Colasanti, Susane. City Love
April 21st 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
E ARC from Edelweissis
Three girls from different background end up in an apartment near Manhattan for the summer. Sadie's parents live very near, but she's glad to be away from them while still in her beloved NYC. Darcy is from California and having fun discovering the city. Rosanna is from Chicago and has always wanted to live in NYC, but finances are really, really tight. The three get along okay, and soon all have boyfriends. Sadie finds Austin, who is also interested in urban planning, Rich Darcy finds formerly wealthy Jude, who is working as a street performer and has been cut off by his parents. She also has a random encounter with a hot guy in a dressing room at the Gap, which is when I should have know that this was veering too far away from middle grade. All three girls make slight progress in their work and educational careers, but spend most of their time having idyllic romantic trysts in various New York venues.
Strengths: Middle grade girls love to read about girls in college, who have their own places, and who have romances. This would be great for that, but also included too much information for me to actually buy.
Weaknesses: One of the girls is molested as a child. One of the boyfriends ends up being married. Just ended up being TMI.
What I really think: Enjoyed tremendously, and would buy for high school or public library, just not for middle school.
Mills, Wendy. Positively Beautiful
March 3rd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
I was so intrigued by this title, but I think it is more for a high school audience. Not because of the breast cancer issue, but because of Erin's dysfunctional reaction to it-- running away with someone's airplane is just not a good idea. Very intriguing book, but I just wanted to slap Erin for giving her already suffering mother an even harder time. I also found it a bit hard to understand why her mother wouldn't have gone ahead and had a double mastectomy to prevent further incursions of cancer.
From the Publisher:
"Erin Bailey's life changes forever the day her mom is diagnosed with breast cancer. It's always just been Erin and Mom, so living without her is not an option. Life takes another turn when the cancer is linked to a rare genetic mutation, and Erin must grapple with the decision of whether or not to have her own DNA tested. Her only outlets are flying lessons, where looking to the horizon calms her deepest fears, and her new friend Ashley, a girl she met in an online support group. But when a flash decision has Erin flying away to find her new friend, she embarks on a journey from the depths of despair to new love and a better understanding of the true meaning of beauty.
This thought-provoking story brings readers to the emotional brink and back again, as they experience Erin's fear, her frustration, and ultimately . . . her freedom."
Arnold, David. Mosquitoland.
March 3rd 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers
The only reason I finished this was because I was stuck at a band concert and had nothing else to read. Loved the cover and book design, but by page 9, when the f-bomb was dropped for the first time, I was already tired of Mim and the Young Adult prose style. Why does Young Adult prose often feel so... self indulgent? It's a perfect fit for high school students, who are that way themselves, but I vastly prefer the straight forward middle grade voice. Definitely look into this book for high school and public libraries, just not middle school ones.
From the Publisher:
I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.
After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.