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

Review: Uses for Boys

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013. The Plot: Slut. That’s the word thrown at Anna. Cutting as a knife. Creating a barrier between herself and the world. Except for the boys. Desmond, Joey, Todd, and the others. Yes, they take something, but they also give her something she needs. Warmth; […]

Crash and Burn, Part II

Yesterday, I talked about what I liked about Crash and Burn. Today, I’ll talk about what I didn’t like. In one word: sluts. Crash is so perfectly described, so fully drawn — it is a great thing, to create out of nothing a fictional character who is so “real.” So real, that I got sick […]

Review: Crash and Burn

Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan. Balzer & Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: On April 21, 2008, Steven “Crash” Crashinsky saved the lives of every one in his high school — student, teachers, staff — when he somehow stopped his classmate David “Burn” Burnett from blowing up […]

Review: Aristotle and Dante

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Simon & Schuster BFYR. 2012. Copy from library. Printz Honor Book. The Plot: Summer, 1987. Angel Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza is fifteen, and it’s the start of another lonely, hot summer in El Paso. Bored, he goes to the local swimming even though […]

Review: The White Bicycle

The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna. Red Deer Press. 2012. Printz Honor Book. Library copy. The Plot: Taylor Jane Simon, 19, is in France for her summer job, being a personal care assistant for her friend Luke Phoenix’s younger brother, Martin Phoenix. Unfortunately, Taylor Jane’s mother has tagged along. It only makes sense; Penny Simon’s mother […]

Review: The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. Random House. 1974. (over the years, many reprints and imprints!) Library copy. The Plot: Trinity is a school ruled by an elite clique, The Vigils, and the person who runs that clique is Archie Costello. Archie creates  “assignments” for his fellow students: various stunts and pranks. Jerry is a […]

Review: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: August, 1986, and Park Sheridan is sitting on the bus, wanting to be left alone. When Eleanor Douglas gets on the bus, the last thing he wants to do is share his seat with her. Ignore her, leave […]

Review: Black Helicopters

Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston. Candlewick Press. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: “I’m Valkyrie White. I’m fifteen. Your government killed my family.” Valley has been bathed, so that she doesn’t smell of wood smoke and instead smells like other teen girls. Valley has been dressed, in jeans and a T-shirt and a hoodie, […]

Review: Come See About Me

Come See About Me by C.K. Kelly Martin. Smashwords. 2012. The Plot: Leah’s boyfriend, Bastien, is dead. Since the police knocked on their apartment door, telling her about the accident, Leah has barely been able to function. University classes, her part time job, her friends, all fall by the wayside as she tries to live with her […]

Reality Ali

Reality Ali by Christine Marciniak. Zumaya Thresholds, 2012. Personal copy. From the publisher’s website: “The only thing real about reality TV is the camera. “Fourteen-year-old Ali Caldwell’s father keeps her privacy so secure none of the kids at boarding school believe she has a movie star for a mom. Sick of hiding in the wings, […]