Thursday, May 12, 2016

Last Book Club Report of the Year

This week, we had the last meetings of teen book clubs for this school year. Meetings will resume in September, with lots of moving up between the clubs. (We will have one meeting all together with the members of all three clubs in August, for the purpose of getting acquainted and of picking our September books.)

Tuesday night, a somewhat small (12 out of 19) group from the 6+7 Book Club discussed Ally Carter's book, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You. Most people seemed fairly taken with the spy school novel, although it was definitely more popular with the girls than with the guys. The final rating, partially due to Mohammad's ill-considered shouting-out of "Nein!" (ha ha), was a solid 8 out of 10. Several people said they would (or already had) continue with the series.

Since we weren't picking another book, we had quite a bit of time left over after discussion and rating, so we went around the circle and each recommended a favorite book (or two). Here is the list and who suggested what:

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
Ten, by Gretchen McNeil

Don't Turn Around, by Michelle Gagnon
Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling

Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

Belly Up, by Stuart Gibbs

The complete Alex Ryder series, by Anthony Horowitz

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, by Chris Grabenstein

Star Wars books!

The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien

Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott

Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

Wednesday night the 8+9 Club had a lively discussion of Etiquette and Espionage, the steampunk finishing school novel first in a series by Gail Carriger. Of the 12 people in attendance, several really liked it, some felt there was way too much etiquette and not nearly enough espionage, and some were simply confused by or not interested in the book. There was a pretty broad spectrum of opinions, although everyone loved Bumbersnoot the mechanimal dog, and the consensus vote was 7 out of 10.

Hailey noted for the group that the first book is much more expository than the following volumes in the four-book series, and that if we had liked this one at all, we should definitely check out the rest. This led us into an interesting discussion about other series where the first book is primarily set-up and, while not bad, is definitely not as good as the remainder of the series, and what a challenge it is to get people to hang in there with a series when they aren't completely enamored of the first book!

Series mentioned were the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta, and the Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

We also discussed the travesty of leaving book cover selection to marketing departments instead of making the cover agree with the contents; and the similarities and differences between the books we read for these clubs this month, since both take place in girls' schools.

We finished off the night by breaking into groups and socializing for one last time before our summer hiatus, and promised to meet up over the summer at Book Cafe!

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