Monday, June 09, 2008

48 Hour Reading Challenge

This yearly event hosted by Mother Reader ( coincided with my third weekend off my feet, so I did get some reading done:

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. Spin the Bottle. Phoebe and her best friend Harper join the middle school drama club and discover the intricacies of social life at this difficult age. Diva girls, boys who render her incapable of speech, difficult parents-- it's all here, set against a production of Guys and Dolls. What makes this stand out is great turns of phrase. Must have for middle school libraries.

Lupica, Mike. The Big Field. Hutch is displaced as the team shortstop, and can't get out of his system that D-Will is usurping his position. Mollified a little by being elected team captain, and the fact that his team makes the play off, life is still hard because he is taking baseball too seriously, much like his father, who failed as a major league player. I'll buy, but the boys really won't care about the father's crises, and I can't agree with the bio that says that Lupica is "the sporting world's finest storyteller." No, no. That would go to Carl Deuker, hands down, or perhaps the late Thomas Dygard.

Don't be fooled by this cover-- Cabot's Airhead was a VERY interesting look at what would happen if a super smart, jeans and hoodie wearing feminist ended up in the body of a supermodel. Em Watts is killed by a falling tv at a megastore at the same moment that Nikki Howard suffers a fatal aneurysm, so Em's brain is transplanted into Nikki's body. While it's Em's thoughts and feelings that survive, it's Nikki's face that continues on, so she has to continue modeling and surviving in the world of high fashion, even though Em also insists on returning to high school to continue her AP studies. Again, a must have.

Yeah, okay. L. J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries was published in 1991, WELL before Twilight. I'll get these (Book I:The Awakening and The Struggle, Book II : The Fury and Dark Reunion) in prebind because they are clean, decently crafted, and will be popular. Elena is a pretty girl who meets hot new boy who happens to be a vampire; things get complicated when his brother shows up and fights over her. The brothers did this before, in medieval times, and it didn't end well then. Must be the bad boy taking control and loving the girl for all eternity that makes these so intriguing to teens.

Brian Meehl, on the other hand, did a creative spin on vampire lore by creating Morning McCobb and the International Vampire League in his cleverly titled Suck It Up. Even though most vampires are beautiful, there are some SangFU (Blood flubups) who are doomed to spend eternity as gawky teens. Orphan Morning is one, so he is recruited by the IVLeague (a good name on so many levels) to be a spokesman for the cause. He works with a PR agency to show the world that vampires are real, most are good (except for Loners who still prey on humans), and deserve to be treated more fairly. (Later: Accidentally ordered three copies of this: none have ever made it back to the shelf. A very worthy purchase.)

Scott, Kieran. Geek Magnet. KJ Miller doesn't have my sympathy-- I would have been more than happy to attract geeks in high school, but she is annoyed with the ones who cling to her because she likes hot sports boy, and he seems to have an interest in her. Set also during play practices (Grease), KJ befriends the star, who helps her find ways to scare off geeks and attract the other boy, but in the end, geekyish boy wins out. Interesting subplot-- alcoholic father who refuses to get treatment. This raises the book out of truly pink and gives it some depth. Like Jingle Boy, another good offering by Scott. (AKA Kate Brian.)

Those were the books I liked. I will pass on the following:
DeLa Cruz. The Ashleys. Very disappointed. Loved Blue Bloods, and thought it was well-written, clever, and worth having. This was a piece of annoying, name-dropping fluff. Bleah.

Pixley. Freak. Okay, literature like this does not help students who are different and who make themselves targets of bullying. No one else would want to read so much dysfunction. No.

Thompson. Fourth World. Fantasy that involves an annoying, autistic stepbrother and this much rail travel is just not what my fantasy fans are looking for. Read her Switchers instead.

Smith, Jennifer. The Comeback Season. Why so many baseball books involve girls, I don't know. It's sad her dad died, but I can't see to whom I would recommend this book.

Taylor. Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box. Another Victorian-ish horror-y book with quirky characters and evil villains. Eh. I have all the Joan Aiken books, which are better.

Total:2,870 pages, not counting finishing up Binchy's Evening Class. No idea how long I spent.


  1. The way you described Airhead made me want to read it.

    High fives for doing the challenge :)

  2. Anonymous9:50 AM EDT

    Nice variety! I enjoyed Geek Magnet.

  3. You're a participant winner! Sent me your address and preferred book - early chapter book, middle-grade or YA - and the name you'd like it signed to. My email is motherreader AT gmail DOT com. (Replace the AT and DOT with the right symbols.)

    Thanks for playing!