Monday, March 22, 2010

Crosspost: New to Me: A Summer to Die

It's time for a (belated) New to Me post at the YALSA blog! Check out my thoughts on A Summer to Die.

Although I'm a big fan of the original cover of this novel . . .

I have to admit that I love the paperback reissue's cover.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Review: The Life of Glass

The Life of Glass
Jillian Cantor
2010; HarperTeen; ISBN 978-0-06-168651-1 (hardcover)

Summary: It's been over a year since her father died, but Melissa still misses him. Having his journal full of unusual facts and quotes about love, her memories of him, and the piece of rainbow glass he touched the night he died--they're no substitute for her father. Now that she's starting high school, Melissa's world is changing again. Her beautiful older sister Ashley ignores her at school, while her best friend Ryan is falling for glamorous new girl Courtney. To make it worse, her mother has started dating. Melissa must find a way to navigate her own path amid friends and family landmines.

The Life of Glass is about mourning, about going on as the death of your loved one becomes more nad more part of your past. Yet this novel is also about coming-of-age, learning how to stand on yoru own rather than go with the flow. That's what Melissa figures out as she grows closer to her sister and avoids the shallow friendship of Courtney. Most of all, it is the slow transformation of her relationship with Ryan-from friend to romantic interest-that marks Melissa's freshman year of exploration. Younger fans of Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott are the perfect audience for Jillian Cantor's second novel.

Any opinions on books published in 2010 are my own and do not represent the opinions of the 2011 Printz Committee.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review: The Sweet Life of Stella Madison

The Sweet Life of Stella Madison
Lara M. Zeises
2009; Delacorte Press (Random House); ISBN 978-0-385-73146-1 (hardcover)

Summary: It's the summer before her senior year, and Stella think her summer's all set. She'll spend time with her boyfriend Max, who's just said the L-word. She'll get rides and hang out with her friends Olivia and Kat. And she'll work for her mom at the Open Kitchen, a restaurant/food demonstration kitchen, where her father the cook often prepares special meals. As the daughter of foodies, Stella knows about chiffonade and ceviche, but she prefers cheeseburgers and cinnamon twists. But then her summer gets some unexpected new ingredients, like Jeremy, the flirty intern at the Kitchen. And then there's Stella's new job, working as an intern for a local paper . . . and writing about food. Will Stella's summer turn out like a perfect crepe or fall faster than a souffle?

A novel that's like your first glass of summer lemonade, The Sweet Life of Stella Madison is definitely a good-for-you read. Zeises brings her knack for realistic teen protagonists to the story of Stella, a "bouncing rubber ball" girl who wants to figure out what she really wants, and then get it. She spends the summer torn between Jeremy, who likes her but won't make a move, and Max, who is the perfect boyfriend. Meanwhile, her separated-but-not-divorced parents are slowly getting back into the dating pool--with other people--leaving Stella confused about her emotions. Add in her worries over writing about food and Stella's got a lot to deal with. Yet as the summer progresses, Stella finds her own voice and her own way. The Sweet Life of Stella Madison is a great choice for any reader who wants to find themselves, and perfect for burgeoning foodies. Pair this with Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw for a similar experience from a boy's perspective.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ARC Contest Winners

Congrats to Wendy, FireandIce, and Shannon, the winners of the three ARC packs! My apologies for the delay in announcing these winners. Happily, I'm now able to get back to blogging. And there will be another ARC contest coming in April!

Thank you to everyone--it's your readership and comments and tweets that help make the work worthwhile!