Quick Lit: Recent Middle Grade and Young Adult Reads

Sparrow RoadSparrow RoadSparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor by Sheila O’Connor

Picked this one because of the author’s great first name. 😉 While that may be a bad way to pick a book, it worked out for me this time – it’s a delightful read. Beautiful language, appealing characters, and a storyline that works for upper elementary readers looking for books with a little more depth, but still on the gentler side. Recommended.

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Touch BlueTouch BlueTouch Blue by Cynthia Lord by Cynthia Lord

Quiet book that introduces some of the challenges foster children face, in a gentler way that makes it more appropriate for younger readers. It feels a little unrealistic in its resolution, but that may just be me as an adult recognizing that real life doesn’t generally have such happy endings. Easy to read, and a good reminder to me to try others by Lord. Recommended.

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Saint MazieSaint Mazie: A NovelSaint Mazie: A Novel by Jami Attenberg by Jami Attenberg

I wanted to love this book – I expected that I would. It’s based on a real individual, and she sounds like a fascinating woman. Plus it’s told in part via diary entries, and I do love that format. However, I was left underwhelmed. Mazie is mostly just … stuck in that cage selling tickets, and her voice in the diary didn’t always seem believable. The framing of the story also didn’t work for me. A heads-up as well: it’s a bit more graphic at times than I was expecting (or appreciated), so be aware of that before handing it over to younger readers or even teens, depending on their age and maturity. My complaints aside, the books gotten some rave reviews, so clearly it’s working for plenty of other readers, including a good friend of mine who adored it. Not recommended.

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If I StayIf I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman by Gayle Forman

Here’s where I sound heartless: I felt like the entire book was written in an attempt to make the reader cry, and no. I was not moved to tears by this book. (I was also reading it while traveling to my brother-in-law’s funeral, so I was perhaps especially untouched by the fictional heart-string-tugs). My cranky reading meter was also set off by a couple of ridiculous scenes in the book, and the too-good-to-be-true parents. Possibly just a case of “the wrong book at the wrong time,” and if it hadn’t been a book club pick I’d have never finished it. Not recommended.

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Where She WentWhere She WentWhere She Went by Gayle Forman by Gayle Forman

Also a book club pick, or I’d have certainly never read the sequel to If I Stay. It’s fine if you liked the first one, and you’ll probably enjoy following the story. I was less annoyed by specific scenes in this one, but more annoyed by a couple of major plot points. Not one I’d recommend, but it still might mostly be bad timing on my part to read this sort of story.

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For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

Quick Lit September 2015

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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Quick Lit: Recent Christian Reads
Two years ago: Quick Lit: Recent Christian Reads