I was really enjoying Jessica Blank's Karma for Beginners, but then decided it was more of a high school book and tore myself away to read the newest Brandon Mull Fablehaven installment. Loved the cover (the barely visible image of the couple kissing in the rear view mirror is great), and had to comment on the hippie mother-- the book is set in 1985, the girl is 14, and the case is made convincingly about her mother being a hippie. The two go to live in an ashram after moving from town to town, but it all works. Thank you, Ms. Blank, for paying attention to this pet peeve of mine. Tessa doesn't care for her mother's choice of lifestyle but finds that the ashram isn't all bad when she meets a hot, older guy who works on the grounds crew. Definitely fun.
My 10th grade daughter picked up Ned Vizzini's Be More Chill and said that she thought it was very clever, but what was up with the language? She enjoyed the story, but was honestly appalled that everything was curse words. Was the author trying to appeal to nonreaders without extensive vocabularies? My daughter is an avid reader, and not above using the words herself (which doesn't go over well with me!), but did not want to read them. Perhaps YA authors should note this. Interestingly, Mr. Vizzini's web site is blocked at our school.