Margin Notes: Teen at heart

As you know, I really like YA books. Probably from my time spent at Random House Children's Books. I enjoy the fun of YA, the embrace of the ephemeral, the deeply felt feelings, the injustice, the love, the heartbreak. So, I always put good YA on my library list. Here are a few I've read but haven't yet posted reviews of.

Also--These books would be great gifts for any teen on your holiday shopping list! (Except maybe the last? Although lots of teens seemed to like it...)

We Were Liars
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book a lot. Great characters, crazy family, crazy situation, crazy plot twist. It's just what a teen will want to read. While I liked it, I think I'm not the target audience of this one. I found the main character to be a little self-serving and self-involved. The family was kind of gross and their infighting turned me off. The plot definitely kept my attention, but it wasn't a game changer or anything I'll return to. Perfect for the summer!

The FeverThe Fever by Megan Abbott
The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.

A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire,The Fever affirms Megan Abbot's reputation as "one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation" (Laura Lippman).

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book had a compelling plot-I was interested to see where it would go. I liked the characters in the family--the Dad was such an interesting one, the brother's protective instincts and teenager-y angst, Deenie who's just figuring out who she is and who she trusts. The plot was compelling, but it wasn't anything that stuck with me or made me feel like I needed to read more by the author. I think that's probably b/c I'm about 15-20 years older than the target age group. :) I can see myself LOVING this as a tween.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer 3.52

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so excited to read this b/c 1. I loved The Interestings and 2. I love YA. Combo! Unfortunately, although I thought this book had a lot of potential, it just didn't work for me on a lot of levels, and ultimately was a disappointment and pretty superficial explorations of things that could have been really meaningful (view spoiler)

I wish I could say this book was worth it, but really, it was just frustrating.

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I'll Give You the Sun


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