Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Book Review Club (June 2012)

Hello first Wednesday in June! Which means it's time for our Book Review Club. Below my review, you'll find links to a variety of amazing reviews by amazing reviewers! All to help you navigate the waters of...summer reading!


PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ is one of the best YA novels I've read this year. I'm not in the minority. This book was nominated for an Edgar and is a Printz Honor Book.

 In a nutshell: Vera is a straight A senior in high school. She works full-time as a "pizza technician." She's a binge drinker who lives with her accountant father. She has no contact (save one phone conversation in the book) with her mother who ran off to Vegas several years before the story opens. She gets involved with a 23 year old guy. She has a serious falling out with her neighbor and best-friend-since-childhood, Charlie Kahn when he dumps her, joins the Detentionheads and takes up with a mean, skanky girl. Charlie dies under suspicious circumstances. Vera knows what really went down.

 What I Loved: The voice. The voice is strong and pure and uniquely Vera's.

 What Else I Loved: The chapters alternate between the present and past. There are a variety of points of view: Vera, Charlie's ghost, Vera's dad, the town pagoda. The book is beautifully crafted. You can't not root for Vera. She's one of those characters that gets into your heart and head.

 I'm looking forward to reading A.S. King's upcoming release: ASK THE PASSENGERS (Oct. 2012). Oh, and I almost forgot; here's the author's website.

 Now, do yourself a favor. Scroll down and click through to the wonderful book reviews below. Your to-be-read list will thank you.

 MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Jody Feldman: SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS by Sara Pennypacker (middle grade)

Sarah Laurence: THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (young adult, fantasy)

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers'Road Less Traveled: GRAVE MERCY by R.L. Lafevers and SCARLET by A.C. Gaugin (both are young adult)

Staci of Life in the Thumb: RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke (young adult)


ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Patti Abbott: THE FLIGHT OF GEMMA HARDY by Margot Livesey

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: NEARLYWEDS by Beth Kendrick (women's fiction)

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams


NONFICTION REVIEWS
Scott Parker: THE PRESIDENTS CLUB by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy (history)

Linda McLaughlin: A NIGHT TO REMEMBER by Walter Lord

Kaye of the Road Goes Ever Ever On: NOTHING TO ENVY: ORDINARY LIVES IN NORTH KOREA by Barbara Demick

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!

11 comments:

Beth said...

I’m going to check out the review for The Flight of Gemma Hardy – I’m reading it right now and I’m curious as to what others think of it.

Barrie said...

Hi Beth! There are a few books reviewed this month that I've read. Like you, I love to see what others think. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Sarah Laurence said...

Barrie, Vera sounds likes great - I'll check it out. Thanks for hosting!

All, I'm going offline for a few days but will visit post when I get back.

Barrie said...

Sarah, I think you'd like it. It's well written. Edgy. See you in a few days. I should follow your lead and go offline for a while myself!

AbaGayleb said...

I think that I've heard of it before. It seems pretty interesting, so I'll have to check it out at the library sometime. Not now because I have, like, 11 books in my room, only three I've read so far. But I'll have to pick it up soon.(: Oh, and I have a question for you: Is that I SO DON'T DO series over?

Barrie said...

AbaGayle: Please Ignore Vera Dietz is older YA. You definitely have time to make it through the books in your room first. :) Re the I SO DON'T DO series: at the moment, I'm working on a different mystery (YA).

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow! They totally changed the cover from the version I read! I like this one much, much better.

Although I read the book quite a while ago, I remember enjoying it quite a bit - especially the fact that the pagoda had a POV, and it didn't seem weird or awkward at all. Not many authors can get away with something like that.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow! They totally changed the cover from the version I read! I like this one much, much better.

Although I read the book quite a while ago, I remember enjoying it quite a bit - especially the fact that the pagoda had a POV, and it didn't seem weird or awkward at all. Not many authors can get away with something like that.

Jenn Jilks said...

Sorry I missed. I've been preoccupied.
Greetings from Cottage Country!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Are we taking the summer off?

Also Megan is coming to San Diego on her book tour. If you are free, stop by and say hi.
http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/megan-abbott-signs-sd-080712

Sarah Laurence said...

It took me a couple of years to read Vera and you were right. It's a fabulous book!