April 12, 2011
The additional copies of the Abe Lincoln nominees have come in at the library and are ready for check out! Check the display in the YA area to get a head start on your reading for the year. There’s still a pile checked in (and will be fewer and fewer the closer we get to summer).
The only title you’ll have to place a request on is Alex Flinn’s Beastly, but I blame that on the movie out in theaters right now (though there’s only one person waiting, so it probably won’t be too long before you get a copy).
April 8, 2011
Arthur: starring Russell Brand about a wealthy playboy who doesn’t want to grow up and take responsibility.
Hanna: starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, and Eric Bana about a girl trained to be an assassin.
Your Highness: starring James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Danny McBride, a stoner medieval comedy.
April 7, 2011
Amelia is looking forward to a summer in the city of Baltimore, far from her tiny home of Broken Tooth, Maine. Staying with relatives, it is the goal of Amelia’s summer to come away engaged to a young man (or such is her brother’s goal in sending her there). In 1889, Amelia knows there are few options open to her besides marriage, and so goes with the excitement of a trip before her, and summer away from her father and sister-in-law (her parents being dead).
Amelia finds a great friend in her cousin Zora, who has a bit of a mind for trouble as well. The two finish school and then the real joy of the summer begins; two young women, free from classes, looking forward to their futures.
Zora is excessively fond of Thomas Rea, the doctor’s son, and knows that she and Thomas cannot marry until he is finished with school, for he must have a way to support a wife. Amelia is immediately taken with a Fourteenth (a young man hired to make a dinner table sit 14 instead of an unlucky 13), Nathaniel Witherspoon, starving artist. It is not the match Amelia is expected to make. Stolen moments throughout the summer, however, bring the two closer together.
Sounds like just another period young adult romance, no? It’s definitely more.
The book opens with Amelia being locked in the attic of her brother’s house in Maine in the fall of 1889, after her trip to Baltimore. She reveals dark details of why she has been locked up, why she was sent away from Baltimore, and the agony Amelia is living in, trapped.
Mitchell then flashes back to the summer of 1889 and Amelia’s arrival and introduction to the family she will be living with. Witty remarks endear Amelia to Zora immediately, and not long after Amelia arrives, she has the strangest vision as she stares into the sunset from the parlor, a vision of Zora & Thomas dancing together. When this comes true, Amelia confesses to Zora and the two begin sharing Amelia’s abilities with their friends. Once the word spreads, a number of young women are clamoring for Amelia to tell their futures.
It’s fun, at first, but then Amelia begins to see darker futures, mundane futures, and when she starts writing down what she sees, she dreads the visions. Once, she thinks she is able to avert tragedy, but it can never be so easy as that, as Amelia reminds us when she cuts back in from the present.
Nathaniel is not quite what he seems either, able to seemingly suddenly appear when Amelia thinks of him, calls to him. He is mysterious and entirely inappropriate for her, but the two appeal to each other more than either can explain.
When the first tragedy strikes, Amelia is shocked, as it’s a future she thought she had prevented. The trouble is, Amelia could not see how this one future plays into the rest of the futures surrounding her and her world begins to tumble down. The sad events happen quickly and discover why Amelia is sent home.
The story, beginning with Amelia in Maine after the events have taken place, leave the reader constantly wondering just what happened to have her returned home, and ruined. It is an easy story to read, one that keeps the reader intrigued and involved, and the sad Gothic nature of it make the reader wish for a happy ending. A different than expected ending occurs, one that works well with my reading tastes. All in all, The Vespertine is a book I would recommend to young adult readers who like historical fiction and a bit of supernatural. It reminded me a little of Libba Bray’s A Great & Terrible Beauty, but The Vespertine does not delve as much into the supernatural world as Bray’s trilogy. A worthwhile story that leaves the reader with chills.
April 1, 2011
Insidious starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, a creepy movie about a family trying to prevent evil spirits from taking over their comatose child.
Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan, a thriller about a soldier who can “jump” into a body to prevent a bomb on a Chicago train.
March 26, 2011
March 24, 2011
NASA sponsors the Imagine the Universe! Dictionary which has not only terms but brief biographies of scientist. The sit will also link you to other entries in the dictionary as well as more in-depth articles on certain topics. For those with an interest in science, it will definitely give you somewhere to start your research or if you’re just messing about. It’s pretty neat. The only thing I don’t like is how most of NASA’s sites that I’ve seen look kind of juvenile. I understand NASA is focusing more on, you know, exploring space and everything, but it would be nice if they spiffed up more than just the main pages.
March 23, 2011
More and more readers are starting to see the appeal and quality of YA books (more than just you guys and me) and Booklist (a book review journal) has an article about top YA titles from 2010 to make good book group titles. The library (naturally) has all of these titles (and I’ve read a few too).
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud
Trash by Andy Mulligan