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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Long Post

I feel like making a long, well-written, quality post today. This will have to suffice:

I: review one
Today's review is Peace, Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle.

2009, Dutton Juvenile, 304p
Notable awards: None (yet)
Notable books by the author: Internet Girls series; Winnie Perry series; Kissing Kate
Summary: Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat.
Review: So I'm at Barnes and Noble, right? And I'm looking through the YA section like always. I really want to read Thirteen Reasons Why, but they don't have any copies (!!!), so I'm looking for another book to buy around twenty dollars, because that's all I have to buy books. And then I see some familiar books: the 'ttyl' series and Bliss by Lauren Myracle, all four of which I've read and liked. There's a few other books surrounding it, one of which is Peace, Love and Baby Ducks. I pick it up, and the first thing I notice is that it's a lot longer than Amazon said, which is one reason why I decide to buy it (I resemble fantasy fans in one major aspect: I'm more likely to buy a book depending on how long it is.) I like the concept, too, plus I like Lauren Myracle as an author (the aforementioned Bliss and Internet Girls books rank on my top 100). So I get the book, and I read it. And the thing you most need to know about this book?Peace, Love and Baby Ducks is engrossing. Because I was going to go to the library soon and I had, like, 25 books checked out, I was trying to read six books at once. I was trying to read one chapter of one book, one of another, one of another, and then one of the first, you get the idea, but I kept going back to this one because it was so tautly written, so realistic and hilarious and all those good things that I had to keep going back to it. This is a quality that all Lauren Myracle Books have: I finished the 444-page Bliss in a day, same with ttyl and Kissing Kate. Her books are among the most frequently challenged, but that's because a) book banners are frequently cads, especially YA book banners, and b) she writes about stuff that us teens actually TALK ABOUT. I remember a scene in ttfn, the second Internet Girls book, where the three main characters, Zoe, Angela, and Maddie, are talking about a question one of their classmates asked in health that is kind of dirty. (I won't say what it was, but if you've read ttfn, you probably know what I'm talking about--"Tonnie is a case" should ring a bell.) Well, Peace, Love and Baby Ducks has a few of those, but they're not just put in there for "shock value" like aforementioned cads would have you believe. They're not just mindless smut. This is really what us disgusting teenagers of today think and talk about, and the fact that Myracle knows and presents this realistically is why her books are so popular with both teens and book banners alike. But on to the book itself: Peace, Love and Baby Ducks is about a girl named Carly and her one-year-younger sister Anna and how their relationship changes over a year. There was so much to like about this book: the characters, the story, the writing, the relationship between Anna and Carly. For lack of a better word, I liked the dynamic between the two sisters. Not a) being female or b) having a sister, I wouldn't know what it's like to have one, but you get the feeling from PLB that Myracle does. The secondary characters weren't cardboard, (no teen movie stereotypes here) and Carly's complicated romantic relationship type things were portrayed uber-realistically. Carly herself was a really, really, really, really likable main character, and although she sometimes talked about the hypocrisy and material obsessiveness and printed little whales of everyone around her, she wasn't openly whingeing. Although I couldn't be more different than her, I felt as if I could relate. This is just as amazing as previous Lauren Myracle novels, but it's even better, if that makes any sense.
Thoughts on the cover: I like the cover. Kind of. It's very simple, which I really like about it, and despite the white background, it's eye-catching. I've seen the paperback cover recently (Summer 2010 Penguin Young Readers Group catalog--I am such a nerd), and I have to say, I think I like it better. Sort of. (No image available, because I'm too lazy to do the Powerpoint crop-and-Photobucket thing.) Overall rating: 8.
Verdict: Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks is a realistically written, funny, crisp, and witty story about the (l.o.a.b.w.) dynamics of sisterhood, friendship, and family.
Rating: 9

II: What I'm reading.

I have a problem: I READ TOO MUCH. This isn't a problem, you say? Well, you're right, it isn't. So here's the problem: I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO READ ALL THE BOOKS I OBTAIN.

Right now I'm reading:

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
Scat by Carl Hiaasen
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
To Be Mona by Kelly Easton
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
Marly's Ghost by David Levithan

and the list goes on and on. That's just an excerpt.

See what I mean?

part 3: next year's books part i

Because I NEVER LEARN MY LESSON, these are some next-year books I really want.

Freefall by Ariela Anhalt
Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
The Less-Dead by April Lurie

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

(warning: big picture)

Hunger Games series book 3 by Suzanne Collins
and on and on and on.

See what I mean?

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