Friday, September 12, 2014

What we're reading: Sequel

I was lucky enough to have a librarian friend who went to the American Library Association convention this summer and brought home a bunch of ARCs (Advance Reader Copies)--for me! Yep, half a dozen YA titles not due out for months--such riches! I am sorry to say I haven't had time to read all of them yet, but the one I was most looking forward to was finally up this past weekend. That was Sinner, by Maggie Stiefvater, which is the fourth book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and it took me so long to get around to it that it released in the meantime, and we now have it available in the library! So you can read it, too!

That series was a trilogy (Shiver, Linger, Foreverfor a long time, but then she wrote this spin-off, which is about Isabel and Cole, off in Los Angeles--Isabel trying to survive her toxic family while fitting in with the pretty people, and Cole recreating himself as a musician by getting clean and sober and booking himself on a reality TV show that follows him around while he cuts a new album. But his real reason for coming to Los Angeles, says Cole, is to reunite with Isabel. Wistful sigh. There are so many things that could go wrong between them, not the least of which is Isabel's severe lack of trust and, well, Cole's tendency to turn into a wolf. Yes, I mean literally. But there are so many things that could go right, too...

I really liked this book. Maggie did such a good job of projecting Cole's and Isabel's dynamic personalities onto the page that I expected to go online, look up, and see the whole reality TV thing about their lives play out like Big Brother. (If you DO go to that website, there's a nice surprise waiting for you...)

It's been a loooong time (with many books between) since I read the trilogy, and although there were a few points at which I wish I had dipped back in to remind myself of things, this book mostly stood on its own without a refresher. So if you have NOT read the trilogy you might still enjoy the book quite a lot...but I think the back story is still essential. You need to know who these people were to understand the significance of who they are and who they want to be. I think I liked this book even better than the series, in some ways, because it was about two of the edgiest, most charismatic characters, and of course it was set in Los Angeles, which gives it an added something for we Angelenos!

Good one, Maggie! Now, on to Blue Lily, Lily Blue! Coming in October...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Club Report: 10-12

Tuesday night was the first meeting of the year of our newly configured 10-12 Book Club, which is now LARGE. We graduated four or five from last year’s club, but promoted a whopping 11 up from the 8+9 Club, and then added a couple of newbies. We feared it would be unwieldy, but perhaps it’s the perfect mix!

We had a civilized and wide-ranging discussion among the 21 (out of 28!) in attendance of Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King, which garnered everything from rave reviews to total pans. Those who enjoyed the book (four or five) empathized with Vera, her dad, and/or Charlie, while the others disliked Vera's passivity and Charlie's destructive behavior. But that was the point of the book, really--to illustrate that you shouldn't stand by and be ignored or, worse, ignore what’s going on around you and not act on what is right or wrong. Was Vera whiney or was she withholding? Was she stuck-up or was she simply smart and quiet? What you thought about Vera determined how you felt about the book. It was a good discussion! Everyone had something to say, and not everyone agreed with what others were saying, but no one got too riled up. The final verdict was a rating of 7 out of 10. (It was actually 6.9ish, so we rounded up.)

Next month’s book is The Butterfly Clues, by Kate Ellison. And after considering an eclectic array, the club chose More Than This, by Patrick Ness (don't you love the cover?), as the November book. (Some--including Anarda and I, who are enthusiastic fans--remember him fondly from reading his Chaos Walking series three years ago.)

Other books we considered and will keep on "the list" for future proposals (in no particular order):

The Sharp Time, by Mary O'Connell
The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reality Boy, by A. S. King
Noggin, by John Corey Whaley
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

Those of you who missed, there are three copies of The Butterfly Clues currently available for pickup (one at Central, two at Buena Vista), and five more copies on order. We discovered last night while taking roll that three people we thought were 9th-graders and still had another year in the other club are actually sophomores and will be joining us! So if you don't get a copy right away, bear with us and we'll let you know when it comes in.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book Club Begins!

Hey, book club peeps! We're starting up our meeting cycle for 2014-2015!

This coming Tuesday, September 9, is the first meeting of the 10-12 Book Club. We will be discussing Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King, and we will be receiving (for next month) The Butterfly Clues, by Kate Ellison.

The following Tuesday, September 16, is the first meeting of the 6+7 Book Club. We will be discussing Pendragon: The Merchant of Death, by D. J. MacHale, and we will be receiving (for next month) Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud. Please note that this month we will be meeting at Buena Vista branch, in the storytime room, due to a scheduling conflict, instead of at Central where we normally meet.

And the night after that--Wednesday, September 17--is the first meeting of the 8+9 Book Club. We will be discussing Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer, and we will be deciding on next month's book at our meeting. (We didn't pick a second one because so few members were in attendance at our summer meeting, so we thought this would be more fair.)

A few reminders:

  1. If you are not able to attend the meeting, you MUST tell us ahead of time! Drop us an email, leave us a phone message.
  2. Remember our code of conduct for meetings: Listen when others speak. Don't talk over them. Don't hold side conversations. Be respectful.
Can't wait to see you all and hear your thoughts about the books! (Yeah, okay, and about your summer, your new school year, etc.)