Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen

Confession time: I had crushes on girls when I was in high school. Big shock, huh? Did I ever tell them? A few times, but mostly I did not. I had no clue about talking to girls. But at least I didn't get totally obsessed with one like Tyler does in this story.

Tyler falls for a girl the first time he sees her in the cafeteria his freshman year. He is fixated on her and doesn't even know her name for a long time until another girl tells him. OK, two things - one, her name is Becky (not Becca); two, the girl who tells Tyler her name eventually becomes his girlfriend (and her name is Syd).

Now that might not be a complication if Tyler had gotten over Becky after he started dating Syd and if he had ever told Becky how he felt. He did neither and Syd knows it. Even Tyler's friends know how he feels. He goes through his whole time in high school and never tells Becky how he feels even after he becomes friends with her. And even when she doesn't live up to his imagined version of her, he still cannot stop his utter fascination with her.

It's a quick read with interesting characters - some you may even identify with.

For more info, check out the Evergreen library catalog and the author's site.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Game by Barry Lyga

Before I jump into this, I will say again that Barry Lyga is one of my favorite authors. When a new book is coming out by an author that I really like, I have always have this feeling of anticipation and slight dread that the newest book will not live up to my expectations. Well, no worries this time because Mr. Lyga has once again written an incredible story.

This is the sequel to I Hunt Killers, one of my favorite books from last year. We are once again following Jazz whose father is one of the most notorious and infamous serial killers in history. Jazz is not a killer but often hears the voice of his father in his head telling him to act on his thoughts. Because his father taught him to be a serial killer, Jazz has a unique perspective and an incredible amount of knowledge about  serial killers. Gaining some fame (must read the first book for details), Jazz is asked to assist with the hunt for a killer in New York City.

So Jazz finds himself immersed in New York Police Dept procedures (some he agrees with, some not so much). He visits crime scenes and examines evidence. He even finds himself taunted by the serial killer. The question always at the base of it all is whether his dad is behind it all.

It is a complex, mesmerizing tale of darkness and depravity. Jazz and the people around him (including the ones he left back in his small hometown) are never safe.

This is not the end of the story, and I can't wait for more.

For more info, check out the Evergreen library catalog and the author's site.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

He wakes up on the floor of a train station with no memory of who he is...with only a copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau at his side. It is a rude awakening to open your eyes to a strange place and be confronted by a homeless man who wants your only possession.

The young man adopts the name Hank out of necessity (and a connection he feels to Mr. Thoreau) and meets up with two other lost youth, Jack and Nessa. The meeting quickly leads to trouble with the law and causes Hank to escape the city, reluctantly leaving his two new companions behind. The only place he can think to go is Walden Pond, the very place that Thoreau wrote about. It is the only lead Hank has for discovering his true identity, so he heads off to Concord, Massachusetts.

Hank explores the town hoping to remember something. With no memories returning, Hank falls into an almost normal routine lying to protect his real story. He befriends a librarian and Thoreau expert who offers to help him. Hank also meets some other teens when he pays a visit to the high school. Hailey is one of the first people he meets, and he is instantly attracted to her.

Hank knows the bad things from the city could catch up with him - the police or the bad people he crossed could show up any minute. He also feels guilt about a sister he starts to remember. He's not sure why, but he feels he needs to save her. There are few moments in his current life when he can totally relax.

Hank needs to discover his true identity, but I almost hoped he could keep his life in Concord, too. It is a story of tension and mystery. Who is Hank? How did he end up in a New York train station. It is the search for these answers and much more that kept me reading and riveted to the last page.

For more info about this book, check out the Evergreen Library catalog and the author's site.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

OCD, the Dude, and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn

I felt like I was back in my senior year with Danielle, the main character and narrator of the story. Not that my high school experience was much like hers, but there was enough that I felt connected.

We learn about Danielle through her writings - like class assignments, letters and private diary entries. Danielle is adopted and uncomfortable with the way she looks. She has very red hair and considers herself overweight. She has a major crush on Jacob, the star football player. She has a special connection with her Aunt Joyce and seeks her advice. But mostly, she is alone.

For reasons not clear at the beginning, Danielle must attend a socialization group. It is in the group that she meets Daniel who is always pushing the limits with adults including his stepfather and the groups councilor.

Danielle is dreading her class trip to England. She has been there before and loves it, but she hates the thought of spending so much time with her classmates. She knows they hate her and do not even want to be around her. She even tries to scheme her way out of it. In some respects, the trip is a turning point for Danielle's senior year which may turn out to not be so bad after all.

I enjoyed learning about Danielle and spending time with her during her senior year. I look back at my own experiences and think how unsure I was of things. I can definitely see the possibility of more stories about this amusing young woman.

For more info, check out the Evergreen Library catalog.