A friend of mine noted today that the teen fiction book group at the local B&N is largely made up of people I know. This is what they’re discussing this month and it was available from the library! So, it would be silly to not read it and then go to the book group.
Girl in Translation is the story of Kimberly Chang, an immigrant to the US from Hong Kong. It follows her from when she arrives in the States until after her high school graduation. In the novel, we follow her story as she works to balance school and her life helping her Mother with factory work after school. We see her struggle to fit in with the American students while also maintaining her home culture. We see her survive, push through, and thrive.
It is really great novel. I enjoyed listening to it. The audio book is read by Grayce Wey and I really liked how Wey used accent to change from inner to outer monologue. (And, I may have been imagining this, but I also liked that her accent got mellower as the novel went on.)
I read this as part of the #AsianLitBingo Challenge. Lit Celebrasian did a character interview with Kimberly Chang over on their blog and it is a lot of fun! You can check it out here!
I’ve seen the Star Wars movies but I have never read or watched or played any of the other things set in the Star Wars universe. So, aside from the fact that I was stepping into this world not knowing exactly where I was, I was pretty excited to start it.
Ahsoka is set just after the end of episode 3, while the rebellion is at its beginning. Ahsoka Tano is the former padawan of Anakin Skywalker and a general from the Clone Wars. As a Jedi, she was supposed to die following Order 66, but she escaped. Now, she’s hiding out in the Outer Rim and trying to decide who she is now that there are no jedi. She finds herself on a moon that is occupied by the Empire. Of course, the Empire wants the moon for nefarious purposes. Will Ahsoka help? Will she make things worse? Will she connect with the Rebellion?
I really enjoyed reading this novel. It’s geared towards the 12-18 reader, so it wasn’t as dark or as violent as I would have expected an empire novel to be. But, I liked the characters and the story. I liked Ahsoka’s development as she worked through her feelings on how to exist in a post-Jedi world.
So, if you want an easy read that’s an introduction to the rest of the Star Wars universe, or if you have a child who is super excited about Star Wars after seeing the new movies, Grab this novel!
I’m excited and nervous for this one. I thought the last book was the last book in the series and I thought it ended on a good note. I hope this one will too.
I started reading this a few years ago and then I stopped for some reason. I recently picked it back up. Its the story of a skateboard obsessed teen with a young mother is messes up and ends up a teen parent himself. In usual Hornby fashion the narrator has an obsession that shapes the narrative and pushes it forward. 16 year old Sam’s obsession with Tony Hawk provides a framework inside which Sam’s life comes together and then spins out of control. Tony Hawk’s memoir apparently has advice for every occasion in it, if Sam is to be believed.
This is an interesting exploration of teen pregnancy that had many likable characters. It was also a pretty quick read. It’s not Hornby’s best work but it was still pretty interesting.
I did not expect to binge read Dream Thieves on Thanksgiving. But, I did and now I have to slow my roll down because the fourth book doesn’t come out until Spring. The Raven Cycle is about a group of teens who are looking for a medieval Welsh King rumored to be sleeping somewhere in America. If you wake him, he will grant you a wish.
From here there are spoilers for The Raven Boys.
This novel picks up where Raven Boys left off. Ronan can pull things from his dreams and make them real. Adam woke the ley line and is now its hands and eyes. Noah is still dead and Gansey is still Gansey. Blue is still a not-psychic in a family of psychics. Adam and Blue are kind of together, as together as you can be when your kiss can kill. There is a lot of pain in this novel. Adam doesn’t get why Blue keeps him at arm’s length. Blue can’t help that she’s falling for Gansey. Ronan is still broken from losing his father. None of them understand why Adam went off on his own and, as he grows into what the ley line needs him to be he feels isolated. Gansey is beat up over feeling like he’s losing Adam and he’s at a loss for what to do with Ronan at times. Oh, and Noah keeps reliving his death.
And, now some spoilers for this novel.
In addition to all the growing pains, we learn more about Blue’s family. Persephone has a connection to Adam, we find out. We also meet the Gray man who is there as a bounty hunter to collect whatever allows Ronan to steal things from dreams. I really enjoyed the subplot with the Gray man and Maura and I hope that he continues to be part of the next book. We also learn a little more about Gansey’s and Ronan’s families.
A lot of this novel really focused on Ronan, his ability and its connection to the ley line. I liked Ronan a lot as a character in the first book but he was a little one dimensional. He was Gansey body guard and enforcer. So it was interesting to get some Ronan point of view in this novel. He’s got a lot of anger and also a lot of questions surrounding his father’s life and death. Unraveling the mystery of Niall Lynch not only pushes the narrative forward but also gives Ronan some much needed character development.
We also get a lot of point of view from Adam. We learned about his family in the first novel and we got to see a lot of fall out related to that in this one. We also got to see why this quest and the ley line mean so much to him. Some of the scenes where we see Adam and Gansey together actually lead to some much needed character development for Gansey as well.
I enjoyed this book immensely. I needed to know what happened next. But, I have to say that Adam repeatedly broke my heart. That kid, man. He deserves better.
I am really looking forward to the next novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue.
This month has seen the announcement of the next book in the Raven Cycle series’ cover announced and the next book in the Cinder series released. Both of these things prompted much excitement here at SxLx because we’re into these series. Beth struggled with the decision to re-read the whole series before diving into Winter. I took the new cover art as a signal to re-read the Raven Cycle. In my case, the decision was easy because I haven’t finished Dream Thieves and at this point I’ve probably forgotten more than I remember. But, I know that not everyone feels this pull to revisit the older installments before getting to the new one. So, the comments section is open! What are your thoughts on re-reading a series before the new book comes out? Are you for it? Against it? Do you do it?
Are you a re-reader?
In Zoey Redbird’s world, humans are made into vampyres after they are chosen by the Goddess Nyx. They leave their families and go to live at the local House of Night which is a training ground/school for fledgling vampyres. But, that’s just background noise because she has to deal with whatever her best friend is babbling about, and her ex-almost boyfriend, and her mother’s new husband who is a elder in the People of Faith and who has taken over her mother’s life (and subsequently destroyed her relationship with her Mom.)
Did I say it was background noise? I meant it was exposition. Zoey Redbird is marked in the first chapter and has to go to vampyre school. She is visited in a dream by Nyx and she is asked to be the Goddess’s very own eyes and ears in the school. Talk about responsibility.
The rest of the book is taken up with typical school story narrative. People are terrible and fledgling vampyres don’t buck that trend. There are mean girls, there are the cool kids, there are the people you are lucky enough to have as friends. And, there is a mystery of dead or maybe not-so-dead fledglings. Zoey has to navigate the halls of the school and investigate the mystery.
This is the first book in the series, and as discussed in my Saturday Reads I liked Zoey Redbird very much. The second half of the book involved a lot of description of ritual, and while I liked that, it felt a lot using non-Christian cultural practices as a way to make the vampyre world seem exotic and interesting and special instead of pushing the plot forward by character development or by divulging more about the mystery. And, that’s lazy at best and appropriative at worst. Also, a lot of the references felt really dated or forced. Zoey and her friends make a lot of pop culture references.
Even with the low points, I liked the characters and I’ll probably read at least the next one in the series.