What librarians do over winter break: Read tons of books, write lots of reviews, and decide that dusting is a largely overrated activity. I spent an inordinate amount of time working on Monday's podcast; why does my office at home have so much more echo than my school library? I feel fully conversant in the entire history of middle grade football fiction having done this book list!
Have to say: not a fan of holidays in general. So many of them involve cooking, for one thing, then dealing with other people. My best friend and I have plans made for the future. They involve a cruise to somewhere warm where we are asked to do nothing more than sit and bask in the sun. That's a few years away, but here's a virtual cruise if you are in need of one!
Renn, Diana. Blue Voyage
October 13th 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Zan's father is a politician caught in a sex scandal-- Zan reacts to this by shoplifting, which gets her on the news. To escape, her mother takes her to Turkey to provide emotional support to her aunt, whose husband was killed in a hiking accident. He was supposed to be the lecturer on the cruise, so the aunt is taking the cruise as a sentimental journey. Zan's just pissed with life-- her friends all dropped her after the scandal, her mother doesn't trust her, and she's very self conscious about her vitiligo, which requires extra maintenance in the hot Mediterranean sun. Luckily, she meets a girl her age, Sage, who is mysteriously on the cruise by herself. Soon, Zan finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy involving antiquities, and is given ample opportunity to make all sorts of mistakes which lead to her being arrested, drugged, and kidnapped. Will she be able to figure out what's up with Sage, as well as the circumstances of her uncle's death.
Strengths: Lots of good details about traveling in Turkey, as well as about antiquities. Lots of action and adventure-- reminded me a great deal of Mrs. Pollifax, although Zan doesn't have the mad skills that she has!
Weaknesses: This felt more like an adult novel, with all of the side stories about the aunt's struggles with infertility and keeping a hotel going, the mother dealing with her husband's infidelity, etc. There is some nice romance, though. Also, neither Zan nor Sage make good choices. Seriously, who gets drugged with juice anymore? Haven't they read the news?
What I really think: Picked up a copy at a book look, so will probably put it in my library, but this will be a hard sell in middle school. Nothing inappropriate, just really long. Readers who liked this author's Tokyo Heist will enjoy this.