Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Evermore (The Immortals #1)

Noel, Alyson.  Evermore.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2009.  Print.


2009 #1 New York Times Bestseller
2009 International Bestseller
2009 USA Today List of Top 100 Best-Selling Books of 2009
2009 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
2009 New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age 2010
2009 TeensReadToo Star Gold Award
Flamingnet Reviews Top Choice Award
Justine Page Turner Pick


After a car crash kills her entire family, Ever is left with physic abilities and no way to control them until she meets Damen Auguste.  Ever thinks Damen might be able to help her deal with this unwanted “gift”, but she soon finds out he’s got secrets and mysterious powers of his own.


It was a mistake.  An accident.  Something that wasn’t supposed to happen.  Ever didn’t mean to linger; she desperately wanted to follow her family after the car crash as they crossed over from this life into the afterlife.  If only she hadn’t gotten distracted in that beautiful field with the pulsating trees and shimmering grass.  It’s too late now though because while her entire family has moved on, Ever is still stuck in this world, living with her aunt and trying to adjust at Bay View High.  She’s also stuck with something else – the ability to see people’s auras and hear their thoughts.

Ever is just starting to give up on the idea that she can get her old life back – until gorgeous Damen Auguste transfers from New Mexico.  Damen’s the only one who can silence the noise and turn off the random energy around her.  Damen’s the only one whose entire life story she can’t see just by accidentally brushing up against him in the hallway.  Except, how can she “explain that ever since the accident, the only people whose thoughts [she] can’t hear, whose lives [she] can’t know, and whose auras [she] can’t see, are already dead?” 

*This book was recommended to me by Chloe (15 years old).  She enjoys this series because "it's not like other fantasy books" she's read.  Also, the novel explores the ability to "see people's auras and thoughts, things that could be real to some people", if one chooses to believe it.*

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Out of the Pocket

Konigsberg, Bill.  Out of the Pocket.  New York: Dutton Books, 2008.  Print.


2009 Lambda Literary Award for Best YA Novel
2009 Rainbow List for Young Adult Fiction


Bobby Framingham, the star quarterback at Durango High School, is gay, but he didn’t want anyone to know.  Now that his secret’s out and been picked up by the national media, Bobby’s starting to wonder if he’s about to lose his chance at making it in the NFL.


“Maybe it does matter.  I keep waiting for people to just accept that I’m gay, like gay and straight are equal.  But they aren’t equal.  Otherwise, would we be having this conversation?  Would we have voted on whether I could stay on the team?”

Bobby Framingham is gay, but hardly anybody knows except a few close friends.  He’s keeping it a secret because not only is he one of the most popular kids at school, but he’s also the star quarterback of his high school football team.  Bobby knows that in order to be picked up by an outstanding college he needs to keep his mouth shut, at least for now.  After all, professional athletes involved in team sports don’t come out until after retirement.  Before Bobby can decide when – and how – he’ll come out, though, the choice is taken from him by a friend who spots a good story and splashes it all over the front pages of the school newspaper.  Now Bobby’s secret is a national story.  How will his family react?  His teammates?  Coach?  Will Bobby be kicked off the team in the middle of his senior year?  And what will happen to his chance to play college ball and then make it as a pro in the NFL?

Bobby’s scrambling fast to make a play now that he’s been forced out of the pocket…but can he recover from this?

Friday, October 21, 2011

The First Part Last

Johnson, Angela.  The First Part Last.  New York: Simon Pulse, 2003.  Print.


Teen People Pick
2004 Coretta Scott King Award (Writing Category)
2004 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature


Bobby celebrates his 16th birthday by learning that his girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant.  Now the couple have to decide if they are going to keep the baby or choose adoption.


Bobby feels as if he’s caught between two worlds: his life Then and his life Now.

Then:  I turned sixteen by skipping school and going to a movie with my buddies.  I had my favorite meal, cheese fries and ribs, for dinner and headed home early to get some cake my mom baked.  “I never had any cake though ‘cause my girlfriend Nia was waiting on our stoop for me with a red balloon” and something she had to tell me.

Now:  It doesn’t matter to my daughter Feather that I just turned sixteen.  She’s counting on me to make the right choices for her.  I just wish I knew what they were.

Then:  Nia and I sat in the office of the adoption agency with our parents.  I thought about how if we gave up this baby we could go to college and get on with our lives.  Everyone was telling us we should be happy and relieved; we were doing the right thing…

Now:  My buddy, K-Boy, asks me: “So.  You going to keep her or what?”

This is Bobby’s life Then and his life NowThen, Bobby was only thinking about himself, his girlfriend and going to college after graduation…until Nia got pregnant.  Now what is Bobby going to do?

The God Box

Sanchez, Alex.  The God Box.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007.  Print.



Paul finds himself struggling to come to terms with both his sexuality and his relationship with God after he starts to have feelings for the new student, Manuel.


Paul is a normal teenager.  He has a girlfriend, Angie, and a small group of friends at school.  He likes singing in his church choir and even finds time to attend Bible Club meetings.  Even though Paul’s mom passed away a few years ago, he loves his dad and looks forward to his Abuelita (grandmom) visiting from Mexico.  Paul also has a good relationship with God.  He reads the Bible, attends Mass on Sundays and prays daily.  To help him with his prayers, his dad got him a God Box engraved with the Serenity Prayer.  Paul knows that when he’s anxious or struggling with something, he can write it down and put it in the Box.  Most of the stuff he’s prayed about has turned out ok… 

“But there remained one thing [Paul had] prayed about in a million different ways, giving it up to the Lord over and over again.  Yet no matter how many times [he] entered it into the God Box, the thing still hadn’t gone away”.  Paul may be a normal teenager and a faithful Christian, but Paul also thinks he might be gay and in love with the new kid, Manuel.  Will the God Box help him or will he have to learn to “trust a God bigger than any box” and accept himself for who he is?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive

Pelzer, Dave.  A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive. Deerfield Beach: Health Communications, 1995.  Print.


#1 New York Times Bestseller (for over 6 years)
#1 International Bestseller


Dave Pelzer chronicles his childhood years, ages 4 to 12, spent enduring his mother’s abuse and living in fear.  He also recounts how he was eventually taken out of his home as a result of the reports and observations made by those working at his school.


This autobiographical book details the abuse one boy undergoes as well as his journey from being a member of the family to “it”.  Pelzer recounts the degradation he suffered at the hands of his alcoholic mother and the betrayal he felt when he father refused to protect him.  Isolated from his family and forced to obey his mother’s horrific commands, Dave struggles to survive his seemingly impossible childhood.  Written purposefully from a child’s perspective, this work serves to illuminate the cycle of abuse for young adult readers.  While at times heartwrenching and difficult to read, this text does strive to instill a message of hope as witnessed through Dave’s determination to live.