Thursday, July 12, 2012

What to Read Fall 2012

AKA What I'm Doing With My Summer Vacation: Part 1

I'm digging my way through all the ARCs I collected from ALA, and I'm having a blast. Here's my first trio of previews for what will be hitting the shelves soon:

Unwinding after a beach day
1.    Time Between Us by  Tamara Ireland Stone

At ALA I was promised that this book would be romantic. The marketing guy was nice and used a hushed knowing smile when he said “ro-man-tic.” He said it was definitely a “must-read.” And so I did. And then I threw the book against a wall. That said, it’s actually a good book, but there are books one should read at certain points in one’s life and others that might compel them to throw a book against the wall (hint: if you're single and having a down day, you may not want to read about people in love).
 So let me break it down for you. Who should read this? People who love that Notebook-esque romance, music junkies who want a written soundtrack to the grunge movement of the 90’s, those who want to escape to a reality where time travel is possible so you can go back and change the past, hop over to Italy for a date, or just want to feel the rush of what first love is like all over again.

2. Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught
On the porch

For a crime-show junkie like me, this one sucked me right in. Vaught goes inside the head of a very lovable schizophrenic teenage boy who has to fight through voices in his head, terrifying imagery, etc. to try to figure out what happened to his best friend/ girl of his dreams, a selectively mute girl from his Severely Emotionally Disabled class who has disappeared. He's praying that the voices who tell him it's his fault are wrong as his medication begins to wear off and the 24 hour mark of her disappearance draws closer.

Who should read this? Anyone who is as addicted to Criminal Minds as I am, but also those who like psychological thrillers, quirky love stories, or those who want a better understanding of what it's like to have mental illness. I will NEVER look at those who ride the short bus the same way again. Thank you, Susan Vaught.

3. A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes

My favorite chocolate shop/ cafe
This one isn't new, but when I was at the booth, the woman working took me through a number of the new titles, and then ended by putting this book in my hands and said "it isn't new for fall, but every teenage girl should read this." She's right. There are so many times in my teaching career where I wish I had this book on hand to give to a girl who's sitting outside my classroom on the verge of tears confessing that she or a friend might be pregnant. It's a novel in verse split between two Marys. One is the Mary of the Bible, the other is "Mister", whose given name is Mary. The poems parallel the two girls as they discover they're pregnant, the rumors that swirl, and track Mister's crushing sadness that she has broken a promise to God and gotten pregnant by a guy who doesn't love her. It's deceptively simple, beautifully-written, and ultimately hopeful.
Out now

Who should read this? Every religious teenager who is considering having sex (though having attempted to teach "girl" books to the guys before, I'm not optimistic on boys reading it), the parents/teachers of teenagers, those who have forgotten that there are real and high stakes in normal teenage life, and those who want to explore what it really means to be Christian.

Due out Oct. 2012
Disney Hyperion
Due out Sept. 2012

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