Hey, so here are some things that happened this week. Last weekend there was a big librarian conference in town (tote bags! so many tote bags!) whereby approximately 10,000 of my people came through my work place from all over to say howdy.
I also ventured out on Saturday night to go to a librarian-conference-related party. This is notable because cliquey stuff? Stresses my shit OUT. Who got invited to the HarperCollins party to hang out with the hot new YA author? Sorry, I have to run because I am having a beer with famous comics writer dude. IT IS THE WORST. I don’t know what’s up with me because not caring in high school or professional dance or theater should equal the Olympic Triathalon of Cliques, but yet now this caca makes me feel like this.
So at any rate, I got myself gussied up (I even did my hurrs), made sure there were going to be two people that I know and like there (because I am 14 years old), and went. I walked to the party to find that it was full and they were turning people away (I got velvet roped from a librarian party! SRSLY YOU GUYS), so then I got a text from a friend who said I should go to a different publisher party, so I walked over there, but then I decided to just bail and meet up with a friend who was at a bar so I tromped my ass up a hill and over the freeway and then I got there and the door guy wouldn’t let me in because I had lost my driver’s license and it was like he was Andrew Dice Clay and I was Duckie Dale. So, I turned my ass around and went home. It was a really great 3 hours of my life.
Did you notice the bright side in that story? The door guy wouldn’t let me in without my ID. RALPH MALPH IT WITH ME, everyone!: “I still got it.”
Let’s get back to what really makes me happy. Books, movies, and teevees. Take that, SOCIETY.
33 Minutes, by Todd Lowy-Hasak
Imagine the show “24” but instead of Keifer Sutherland fighting terrorism in 24 hours, you have Sam, a 7th grader who is about to get his butt kicked at recess 33 minutes from now by his ex-best friend. Good for 4th-6th graders. I liked it because it wasn’t a bullying book (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but rather a story about friends who get mad at each other and fisticuffs get invoked. Which happens when you’re a kid. Hopefully not after that.
Creepy Carrots, by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown
A funny, scary story about carrots who stalk a greedy bunny. If you’re a kid that can handle a little creepiness (something’s watching you from inside of your closet! Ahhhh!), it’s great. If you’re a scaredy-kid, this one actually has a bit of freak out factor, so be careful. About carrots. Yes. I know. But I stand by this advice.
Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
The only criteria I have on deciding whether I read a book is if someone tells me to read it. “You should read this” is pretty much all it takes. As you can imagine this means that I get introduced to all types of things– fiction, nonfiction, mystery, thriller, celebrity, western, historical, arty, sci-fi, fantasy, highbrow, lowbrow, whatever. One thing that I totally miss out on? Romance. For some reason, people don’t tell me to read romances. I don’t know if that’s because they don’t think I will like them or what. I know that people in my life are reading them. Anyway. I had this one in a pile of advance copies and had heard of it, so I read it without knowing anything about it other than it was maybe romancey. First of all, it was most definitely about love, so it totally counts. However, there was no sexy business in it. So, you know: CHECK, PLEASE. Just kidding. A little. It’s the story of a woman who gets a job being a caregiver for a quadriplegic. A handsome quadriplegic, obvs. I would definitely recommend it for folks who like Nicholas Sparks and the like.
The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex
Good for adults down to 5th grade or so, this one takes a post-apocalypse and adds humor to the whole thing. I thought the tone was just great. Good if you like Terry Pratchett type humor, or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The Good Braider, by Terry Farish
I know that novels in verse drive some people crazy, but it didn’t take me long to forget about the format and just take in the story. Viola is a teenager living in South Sudan with her family and no part of her life is unaffected by the war between the north and the south, as she lives with death and fear on a daily basis. This short book follows her family as they become refugees and it covers a lot of ground and manages to not feel shallow.
Liar and Spy, by Rebecca Stead
10-year-old Georges’ father has lost his job and they have had to sell their home and move into an apartment in Brooklyn. Georges makes a new friend there: a home-schooled kid who is seriously into becoming a spy. They both begin investigating Mr. X, a man in their building who only wears black and comes and goes at odd hours. Stead does such a great job at not talking down to her audience, and throws in twists that are surprising but never feel unrealistic. This one’s good for grownups too.
Going in Circles, by Pamela Ribon
Dysfunctional but smart, witty lady finds redemption in roller derby. You know if you’re the audience for this, and if you are, you’ll like it.
The Brides of Rollrock Island, by Margo Lanagan
Ok, stay with me here. This takes place in a fishing community, where the seals who live on the beach have spells cast on them by a witch whereby girls emerge from inside the seals and fishermen take them for wives. I know, it’s weird. But this novel that tells this selkie tale (real talk: I had never really heard of such a thing as a selkie before this) is poetic and strange and cool. It’s marketed as a teen book, and that’s fine, but it seemed more adult to me.
Ok, you know what? I fibbed. This one’s just going to be about books this time. Next time: movies and teevee.