Spring Break Reading!

Today is my last day of Spring Break and it’s time I force myself back into reality. I’ve been soaking up some sun and doing LOTS of reading. Here’s where I spent my week on the beautiful Gulf coast:


There are lots of productive things that should have worked on ::COUGH COUGH National Board Reflections::, but I opted to read instead. So today will be my day of responsibility — grocery shopping, laundry, and writing (okay, so I’m also thinking about going to see The Host…)

In case anyone is curious about what I read over break, here’s a quick run-down:


This book was very Australian. I guess I’ve never really read anything Australian before? It was just okay for me. Typically when I read, I think of a person who would LOVE that particular book. No one came to mind for this one.


I think this was my favorite read of the break! I definitely have a book crush on Jase! It’s definitely an Upper Grades read (as are most of the books I read this week). It’s a great summery love story. The author did a great job of portraying life with a big, loud family, and you can’t help but fall in love with the Garretts — especially little brother George!


I love Lauren Barnholdt! She’s written some middle grade novels, but of course I love her YA stuff more. One Night That Changes Everything is my favorite of hers. This is a good one too, although I think my BFF liked this one better than I did as she LOVES a road trip story.


I was obsessed with the first book in this series, The Unwanteds, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one! It was good, but I will admit that I put it down and came back to it later. And it left me just kind of hanging…which series like to do, I suppose. I’m recommending this series to my fantasy readers quite often.


This is a beautifully written novel! I love that Gayle Forman’s books don’t fit the typical girly YA formula. Lots of Shakespeare weaved into this story, which is fab. And lots of European travel, which I’m dying to do! But this is another one that just left me hanging…although I’m much more anxious to get my hands on the next book of this series!


I cannot wait to get this book into the hands of some of my boys! I think that this will appeal not only to kids who love Hatchet, but also to those who enjoyed The Juvie Three, which I recommend all the time! I’m always excited when I get something new to add to my frequently recommended list, and this is one for sure!


Wow, talk about some messed up situations. This book has high drama written all over it. And not lame girly YA drama. Serious messed up family drama. And this is DEFINITELY a YA novel, no middle grades business going on here. I eyed this for a while before I bought it, but the Simone Elkeles blurb on the cover is what kept me coming back. So I finally bought it, read it, thoroughly enjoyed it.


I found this one at BAM on the sale shelf (I love a BAM sale!), and picked it up because I loved How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr. This one was a quick read and good to go on the library shelf, which made me happy. There were tons of very dramatic things going on in this story, but I felt like it still fell a little flat for me. I’m anxious to give this to one of my avid readers and see how they feel about it.


Yikes! This book was something else! When I first started it, I was thinking it was feeling a bit Summer I Turned Pretty but from a boy’s perspective. Not so much. I think I liked it, despite the fact that it’s one messed up story, disturbing, graphic, etc.


I am a reality TV fanatic. I still watch Real World from time to time and also watch every version of Real Housewives that’s on the air. So this book definitely appealed to me! As I said before, I love Lauren Barnholdt, especially her YA novels, so I really enjoyed this one. Predictable? Sure. Fun? Absolutely!


Throughout my novels, I read a bit of poetry as well, as it was one of the books I needed to finish my Spring Book Challenge (which I did finish this week!). I love Billy Collins and this one was available on Overdrive through my public library, so I took my time and enjoyed this one over the course of the week.

And now, it’s time for me to put the obsessive reading away so I can be productive and work through my many to-do lists. Lots of exciting things coming up as this school year goes into the final stretch! Including…


Join my awesome friend Nick Provenzano and I next Monday for our TL Virtual Cafe webinar — The Connected Concierge!

Recent Reads

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted an update on what I’ve been reading. Hopefully I’ll be able to remember them all and share. I’ve decided that instead of throwing in my recent reads at the end of random posts, I’m going to start updating every few books with a “Recent Reads” post. I’m not into writing reviews — there are plenty of other places on the Interwebs where you can find those — try Amazon, GoodReads, or my fave for YA at StorySnoops (holla!). I’m just going to give my thoughts, impressions, feelings, and ramblings on the books. Because I know that’s what you’re all dying to hear about! Oh, and you should probably be my friend on GoodReads, too!

So like I said, it’s been a while. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

I’m into reading about polygamist societies…I find it to be so intriguing and disturbing. However, I had never read a polygamy centered book from a YA perspective. This was a quick read and I was completely entranced as I read it. It fit the mold of a typical polygamist story but was interesting from the teen perspective. I’d recommend it for someone who’s interested in this genre.

Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

This book was amazing. AMAZING! Several books before this one, I had read (and loved) Mockingbird, which was also written from the perspective of an adolescent on the Autism spectrum. I thought it would be hard to follow that, but this was another amazing, eye-opening book about living with Autism. I felt like I truly understood Jason, and my heart was wrenched by his struggles — particularly his miscommunications with his mom. Love, love, love this one and recommend it to anyone who knows (especially those who teach) a child with Autism.

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell

I know how much my kids LOVE the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Seriously, the most frequently asked question in my library is, “Where are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Are they all checked out??” This book has a similar diary-style format with sketches sprinkled throughout. I thought this one was cute and I know girls would devour it — particularly reluctant readers. Definitely a girly book that makes me, like, wanna talk, like, OMG!

The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong

On a recent trip the the public library, I grabbed several books that are nominated for the 2011 LYRC Award for 6-8 grades. This book was the first that I read. After Dork Diaries I needed something not so, like OMG. The Great Wide Sea is not my typical read (it had a bright yellow “ADVENTURE” sticker on the spine), but I gave it a shot anyway. I could not put this book down! It’s such a well written, emotionally charged page turner. A good recommendation for boys who are into books like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. I honestly think it’s one of the best books I’ve read lately — I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Boys are Dogs by Leslie Margolis

This book was at my Scholastic Book Fair last year, and its sequel (Girls Acting Catty) was on the preview for this year’s Fair. It’s also a LYRC nominee, so I figured it was time for me to read it. It’s a cute and relatable story for middle age girls. The feelings of being new at school, moving in with mom’s long-time boyfriend, and dealing with adolescent boys are quite realistic. I’ll be reading the sequel to find out what happens with Annabelle and her friends.

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

My third LYRC book was another pick for the boys. Gordon Korman is a rockstar author for middle grades, so I had high expectations. I loved Son of the Mob, which I read several years ago. Much like that one, this book had great characters. Yes, it’s quite an off the wall story and the ending was questionable for me, it was still a fun read and one that boys would love.