Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Club Report for January

Last Tuesday night's meeting of the 10-12 Book Club was a lively one (of course, when are they not?). Our book was the Alex award-winner The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, about a girl who has aged out of the foster system. She has no skills, she has no friends, and soon she is homeless; but her knowledge of the Victorian meaning of flowers gets her a job with a florist and a chance at a new life, which she manages to sabotage at every turn. This book was the most variably rated of any we have read, garnering two nines out of 10 and going all the way down to twos, finally averaging a 5.75 among the 16 members present. For next month, we are reading Holly Goldberg Sloan's book I'll Be There, in anticipation of her author visit on March 6, and for March we are reading I Am the Messenger, by Marcus Zusak.

Tuesday night’s 6+7 Book Club was surprising: We read The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachmann, and while the imagery and writing were good, the story took so long to get started and was so disjointed that Anarda and I feared the club members would all be upset we had recommended the book (which we did based on rave reviews and enthusiastic author blurbs rather than from personal knowledge). But about half of the club really enjoyed it, enough so that they would go on to read the sequel, and while the other half wasn’t crazy about it, it was more on the order of “meh” than “I hated it!” Whew! With 16 of us in attendance, the rating for the book was a respectable 7.4. Next month the club is reading Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo, before her author visit on February 5, and the month after that it’s Bad Girls Don’t Die, by Katie Alender.

On Wednesday, the 8+9 Book Club dissected Break My Heart 1,000 Times, by Daniel Waters. They liked the ghosts, and the creepy villain, were impatient with the protagonist, and wanted more information about “the Event” (as did Anarda and I!). Again, it was a split group, although the positive reviews far outweighed the negative ones, and with 16 voting, the book received a relatively high rating of 8.25. Next month this club is also reading Shadow and Bone, and the following month we’re looking forward to Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys.



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