Monday, November 30, 2009

November Mini-Reviews: Cybils Edition

If you've been following the Cybils at all, you know that those of us on the first judging panel have our hands completely full with books, until the end of December. My mini-review feature this month is focusing on some of the 168 books I have on the reading list. Just some quick thoughts on each one for you. Enjoy!

The Other Side of Blue, written by Valerie O. Patterson was true to its name and was filled with lots of blue. Blue oceans, blue names, blue paint, and "blue" emotions. This was a pretty depressing one, I will admit, and if you're looking for a book to cheer you up, I wouldn't go for it.
The emotion in it is pretty raw and well done, though at times, the characterization fell a bit flat for me. Cyan was a little too dark in all the pretty blueness and the other characters were just a little too one dimensional. Overall, a quick read that will fill your sadness quota for awhile, though the brilliant location of the book will make the winter months seem a bit warmer.

The Other Side of Blue
Valerie O. Patterson
240 pages
Young Adult
Clarion Books
October 2009
Review copy received from publisher

Pure, written by Terra Elan McVoy, was on a subject I had been waiting and waiting for in a YA book (no pun intended), and was finally put into my hands. Purity is the main theme, though friendship, love, and loss all play major roles as well.

I felt Tabitha, the main character, was written very realistically, with true feelings and concerns, though a few of her friends were over-the-top and not quite believable. I also felt the overall book was too long and dragged a little in parts, so I think a good 50 pages or so could have been lost without harming the integrity of the story.

Written on a subject that doesn't get nearly enough attention, I would definitely hand this to teens looking for a good story, as well as for some info on purity rings and their meaning.

Terra Elan McVoy
336 pages
Young Adult
Simon Pulse
April 2009
Copy borrowed from local library

The Homeschool Liberation League by Lucy Frank, is another one written on a pretty important topic these days with so many parents and children taking part in the homeschool movement. My husband and I have chatted about this ourselves, so I was really looking forward to picking this up, though I was left feeling a little disappointed.

Katya wasn't the most believable character, though her parents certainly were written in a realistic light. I kinda felt like the author was really trying to write from an 8th grader's point of view, but came off sounding just like an adult trying to be a kid.
A bit bummed about this one, but it held my attention enough that I would still encourage readers to pick it up. Homeschooling is definitely an important subject for fiction authors to be considering and I really hope to see more books on this in the future.

The Homeschool Liberation League
Lucy Frank
288 pages
Middle Grade-Young Adult
July 2009
Review copy received from publisher

Love is the Higher Law, written by David Levithan, was really a great read. Following three teens in the days and months following September 11th, the reader is treated to a rare glimpse inside the minds of the young and how they continued their lives after that tragic day. I was really impressed with each character, not even being able to name a favorite and was truly hooked from the first page.

The cover was awesome, the plot line fabulous, the length was perfect, and the characters really enjoyable. No complaints at all about this one! I would hand this to any teen, male or female, as I think anyone can really get a lot out of this one. Highly recommended!

Love is the Higher Law
David Levithan
176 pages
Young Adult
August 2009
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more about any of these titles, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Affiliate and will receive a small commission from your purchase, which helps pay the shipping for the upcoming giveaways!

No comments: