Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hannah Just Read: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Before I say anything substantial about Hate List by Jennifer Brown, I am just going to say that it is not an easy book to read. It is kind of scary and definitely sad and frustrating, too. That being said, Hate List is absolutely worth reading. It is primarily Valerie's story, who, after a lot of therapy and laying in bed, has decided to go back to her high school for her senior year, even though her boyfriend Nick open fired in the school's cafeteria at the end of the previous school year. Valerie and Nick, feeling like outsiders, had spent a lot of their time together venting their frustrations through a hate list that included not only people they knew but also things like "people who say 'sorry' after everything" and "fast-food commercials," and it was this list that Nick used to target his victims. Valerie didn't know anything about the shooting and, in fact, was responsible for stopping it while simultaneously saving the life of one of her classmates, but the people in her town, the kids in her school, and even her parents are having a hard time realizing that Valerie was not the one who pulled the trigger.
Like I said, Hate List is wonderfully written and well told, and I would recommend it very highly to upper high-schoolers. It kind of reminded me of the movie Elephant, which was directed by Gus Van Saint, which I saw and really liked, but it is very slow moving. Here's a trailer for the book and then a trailer for Elephant.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hannah Just Read: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters

I have this thing that whenever I read a book (that I like) I automatically want to move to wherever the books is set. For example, when I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, I realized my desire to move to New England. When I read Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson I was overtaken with the uncontrollable urge to be a New Yorker. I read The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd last year. The book is set in a fictional city in the Midwest, and all of a sudden I thought to myself, "gee, I've always wanted to live in the Midwest." But that is so not true! I've NEVER wanted to live in the Midwest! I don't even LIKE the Midwest! They get tornadoes! You get the idea.

Anyway, the tradition was upheld as I read Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford last weekend. It is set in Baltimore, and now I am seriously considering moving... I mean, until I start a new book. But Confession of the Sullivan Sisters is told by Norrie, Jane, and Sassy, in letters to their grandmother, who has threatened the Sullivan family with dis-inheriting them unless the Sullivan who has offened her confesses to his or her transgression. The three sisters all have secrets to confess--big ones, and they are owning up to them now.

This book was a fun and quick read. I read it in just a few hours, and it was quite enjoyable, but definitely chicklit, even though the Sullivan sisters are smart and interesting, which not all girls in chicklit books are. I would recommend this book to anyone who just needs something fast and easy to read. It was like eating a fun-sized candy bar: sweet and delicious and just the right size.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hannah Just Read: I Will Save You

Last week I read I Will Save You by Matt de la Peña on my new Kindle. It is rare that I buy books (I mean... I work at the library) but I was impulsive and downloaded this one, and I don't regret it at all, though I kind of guessed the ending about half way through. I Will Save You is about Kidd Ellison, who runs away from his group home to work at a campsite on the beach in California. He meets Olivia, who rents one of the campsites with her family. Kidd doesn't think he's worthy of Olivia, who is beautiful and rich, but Olivia likes him, and they begin to spend time together. The one thing that could ruin Kidd and Olivia's relationship, though, is Kidd's best friend and worst enemy, Devon, who shows up uninvited and unannounced at the campsites one night.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the non-linear story line. The story starts off at the end and works its way back to the beginning, all the while jumping around in between. Sometimes this can be very confusing, but Matt de la Peña does it really well. Like I said, the story was a tad bit predictable, but the writing was excellent, and there are some really good lines in the book, which it is easy to mark with my fabulous new Kindle. Here's a few lines I really liked:

"...was it some group of people in the olden days that decided what pretty
looks like, or were we all just born knowing?"

"She rolled her eyes. 'You don't know much about girls, do you?'
I shrugged.
'The ones who claim they don't believe in
fairy tales are the ones who believe the most.'"

and my favorite:

"I thought how if two people see the exact same thing, at the exact same
time, their minds probably store the same memory, even way into the future, and
that's something in common."

Matt de la Peña also wrote a really good entry on his blog the day that I Will Save You came out. He tells a story about a frog and a toilet, but be warned, there's drinking and maybe a couple of swear words on there.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

December's Gingerbread House Extravaganza

Better late than never:
Fredricksen's inaugural Gingerbread House Extravaganza was a success! Twenty eight teens came to eat, I mean build gingerbread houses made from the finest icing and candy around! We had teens using their creative efforts to make houses, a village, a train, and our own Fredricksen Library! Two guys combined their materials to make a structure to resemble the library. Can you see the resemblance? If not, they'll be glad to explain every part to you!

Unfortunately several teens had a lesson in physics! Piling a lot of candy on one area may not hold the structure! But, they made the best of it by rebuilding or creating a great candy pile! Overall, it was a fun, tasty afternoon at the library! Look for this fun, festive activity again next December!
Please check out all of the photos of this fun day on our link!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hannah Just DIDN'T Read: Another Faust

Okay, so, I was totally planning on reviewing Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri, but let me tell you, it was terrible, and I couldn't read it, so I put it down. I mean... it was bad. I feel like I gave it a fair shake. I probably read 60 pages of it, but I had NO IDEA what was happening and I was bored out of my skull. Has anyone out there read Another Faust and liked it and thinks I'm really lame for not liking it? Let me know in the comments, even if you're mad at me because Another Faust is your favorite book of all time.

Now I'm reading I Will Save You by Matt de la Pena on my Kindle that I got for Christmas, and I will have a review of that for next week, and maybe I'll talk about my Kindle more, because it is my new favorite thing ever.

So since I didn't give you an actual review of a book I'll give you a couple of links to some other, better reviews of books:
A review of If I Stay by Gayle Forman (which I still need to read!)

A review of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (which I still need to read and am SO excited about)

A review of The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (which I just read and it was awesome, but the library doesn't own it)