Category Archives: you think you’ve got problems?

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

memoirsI remember seeing this cover, reading the title, and thinking, “That looks interesting!”  I was especially curious about the story behind the old fashioned typewriter keys on the cover.  Yet, somehow, SEVEN years went by before I actually took the time to listen to it.  How in the world did *that* happen?!?  (Especially considering the fact that I listened to, and thoroughly enjoyed, her book Elsewhere!)  I guess this is a case of “better late than never,” right?  I’ve always been curious about what it would be like to have amnesia and, though this wasn’t a true story, it helped me to realize just how grateful I am for my fully intact memories.  It’s terrifying to consider the sudden loss of years worth of my life and to even forget the people I love.  Continue reading

I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand

Bad FeelingAs I was reading this book, I laughed out loud so often that my son — who normally “tunes out” the rest of the world when he reads — actually found it distracting to read in the same room as me.  He kept asking me, “What’s so funny?”  And, though I explained that I didn’t want to stop to share every joke that made me laugh, I offered to start over and read the whole book aloud.  He declined the offer because he was determined to finish the book he was already reading, but I think he may go back and read it himself because he loved the passage I felt compelled to read aloud (about Henry’s wish list of weapons with which he could have protected himself). Continue reading

Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeline Kuderick

kiss of broken glassMany people think that self-injury is becoming more common, while others argue that it is just more widely recognized and/or talked about.  According to a Forbes.com article by Alice G. Walton, “It’s likely that people have been hurting themselves for centuries, but like other closeted behaviors we’re just beginning to talk about, self-injury has only recently risen in the public consciousness.” Regardless of whether there has actually been an increase in self-injuring or just a greater awareness of this behavior, it is definitely something that needs to be addressed. Continue reading

When by Victoria Laurie

whenAs far back as she can remember, Maddie Fynn has always seen the numbers.  When she was really little, she didn’t even realize that other people couldn’t see them.  Then, one day, she drew an eerie picture of her family.  While it was fairly similar to most kids’ pictures of their families — with Maddie and her parents scrawled in little kid style — it also included numbers above their heads.  No one knew what those numbers meant, since even Maddie couldn’t explain what she was seeing, so they chalked it up to a quirky thing where she randomly assigned numbers to people around her… Until the day her father died.  Only then did Maddie’s mom realize that the numbers above her husband’s head [in the drawing] were actually the numbers that corresponded to his death date.

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Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Lets-Get-LostLeila was just a random girl in a red car who was driving across the country (from Louisiana to Alaska) to see the Northern Lights.  But, to the people who she met along the way, Leila was also a huge help.  Well… Her interaction with Hudson could actually be construed as less than helpful, but she definitely helped the rest of the people she met along the way!  I like how the story was broken down into five distinct sections, like short stories, since the other characters that Leila interacted with didn’t cross over at all.  These adventures were five different episodes in her life, if you will.  I also appreciated the fact that, though the interactions were life-changing for the people she met, Leila often left feeling just as lost and confused as when she first arrived.  I mean, it just felt so much more genuine to me that Leila *didn’t* have all the answers.  Because, who does?
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Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Walk_Two_MoonsI first thought about reading this book when I helped a student request it for her summer reading assignment about ten and a half years ago.  Since there was a wait list of students who needed it for their assignment, I decided not to add a hold for myself.  (I thought it would be unfair to the kids who really needed it.)  Every summer I thought to myself, “I need to remember to read that when summer is over.”  And, every year, I’ve had such a long “to be read” pile when summer reading ended that this book was added to my “I’ll read this book someday” list.  At the end of the summer this year, though, the planets finally aligned.  I only had one week left before I was on vacation with my family, so I wanted an audiobook short enough that I could finish it before the week was up.  Even though it was still summer reading season, this audiobook was available on OverDrive, and I went for it! Continue reading

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman

undividedI think I’ve mentioned on my blog that I no longer review all of the subsequent books in trilogies and series that I read because it’s often hard to summarize without spoiling the earlier books in the trilogy/series for people who haven’t read them yet.  (If not, I have now!)  Plus — let’s be honest — it also helps me not to fall behind so badly on my reviews if I don’t include every book I read on this blog.  But, I just can’t let this book go without comment!  Neal Shusterman has completely BLOWN. MY. MIND!  If his story is not enough, in and of itself, to show you the insane path that humanity is blazing into the future, the included hyperlinks for stories which make the case for a future in which “unwinding” actually happens will scare the hell out of you.  The thing I am most grateful about with UnDivided, nonetheless, is that the story is actually done.  I have spent far too long wondering what happened to Connor, Risa, Lev, and the rest of the gang, so THANK YOU Neal for finally giving me closure!

Happy Reading!