Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (a book with an epic love story)
I chose this book because of how good I thought A.S. King’s other novel was (Everybody Sees The Ants). Please Ignore Vera Dietz was more well known and won awards, so I figured it was worth a shot. It was kind of hard to fall into, but once I got going I was actually really invested. King writes these stories that have all of these twists and turns, with characters who think outside the box. I love the way this book was presented. I love that it didn’t just take place in Vera’s head. I love that King keeps the world almost completely real but adds in a splash of the supernatural. I really enjoyed this book.
Burn by Suzanne Phillips (a book that takes place in a high school)
This was a book I chose because I couldn’t find any books I wanted at the library. I wanted something to read, so I picked this based on the back cover. It didn’t say much, but I liked how it was worded/presented (I killed someone today. The thought curls around his brain, picks at it like a piece of flint. His head hurts. Hurts worse than it ever did. I killed someone.). It was a good book; I really liked how she dug into the mind of someone being bullied. It didn’t just scratch the surface; it didn’t say, “talk to your counselor and everything will be okay after that.” Burn is a realistic approach to bullying and the aftermath of being bullied. It deals with PTSD, abuse, assault, self-harm, and the anger that goes with being a teenaged boy.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (a book with an incredible fight scene)
Apparently I’m just going to end up reading everything Holly Black has ever written. I’d seen this in the library a ton of times and thought, “What a stupid title. I’m definitely not reading that.” I picked it up when I picked up Burn – because I had nothing else to check out and I wanted my literary fix. I was pleasantly surprised with this book. At some points I got mad at the characters because they were stupid and melodramatic (this happens quite frequently in YA novels because…duh… but it doesn’t usually frustrate me as a reader). It was an interesting read; the way Black wrote it was suspenseful and well detailed. I don’t think I could write something this graphic (I kept finding myself audibly expressing my disgust by yelling “eewww”). It was definitely very romance-y, so if you don’t like that this book is not for you. I found myself being sucked into the whirlwind of it, and had a good time despite my distaste for the “vampire” genre. Black is definitely nestling her way into my “favorites” category.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (a book with music)
After reading Fangirl, I was enamored with Rowell and wanted to read everything she’d ever written. Fangirl made me happier than a book had ever made me; I think because it didn’t make me sad – just happy, the entire way through. Eleanor & Park was not the same sort of ride, which is fine, but it did come out as being less enjoyable overall for me. Eleanor annoyed me the whole way through the book. Park was a solid character and Rowell certainly knows how to write a cute love story, but I was not as enthused or invested as I’d been in her other novel. Especially reading this right after reading Coldtown; I feel like it lacked some spice. Still a very good read. Rowell is a great writer.