Monday, January 02, 2012

Not What I Wanted Wednesday

Again, I managed to get into a lot of Young Adult books that I don't see working in my library. It's a tricky line, sometimes based on content, sometimes based on style and sometimes, I kid you not, based on print size. Anything smaller than 12 point, and there are complaints! Most of these would probably be great in a high school library!

Kenneally, Miranda. Catching Jordan.
From "What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate."
What I wanted: A good sports story for girls.
Why it didn't work for me: While I adored Jordan and thought the writing was pitch perfect, this was far too mature for middle school. Several f-bombs, and a LOT of sexual innuendo. Drat. Really liked it otherwise.
People who liked this include: Obsession with Books, 2 Read or not 2 Read, Coffee Table Reviews, and Fabbity Fab Book Reviews.

King, A.S. Everybody Sees Ants.
From the publisher: " Overburdened by his parents' bickering and a bully's attacks, fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman begins dreaming of being with his grandfather, who went missing during the Vietnam War, but during a visit to Arizona, his aunt and uncle and their beautiful neighbor, Ginny, help him find a new perspective."
What I wanted: All the cool blog kids are reading it.
Why it didn't work for me: The style and voice of this seemed older, and the magical realism premise seemed a bit confusing.
People who liked this include: Guys Lit Wire, Booking Mama, Ringo the Cat's Blog, and My Words Ate Me.

Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children.
From the publisher: "Sixteen-year-old Jacob, having traveled to a remote island after a family tragedy, discovers an abandoned orphanage, and, after some investigating, he learns the children who lived there may have been dangerous and quarantined and may also still be alive."
What I wanted: All the cool blog kids are reading it.
Why it didn't work for me: Tiny print, weirdly disturbing pictures, and the tone and pacing of an adult novel.
People who liked this include: YA Book Lover, Of Books and Reading, S. Krishna's Books, and The Infinite Shelf.

McKinty, Adrian. Deviant.
From"Danny Lopez is new in town. He made a mistake back home in Las Vegas, and now he has landed at an experimental school in Colorado for “tough cases.” At the Cobalt Charter School, everything is scripted—what the teachers say, what the students reply—and no other speaking is allowed. This supercontrolled environment gives kids a second chance to make something of themselves. But with few freedoms, the students become sitting ducks for a killer determined to “clean up” Colorado Springs."
What I wanted: A mysterious, supernatural creepy story.
Why it didn't work for me: I don't like cats. REALLY don't like cats, and even for me, the first chapter of graphic cat abuse was too much.
People who liked this include: Inspirations and Popcorn Reads.

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. Every Other Day.
From the publisher: "Every other day, sixteen-year-old high school student Kali transforms into an invincible demon hunter, but when she sees that a popular fellow-student is marked for death in the next twenty-four hours, unfortunately it is the wrong day for Kali."
What I wanted: Adore this author's Tattoo, The Squad and Raised by Wolves series and was hoping for more.
Why it didn't work for me: Fighting hell hounds didn't feel like something my 6th graders who want paranormal romance books were really looking for. Again, drat.
People who liked this include: Almost Grown Up, In the Good Books, The Book Swarm, and Bookd Out.

And am I the only one having trouble on Blogger with spacing? Even when I edit out the tags on the html, it still puts huge spaces between things. After about ten minutes of trying to fix it, I give up. Sorry about any excess spacing!


  1. Yeah, blogger is weird about spacing - I finally selected the whole post, removed all the formatting (the little Tx button) and then start over. Seems to work.

  2. Just finished THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF AMY FINAWITZ by Laura Toffler Corrie--it's on the upper end of middle grade. Hysterical! The characters are well drawn and the pacing is great.
    So happy to discover your blog!

  3. You are so right about font size! I get teens and their parents in my library asking for large print versions of the classics because the print in the regular books is apparently too small and hurts their eyes. I haven't read any of these yet, but I will keep them in mind the next time I need a good YA recommendation!

  4. Oh, wow! No wonder you're familiar with Rich Wallace! Your blog is geared toward his target audience! Great (and challenging) niche. I highly recommend a Highlights workshop if you can get there one day, and Rich is a wonderful facilitator.

  5. I think that Miss Peregrine's IS an adult book... I think it, and a few others lately, have ended up on the YA shelves b/c the publishers know that that section is getting a lot of foot traffic from adults who enjoyed Hunger Games. It's been interesting.

  6. Hi! Really nice blog. I love how you review books - what you liked, what didn't work. It's very helpful for writers and readers who want to explore different genres in children's and ya literature.

  7. I read catching jordan via netgalley and didn't like. Sometimes it seems as if the author went out of her way to show that the main character liked boys. At one point I was screaming at the book, okay you play football but your not a lesbian I get it can we move on please.

  8. Annie, I put that book on reserve at the library. I'll always up for a good suggestion, but few people ever recommend something to me! We probably ARE about the same age, too!

  9. I enjoyed Everybody Sees the Ants, but I can see how it's not for everyone. I haven't read the others, although I get the impression that Miss Peregrine is more an adult book passed off as YA (I refer it to is the YA book that was written so adults don't feel silly about reading YA book).

  10. Funny, Ms Yingling, because I thought Miss Peregrine ultimately felt more like a young YA book. Sure, the pictures were a neat gimmick, and there was something rather adult-novel-ish about it, but the way the story played out felt like a not-very-original older MG/young YA adventure novel.

    I have a difficult time with A.S. King too. I hated the one about the pirate girl (finished it, but hated it) and required much, much blogger love to put Vera Dietz and Everyone Sees the Ants on my list. I'll see how I feel when I get there. It may have been the main character in the pirate book.

  11. I'm with you on blogger! Very frustrated :)

    Middle school is SO hard as far as finding great books, especially for girls who want the romance etc etc. My daughter has kept reading, through 8th grade, and I work to find stuff for her.

    Frequent harsh language and sexual content just doesn't belong in a middle school library imo. I can't think of anything that we've "discovered" lately that you probably don't know about :)