#ALAAC17 Day 1

I’m so happy to be in Chicago for my second American Library Association Annual Conference! I went to my first ALA Annual Conference right after I graduated library school. I actually had a job interview the day after the conference was over so I was focused on finding attending sessions that I could talk about in the interview. Now it’s 2 years later and I’m a Teen Services Librarian (at the library where I had that interview 2 years ago!) I’m focused on Teen Services and YA books during this conference.

I was lined up and ready to go as soon as the exhibits opened on Friday night. I talked to my LIS graduate school, several database vendors that my library uses, and, of course, the publishers! Here’s my instagram story post about what I got on day 1!

 

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud Books about female friendships are basically my wheelhouse. I will read just about any book that promises to follow friends throughout several years.

The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag This graphic novel from Scholastic is about a family where girls grow up to be witches and boys are shapeshifters. Asher still hasn’t begun shapeshifting and he is still really into witchcraft when he turns 13. I’m interested to read this one soon!

 

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld Child disappearance, private investigators, and lots of small town mysteries. This isn’t my type of book but I know my mom will like it and I promised I’d get her some books.

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power by Mariko Tamaki and Brooke Allen I absolutely love the Lumberjanes comics and I’m excited about this novelization especially since I really like Mariko’s previous work.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone I was really hoping to get a copy of this during ALA and it ended up being the first book I grabbed. This book has amazing reviews and I can’t wait to read it. The Penguin Random House team member I talked to was so into this book and it made me even more excited to get it.

 

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson This one was one of the Friday night hardback giveaways. I just ordered this for my library and I’ll probably read this one and use it as a giveaway for one of my Teen Book Clubs

Meet Cute (stories by multiple authors) I got a copy of this from HMH Teen a few weeks ago and I couldn’t resist picking up another one to share with my one of my teen book clubs. They love so many of these authors!

Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm I absolutely love a story about a prince and an average girl (or guy) that he falls for. I loved The Royal We and I’m dying to read Romancing the Throne so I kind of gasped when I saw this giveaway. I might save it for cozy winter reading–if I can wait that long.

 

Day 1 also included some amazing garlic and pepperoni deep dish pizza. I miss it already.

If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout I’m always intrigued by those books that have a “one moment ruins everything” plot. Not a big fan of this cover though, it’s not very memorable but maybe the final cover is different?

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno After becoming obsessed with Fireworks by Cotugno, I am determined to read more of her books. I’ve owned How to Love for years now but never got around to reading it. I know I’ll be reading this one soon!

It was a super successful first night! What books did you grab if you were there? Check back for a day 2 round up!

 

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

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It’s Saints and Misfits release day! I had 2 top priority books when I went to Yallwest in April. One was When Dimple Met Rishi, which I scored and wrote about here. The other was Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali. I hovered around the Riveted booth for a good portion of the day, trying to make sure that I was around when the lines started forming. I stood in a hot, sunny line for over an hour for each book and it was worth every minute of the wait!

I saved Saints and Misfits to read during the #RamadanReadathon (an awesome readathon celebrating books by Muslim authors). I read it at every chance I had–on the bus, waiting to get an x-ray on my foot, and in the park. I laughed and cried with this book and I absolutely adored the main character, Janna. She’s one of those unforgettable characters who will make me return to this book again and again to spend time in her head. Read this book to meet Janna.

Janna is funny. Her inner dialogue made me literally laugh out loud on the bus. She’s witty and fast with her jokes.

Janna is strong. She struggles with the monster of her life who attempted to rape her. Farooq has memorized the Quran, he’s involved with the community, and he’s considered the ideal Muslim man–but Janna knows the truth about him. She develops her strength throughout the book to stand for what she knows is right. I was crying at the last page, awed at Janna’s resilience and thankful to have a character like this for teen girls to read about.

Janna is a book nerd. Her favorite author is Flannery O’Connor and she makes many references to her work throughout the book. Janna is comforted by books and she understands what it’s like to find yourself in a book and not feel so alone.

