professornana (professornana) wrote,

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New Year, New Books

I finished up a few new books in this last week of vacation (well, for the kids; I still have another week before classes begin). QP Nominee, CONFESSIONS OF A VIDEO VIXEN, was a predictable read. Poor little girl, Karrine Steffans, sleeps with tons of rappers and NBA players and then finds herself discarded, drugged out, and near death. Writes a tell all book (she does not disclose ALL the names she says but there are plenty here) and gets publicity and money. Still have a bad taste in my mouth from this one and will have to see what kids say about it before we vote at midwinter.

On the other end of the spectrum is Craig Crist-Evans' AMARYLLIS, an incredible novel that examines the Vietnam era from the perspective of two brothers, Frank who is in country and Jimmy who is home reading the letters Frank sends only to him. It is a heartbreaking novel of love and betrayal and abuse and dysfunction. Crist-Evans proved his merit with his first book, a novel in verse entitled MOON OVER TENNESSE. AMARYLLIS is lyrical and poignant and one of a handful of books set in this time period.

GENDER BLENDER by Blake Nelson was not at all what I assumed it would be from the title and the cover. It is a kind of FREAKY FRIDAY where Emma and Tom collide on a trampoline and then discover that they have traded bodies. It is a terrific book for middle level readers about gender differences and about learning more about the opposite sex. It is funny and real and a quick read.

Next up is a galley from Patrick Jones, YA guru, NAILED. Provocative title and cover. Looking forward to reading it this week.

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