catching up with 2009

It seems that I was reading faster than I was writing during the month of December, so here is a quick wrap-up of the YA books I finished in December, but haven’t yet written about:

Viola in Reel Life
by Adriana Trigiani

There were people who were excited that Adriana Trigiani had decided to dive into the world of YA lit with Viola in Reel Life. Not having read any of Trigiani’s work before, I can’t say that I was one of them, but I can say that I’m now more likely to read her other work.  Viola chronicles a fourteen-year-old girl’s year as a reluctant boarding school attendee.  Though with a few too many pop culture references for my taste, the novel was a quick, fun read.  The characters are nicely developed and occasionally quirky, and I enjoyed seeing descriptions of familiar northern Indiana on the page.   Viola’s passion for film-making gives the book an interesting angle, and Trigiani brings the roller coaster of adolescence — and the self-discovery that comes with it — to life seemingly effortlessly.

I am a Genius of  Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President
by Josh Lieb

Everyone thinks seventh-grade Oliver’s an idiot, but he’s actually a genius worthy of supervillain fame.  In a definitely boy-centric YA novel, author Lieb constructs a character who can do anything — become a billionaire, create an underground laboratory, ignite a coup against an African dictator — except, just maybe, become class president and impress his father.  The extremism of the plot doesn’t go totally unnoticed, but it is easily outweighed by the hilarity of the situations it creates.  This is one of those books I’d like to put in the hands of any student who says reading is boring, and then sit back and watch as they laugh themselves silly.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

My favorite of the three YA novels I finished in December, Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me is a stand-out of 2009’s YA crop.  I’ve heard it may even be in the running for the Newbery medal, and deservedly so.  Miranda is a junior high student in New York City in the 1970s who suddenly is dealing with a number of disconcerting events: her best friend has abandoned her, a seemingly crazy homeless man is living under a mailbox outside her building, and mysterious notes addressed to her are appearing among her things and forecasting future events.  The first-person narrative is nicely done; the story is told in a way that allows the reader to easily sympathize with and relate to Miranda while also possibly putting together a few pieces of the puzzle that she hasn’t quite connected yet.  I can definitely see When You Reach Me being looked on as a classic by future generations.


~ by Molly on January 7, 2010.

One Response to “catching up with 2009”

  1. […] read (and sincerely enjoyed) When You Reach Me, and I’m interested in looking into Bray’s […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: