August 8, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Goodreads kindly informed me today that I should probably adjust my 2012 Reading Goal as I'm already 92% of the way there...my goal was to read 50 books in 2012, and I have been a bit of a reading fiend ever since Spring, averaging a book every other day for most of June and July!  Needless to say, it's been a good summer. :)  I am completely overwhelmed at the idea of reviewing all of the awesome books I've been reading since my last WIRW post, so instead I'm going to post pictures, goodreads.com summaries, and my rating out of 5 stars for the best books I've read in the last month.  I feel like that does not do some of these books justice, but they are too good not to share!!!

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
SummarySeventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transfer from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding...Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
5/5 stars--one of the absolute BEST BEST BEST books I've read in 2012.  Read this.

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
Summary Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.  But Lucky has a secret--one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos--the prison his grandfather couldn't escape--where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside? 
5/5 stars--Wow, this book was wonderful.  So amazing and a powerful message message about bullying.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Summary "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. "  August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?  R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels. 
5/5 stars--I would have given this one 6 if I could.  So many amazing, beautiful themes.  I think this one deserves its own post, so stay tuned. :)

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
SummaryVera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.  So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
4/5 stars--A little dark, totally awesome.  Couldn't put it down.

Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green
SummaryAndi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan--divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia--is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives…and in their hearts.
4/5 stars--Totally outside my regular reading realm.  I didn't really expect to like this one, honestly, but I really loved it.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
SummaryOne school. Twenty voices.  Endless possibilities.
There's the girl who is in love with Holden Caulfield. The boy who wants to be strong who falls for the girl who's convinced she needs to be weak. The girl who writes love songs for a girl she can't have. The two boys teetering on the brink of their first anniversary. And everyone in between.
As he did in the highly acclaimed Boy Meets Boy, David Levithan gives us a world of unforgettable voices that readers will want to visit again and again. It's the realm of possibility open to us all - where love, joy, and the stories we tell will linger.

4/5 stars--This one is really different, written in poetry.  Loved the way it was in the voice of a different character for each segment; loved hearing about characters from others' perspectives.  Interesting picture of high school.  


The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Summary Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fianc├ęs, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise:  Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.  While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her....
4/5 stars--Fluffy, light, and humorous.  Perfect beach read. :)

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
SummaryThat's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father.  But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?
4/5--My first Sarah Dessen did not disappoint.  Another light and fluffy beach read!

I am already itching to reread a few of these books!!  So good.  And now, off to my classroom to laminate a billion things!

What have you been reading this summer??

All italicized summaries and cover photos courtesy of goodreads.com!

6 comments:

  1. Your post made me feel less alone today....I quite telling people how many books I read during the summer because they look at my like I am crazy! I try to finish a book every 1-2 days. And have read some fantastic books this summer. Thanks for your list. I already put a bunch of them on hold. My favorite summer read has been For Darkness Sees the Stars.

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  2. I loved A Piece of My Heart!

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  3. Oh I used to read all the Sarah Dessen books when I was in high school and I loved them! This summer I've read the Hunger Games series, some Hemingway books, One Day, The Starter Marriage, and The Paris Wife, among others. I just picked up the Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and I'm kind of excited about it!

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    1. I heard One Day was super sad!! And I love Traveling Pants. :) Did you read the adult book written last year? I think it was called Sisterhood Everlasting...

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  4. You ARE a reading fiend! That's impressive.

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    My Running Shortz

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