Monday, November 26, 2007

Wicked Lovely

Wicked Lovely

by Melissa Marr


Aislinn followed the rules strictly: Don't stare at invisible faeries, Don't speak to invisible faeries and Don't ever attract their attention. She's always known that the consequences for breaking the rules could be severe and cruel. After all, over the years she has seen enough of both the faeries' mischief and cruelty to know that she didn't want any of their attention on her. When two faeries, obviously court faeries--the most dangerous kind, begin following her for no reason, she knows that trouble is coming.

Keenan is a king without power. While he was still an enfant, his mother, the Winter Queen, bound his power until he could find his Summer Queen. Centuries have passed though. The summer court has filled with his mistakes, and those are the lucky ones. Meanwhile his mother's cruelty has gone unchecked for too long. Winter is taking it's toll on faeries and humans alike. The Summer King believes Aislinn is his missing Queen. However, he fears Aislinn's feelings for her mortal friend, Seth, will interefere with his own plans.

The resolution of this story is a surprising twist on the typical girl meets prince/king story which makes the entire story much more interesting. There are some stellar supporting characters including Seth, who is very patient and encouraging, and Donnia, who had once hoped to be Keenan's queen and instead has become a pawn for the Winter Queen and the Summer King to bicker over. Aislinn spends a lot of time consumed by her fears, but when she finally decides to face her fears, she does so with courage and strength of mind. In fact, the end of the story leaves one with the conviction that to become queen one must first have the courage to rise beyond being a pawn.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Yellow Flag

Yellow Flag

by Robert Lipsyte


Kyle is focused on his music. He loves the quintet he plays in. He especially likes the French Horn player, Nicole from New York. With his mother's help he has avoided getting pulled into the family business of professional race car driving. Racing is his brother's business. All of Kyle's goals and dreams are clear and focused.

Everything changes when his older brother gets hurt. Kyle agrees to race for a couple of weeks--to keep Kris's seat warm. For Kyle, things quickly get a whole lot more confusing. His family seems to be making plans for him. Plus, Kyle can't stop thinking about Jimmie, the new girl on the racing crew. Even more confusing, Kyle begins to question whether he really dislikes racing at all. Does he want Kris to get better? When an amazing opportunity opens up for Kyle's band and his band mates demand more of his time, the pressure begins to squeeze in from all sides.

The family dynamic is interesting in this novel. Kyle constantly worries about being forced to race just like his father and perhaps even his grandfather before him. But the author completely skipped over my main question: Can anyone who doesn't really want it, be truly successful in a sport as competitive as racing? Kyle is a talented guy, gifted even, both in music and racing. While his brother, Kris, seems to be a very intuitive driver, Kyle thinks things out first. He makes all of his decisions like a chess player. The strategies and his analysis of the other racers are interesting--especially when he is faced with racing bullies. His talents come so easily and naturally to him that what Kyle really fights for and works for in this story is the freedom to choose his own future.

This peak into the life and technicalities of race car driving was really interesting. Despite a complete lack of mechanical understanding, I followed the story just fine. While the ending resolved several plot points, it lacked force. So I'm waiting for a sequel, both because I want the story to continue and because I'm waiting for a more complete ending.

FYI: Another book by Lipsyte, Raider's Night (YP FIC LIPSYTE), made it onto the 2008-2009 Tayshas list. It's about a football player who must choose to join in his team's out-of-game behavior or stand alone and risk losing out on his football dreams.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pieces of Georgia

Pieces of Georgia
by Jen Bryant

Georgia is a seventh-grader who lives alone with her widowed father. Georgia's mother had been a talented artist, like Georgia. Now, Georgia hides her talent from her father who is still mourning her mother. At School, Georgia is shy and not very talkative. Her guidance counselor offers her a deal: if she will write to her mother every night in a journal, then Georgia won't need to come in for counseling sessions as often. Then, just after her birthday, Georgia receives a mysterious gift.

Georgia is very aware of the people around her and how they're feeling, but she is much less aware of how they feel about her. As a result she is sometimes surprised by things that won't surprise the reader. Bryant wrote Pieces of Georgia in verse, and while the poetic line breaks don't seem to add much to the overall story, they don't really hurt it either. The diary-style reads as though Georgia is speaking directly to the reader. Her voice and character are distinct througout.

Georgia is a positive character who manages to lift herself above her own problems and accept the people around her with kindness and grace. A fun read!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Teen Volunteers Needed

We are looking for a group of teens (ages 13-18) to help us prepare for upcoming library displays. We will be making very simple art projects as well as painting a couple of display pieces.

We will be meeting Tuesday, November 20th from 1 to 3 PM in the large meeting room in the library. Any participants who would like to receive either a reminder phone call or email, may sign up for one at the reference desk. Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, please ask at the Reference desk or just ask for me, Lisa Neal.