Books Young Adult

CYBILS Finalist: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby is one of those books that you hear alot of talk about and you want to read for yourself so you can see if the hype is true.


Recently awarded the 2016 Printz award by the American Library Association (I’m a member, woo hoo!)

“Bone Gap” perfectly melds elements of fairy tales, myths, gothic romance and magic realism into the story of Finn, who lives in a town with gaps in the very fabric of time and place.

I’d heard the hype about Bone Gap and while I hadn’t heard the bit about magic realism, I still wanted to read it.  When you open a book, you have to get your mindset right for the book, right? Ok so I had no idea going in that the premise was magic realism. To be sure, I love speculative fiction, but I just like to know what kind of reality I’m dealing with. Initially I thought the story reminded me of Room (watch the Oscars for that book, y’all) but then it didn’t.  It wasn’t until near the end of the book that I figured out that we were talking MR which is kind of disconcerting as you try to make sense of the events in the story and how can they happen if this is supposed to be realistic? But that might be my fault and so I don’t hold it against the book.

One of the best bits about the story was the conversation between Finn and Miguel discussing Miguel’s heritage. Miguel is Venezuelan and has to explain the difference between that and Mexican to Finn.  If you’ve ever had to justify your heritage you will appreciate the discourse. Also? Teen boys have strange and dumb conversations so you’ll get it. Also, the inclusion of face blindness was very interesting.

I enjoyed the book. It didn’t knock my socks off like I expected but I liked it.  Some books don’t live up the hysteria around it. This book may be one of them. Still, very glad I read it. Have you read it?

Adult Fiction

What’s In My Ear: Room by Emma Donoghue

So. I’m currently reading/listening to

Room by Emma Donoghue

Room by Emma Donoghue

Don’t let the childish cover fool you!

This is not a kids’ book (although suitable for older teens). Here’s a blurb

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Wow.  I’m not sure if I can wait to finish it.

Books Young Adult

All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry #ATTM

All the Truth That's in MeEvery once in a while you find a book that stays with you.  All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry is that book.  At the risk of giving a very bad description of the book, read what it says from the author’s blog.

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

Pretty amazing right?

I can’t quite place the time and location of the setting, it feels like 18th century America. Sort of the time when Hester might have been living during the Scarlet Letter.  Certainly the character’s names allude to that time: Abijah Pratt, Goody Pruett, etc.  The two aspects of the book that amaze me are Judith’s strength of character: how she survives the constant onslaught of degradation at home and in town is remarkable. Also amazing are the depths of  depravity that people sink to.  I am reminded of a line in which our heroine says something like: Just because you think I’ve been used before doesn’t mean you can use me.  Here’s the phrase, beautifully put:

I’ll not be the pet of men who feel like touching something, anything.  I’ll not be thought easy to have for having been had before.

And that, my friends is the sign of a strong female character.  We need more of these.  Well done Julie!

Julie Berry

Here’s a pic of Julie and me. She’s totally trying to steal my drink.

Get this book right away for every young woman in your life.

It’s a life changer.



I give it four paws!

Unconventional Librarian 4paws






Seventeen-year-old Sarah Meadows covers the walls of her bedroom with images of beautiful faces she clips from magazines—and longs for “normal.” Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. Why can’t she be like Diamond, the comic-book hero she created? Diamond would never let the insults in. That’s harder for Sarah.

But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had. Can she look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside, somehow becoming a hero rather than a victim? It’s the only way Sarah will have any chance of escaping the prison—both seen and unseen—that this deranged killer has placed around her.

STAINED has a new cover and a surprise excerpt!  Enjoy this little tidbit from Cheryl:

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for my entire life—the beginning of normal.

I reach for the latest Seventeen and flip through its glossy pages until I find the perfect face. The girl is pretty, with wide green eyes, hollow cheekbones, and full, pouty lips. But what I notice most is her smooth, unblemished skin. It’s perfect. I cut the photo out and stick it above my bed, in the last of the space. Now I can’t even see the sunlight yellow of my walls—but the confidence that shines in these faces is even brighter. And today I’m going to get so much closer to that. I don’t care how much the treatments hurt; it’ll be worth it. It can’t hurt as much as the stares and rude comments I get every day.

I know I shouldn’t let people’s ignorance get to me. Mom’s always telling me I’m beautiful; that it’s what’s inside that counts. But she’s not living in the real world. Sure, whether you’re kind or good matters. But pretty people automatically get better treatment. Ugly people get ignored … if they’re lucky. And me, I get stares, taunts, or people going out of their way to pretend they don’t see me.

I try to think of it as fuel for my comic scripts. All heroes have to go through personal trauma before they find their true strength—and most of them feel like outsiders even after they do.

huh? huh?

yeah I know. niiiiiice.

STAINED: Sometimes you have to be your own hero.

you go girl.