Author Archives: benton19

Beyond the Bright Sea

Image result for beyond the bright seaWhat an amazing journey!  I absolutely fell in love with Crow. She’s just such a plucky, fearless, and independent young creature! The relationsip she has with her father and lady neighbor are reminiscent of another young favorite of mine, Scout Finch. This one will teach us all about the beauty of family, in whatever form that may find you. Loved it!

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. (Good Reads)

Advertisements

The Poet X

The Poet XI just love that poetry is back in fashion! This young poet is so full of thoughts, ideas, wonder, and talent. But she feels stymied by an overbearing and tremendously strict mother. It is difficult for X to fully express herself, and the climax of this novel when she finally does will stay with me forever!

 

 

“A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself, ” (Good Reads).

Wintergirls

WintergirlsI’m not sure how I missed this one all of these years because I love Laurie Halse Andersen’s work. But what an impact! It feels as frigid as its title. Written in a diary format, the book presents the inner workings of the mind that has overcome the body of the girl.  I was haunted from the very first pages and read it in one sitting just to find out what happens! The content may be upsetting to some as eating disorders are revealed in grave detail, but I woud consider required reading for my middle school girls.

“‘Dead girl walking’ the boys say in the halls.
‘Tell us your secrets’ the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl. I am the spaces between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.”

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit,” (Good Reads)

Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way DownI don’t think I’ve ever been so completely inside the head of the protagonist as I became while reading this story. Aza suffers from the most extreme case of OCD and germaphobia I have ever encountered. As she attempts to open up to the possibility of a physical relationship with the boy she cares for, all of her fears come crashing down on her. But John Green, genius that he is, pairs this downward spiral with an off-beat mystery that keeps us all guessing as well. Quirky characters abound, as usual, and will stay with you long after you close the book. I love this one!

“It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity,” (Good Reads)

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of KatherinesWhat a fun and sentitive romp this book is!  I love the quirky male protagonist. I love the crazy quest to find himself. And I especially love the oddball secondary characters he meets along the way that change his life forever.  This is a great book for boy readers who might be tired of action and dystopia. And anyone who loves to figure things out mathematically!

 

“Katherine V thought boys were gross.
Katherine X just wanted to be friends.
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail.
K-19 broke his heart.

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself,” (Good Reads)

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)This second book in the series suffers a bit from sophmore syndrome, but I enjoyed being back in the world of the scythedom very much. The best part for me was the apprentice/mentor portion of the text. Although at times the secondary story lines become a bit muddled, they do add depth and dimension to the story and save it from being too repetitive.

 

 

“Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?” (Good Reads).