Janna is a friend–to everyone. I loved that Janna had so many friendships and relationships. She has school friends, friends from the Mosque, friends from her apartment building, and friends from the community center. She takes care of an older man, Mr. Ram, and instead of just a once a week caretaker, she’s a friend to him. Each of her friends offers a different perspective and helps Janna grow.

Janna is realistic, relatable, and complex. She is a real teenage Muslim girl with crushes, friend and family drama, anxiety about tests, inner struggles, interests, dreams, and complexities. She changes and evolves. She doesn’t apologize for taking up space. She labels herself as a misfit and she comes to realize that it’s not a bad thing. Misfits like Janna will see themselves in the pages of this book.

Add Saints and Misfits to your Goodreads shelf here. Request it at your library, buy it at your local bookstore, talk about it and recommend it. Help Janna find her readers.

Book Review// Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

teacher appreciationweek

I never knew how bad I wanted a book about a wannabe, pop girl group set in 1990s until I read this fun, peppy, fast read. My 90s kid heart grew two sizes reading this book. It was everything I wanted and more.

Ever since attending a Britney Spears concert at the ripe age of 5, I’ve been a fan of pop music and girl groups. My mom braved the crowds of Britney fans during the …Baby One More Time Tour to make a kindergarten me feel like the coolest girl in the world. I still remember the awe of seeing Britney in person. I also never missed all those TV shows like Making the Band and Popstars. I even still have my elementary school CD collection full of music from B*Witched, Nobody’s Angel, Mandy Moore, and S Club 7. This book was practically written for me.

Fireworks is a fun, behind the scenes look at the making of popstars in Orlando. The setting is a perfect backdrop for letting the teen characters go wild. It’s like the YA book version of that Backstreet Boys documentary, Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of, but better because it’s about 2 BFFs. I was rooting for Olivia and Dana from the very beginning. Their friendship evolves and has highs and lows throughout the book.  While I loved the elements of pop and the 90s, the main focus of the book is the friendship between Dana and Olivia. Dana struggles with the pressure she feels to compete against her best friend for something that she’s not even sure she wants. Girls constantly feel pressure to be competing with other girls and this book highlights the toxicity of that culture.

Dana also has to confront the realities of her financial situation compared to the other girls in her pop group. She has grown up poor, though she’s always gotten by. Olivia’s family has also been there when she needed them. She’s managed to make it through high school but her post graduation plans are waitressing and wishing she could get out of her small town. The pop group opens opportunities that she never had access to before. Dana has to learn to see herself in a new light while hoping Olivia can see the new dream too.

There’s also a cute guy from a newly formed boy band that Dana and Olivia fight over. The love triangle is a secondary plot and readers will quickly assign their loyalty and ships to Dana and Alex. I loved their cute meetups and the ways they supported each other. Cotugno also wrote sex-positive scenes with the teen characters making responsible decisions for themselves. Dana may have had issues with her best friend, but she had an incredibly supportive boyfriend who was there for her during the tough times of wannabe popstardom.

I just had fun reading this book. The characters, setting, and plot just worked perfectly for me. I also made this playlist while reading because I kept thinking of songs I used to play constantly. Listen to the playlist and relive the 90s while reading!

 

Been There, Read That//May 2017

monthly-wrap-up

Been There, Read That is a monthly reading wrap up featuring everything I read last month.

What I read:

9 YA books

3 graphic novels

1 Adult fiction

Of the 9 YA books I read in May, 5 were finished copies. I ended up loving every one of them. I couldn’t put Queens of Geek or Fireworks down. I read them both as fast as possible and I’m still thinking about them. I loved the Geek Con setting and best friend main characters in Queens of Geek. And Fireworks was a 90s girl’s dream come true–it had girl groups, bffs, music, choreography, and a cute romance. Gem & Dixie was my first Sara Zarr book and it won’t be my last. I read Conviction for a book club and ended up getting really wrapped up in the story. Finally, Meg Cabot is an all-time favorite. Avalon High made me actually care about Arthurian legends.

