Friday, August 26, 2011

More Great Reads

     Since the school year is fast approaching, I have put on hold many of the adult books that I want to read in order to do some quick reading of the young adult books I have on my "to read" shelf.  In the last week I spent a lot of time reading sequels to other great books, but I noticed something that is bothering me about the books I have recently read.  I think it is just the fact that I am an adult, but some of the reactions and insecurities of the protagonists in these books are bothering me.  It seems like the girls in many of the supernatural romance teen books are so insecure and cannot believe that the guy loves them.  Is this something that every teenager thinks??  I wonder if the young adults that read these books even notice this theme.  I hope they do and they are just as frustrated with the main characters so that they are able to reflect on the behavior and avoid it in their lives.  Okay, enough with the frustrations. 

   The first book that I have recently finished is Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.  This is the sequel to the book Hush, Hush.  In this book Nora is looking forward to a nice summer vacation in which she will spend a lot of her time with her boyfriend and guardian angel Patch.  However, jealousy and suspicions arise and she finds that she has some trouble in paradise.  Add to that some mysterious sightings of her father, who is supposedly dead, and there is a suspenseful adventure waiting for the reader.  I really enjoyed the book and I love the imagination that Becca Fitzpatrick has to come up with some of the twists and turns that occur.  I have to admit that I was a little bothered by the ease with which Nora became suspicious of Patch.  It seems so obvious to me as an adult reader that she is misunderstanding things...I wonder how others react to this.  Overall, it was a fun book to read and I know many teens would really love it.  I am excited to read the third book in the series when I get a chance. 

     Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck is the second book in the series.  In this book Kelsey has just left India and has arrived in Oregon to start classes at the university.  She settles into her life in Oregon but has a difficult time because she left Ren behind.  There is quite a bit of the book devoted to the love story between these two characters.  Kelsey really annoyed me because of her insecurity.  It seems quite clear to the reader that she must be much prettier than she thinks she is from the reactions of the men in her life.  Also, she focuses too much on the physical and does not appreciate the gifts she has.  In this book things happen that make it possible for Kelsey to go on the second quest to work toward a solution for the two tigers.  This time she ends up on the quest with Kishan and has to travel into Tibet to learn about the next phase of the quest.  As a reader I was impressed with the details and the imaginative situations that the two found themselves in.  I am certainly much more interested in looking for and reading more Indian myths to see if some of the ideas came from them.  When I reached the end of this book I was reeling from a great twist to the plot.  I can't wait for the next book to come out so I can see how things work out. 

     Sharon Draper's book Forged by Fire is a quick read but worth your time.  In this book the reader learns about Gerald's life with his loving aunt who takes custody of him after his druggie mother leaves him alone in the apartment and he almost dies in a fire.   Years later his mother returns with a new husband and Gerald starts living with them.  The only thing that helps him keep going in this new home is his sister Angel.  The two of them look out for each other in this unhappy home.  I found myself really rooting for Gerald and Angel and hoping that they would be able to overcome the bad circumstances of their home life.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a great story.  Anyone who has read Tears of a Tiger will definitely enjoy this book.

   Last, but not least is another great book by Walter Dean Myers.  In Somewhere in the Darkness Jimmy is living with Mama Jean who is taking care of him.  His mother is dead and his father is in prison but he gets along fine living with Mama Jean.  One day his father shows up at the apartment and takes Jimmy with him to Chicago.  Strange things are happening along the way and Jimmy is not sure he can trust this man, but he wants to get to know his father.  Once again, Myers writes an intriguing story that keeps the reader guessing about what is going to happen next.  This is another quick read and completely worth your time. 

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