This weekend, the ALA ( American Library Association) held their mid-year conference in Boston. Here is a link to twitter updates of the teen session, discussing the best books for teens from the past year.Here is a link to the complete list of winners. Some of my favorite books of the year won awards, including Going Bovine by Libba Bray, Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman, and The Rock and The River by Keekla Magoon. I am going to read The Rock and the River next- after I finish reading last years Printz award winner, Jellico Road by Melina Marchetta. Look for the list of award winners in the IMC and start reading!
Heather Weber's first book in the Lucy Valentine series is the best chick-lit book I've ever read. She's created the perfect mix of adventure, mystery, romance, comedy, and magic. Lucy Valentine comes from a long line of aura-readers, people who can see the color of the energy surrounding people. By matching people's aura colors, they've become very wealthy in the matchmaking business, but Lucy has denounced her family's trust fund for her and decided to make it on her own. She lost the aura-reading gift when she got electrocuted at 14 and can now only found lost objects and feels she doesn't deserve the money. The plot twists and turns and it's definitely a quick-read. In one word the book was adorable.
A few months ago, I noticed a mistreated book on my nightstand. In the beginning of the summer, my sister had thrown this ratty, torn book into my room. She said it was fantastic and that I should give it a try. I glanced at the title, The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy. It seemed interesting enough. I began to read the massive book, and instantly fell in love.
The Prince of Tides chronicles the ups and downs of the turbulent Wingo family, a southern born and bred clan living on an island in South Carolina, through Tom Wingo's eyes as he fights to save his suicidal sister, who is a poet living in New York. Tom travels to New York to meet with Savannah's therapist, Susan Lowenstein, and figure out where she went wrong and how to help her. Through the stories of their childhood, we are exposed to the painful memories Savannah is plagued with - the abuse from her father, the denial of such abuse, and the wonderful yet frightening life lived on Melrose Island. The plot thickens as we hear of their late-brother Luke and their ambitious and quixotic mother.
As a New Yorker, reading Pat Conroy is like a breath of fresh, southern air. I've never been to the south, and frankly, before reading this book, I had never even thought about traveling there. But the south Pat Conroy describes seems entirely appealing. It is so foreign from what I'm used to, and for that matter, what you are probably used to as well. Interestingly enough, I think that putting Tom and Savannah in New York perhaps enhances the view of the south. This forsaken place needs to be reevaluated, and I believe Pat Conroy does just that.
My next book, The Great Santini, has a lot of the same features - southern family, abusive father, struggling children - but with an entirely new twist. The Marine Corps. I'm half way through with it and let me just say that I am not at all displeased. Reading Pat Conroy has made this New Yorker quite open-minded about the south. I hope to post about The Great Santini soon.
Tender Morsels was a great book but some of the parts were so explicit, that I had to skim over them. The first few chapters did not do the book justice, and I found that I wanted to put it down. But I stuck with it, and I am happy that I did. The characters and scenes were described so wonderfully, that I felt as though they were being acted out. I only had one problem, these sex scenes completely creeeped me out. I couldn't stand them and was actually surprised that this was a young adults book. I am glad that I read it, but I don't know if I would recommend it to just anyone.