The other 4 YA books I read were ARCs and they were fabulous! When Dimple Met Rishi was my favorite read of the month. It started as my most anticipated read of the year and it didn’t disappoint. I immediately pre-ordered a finished copy as soon as I finished the ARC. Sarah Dessen has been one of my favorite authors since I was in middle school, so I was really excited to have the chance to read her new book. I got completely wrapped up in the world of wedding planning and loved the main character, Louna. It publishes on June 6. I Believe in a Thing Called Love was delightful and you can check out my full review here. Be True To Me is going to be a perfect summer read! Find it on June 13.

Saga Volume 7 made me cry. SO. MANY. TEARS. Thanks a lot Saga. Scott Westerfeld’s Spill Zone was super creepy and has been consistently checked out from my library since it hit the shelves.

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Ella Minnow Pea was one of my high school teen book club’s book selection for the month of May. Once again, this book club has challenged me to pick up so many books that I would not have read otherwise. I really enjoyed the unique premise of this book and I always love books told in letters.

What was your favorite read of the month?

Booktalk: When Dimple Met Rishi

Copy of book review

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is out today! This book was easily my most anticipated book of the year. I even stood in line for almost 2 hours to get an ARC of it at Yallwest. I immediately started reading it and it exceeded my, very high, expectations. I love YA romances and this one perfectly captures those first swoony, heart eyes feelings. This diverse, own voices book  features Indian characters falling in love. Dimple and Rishi have very different experiences with their cultures, their parents, and their expectations of themselves. Throughout the book they learn about each other but they also discover how to be true to themselves.

I’m going to booktalk this one at all my book clubs and school visits because I know readers of Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Dessen, and Jenny Han will obsess over Dimple and Rishi.

6ed092fe24e09dfd8a8af4af3b21e1e8-w204@1x.jpg Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Readalikes: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding, Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Dimple Shah is ready for the next chapter of her life. She’s heading to college and getting away from Mamma’s nagging about makeup and finding an “Ideal Indian Husband.” Her parents have even agreed to give her some early freedom this summer to attend Insomnia Con, a camp for aspiring web developers. Everything is working perfectly according to plan.

Rishi Patel, a strict rule follower, is also being sent to Insomnia Con by his parents. But he’s not going because of a deep desire to be a web-developer–he’s going to meet and romance his future wife. Dimple, the intended bride, has no idea her parents have arranged this future marriage. Dimple and Rishi have a not-so-cute meet-cute, complete with an awkward run-in and an ice coffee in the face.  Dimple tries to avoid Rishi as much as possible but they’re partnered up and they have to learn to work and Bollywood dance together to win Insomnia Con. Dimple and Rishi will make you laugh, swoon, and want to dance.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is out today! Add it to your Goodreads shelf and start reading it today!

Top 10 Tuesday// Summer TBR

toptentuesday

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This is my first time participating in a Top Ten Tuesday and it’s a Summer Reads Freebie. There are so many good books coming out this summer. You’ll be seeing these by the beach, at the pool, and on bookternet this summer! Here are the top ten summer book releases that I’m looking forward to.

1. Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali, releases on 6/13 (I stood in line for about an hour and a half to get this book at Yallwest, it’s easily my most anticipated read of the summer)

summer1“How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?” -Goodreads synopsis

2.  Be True to Me by Adele Griffin, releases on 6/13 (this one reminds me of one of my absolute favorite summer reads–Summer Sisters by Judy Blume)

summer2.jpg “It’s the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where feathered hair and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean—not her sister—Jean is smitten. Then Fritz, a girl from outside the gilded gates who humiliated Jean in the Island’s tennis championship last year, falls for Gil herself. Soon the girls are competing for much more than a tennis trophy, with higher stakes than either of them can imagine.

