Dumplin by Julie Murphy
Willowdean (Will for short) is a self-proclaimed fat girl. Nicknamed Dumplin by her former beauty queen mom, she is comfortable in her own skin and self-confident. Until she meets former jock Bo at her new part time fast food joint job. Then she starts to doubt herself. Her plan to restore her previous confidence is to enter a local beauty pageant just the way she is, to prove to herself and others that she has as much right to be up there as any skinny girl!
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
This one's on the "long list" for the National Book Award. Caden is a high school student who lives in two worlds, the real one and the one that's "real" to him. This is a highly praised chronicle of the development of schizophrenia in a young man, captivating and deep.
Endgame by James Frey
An exciting sci-fi thriller about gaming, meteors and the end of the world as we know it.
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
This is a beautiful and inspiring story (see my review of the book in a previous post). Now we have it in audio form! It's an important story about family, betrayal, and secrets. Noah and Jude are twins, inseparable for most of their formative years. Noah tells the early stories, Jude the present. Ideal for fans of John Green. Winner of the 2015 Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature.
None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
I also reviewed this book previously. Important topic, in the news a lot now, this story handles the issue of intersex in a sensitive and heartwarming manner. I loved this book.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky
Brian Yansky (Alien Invasions and Other Inconveniences, and Homicidal Aliens and Other Disappointments) has created a unique town in Utopia along with some very unique residents. Jack Bell can see and communicate with ghosts, his grandmother is a powerful witch, an elderly neighbor spends his time rocking on his front porch but seems to have some special insights that he shares once in a while with Jack, and his little sister is just beginning to exhibit some rather special gifts (or curses, depending on your point of view). Jack is an aspiring script writer for the movie world, and he sees his world through the lens of past favorite movies. But lately all is not well in Utopia. Two young girls have been apparently murdered and both have come to Jack for help. There are actually two worlds existing simultaneously in Utopia, and they will very soon collide.
This is not just fantasy, or romance, or murder mystery, but a combination of all three with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. It is a story of a boy about to graduate high school finding his way in both worlds and learning that sometimes you have to leave to get where you want to be. I would recommend this book to both boys and girls who like strange quirky stories.