Friday, June 3, 2016

What we're reading: The Raven King

The Raven King has finally arrived. Those of us who have read (and re-read) and loved the first three books in this series by Maggie Stiefvater are so, so happy to finally get our hands on this one. If you are one of the people who has not read this series, I wrote a pretty complete synopsis here on our main library blog, so I won't repeat it--you can go there and get everything you need to know to continue with this review.

All caught up? Okay, On to the final book...

The truth is, I don't know what to say about this one. I simultaneously loved it but was disappointed in some respects.

The character development is, as usual, intensely individual, engaging, poignant, gripping. The writing is gorgeously lyrical. (One favorite quote: "They were all growing up and into each other like trees striving together for the sun.") Stiefvater is an amazing storyteller--you can't put her books down once you pick them up, and you move into her world view and embrace it as real.

But...

  • Loose ends left dangling.
  • Things that went unexplored that felt like they should have been.
  • Things undiscussed that I really wanted to be settled.
  • Resolutions that felt distinctly anticlimactic to me after the fantastic build-up.
  • And that classic but clichéd device that makes me cringe every time I see it used...THE EPILOGUE.

You are hanging breathless on every word...something eventful happens...you turn the page, and...it's one week later. It's six months later. It's 10 years later! And you didn't get to experience whatever it was that the whole book was leading up to, it was dealt with in the subtext and now here we are, tra-la, tra-la, all resolved. Nooooo!

So while I was happy to spend a few days immersed in the land of the Raven Boys again, I'm not so sure that I'm done with them, even though they (and presumably Maggie) are done with me! I'm a little bit sad.

One of you teens who can't wait to read this get it done and then chime in here with YOUR review. I will be intensely curious to know your reaction!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Today is the day!

The first day, anyway, that you can sign up for GAME ON!, this year's Teen Summer Reading Program. Go here, pick the teen program, and register! It only takes a few minutes, but we think you will be glad you did.

Let me say first of all that there is NO OBLIGATION when you sign up to attend any program or do any activity. This is not summer camp! First of all, it's FREE; second, it's up to you how you want to spend your summer, we're just hoping that some of it will be here at the library.

Now that we've clarified matters, let us tell you about some of the things you could choose to do:

ACTIVITIES (starting June 13):

Keep a reading log: When you sign up, you come to the reference desk to receive your swag bag, which contains, among other things, a reading log. Then write down each book, manga, or graphic novel in your log. Starting on June 13, you can bring that log back to the reference desk. The librarians there will initial and date each thing you read, and give you a ticket for each one (limit three per day). You put your name and phone on the ticket and drop it into the jar at the desk. Once a week (Fridays at noon), we teen librarians draw three names (three at each branch for a total of nine), and those lucky readers will receive such prizes as a $5 gift card to Starbucks or Yogurtland, a movie ticket, or an iTunes card.

Write book reviews: Go back to our online interface, log in with your name and password, and then click on "Add a book." You can put the title and author of your book, rate it (one to five stars), and then write a short review. Remember that this is a book review, not a book report--if you want to "review" the difference, go here. It explains to you just what we're looking for in a book review. And why, you ask, should you want to do this? Because once every two weeks, we have a drawing for everyone who wrote online book reviews within those two weeks, and they win BIGGER prizes--Barnes and Noble gift cards, See's Candy gift certificates, and so on.


Take the GAME ON! Trivia Challenge: You'll find the trivia challenge in your swag bag, and it's full of questions that you can only answer by using our OPAC (online public access CATALOG) at the library. Seriously, you can try to Google it, but you'll do much better if you use the searching hints and tips here. Don't worry, there are also some googleable sports questions at the end! And yes, there will be PRIZES for the top performers with the best scores!


PROGRAMS (starting June 15):

Everybody's favorite--Book Café! (Scroll down a couple of posts to get a complete explanation and a preview of which young adult AUTHORS will be joining us this year!)

MOVIES!
a BMX STUNT SHOW!
MAKERSPACE CRAFTS!
HARRY POTTER TRIVIAL PURSUIT!

and a FINALE that is not to be missed: It's HALFTIME HORROR, an after-hours, lock-in murder mystery to be solved by YOU!

There are refreshments at most of our events. There are also prize drawings at all programs and events, but only for registered participants. So there's another reason to register today!

We hope to see you at the library this summer!