Told through the alternating perspectives of Jean and Fritz, as they experience feeling like an outsider and first love.” -Goodreads synopsis

3. Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios, releases on 6/13 (for when you don’t want a happy, fun summer read)

summer3.jpg“Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.” -Goodreads synopsis

4. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, releases on 6/27 (There are adorable coloring sheets for this book)

summer6.jpg“Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.” -Goodreads synopsis

5. Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland, releases on 7/11 (There are actually 2 books with this title coming out on 7/11 and the other one also sounds like a fun summer read)

summer4.jpg“Becca Harrington is a reject. After being rebuffed by every college on her list, she needs a fresh start, so she packs up everything and moves to LA, giving herself one year to land an acting gig or kill herself trying.

Unfortunately, not everything turns out as planned, and after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. As hard as she tries, Becca can’t land an agent, she’s running out of cash, and her mom is hounding her to apply to more schools. In an act of desperation, Becca and her friend Marisol start posting short videos online—with the help of their adorable filmmaker neighbor, Raj—and the videos catch the attention of a TV producer. Could this be it? Her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill?

Becca may not get the Hollywood ending she was hoping for, but perhaps she’ll learn there’s more than one way to achieve her dream.” -Goodreads synopsis

6. What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum, releases on 7/11 (This is the only book on the list that I’ve already read and I loved it! I can’t wait to get a finished copy in July. Here’s my full review)

summer7.jpg“Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?” -Goodreads synopsis

7. Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana, releases on 7/18 (I loved Aditi Khorana’s book Mirror in the Sky and I’m interested to read this very different book!)

summer5.jpg“No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?”-Goodreads synopsis

8. The Inevitable Collision of Birdie and Bash by Candace Ganger, releases 7/25 (This cover immediately made me want to read the book and I won an ARC from a Goodreads giveaway so I’ll definitely be getting to this one soon)

summer8.jpg“Birdie never meant to be at the party. Bash should have been long gone. But when they meet, a collision course is set off they may never recover from.

Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. Told in alternating perspectives, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger is a beautiful, complex, and ultimately hopeful teen novel that will move you to the very last page.” -Goodreads synopsis

9. Little Monsters by Kara Thomas, releases 7/25 (this should meet your fast-paced summer thriller TBR needs!)

summer9.jpg“Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.” -Goodreads synopsis

10. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert, releases on 8/8 (This book already has starred reviews, it’ll be the book everyone is talking about at the end of summer!)

summer 10.jpgWhen Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

What are you going to read this summer?

 

Book Drop//ARC Unboxing

Last week I did an unboxing of ARC mail on Instagram Stories. Baker & Taylor (my library’s vendor) sends the Teen Services department ARCs to use for our book club. Here’s what we got:

Around here, summer is the magical time when my book clubs read ARCs and we talk about everything we want to read in the upcoming school year. We are off to a great start!

Book Review//I Believe in a Thing Called Love

teacher appreciationweek

Maurene Goo’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love is delightful. I’ve been anticipating this book ever since the cover reveal back in September. I just barely missed Maurene’s signing at Yallwest but I was happy to see so many other readers buzzing about her book.

I read this mostly on a plane and it was a perfect travel book. It was funny, romantic, charming, and relatable. Maurene created a dynamic story that made me root and cringe for Desi. I really wanted Desi’s “K Drama Rules for True Love” to work out even when they were ridiculous. Desi reminded me so much of Jenny Han’s Lara Jean. She’s knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to put herself out there.

Desi is not only determined to land her first boyfriend but she’s also dedicated to her studies, getting into Stanford, soccer, and various clubs at school. Desi is just plain nice and by the end of the book I was just wishing I could be friends with her.

Desi is also unapologetic for her devotion and love for her dad. Not every character or person has great parents, but Desi has a fantastic dad and she openly loves and reveres him. She starts watching K-dramas because her dad is obsessed with them. Cooking dinner and watching K-dramas together becomes their nightly ritual when Desi is researching for her plan. Desi’s dad, a Korean immigrant, is just as fiercely loyal to Desi and definitely gets the book parent of the year award.

