Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Five: Spotlight

I decided this Friday Five is going to be my top five books that, when I gush about them to people, they go, "Hmm...I haven't heard of that one." Which is ridiculous, because these five books are AMAZING and give me writer's butterflies. So check out this list, and then check out the books. Over the next week or so, I'll be doing more in-depth reviews of them.

  1. The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson): After the death of her older sister, Bailey, Lennie is torn between two boys. Joe is lighthearted and endlessly optimistic, helping Lennie remember how to be happy. Toby, Bailey’s boyfriend, seems to be the only one who understands her grief. Lennie struggles to choose her path: let her sister’s memory rest and move on, or refuse to pack away any of Bailey’s belongings and feel like she’s—almost—still here.

  2. Like Mandarin (Kirsten Hubbard): Fourteen year old Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin Ramey, the town wild child. When Grace is assigned to assist Mandarin with a school project, they develop a dangerous friendship, complete with skinny-dipping in the canal, stealing the town’s animal head trophies, plotting to run away to California. At first, Grace believes their friendship is magic, but she slowly realizes that Mandarin has an alternate agenda. And Grace just may fall victim to a betrayal.

  3. Jellicoe Road (Melina Marchetta): For as long as anyone can remember, the students at the Jellicoe boarding school have engaged in a territory war with the Townies and the Cadets (city boys in a summer exercise training program). Taylor Greer is the reluctant leader of the Jellicoe school. She’s erratic, with minimal people skills and little desire for friends. She’s more preoccupied with the mysterious dreams she’s having about a boy in a tree, and the not-so-fictional story her guardian, Hannah, wrote about five kids in Jellicoe. The last thing she needs is to negotiate with the leaders of the other territory war factions, especially since the Cadet leader is Jonah Griggs, the boy she ran away with at age fourteen in search of the mother who abandoned her at a 7-11 years earlier. The boy who betrayed her trust. And on top of everything else, Hannah has disappeared, leaving Taylor to unravel her past alone. 
  4. Fall For Anything (Courtney Summers): Eddie Reeves wants to know why her photographer father committed suicide. No one wants to talk about it—her mother is borderline catatonic; her mother’s annoying friend, Beth, has moved in to take care of her; and her best friend Milo refuses to tell her what he remembers about the night her father died. Then she meets Culler Evans, one of her father’s photography students who seems to have the answers she seeks. She and Culler embark on a wild scavenger hunt, searching for the scenes in her father’s photographs, hoping to learn the truth.

  5. Shine (Lauren Myracle): Cat comes out of her self-imposed exile after her former best friend, Patrick, is the victim of a vicious hate crime. She takes it upon herself to fill in the holes that the police don’t seem to care about and begins interrogating townsfolk. She winds up discovering more than she bargains for, from crystal meth labs to secrets about her own brother and his friends. The town—intolerant and gossipy—is a character in itself, almost working against Cat as she tries to unravel the truth.
    *I already reviewed Shine, so click here if you want to learn more.

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