Griffin, Paul. Burning Blue.
25 October 2012, Dial
Copy received from the publisher.
Nicole Castro was the prettiest and most popular girl in school before she was attacked with acid and her face was disfigured. Jay was a loner at the edge of the crowd until his public epileptic seizures brought him to everyone's attention. Both of them are getting counseling at school and form an uneasy alliance. Jay is determined to find out who attacked Nicole, and uses his hacking skills to uncover information. In the meantime, Nicole is trying to get on with her life despite her new challenges. Both have plenty of issues to work through-- absent parents, parents who care too much, and awkward social entanglements that are complicated by their other challenges. If Jay can find out who attacked Nicole, will their relationship change?
Strengths: This was interesting on a lot of levels. The mystery of Nicole's attack was handled well, and I liked how Jay used his computer hacking skills. Jay's epilepsy also seemed realistically portray and was something I haven't read much about. Great cover.
Weaknesses: This is more of a high school book. Only one f-bomb, but several sexual references, and the tone is more introspective navel gazing than action, and that's usually where the line between high school and middle school books fall.
Bracken, Alexandra. The Darkest Minds
18 December 2012, Disney Hyperion
ARC from Baker and Taylor
I mention this book in case someone is looking for a dystopian trilogy where children are abused. Some shades of Uglies, somehow, and I can see it being popular in high schools. Mainly, I just feel guilty that 60% of the books Baker and Taylor send me are either teen paranormal or teen dystopia, and I rarely review them because they just aren't middle grade. So, to appease my guilt, this description from the publisher.
"When Ruby wakes up on her tenth birthday, something about her has changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her--East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living."
After reading those two books, and currently looking at Patterson and Paetro's grim but so far not middle school inappropriate Confessions of a Murder Suspect, we need something light! Spent a lot of yesterday making Holiday Pretzel Bites (picture from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-pretzels/) and peanut blossoms. While listening to Janis Joplin. Guess it's that kind of weekend; rainy and sort of depressing.
Doesn't help that Google Plus Chats is making me feel rather incompetent-- the Cybils short list discussion needs to happen on 27 December, and I'm still trying to get the last two panelists all set up to participate. I don't have the stomach for technology-- it makes me panic!