Sunday, February 14, 2010

In My Mail Box- (7)

My First In My Mail Box! (:

Here are the books!

Waiting For Normal-Leslie Connor
Addie loves her mother, but unfortunately Addie's mom tends to take an all or nothing approach to life. One day she will work hard to clean up their small trailer near the railroad tracks, and then the next day she will lay around in bed all day and let the dirty dishes pile up. Some days she comes home with bags full of groceries and makes wonderful meals for Addie, but then she'll be gone for weeks on a “business trip.” Just when the pantry is beginning to get empty, though, Addie's mom will return again and Addie can't really be mad at her then.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist- Rachel Cohn
Nick, a high-school senior from Hoboken, can't stop obsessing about Tris, his cute, blond, conniving ex-girlfriend. Norah, also a senior and an acquaintance of Tris's, is dissed by Tris at a club in New York City, so to show she's cool and has a boyfriend, she goes up a stranger, whispers in his ear, and kisses him. It's Nick. Thus begins a night of fits and starts between Nick and Norah as they share a love of music, hunt for an elusive band scheduled to play somewhere that night, search for Norah's drunk friend Caroline - with the help of Nick's gay band mates, and keep running into Tris and Nora's sort-of boyfriend. Both Nick and Norah have to figure out what they want

The Secret Language of Girls- Frances O' Roark Dowell
Kate and Marylin have been best friends forever. But as they enter sixth grade, their friendship changes. Kate continues to love reading, basketball and bugs, while Marylin dreams of kissing, boys and cheerleading. The friends periodically drift apart and then are pulled back together throughout THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLS.

PS. Longer Letter Later- Paula Danziger
Tara Starr is outgoing and impulsive and likes to write, while Elizabeth is shy, quiet and enjoys writing poetry. Even so, they are best friends. When Tara*Starr moves to Ohio, the girls continue their friendship by writing letters, which detail the changes in their lives - Tara*Starr must cope with moving, making new friends and dealing with her mother's pregnancy while Elizabeth's family begins to fall apart. Tara*Starr makes another best friend in Ohio. Her name is Hannah. Tara calls her Pal Indrome because her name spelled backwards is the same as when it's spelled forward. It becomes her new nickname and everyone calls her "Pal". Tara also gets a boyfriend named Alex who kisses her.

Elizabeth's father is starting to scare her when he is coming home later than usual, drinking, and going overboard on his credit cards after he loses his job and has no money. Tara*Starr, is making new friends, joining clubs and getting involved in the school activities. When Elizabeth's family has to move to an apartment because of the money problem, her dad decides to leave, or separate from their mother.
It is through their alternating letters that readers learn how Tara*Starr and Elizabeth grow and change - and how they keep their friendship strong, even if it is long-distance. This book shows how hard a friendship can be when you can't see your friend, but also shows that if you truly care about something and if you work hard for that something anything can happen. The girls really care for each other.

Faith, Hope and Ivy June- Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Ivy June Mosely and Catherine Combs, two girls from different parts of Kentucky, are participating in the first seventh-grade student exchange program between their schools. The girls will stay at each other’s homes, attend school together, and record their experience in their journals. Catherine and her family have a beautiful home with plenty of space. Since Ivy June’s house is crowded, she lives with her grandparents. Her Pappaw works in the coal mines supporting four generations of kinfolk. Ivy June can’t wait until he leaves that mine forever and retires. As the girls get closer, they discover they’re more alike than different, especially when they face the terror of not knowing what’s happening to those they love most.

Becoming Chole-Catherine Ryan Hyde.
Jordy, homeless, gay, and abused, finds a kindred spirit when he rescues fragile, childlike Chloe from a brutal rape near the abandoned building where they both live. Thus begins their intensely codependent friendship. When Jordy all but commits murder to protect Chloe, it only reinforces in his mind that they have no option but to leave New York City for their safety and sanity. And here, at the halfway mark, the novel takes a left turn: the teens hightail it out of the city in a beat-up pickup truck to discover America and possibly new lives. The arresting and gut-wrenching opening scene promises a gritty urban tale of survival, and despite some choppy, repetitive dialogue, Hyde makes the first half of the book succeed. But the cross-country trek quickly loses momentum with a wistful, near-philosophical shift in tone. And while Hyde's jerky, streamlined style reinforces the teens' pain, it doesn't complement their cross-country search for beauty and trust in the novel's second half. The results feel rushed and uneven, almost as if two separate narratives were merged to create this single slim volume.–

Girlbomb: a halfway homeless memoir- Janice Erlbaum

 Erlbaum, a columnist for Bust, left her Manhattan home at 15 after her mother reunited with Erlbaum's abusive stepfather. Landing first in a shelter and then a group home, Erlbaum—shattered by her mother's choice—embarks on a treacherous course of self-destruction. Casual sex with a series of brutally uncaring boys coupled with daily drug and alcohol abuse become her antidote to the violence and racism in the child-welfare system housing her. Her isolation and loneliness threaten to swallow her whole. Yet when Erlbaum's mother invites her home (the dreaded stepfather gone for good), things don't improve. Erlbaum has more freedom, which allows more opportunity for trouble. At 17 she leaves again (this time to live with an older boyfriend), becomes addicted to the cocaine so plentiful in the 1980s New York club scene and nearly dies from an overdose. Through Erlbaum's adolescence, she often seems a willing victim. In her chaotic senior year of high school, she begins writing stories, attempting to put the life she's been living into perspective. Her memoir (comparable to Koren Zailckas's Smashed) reads like a neorealist novel. Sharp yet poignant, raw and vivid, it illumines the dirty underside of American girlhood and brings it to harrowing life.

1 comment:

  1. Amanda, thanks so much for your review of my book. And you put me in such good company!