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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Flashback: April 2012

A look back at what I reviewed in April 2012: 

flashback 3 300x184 Flashback: April 2012

Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown. From my review: “Jennie Lovell’s loved ones left to fight in the Civil War: her twin brother, Tobias; her fiance and cousin, Will Pritchett; and her other cousin, Quinn, Will’s brother. She knew the moment Toby died: could feel it. She never suspected Will’s death, not until a wounded Quinn came home and told them his brother Will had died. Jennie wishes she could feel Will’s presence the way she does Toby’s. Will’s grieving parents, Jennie’s Aunt and Uncle, seek out a photographer who can capture the images of departed spirits. Jennie begins getting strange messages – is it Will? What is he trying to tell her? As Jennie struggles with the loss of Toby and Will, she also struggles for her future. Her Aunt and Uncle had never looked kindly or generously on their orphaned niece, and now her position is even more precarious. To make matters even more confusing, Quinn has returned from war a changed man. It’s not just that he’s physically injured: he seems almost a different person. War changes a man, he explains. Would falling in love with Quinn be a betrayal of Will?

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. From my review: “Polly Whittacker, 19, is packing for college when she begins to read a book that she thought she had already read. Only the stories are different — something is missing — it doesn’t seem quite right. One of the stories, one of the ones she remembers, is about a man with two sets of memories. Polly realizes that her memories don’t match up with facts, and begins to recover memories. Memories of a man named Thomas Lynn. Memories of danger from the wealthy Leroy family. People that she thought she’d just met, she’d known for years. Things had happened — unbelievable, fantastical things — that she didn’t remember. People, places, and things come back from age 10, 11, and onward. Thomas Lynn was in danger. The dual memories stop at fifteen. What did she do that erased Thomas Lynn from her memory? Is it too late to save him?

The List by Siobhan Vivian. From my review: “Mount Washington High School has a tradition: each year, before Homecoming, a list is made. The four prettiest girls in school, one in each grade. And the four ugliest girls, one in each grade. This year’s anointed pretty girls: Abby, Lauren, Bridget, Margo. The ugly girls: Danielle, Candace, Sarah, Jennifer. The List is their story, of how it impacts each girl. Eight story lines are juggled; eight points of view come together for one story about the power of words and labels. The List is also about casual, everyday cruelty; a meanness that here is in high school, brought to the forefront because of the list, but it could happen anywhere or anytime. Some people are “broken” by the list; some are made stronger; some embrace it; others, reject it.

After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive by Lisa R. Cohen. From my review: “The story is heartbreaking: six year old Etan disappears during the short walk to his school bus stop. Etan never arrived at school that morning, but the school didn’t call his parents, so it wasn’t until Etan didn’t come home that his mother knew he’d gone missing. After Etan is about those first few days, yes, but it also the months and years and decades after. It is about Etan’s parents. It is about the change in society, in knowledge, in laws.”

Catch & Release by Blythe Woolston. From my review: “I adored Polly — the new Polly. I’m not sure what I would have thought of Polly-That-Was, with her future set in stone and all her choices made because those choices, like her life, were nice and easy. Polly was a much wanted only child; she met Bridger at a dance her freshman year of high school and they’ve dated and Planned their lives ever since. Two nice kids planning a nice life. . . . Once Polly got sick, Bridger and his family disappeared. . . . Polly has lost everything, especially the niceness that used to define who she was and what she wanted out of life. Her future is lost to her. Her present, also. . . . Catch & Release is about Polly picking up those shattered pieces.

Ripper by Stefan Petrucha. From my review: “An action adventure steampunk Jack the Ripper mystery set in New York City!

The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks. From my review: “Sunday morning, at 7:16 in the morning, Rain is woken up by a phone call from Wendy Geller’s mother. Wendy’s mother sounds like someone who is scared but is trying not to be scared: Wendy didn’t come home last night. Does Rain know where she is? Ms. Geller doesn’t realize that Rain and Wendy haven’t been friends since freshman year, two years ago. It’s not till later that night that Rain hears the news: Wendy’s body has been found in Central Park. She’s been murdered. It’s Day One. And even though the two girls were no longer friends, Rain feels she owes Wendy. No matter what it takes, Rain will find out who killed Wendy.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 2: The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood, illustrated by Jon Klassen. From my review: Miss Lumley and young Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia now venture off to London, armed with a slightly-odd Guide Book. How much trouble can they get into, really? The three children wear their clothes, do their lessons, and only start howling when there is a reason to, such as the moon or a tempting squirrel. That incident at the Christmas ball — well, best not talked about, right? It turns out that London has secrets of its own; or, rather, is an occasion for Penelope and her three charges to discover secrets about themselves.

Pure by Julianna Baggott. From my review: “Pressa’s and Partridge’s world is one destroyed and shattered; even the Pures untouched and isolated and protected within the Dome do not live in a familiar society. Pressa’s story of survival is told while Partridge dreams of a way to escape the Dome and his father and find his mother. Not only does the reader learn more about their worlds, just as important, the reader learns what they do and don’t know about those worlds. Pressa doesn’t know much beyond her tiny neighborhood, but she is knowledgeable about the dangers of that world. Partridge has no idea the reality of life outside the Dome, and what he’s been taught isn’t always accurate.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. From my review: ”What better way to reinvent oneself than travel? Bria Sandoval, 18, does just that, following a bad break up and disappointing college decisions. Carefree travel, seeing new places, meeting new people — heck, maybe she’ll even follow her friends’ advice and pursue a random, no-emotions-invested hookup with some cute guy who means nothing. Perhaps all you need to know about Bria’s personality is that the way she implements her plan is by signing up for a guided tour. Yes. An eighteen year old on a guided tour of South America.

 

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

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