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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

#BookLove continues: recent faves

BookLove lives on today, spreading the word about authors and books you love - in fact, you can find out more about it at the Facebook event and add the #booklove hashtag to your tweets!

To celebrate book love, I thought I would sing the praises of a few recent YA faves:

A BLUE SO DARK by Holly Schindler
Flux, 2010, 14 and up
Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.

Holly’s voice is as sharp as an ice pick, her observations astute and often very, very funny. It’s a moving portrait of a girl letting go of her past and discovering her gifts. I can't wait for Holly’s next book, Playing Hurt!

BALLADS OF SUBURBIA by Stephanie Kuehnert
MTV Books, 2009, 14 and up
In high school, Kara helped maintain the "Stories of Suburbia" notebook, which contained newspaper articles about bizarre and often tragic events from suburbs all over and personal vignettes that Kara dubbed "ballads" written by her friends in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. Those "ballads" were heartbreakingly honest tales of the moments when life changes and a kid is forced to grow up too soon. But Kara never wrote her own ballad. Before she could figure out what her song was about, she was leaving town after a series of disastrous events at the end of her junior year. Four years later, Kara returns to face the music, and tells the tale of her first three years of high school with her friends' "ballads" interspersed throughout.

Stephanie has an intense and beautiful way with words. An epic cast, but she draws them so well, you feel as if you know them. It's fiction, but it reads with the intimacy of a memoir - riveting, wrenching, and very powerful.

FORGET-HER-NOTS by Amy Brecount White
Greenwillow, 2010, 11 and up
Something—some power—is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love. Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out...

This novel was a breath of fresh air - light and sweet, though not at all without depth. I loved the Victorian flair and flower trivia thoughtfully woven throughout.

ADIOS, NIRVANA by Conrad Wesselhoeft
Houghton Mifflin, 2010, 14 and up
Last year's Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School's resident tortured artist, after the death of his brother, Telly. He's on track to repeat his junior year, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks won't sit back and let him fail.

This isn't the kind of book you'll want to race through - instead, you'll stop to savor each poetic bite.

Check out the trailer:

So what about you - what are some of your recent faves?


  1. I've heard of most of these except Adios, Nirvana. It sounds like a good one! =)

  2. Amy is on my blog today - come visit! :)

  3. Hey, Holly!
    I've been at Hawaii last week, and school officially started this week, and so I've been pretty busy. I just hope you got the bracelets okay!
    Now I have plenty of blog posts to get to, so see ya!

    Love, Hannah

    P.s. I've read BALLADS OF SUBURBIA and A BLUE SO DARK and they were so good; I'm really looking forward to the other two titles. :)