Have you ever wanted something just because a lot of other people did? I can be that way with books, even if I don't really want to read them. Oh, there are 100 people on the library wait list for this book? I better get in on that, too. This is the reason I have read so many Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks novels in my time, even though I didn't really want to.
When I was in fifth grade I read A Walk to Remember over and over because my older brother refused to take me to see the movie. My friends could obsess over Harry Potter all they wanted, I was thinking about Jamie and Landon. Back then, Sparks' books were like magic to me. Then I grew up.
I still read his books here and there when I came across one or had nothing better to read at the moment, but the more I read the more I realized how silly most of his books are. In all of the Sparks books I have read, the characters fall so in love that it becomes too much, and the book becomes more about their love then what the actual story was supposed to be about in the first place. I came away disappointed every time.
Now, it has been about three years since the last Sparks book and I just began reading his newest work The Longest Ride.I guess we will see what happens.
I have slowly but surely been reading Stephen King's Under the Dome and I have also been having health issues the last few weeks. Yesterday and today have by been by far the worst and have been spent mainly in bed. Just thinking about picking up Under the Dome (a 1000 something page novel for those who may not know) felt exhausting so I climbed out of bed and picked up the least intimidating book on the shelf. Tag Along by Tom Ryan. My review copy weighed in at 195 pages, perfect.
Have you ever seen the movie Valentine's Day? In it there are a bunch of different stories that all of a sudden come together, that's kind of what happens here. Three acquaintances from the same High School and one girl staying with family in town who, through various incidents, come together for a Prom night they will never forget.
This was a perfect, lighthearted, easy to pick up and not put down, YA read. The writing itself was very simplistic and could possibly be better suited for more of a middle grade book in the future, but Ryan's relatable characters (even for a wife and mother who never went to prom) made this book really stand out.
In my household there is always a basket full (and I mean FULL) of library books in my six year old son's bedroom. There is a mixture of graphic novels, picture books, and the chapter books that we read aloud. Last night, after bath time, I logged into my library account to see which books needed to be returned next, and what did I discover? An overdue book. We immediately sat our butts down and picked up said book, Earth to Clunk.
In Earth to Clunk, a boy is assigned a pen pal named Clunk. The boy does not want an alien for a pen pal and tries various ways to dissuade Clunk from responding to his letters and gifts in silly and sometimes kind of gross ways.
My six year old wasn't all that into this book right away, I think because he didn't know what a pen pal was, but once the boy's tactics started getting a little gross then he was glued to the pages. Once finished, we hopped in the car (little man in only undies and a sweatshirt) and hurried to drop it off before I incurred any more late fees. The entire trip my son alternated between flipping through all the pages again and asking "Do we HAVE to return it?"
This book was definitely a winner in our house.
I will be honest and say that I was shocked at how much I enjoyed Prep School Confidential. I went into this thinking it would be a light, fun read with a little bit of mystery thrown in, something similar to The Gallagher Girls series. Instead I got something more mature (as mature as a book about teenagers away at boarding school can be anyway) and something with a much more compelling story line. By the time I was only a few chapters in I was hooked. There were plenty of twists to actually keep me guessing throughout the book and not bored halfway through after "solving" the case. I can only hope Kara Taylor's next Prep School book will be just as compelling.