Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sophomores and Other Oxymorons by David Lubar

It has been a long time since we followed Scott Hudson through his freshman year in Sleeping Freshman Never Lie, but for Scott it has only been a summer. Freshman year was a tough one, but he knows that sophomore year will be easier. Well...maybe not so much.

Let's start with Lee, Scott's best friend. He wants to ask her out, but doesn't know how. He's also afraid it will mess up their friendship - she might freak if he tells her how he feels.

At the bus stop on the first day, Scott protects a scrawny freshman named Jeremy from bullies. Jeremy is chatty, but he's not so bad. Scott decides he can help Jeremy by passing on all his words of wisdom from his own freshman year (for a small fee, of course).

The worst of it all is Scott's new English teacher, Mrs. Gilroy. Scott is an aspiring writer. He is on the newspaper staff and really liked his English teacher last year. Once he fails to impress Mrs.Gilroy on the first day, it all goes down hill from there. Scott makes it a personal vendetta to impress her or expose her silly 'arbitrary' rules (that he can't seem to follow).

A few other things: Scott does not impress his biology teacher when he vomits on the first day in class. His former best friend, Kyle, still seems to hate him. And he is still adjusting to his new baby brother (although Scott is writing down his own experiences to assist his brother when he is a teen).

Scott's life has its ups and downs, but it is a humorous story and even when he is making stupid choices you will be cheering him on.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Shackled by Tom Leveen

Pelly's friend Tara is gone. When they were ten, she disappeared from the mall. An innocent game of hide and seek has turned into a six year nightmare for Pelly. She barely functions from day to day. Having a stranger stare at her is enough trigger a panic attack. She never goes out at night and started smoking to help calm her nerves.

Working at the coffee shop has been a huge step in her recovery. If only she can keep her co-workers from discovering her issues (not made an easier since she stopped taking her meds and going to therapy). David, the co-worker who is nicest to her, saw her having an attack, so keeping her secret has not really worked out.

One afternoon, an older man with a teen girl comes into the coffee shop. Pelly knows the girl is Tara. The girl mouths 'help me' as they rush out the door. Not satisfied with the police response, Pelly decides to hunt down the man herself and free her best friend.

Pelly would do almost anything to find her best friend, but she cannot manage it alone so she risks bringing David along on her dangerous and suspenseful quest. It is worth the read to see if Pelly can save Tara and herself.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and author's site.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Another Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan is one of the most original teen books I have ever read. It is the story of someone named A who wakes up in a different body every day. A only gets one day in that person, boy or girl, it doesn't matter. A knows no other life; he/she has always lived this way. It is difficult to connect to anyone when you are shifting lives all the time, so A is truly surprised when he/she meets Rhiannon while spending a day as her boyfriend Justin. It could be love, but the only way to know is to try to return to Rhiannon (as other people) whenever possible.

Every Day is told from A's perspective; Another Day is the same events from Rhiannon's perspective. Fortunately for me, it has been a long time since I read the first book. I had forgotten enough of the story that this was one was fresh and new to me. The stories are so parallel that you could probably alternate back and forth between them to get the full perspective.

In the first book, we learn about each person that A is inhabiting and the daily struggles of learning all about their lives. We also see A struggle to return to Rhiannon without disrupting the life he/she is inhabiting. In this book, we follow Rhiannon as she struggles with the idea of someone like A existing and how they could ever be together.

I think I would have enjoyed this book less had I just read the first book. Still, I recommend them both. It is a fascinating story about sexual identity and judging people based on their outward appearance.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.