Sunday, January 19, 2014

Intriguing Books That Are Too Fond of the F-Bomb

You just never know when Young Adult books might work in the middle school. Only way is to read them, or find a good review from someone you trust. So, as much as these books intrigued me, they are not a good fit for my particular library. They were good, so take a look if you are looking for books for older readers.

18079858Baker, Ken. How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love
April 22nd 2014 by Running Press Kids
E ARC from

"Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?"
What I Wanted: A book about weight issues, which are always popular with my students. I was also interested to see how a male writer would write about body image issues. Fairly convincingly, I thought. I liked the book and stayed up late reading it.
What Didn't Work for Me: Mainly the sex. Emery loses her virginity in an unfortunate way and is outspoken about the topic in general. Think there was language, too. Drat.

13601681Plum, Amy. After the End. 
May 6th 2014 by Harper Children's
E ARC from

"World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past."

What I Wanted: I adored this author's Revenants series, and the writing in this was very good. Post apocalyptic type setting, with a little supernatural stuff thrown in... sounded good.
What Didn't Work: A little bit of language, but just slightly odd. The issue with Juneau's community hiding out pretending that WWIII had destroyed the world was weird enough, but then there was Reading nature, connecting with the Yara, and communicating by crow, and Miles being able to find her after reading his father's e mails. Great for high school, but will pass.

18053047 Kantor, Melissa. Maybe One Day
February 18th 2014 by HarperTeen 
E ARC from

From Goodreads:
"In the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.
A person's whole life, she's lucky to have one or two real friends. Friends who are like family . . . for Zoe that someone is Olivia. So when Olivia is diagnosed with leukemia Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her best friend.
Even when she isn't sure what to say.
Even when Olivia misses months of school.
Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.
The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine."
What I Wanted: I ADORE Kantor's books. Girlfriend Material is my number two favorite romance book ever, right after Cleary's Fifteen. This looked like a better version of Lurlene McDaniel (which tend to be somewhat formulaic), or like a non potty mouth version of John Green. The ballet was a nice touch.
What Didn't Work For Me: F-bombs EVERYWHERE! I was kind of shocked. Yes, Zoe is upset about Olivia's cancer, but the language was completely gratuitous. There was also a rather alarming scene where Zoe gets drunk and is highly inappropriate with Calvin. I very nearly ordered this without reading it, since the other books by Kantor have all been so good. Glad I didn't!

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a fan of the F-bomb either. I've been really surprised to see how frequently it shows up in YA novels. Glad you read these before ordering them for the library!