Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Okay for Now" by Gary D. Schmidt

360 pages

Things aren't going so well for Doug Swieteck. His brother is off fighting in the Vietnam War, which has his sweet mom worried and his rough father even more brutal than usual. His dad has trouble keeping a job, so now they have to move to "stupid Maryville," a tiny town in New York where his dad's friend has found a place for him to work. At first, Doug hates the place. There's nothing to do and he misses his old friends. But then he starts getting to know people. He meets spunky Lil Spencer, whose father hires Doug to work as a delivery boy in his deli. He befriends Mr. Powell, a local librarian, who introduces him to drawing. He even gets a babysitting gig for a broad of feisty kids and buddies up with an elderly woman who is writing a play. Through these relationships, Doug discovers new parts of himself and learns to stand up for the things that are important to him.

This is definitely one of the best books I've read so far this year. From the first page, I loved Doug's voice and his goofy observations. I really like his snark and how he talks to audience sometimes. There's the dark stuff in this story (the war, Doug's abusive father)--which I like because it gives us a lot to think about-- but it totally cracked me up as well. The pacing works well, too. Even though there's not a lot of action per se, all of the little things Doug goes through combined with the engaging narration equals a book that I couldn't put down. Plus there's an awesome librarian! What more could one want from a book?

April 2012 Winners

Yeah, I know, these statistics are really late! Sorry about that. I really have no excuse. Anyway, here are our winners and total stats for April:

Jenny: 18
Heather: 15
Sarah Bean Thompson: 14

Heather: 4359
Sarah BT: 4145
Jenny: 3707

Participation Points
Meggan: 20
Jenny (tie): 19
Sarah BT (tie): 19

Books: 101
Pages: 30,778
Participants: 13

Way to go, guys! Keep it up! 

Don't forget the upcoming challenges: 

May: Memoirs
June: Any book with "summer" or "night" in the title (in honor of the Summer Reading Program and this year's theme)
July:  Red, white, or blue cover
August: Missouri author

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Storm of Swords

A Song of Ice and Fire, book 3
by George R.R. Martin
973 pages

This continues the story right where book 2 leaves off.  King's Landing is recovering from the battle well, and Stannis is on Dragonstone licking his wounds and regrouping.  Robb is in the west, planning a course to re-take the North.  Lady Catelyn is grieving for her dead sons, Arya is still trying to reach Riverrun, and Sansa is still stuck in King's Landing.  Tyrion is recovering from his wounds and planning his next moves as his father has taken over as the Hand.  Jon is still wandering around with wildlings, and Bran is still trying to find his three-eyed crow.  Daenerys Targaryen is still in the East building up an army and followers.  Many twists and turns occur in this novel.  Some characters die, some reach their goals, and some are suffering from blows they never even imagined.  Nobody ends in quite the same place as where they began. You also begin to understand why this series is called "A Song of Ice and Fire," and it has less to do with dragons than you might imagine.

A new narrator is added to this novel: Jamie Lannister.  Believe it or not, I actually found him likable.  Yes, I know he sleeps with his sister, and threw an innocent boy off a window ledge; however, he's not all evil.  Like the other characters in this book, he is "grey."

I was sorely disappointed by some of the events in this novel.  I can't really say much more because if I do, you'll know who's living and who's dead at the end.  *sigh*

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


by Lauren Kate
452 pages

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Good plot, it just didn’t grab me. Decided not to continue on with the series because I ‘m just not that into Luce & Daniel.