Saturday, October 21, 2017

As You Wish

From the Publishers:
What if you could ask for anything- and get it?
In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.
Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

My thoughts
I like the premise of this book. As someone who reads a lot of YA, As You Wish feels new. I like that I could not figure out what Eldon was going to do until the moment he did it. I like that Sedoti doesn't just leave it at the decision nor does she just tie it up like a neat little gift. That kind of jarring even at the end is a welcome change. 
If you have students that struggle to finish a book, this is a great option for SSR because even if you are just reading in 20 minute chunks or 15 minute chunks, this story is easy to pick up again. The characters and situations are different so it is easy to just pick it up again.
Publication Date: January 2018
An advanced copy provided by the publisher and Net Galley for an honest review.

When I am Through With You

From the Publisher:
“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly how what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains ended the way it did. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. And he’ll tell you about Rose. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.

My thoughts:
I just did not like Ben. I felt like he was whiny and weak and I just could not sympathize with him, but I kept reading because I needed him to change, grow a spine, do something worthy.

The power of the writing is that I could dislike the main character, dislike most of the characters and still keep reading until I was through. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Noble V.1: God Shots

Author: Brandon Thomas
Illustrators: Roger Robinson, Jamal Igle +

In this first series of Catalyst Prime superhero world, Astronaut David Powell is one of five astronauts sent by the Foresight Corporation and CEO Lorena Payne to save the world from annihilation by a massive meteor plunging to Earth.

Within the first two pages something goes wrong and his wife, former agent Astrid Allen-Powell sets out to not only hold her family and her two sons together, but it seems a year after the accident, Astrid finds out that David is still alive and she is not the only one trying to get him back.

My thoughts:
This will appeal to the new X-Men generation and the readers who liked the movie Logan and are currently watching the TV series Gifted. Granted the characters are adults and we need more teen characters just finding their powers and having to use them to get away from those people who either created and/or want to control them, HOWEVER, the appeal in this first volume is the identity issue.
David, who insists that is not his name, gains powers but loses his memory so he does not know who this David is. What he does have is sudden flashes of a child calling him daddy and glimpses of what happened to him. He remembers Lorena who seems to have implanted some of his powers but when Astrid tracks him down to try and bring him home, he does not remember her at all.

Like all first volumes in any series, the author uses the short chapters to give multiple background stories "to be continued," and this one has potential to hold readers and keep them coming back. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Model Texts: I Wish You More

I need to talk to my elementary colleagues and student teachers more often because using picture books to teach in secondary is such a rich resource for our toolbox of tricks. I went to a workshop with poet and teacher Georgia Heard and got some fabulous gems. I am in love with this one for its sweet sentiment but it also works as a mentor text for the power of repetition in writing.

This can be added to another good repetition piece: When I Was Young on a Mountain by Cynthia Rylant

Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld combine their graceful talents to create this perfect gift book. I cannot say lovely enough, but it is just lovely.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blood of Eden Series

What I like about this trilogy - main characters die. I just think if I am are invested in a story, then important people need to die otherwise it is not satisfying and I do not get the emotional impact needed to continue reading.

Check on the OMG factor. 

Finally, I like imperfect strong female main characters who do not act like men but can still kick ass.

Check on the Xena factor.


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