Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Girl Books

Genesis, by Bernard Beckett. (ARC) This was a great book, but I wouldn't recommend it for summer reading. This was written by a high school teacher, and it's everything I wanted in a book for teens... when I was thinking of teaching, rather than librarianing. The plot is original, the mode of storytelling was unexpected (I wasn't sure I could get behind it at first, but it actually works rather well once you see where the story is going), the language and vocabulary were challenging enough, and there were other literary elements teachers want kids to look for, like foreshadowing and all that.

Having said that, I can't imagine that kids will get excited about this. I don't think I'll be buying a copy for our collection, but the publisher should market this to 10th grade English teachers and high school librarians.

Tattoo, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. (first person present. need i say more? actually, it wasn't bad.) I got the feeling this might have been a bit better with a slightly older set of main characters, like the author might have had more to work with. I can't really explain that feeling.

This was a good book. I actually read it because the back of the book for the sequel (Fate) really grabbed me. It was a little simple, but the story is good.
I think this will be a good author to watch. She writes good books for girls, more imaginative and exciting than most "girl" books-- all girl main characters, yes, and minor romantic interests, ok, but more adventurous than expected, and quite good at it. Her series don't get out of hand: nice and short (so far only 2 books each, with a single novel as well), she's not a huge commitment of book funds to keep the library current. I haven't read Golden and I was unaware of its companion, Platinum, but now it's on my list. Based on the 3 books I've read so far, I like that her characters are so different, that they are for different age groups, and pull from different genres. More authors should be like this! Let me borrow your hands so I can give this author more than 2 thumbs up for her body of work so far.

Oh. My. Gods., by Tera Lynn Childs. I was hoping for a girl or older teen read-alike for the Percy Jackson books. I was sadly let down. The plot hurries through a mediocre, predictable teen-girl story, complete with a boy friend, a boyfriend, girl friends, problems with mom, and even an evil step sister. The book jumps right in to the existence of the descendants of gods, with no preamble, set up, or mystery. The ending follows the formulaic outline the rest of the book set up and is a let down, in that it is both boringly predictable and annoying neat and tidy.

While the author manages to mention a few Greek deities, including a few minor ones that many people might not recognize, but the myths and history play only a teeny role in the story-- it doesn't go beyond mentioning a few of the special concerns of the gods and mentioning how Zeus' awesome-looking descendants hang out with those of Hera, and the Hades contingent is kind of scary.

This was one of the better girl sports-themed books I've read (I can't actually remember many more; I don't know that affects my perception). I wouldn't bother to read or buy it for the Greek tie-in, but it'll be great for girls who like running or maybe other sports. If you've got some good Percy Jackson read-alikes, let me know!

9,393 to go, discounting picture books.

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