Childs, Tera Lyn. Forgive My Fins.
Lily, a mermaid whose mother was human, is spending time on land, living with her aunt. She has a huge crush on swimmer Brody, and longs to tell him how she feels. She is constantly thwarted, however, by obnoxious neighbor Quince. Under the guise of helping her connect with Brody, Quince shows up in the library and kisses Lily. Lily is not only annoyed, she is now "bonded" to Quince, and must take him to visit her father, the king of Thalassinia, to have the bond revoked. Her father, however, likes Quince and refuses to do so until they go through a test. Of course, during this, Lily is able to see that she is enamored with the idea of Brody more than the actuality of him.
I'll probably buy this, but it rather annoyed me. Lily is weak in the "girl power" arts, and I wanted to slap her multiple times. Quince annoyed her so much that it was only a matter of time before they got together; does this ever end well in real life. This is one of those books, like Twilight, that points out how old and unromantic I am. The girls will probably enjoy this more than I did.
Balog, Cyn. Fairy Tale.
Morgan can tell the future, which makes her a popular person around school. Her sixteenth birthday is quickly approaching, and she's planning a big party with her boyfriend and best friend, Cam. There are complications; Cam is really a fairy child who was switched at birth and needs to return to the Otherworld on his sixteenth birthday. The human with whom he was switched, Pip, has returned from the Otherworld and is trying to make the switch easier for both his family and Morgan. This works pretty well. Cam starts to look more and more like a fairy, and Pip starts becoming more buff and attractive. It's inevitable that Cam returns to the fairy world, and it's interesting that while Cam sort of remembers their connection, fairy magic is employed and Cam is not much missed.
I thought that this was a good and realistic twist on the whole paranormal romance genre. That boyfriend of yours? Most likely gone in three months, sweetie. This is high school, and forever doesn't usually pan out the way you'd like. Morgan, however, was a little superficial, relying on Pip's looks more than his personality. This will get read; I don't think the girls will like it as much due to the lack of heart-stopping romance.
Shusterman, Neal. Bruiser.
Swimmer Bronte and her brother Tennyson have a lot going on at home; their college professor parents are too busy fighting to care about what their chidlren do. Bronte has decided to push the envelope by dating Brewster, a strange, antisocial hulk of a boy. Tennyson, much more clean cut and sporty, is concerned about his sister and checks out Brewster. He starts to understand that the boy is up against some bad odds-- he lives with a violent uncle in a run down house. What slowly comes to light is that when Brewster cares about people, such as his younger brother, Cody, he is able to absorb their injuries. This takes a huge toll on him, emotionally and physically, but he is drawn to the brother and sister despite this, which ends up having disastrous consequences.
The story is told from all three viewpoints, and Brewster's entries are done in poetry, ala Ginsberg's Howl. That I wasn't annoyed by this is a testament to how well these sections are done, although Surly Teen Boy, a HUGE Shusterman fan, wasn't as keen on these. This is a bit of a departure for Shusterman, veering toward the paranormal romance genre, but like all of Shusterman's work, was delightfully original. It was edgy without being inappropriate, and fans of this author will be pleased to have something to read while waiting for Everlost number 3.
Progress on the library? They are still putting on coats of paint and waiting for the carpet. I am hoping at this point to be able to get everything back IN the library by the first day of school.