Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.
Signing up for the Summer Reading Club in our library is pretty simple. You fill out a form with your basic information and hand it to the librarians at the desk. To be eligible for SRC prizes, you will fill out a form on the library’s website that includes the number of books you’ve read. In the old form, one used to be able to type the title of the book and the author’s name. The new website currently does not have that capability but I’m hoping that they’ll re-do it for next year. Below you’ll find the books I’ve “logged” for SRC this year. I included my Goodreads ratings and reviews. Click on the image to find out more about the book.
“Once upon a time, a brother and a sister lived with the stars. They were happy and had wild adventures exploring the sky. One day—”
“One day the brother broke his sister’s heart.”
This is not a fairy tale where a prince rescues a princess from the fire-breathing dragon. The “prince” in this story is despicable and vile. The dragon is not defeated; it simply lurks in the shadows. There is no happily ever after for the princess—only a long road to healing and forgiveness. Her journey begins with her story because she is worth the telling.
Even girls made of stars are captive, bound at the wrists and traded like property. Even girls made of stars aren’t asked, aren’t believed, aren’t considered worth the effort unless they can offer something in return.
TW: rape, sexual assault
First Horowitz novel I’ve read. Not too charmed by this one. Overall, this was an okay read. If you like his works and/or are familiar with them, then you might appreciate this one.
We Are Okay
by Nina LaCour
This book is for anyone who has loved so much, who has experienced a terrible loss, and who has felt so alone.
You are okay.
Home is where the heart is.
Melissa Sarno’s Just Under the Clouds is the sweet story of a young girl who understands what it truly means to belong. Here’s a nod to the nomadic way of life that I know quite well.
This is the second novel I’ve read by Ruth Ware. I like that it has a different tone than The Woman in Cabin 10. The story is more mystery than thriller. Not a lot of craziness but enough twists to keep you guessing.
“One friend can make a big difference.”
Another book by Erin Entrada Kelly to love. You Go First touches on divorce, bullying, and friendship. It talks about relationships falling apart and building new ones. Erin Entrada Kelly reminds us that having one person in your life (that you can always talk to) is enough.
“Keep moving toward what makes you feel most alive.”
Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead present a touching story about a girl named Livy and her friendship with a creature called “Bob.” This is a laid back, feel good kind of read that’s perfect for summer reading.
This is the first installment in Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series. I like the cover art so I decided to give this a try. A big chunk of the story focused on how Maisie Dobbs ended up working as a private investigator. Her first official case was not too exciting, although I liked how the book ended.
When I was in high school, my English teacher asked us to write two different short stories using the prompt, “and the music began.” This collection of short stories written by Deborah Ellis reminded me of that. In this book are 11 thought-provoking short stories of kids who must find the courage to win their personal battles. Although I wasn’t too crazy about the last two chapters in the book, I enjoyed Ellis’ storytelling. This book is perfect if you need a quick and light read.
If Monday were a color, she’d be red. Crisp, striking, vivid, you couldn’t miss her—a bull’s eye in the room, crackling flame.
I saw so much red that it blinded me to any flags.
In Monday’s Not Coming, Tiffany D. Jackson leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for readers to follow. It tackles the issues of child abuse and negligence (TW!!). The dust jacket described the book as dark and thrilling but it’s not the kind of “thriller” that readers are used to. The story is told in the perspective of eighth grader Claudia, Monday’s best friend who seems to be the only person who cares about Monday and digs into her disappearance. I like the monthly “interludes,” in which Claudia compared the people she knew with different colors. I appreciated the poetry in it.
Monday’s Not Coming was a little predictable but I still liked it. My main issue was the author’s use of timelines that divided the book into chapters, particularly her used of “The Before” and “The After.” While I don’t mind jumping back and forth between the past and the present in stories, the lines between “The Before” and “The After” are blurred, even after the big reveal near the end.
Overall, this book is a good read.
Before I found out about this book, I watched Bride of Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) and read Mary’s Monster (Lita Judge). I was fascinated by the setting of the story: Lord Byron had invited Percy and Mary Shelley, and Mary’s stepsister, Claire, to join him in Villa Diodati for a friendly competition. Who could spin the most chilling, most spine-tingling tale? It was a cool concept for a story but it seemed to me that it fell flat somewhere in the middle.
I picked up this book because it kind of reminded me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Set during the London Blitz, Dear Mrs. Bird is the story of Emmeline Lake (Emmy to her friends) who dreams of becoming a war correspondent. When she finds an ad for a junior typist, Emmy decides to apply. Things take an unexpected turn when Emmy realizes that her new job has nothing to do with journalism. Instead, Emmy will be working as a typist for Henrietta Bird, an advice columnist for a women’s magazine. Emmy soon learns that working for Mrs. Bird will take more than just typing 125 words per minute, especially with Mrs. Bird’s long list of Unacceptable Letters in front of her. Emmy will have to figure out if she wants to do her bit for the war effort or keep her job.
This debut novel by A.J. Pearce is charming, funny, and overall uplifting. I would have liked to see more correspondence between Emmy and the readers. Nevertheless, I like how Pearce also highlighted the tragedy of war and the steadfast friendship between two spunky women, Emmy and Bunty.