriend and his son must travel with Pablo to his hometown so that he can make a heart-wrenching decision.
Sophie has always been afraid of everything – car wrecks, cancer, becoming an orphan herself. But traveling with Dika, Pablo, Mr. Lorenzo, and Angel – people who have suffered losses beyond Sophie’s imagining – changes her perception of danger. Sophie feels a strong connection to Ángel, but she fears losing him almost as much as she enjoys their time together. When a tragic event forces Sophie to take a dangerous journey, she recognizes that life is beautiful even in the midst of death – and that love is worth the risk of losing.
WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED by Judy Blundell.
This WWII historical YA is the 2008 National Book Award winner and just one look at that cover brings swing jazz to my ears. I can’t wait to read it.
When Evie’s father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe’s company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.
As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who?
THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary E. Pearson.
I’m looking forward to reading this for Page Flipper’s online book club discussion later next month.
Here’s a summary from The Adoration of Jenna Fox site – check out the link for an erie book trailer, excerpts, reviews, and more info about the book.
Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a year-long coma, and she’s still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. Her parents show her home movies of her life, her memories, but she has no recollection. Is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?
Little by little, Jenna begins to remember. But along with the memories come questions—questions no one wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident?
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman.
Okay. Not to get anyone all excited or anything, but creepy middle grade boy books might just be my new thing. I’ve already heard great things about this book and can’t wait to curl up with it on the couch.
Or in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Delaware Park, pretty much right up the street.
Hmmm. Maybe when the snow melts.
No summary needed – check out the trailer, with extra creep-factor for the music and accent:
THE HIGHWAYMAN and THE ANCIENT, both by R. A. Salvatore. A little sword and sorcery fantasy to change up the YA fun. I’m sure the literary elite consider fantasy about as worthy as YA fiction, but I think we could all use a little trip down fantasy lane these days. Down with highbrow hobnobbing! Bring on the barren landscapes, golden ale, leather-clad women warriors, animal traveling companions, magic gems, and the dark elves we love to hate!
So, did you do it? Did you buy your books to save the world? Eight days left!