I also loved that Desi was a late bloomer. She’s close to graduating high school and concocts this K-drama plan to get her first boyfriend. Lots of people bloom “late” and feel embarrassed because they haven’t done the things they think they should by a certain age. Desi owns her status as a girl who’s never had a boyfriend. Her friends, and later her crush, never make fun of her for that. They poke fun at her clumsiness and antics but never make her feel bad for having her own timeline.

This book pairs nicely with anything by Jenny Han, I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl and When Dimple Met Rishi

This ended up being an adorable, own voices romance. If you need another reason to pick up the book just look at the cover. The eye-catching cover of a book about a Korean girl features an actual Korean girl on the cover! And it has a hot pink title. Enough said.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love comes out on May 30, 2017. Add it to your Goodreads shelf and pre-order

Library Program//Paper Plate Pictionary

I’m always looking for fun ideas to do before and after my Teen Advisory Board meetings. I like to start with something fun before we move on to our planning portion of the meeting. This month we played Paper Plate Pictionary and lots of enthusiastic shouting and laughing ensued.
unnamed (4)Paper Plate Pictionary is exactly what it sounds like–playing Pictionary on a paper plate. But, you have to draw the picture while the plate is on top of your head! Players choose a secret topic and then have 30 seconds to draw their topic while the plate is on the very top of their head. This starts getting difficult when you realize you can’t remember where you marker left off and suddenly your drawing is jumbled. We decided to play as a big group and had so much fun trying to guess the toddler-like drawings. I created the list of topics and still had trouble figuring out what some of the drawings were.

  • Supplies:
    • paper plates, the ones with the papery finish work better since they’re easier to draw on
    • markers
    • list of topics (download the list I created here)
    • timer
  • Ages:
    • We played with a mix of middle and high schoolers, but this game would work for all ages

We drew for 30 seconds and guessed for as long as it took for us to get the right answer. The most fun part of the game was hearing all the different guesses and finally getting it right. After we guessed, we wrote the topic on the plate. The teens played again after the meeting and laughed at the previous ones people drew. We will definitely play this again soon.

Been There, Read That//April 2017

monthly-wrap-up

Been There, Read That is a monthly reading wrap up featuring everything I read last month.

What I Read:

8 YA Books

2 Middle Grade

1 Non-fiction

5 Graphic Novels

Out of the 8 YA books I read this month, 5 of them were advance reader’s copies. I was so excited to get the chance to read Ramona Blue and Girl Out of Water before they come out in May. They ended up being my favorite reads of the month. Ramona and Anise were absolutely unforgettable main characters that I connected to instantly. I reread Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Everything, Everything for my teen book club this month. The teen members loved Simon and I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on Everything, Everything. We’re all going to go see the movie together when it comes out.

I read The Clockwork Three for another teen book club that I do at a local high school. This book, a bulky, complicated, 400 page middle grade novel, was hard for me to get through. The teen members, the high school librarian, and the high school English teacher who participate in our club also had trouble with this book. But, we had a lot of fun dissecting it and talking about why we hated it so much!

Fun fact about me: I’m a huge BSC fan and collector! I read so many of the books as a kid but I never read them in order. I’ve been slowly working on reading them in order and I realized that I hadn’t read one yet in 2017. I love this one because it focuses on Dawn and Mary-Anne finally becoming step-sisters (Mary Anne is my fav BSC character.) Hopefully I’ll make more progress on my quest to read all the BSC books in order and you’ll see more of these books in my monthly reading wrap up.

I also read an advance copy of Erin Chack’s essays about growing up, college, surviving cancer, and road trips. It definitely made me laugh and cringe about my own awkward middle and high school memories.

Goldie Vance was adorable, diverse, and downright spunky. I can’t wait to read more of it. I also finally got to read California Dreamin’ and I hope to see more stories like this that feature cool women who need their stories told.