Friday, October 17, 2014

She is not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

I've always loved a good puzzle, and She is not Invisible is a great puzzle! At the very first sentence we are captivated by Laurenth,  a 15 year old girl "abducting" her brother and taking him to the United States. Laurenth is in search of her author father, a man who has suddenly disappeared. His "black book" (his author's notebook) has been found in America and Laurenth is certain that something bad has happened and he needs help.

With very little to go on Laurenth and Benjamin (and Benjamin's stuffed Raven, Stan), hop a flight to New York. Now, all this is made much more difficult because Laurenth is blind. It is amazing how she (with the help of her little brother, Benjamin) navigate the big city, uncover the clues, and follow the many "co-inky-dinks" along the way to finding their father.

Coincidences are the main theme of this story, and I've enjoyed many of those coincidences throughout my life. My favorite? When we moved to Sartell our new address was 711 Falcon Court. Our bank was Falcon National Bank. We made the offer on July 11 (7-11). Later there were additional times when the sequence 711 appeared and when Falcon was included. It was so much fun to see these recurring numbers, and I couldn't help but think of this while I was reading this book.

It's fun to see a book that isn't the start of a series, doesn't include a dystopian society, and has no appearances of vampires or zombies! If you're looking for a fun read, check out She is Not Invisible today!

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

To read The Selection is to read the entire series, because once you finish the first book you will want to begin the second, and then the third. The series is a fun read, especially if you enjoy the crises of teenage girls and their relationships with each other (and the boy they all think they love).

I thought the series could've been shortened into two, or even one novel. The battle to become the next queen by marrying Prince Maxon just had too many similarities to the tv show The Bachelor. Watching America Singer waver between wanting Prince Maxon and wanting to run away with Aspen, her boyfriend from her former life, became a little tiresome. However, the story held my attention long enough to keep reading, and, like The Bachelor, I was hooked. I'm sure many teenage girls will feel the same way!

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I read the novel Speak back in 1999 when it first was published, but decided to read it again since it is our book club selection for the beginning of the school year.

Speak brings back all the rotten memories of junior high and high school. Although I didn't have any terribly scarring events, I know that friendships were hard and that there were many tears I cried over things that happened at school. I remember the day I was told not to sit with my best friend because she'd been asked to sit with the "cool kids" and I wasn't invited.

But Speak goes well beyond the typical events of a teenager, and ventures into dealing with rape and bullying. I know this tough book will be a wonderful discussion point for the students in book club.

We happen to be reading a recent reprinting of the novel. This is wonderful, because Anderson has added some great additions to the book. First, the story is proceeded by a poem including many lines students have written to her over the years. At the end of the book there is a nice section where the author explains more about why she wrote Speak. There is also a study guide and an author interview. 
Here is a nice author interview with Anderson:

This video is the Laurie Halse Anderson reading the poem from the front of the book:

We Were Liars by e lockhart

The haunting storyline of We Were Liars grabbed ahold of me from the first line and kept me intrigued until the very end of this awesome book. The story of Cadence, her cousins, and their friend Gat, and their summer visits to Cape Cod, is one that I will long remember and recommend to others.

First of all, the character of Cadence is mesmerizing. As we learn more and more about her relationship with her cousins and her family, the events of the summers of their childhood, and her confusion over the accident that occurred the summer she was 15, she only becomes more interesting. Intertwined with her memory loss is the separation of classes and races that exists.

Like a great scary story told around a campfire, We Were Liars gave me goosebumps! I loved the ending, although I have to say it came far too soon for me! 
I've included a video of E. Lockhart reading from the beginning of We Were Liars

And a book trailer. Check out this book today!