Posts Categorized: YA fiction
details Hardcover, 368 pages
literary awards TAYSHAS High School Reading List (2010)
Summary from Goodreads
Years have passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn’t quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can, by writing her music, losing herself in the love of her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife.
But when a deadly snowstorm traps Alice with her stepmother and newborn half-sister, she’ll face issues she’s been avoiding for too long. As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful.
Perhaps she’s not so alone after all
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I read “Once Was Lost” a couple of months ago and think so many of the questions raised in it apply to teenagers. I also read Sara Zarr’s book “Sweetherts” just a couple of weeks ago. Today I will be working on a line of jewelry inspired by Sweethearts just in time for Valentine’s Day! Watch for it later!
Love to Read For Fun is doing a 100th follower giveaway of all three Lisa McMann Books!!!
Click here to fill out the entry form.
Contest ends February 12th, 2010. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond.
Winner will be selected using random.org.
This contest is open to anywhere the Book Depository ships!
“Seventeen-year-old Leigh Mason is not sure she’s ready to share her mom, her bedroom, and her little sisters with her new stepsister, Betsy. And she’s definitely not ready to share her best friend, who happens to be a boy!
Coping with a blended family is not easy for either Leigh or Betsy, especially during their senior year in high school. Each step brings them nearer to a crisis that will either send them running in different directions or bind them firmly together (which, let’s face it, would take a miracle).
Bright Blue Miracle is a new young adult novel that has everything a girl wants: a hero (more specifically, a really cute boy), a villain (who happens to be a stepsister), comedy, despair, pedicures, ice cream, love, hate, tennis, revenge, and, of course, a couple of surprises that might send you for some tissues.”
This was a fun-loving realistic look at how it would feel to combine families and share a room with what seems to be a “perfect” step-sister. Blending two households with teenagers is never an easy task! But Gamma makes it easier with her pedicures and hook ups. It’s a great book for teens with lessons of sharing your guy friends with their girlfriends. Jeremy handles things as every girl wishes he would and you’ll find your heart strings tugged. I give it a three out of five stars.
Pub. Date: February 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 224pp
Age Range: Young Adult
As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also each other’s only friend. So when Cameron disappeared without warning, Jennifer thought she’d lost the one person who would ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she is popular, happy, and dating—everything “Jennifer” couldn’t be. But she still can’t shake the memory of her long-lost friend.
When Cameron suddenly reappears, they both are confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.
Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.
From Sara Zarr’s website :
•2008 Cybil Awards Finalist
•Oprah Book Club Kids Reading List
•American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
•New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
•Utah Book Award Finalist
•TX Tayshas Pick
•“…dark and engrossing, thanks to Zarr’s full-bodied characters and creative storytelling.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
•“Zarr’s writing is remarkable.” – Booklist, starred review
•“…subtle, beautifully written…” – VOYA, starred review
•“…an engrossing novel.” – The New York Times
•“…wistful prose and skillfully layered characters.” – The Horn Book
About the book:
The story of Jenna/Jennifer and Cameron was inspired by a friendship I had as a child with a boy, Mark, who came back into my life when we were both adults. When Mark and I got back in touch, I was surprised at what a strong bond we had despite having not seen nor heard from one another since third grade. I started asking myself—what if Mark and I had been reunited in high school? What if our lives had taken divergent paths? Would we still be loyal to each other, based on that childhood friendship, even if we wound up in different social circles and with different destinies? If so, why? What kinds of emotional and practical challenges would that bring? Though the details of what happened to Jennifer and Cameron were all made up, I did my best to be as emotionally truthful as I could with their story. I continue to be been blown away by reader response to this book, and how many people out there have Jennas and Camerons of their or their own.
I met Sara Zarr soon last month after completing her book “Once Was Lost” at the “Beautiful Creatures” release party. She was sitting on the couch and I knew no one else around, as our friend Brodi had not yet arrived. I went up and introduced myself in a Jennifer Harris moment of my own. I tried to spark up conversation about my opinions of her book and in the process made a complete fool of myself. Sara was down to earth and genuine. Meeting her made me want to read more of her work.
Sweethearts was so realistic and heart warming for me personally. Cameron Quick is the kind of friend you want for all of your life, despite his understandable walls and ability to disappear. I could relate to much of their life story which is I think why I was pulled completely into the pages. I finished it in 24 hours and it left an impression I am sure I won’t forget. Having worked for several years as a child protective service and foster care worker for the State, I see so many of Sara’s descriptions as real-life struggles for teens seeking independent living and seeking to break the cycles of their childhood.
Sara tackles every day issues in today’s world like abuse, single parent homes, popularity, school bullies, religion, compulsive eating, and teenage relationships. She leaves you hopeful that there are every day heroes and loves that endure the bounds of time and space. Five out of five stars for “Sweethearts.” I think it would be an excellent book to explore in the classroom.
Watch a fan made trailer on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM8gfCJUTMs
In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
Carrie Ryan lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can visit Carrie at http://www.carrieryan.com/.
I picked this book up at the library because of the cover (the title threw me off I must say.) Typically I avoid books with a lot of graphic imagery and violence, but got sucked in by all of the intrigue and secrets the Sisterhood were holding. For me, Mary’s world of zombies and isolation seemed doomed and ruled by other’s choices. The romance between her and Travis was beautiful at first and disappointing in the end.
I understand Mary’s need for independence and freedom, but her choices seemed selfish and put the ones she loves in danger. The ending left me sad, but I will read the sequel hoping it answers all of the questions left in my head. Overall, I would give it 3 and a half stars out of five. Very interesting and haunting, yet I found myself wanting Mary to make different choices, taking into consideration all that she lost.