Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rip-Roaring Reads

Here are the book flap sums on some pretty amazing novels I've read recently. You should totally check them out.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time — quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt's other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the hot new girl on the swim team. So what if he can't manage a single lap, let alone four? He's got the whole summer to perfect his technique. What could possibly go wrong?

I've developed an affinity lately for "boy books." Swim the Fly is the FUNNIEST, most amazing one I've ever read. AWESOME.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

Two words - emotional powerhouse. It will make you think about EVERY action you take, every word you say. Gripping. Compelling. Gut. Wrenching.

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Think Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls. I'll be honest - initially, I was put off by the main character, the premise. Obviously I didn't give up on it. Obviously I don't feel that way now. This book will make you want to scream. This book will break your heart. It's vivid, packed with emotion, and amazingly REAL.

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

Out of all four of these fantabulous, FANTABULOUS reads, this is the one I'll read over and over and over again. And we all know I DO NOT re-read books. EVERYONE should read this book. EVE-RY-ONE.

Any good reads on YOUR shelf?


  1. I haven't heard of Swim the Fly, but it sounds hilarious. I think I'll go add that to my list.

  2. Three of the four are already on my TBR list which I am slowly working through. Might have to move them up a lil bit.
    - Sophia.

  3. I think I need to check out Swim the Fly. I loved Before I Fall and I couldn't put 13 Reasons Why down. Got to hear Jay Asher speak at a Minnesota SCBWI event last year.
    I really liked Plain Kate by Erin Bow

  4. That story about Hannah is really gripping.

  5. going to pass some of these titles on to my daughter. She always complains how she can't find anything good to read.

  6. Thank you for these suggestions. I teach 8th grade English, and I'm always looking for new books for my classes. I'll have to check these out.

  7. I have read and loved 3 of the 4 of these! I guess I'll have to read Swim the Fly now, because if you loved it, I will, too.

  8. sounds like some good reads, I'll have to check them out! I also like your list of quotes!

  9. You don't reread books? *ahem* THE DUFF? ;)

    Heart you. :)

  10. I'll be adding the first two to my reading queue; thanks for the heads-up.

  11. Thanks for the book recommendations! I've heard of them all but it's great to have a review to go off of.

  12. Swim the Fly is my favorite among these picks! Thanks for sharing, and it's a pleasure to meet you via the A-Z Challenge


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