Review of Buzz Books 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter by Publishers Lunch

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Buzz Books 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter is a collection of 20 excerpts from upcoming new releases in the young adult book world. They are all different genres. There’s something in here for everyone. Some of them, like A History of Glitter and Blood, have some swearing in them. It didn’t bother me, but I know some readers don’t like that. Two of them (A History of Glitter and Blood and This is How it Ends) have lgbt characters and others deal with subjects like rape and body image.

My favorite excerpts were from A History of Glitter and Blood, This is How it Ends and Not if I See You First.

A History of Glitter and Blood had one of the longer excerpts in the book and I like that it combines the story with drawings, journal entries and other things.

This is How it Ends is about a school shooting and it chronicles what the four main characters were doing in the time leading up to, during and after the shooting.

Not if I See You First is about a blind girl dealing with the loss of her father and changes at school as another school merges with hers.

I have added most of the titles to my “Want to Read” list on Goodreads and some are even doing giveaways. Out of the 20 excerpts, there were only 2 or 3 that I wouldn’t consider reading the rest of. The book is currently available for free from Amazon and other e-book retailers. I’ll be reading more from the Buzz Books series in the future.

If you would like the check out this book and the others in the series you can find it/them here: http://buzz.publishersmarketplace.com/?selected-edition=1214

Disclaimer: I got this book for free from Net Galley. All opinions are my own.

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Review of Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals by Dinty W. Moore

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I really enjoyed this book. I like the size, cover, pages, writing style and illustrations. The book tackles some questions about writing that are sent to the author. He answers them in a fun way with a humorous tone. I smiled most of the time that I was reading it. I love that I was enjoying reading and actually learning things at the same time. I learned more about writing essays and writing in general.

In one part of the book, the author mentions interviewing people for a teaching job and he mentions that he’s found that less people are reading less. Unfortunately, I have noticed this too.

Moore includes drawings of polar bears doing various things with some of the replies and also has some other illustrations. As a polar bear fan, I loved the drawings. They were cute and the cannibal polar bear was funny. He even has a polar bear saying “Bye!” at the end of the book.

Polar bear drawing
Polar bear drawing

I would recommend this to writers (professional and amateur), high school and college students, people who like polar bears and to people who like reading about writing.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books. All opinions are my own.

Review of Haunted by Meg Cabot

I didn’t realize that this books was part of a series when I bought it, but it can be read as a stand alone story. The main character, Suze, gives enough information about what happened before this book to let you know why the characters feel the way that they do without recapping the first five books.
I feel like the author did a good job at making Suze sound like a regular 16 year old girl, who just happens to see ghosts. She has to deal with school, her friends, her stepbrothers, sort of boyfriend and learn more about her powers. I like that she has good friends and a supportive mentor.
Not much really happened in this book, but I like the writing style and the ending was good. There was a nice plot twist there.

I would be interested in reading the rest of the series and I recommend this to fans of young adult paranormal series.

Review of S.O.S. Titanic by Eve Bunting

S.O.S. Titanic is about a fifteen year old boy named Barry O’Neill who’s traveling from Ireland to America on the Titanic. He’s in first class while a rival family, the Flynns, is in third class. The book is a great blend of fact and fiction.

I like how the author worked all the facts into the story. Barry meets a man who’s afraid the Titanic will sink after reading the book “Titan,” he finds out that there are only enough lifeboats for half of the people on board, he can’t send out a telegram because the operators are being swamped with messages about icebergs, etc. There is also some social commentary on the way first class passengers were treated versus the way steerage passengers were treated. It’s done in a way that doesn’t come across as blatant fact stating and, since this is a children’s book, it’s a nice way for kids to learn more about the tragedy.

There is a friendship/romance in the book between Barry and a girl from the rival Flynn family, Peegan, sort of become friends and he realizes that he’s falling for her. That’s not the main focus of the story, but it’s more prominent in the second half of the book.

There are a few times while reading this that I felt very sad. I couldn’t imagine what the passengers were thinking and I just wish things had been handled better. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in the Titanic and to anyone who likes a good story. I would read this again.

Review of Edge: Collected Stories by M.E. Kerr

This collection of short stories is about teens dealing with a bunch of different issues such as coming out, death and religion. All of them were good.

My favorite story, “We Might As Well All Be Strangers” is one of the shortest ones in the book, but the message is nice. I’ve actually read this one before since it was included in a different book called “Am I Blue?” I wish more grandparents were like the main character’s grandmother. She’s compassionate and understanding. The way she compares being Jewish as a kid during the Holocaust to her granddaughter being a lesbian is a really good analogy.

I like the About the Author section at the end of the book. She seems like an interesting person.

I was provided with a free copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.