Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beastly by Alex Flinn

This past weekend I finished reading Beastly by Alex Flinn
Her re-telling of the Beauty & the Beast story was mentioned earlier this month when I attended a fantastic young adult literature seminar. That day there were dozens of books mentioned but this one grabbed my attention because I've always liked the Disney version. (I know, I know...the caricatured version of men and women are just over the top!) because it features a young woman who likes to read so much that she walks through the village with her nose in a book!

Anyway, back to Alex Flinn's title. I put it on hold and the day it came in, I was able to start on it and my attention was diverted immediately. I was drawn into the story of the handsome and wealthy Kyle Kingsbury and how when he insults a Goth girl in his school, it appears he has made an egregious error when he wakes the next day as a beast!

She gives him two years to find love or he stays forever as a beast! Money certainly helps the suffering because when Kyle's dad exiles him to Brooklyn, he has every amenity including a blind tutor and a dedicated housekeeper who will keep her mouth shut about Kyle's disfigurement.

I've only read Diva by the same author but both books were pleasing...topical with a true teen voice in the narrative

Monday, December 03, 2007

Payton Skky: Staying Pure

This is a first for me: reading a Christian teen novel. But it's great to read about a young woman who is very strong in her convictions and that exactly describes the character Payton Skky in Stephanie Perry Moore's Payton Skky series. The book opens with Payton having to be the one with a sound mind and remind her boyfriend that wants to remain a virgin until she marries. This is tough for him to hear because he says it's getting really difficult for him to wait.

This is one of the titles that I chose to read for a Young Adult Round Table meeting next week. Linda, from the Cranston Public Library, and I made up a list of recent urban fiction titles for teens, as an alternative to some of the more mature books that the high school girls want to read.

I really hope that Payton Skky becomes popular with teens because I know a lot of them are devout Christians, so I will be interested to see how popular this series becomes here.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Well, I asked for and received and advance reading copy of Gym Candy by Carl Deuker which was published a few months ago. As I suspected, it was primarily a sports book. Deuker is one of the few men who write about high school guys playing sports. I have other books he has written in my collection here and I have suggested them many times to students looking for a sports novel but I had never read one myself, until now.

The young man in this story is Mick Jones and he is groomed to be a football start from a young age by a dad who got all the way to the professional football level, only to fail. So, in his son, he sees another chance.

And because of this pressure, Mick starts going to the privately owned gym his dad belongs to through his work. It's a trainer at the gym who first gives Mick steroids, also known as "gym candy." What's ironic is that Mick and his buddy both went to see the trainer together and had a bad feeling about him but it was because the boys thought he was gay and trying to touch them too much.

So, it turns out, they were correct in their suspicions, but for the wrong reason. He was as bad as a drug dealer selling marijuana when he started getting Mick to buy D-bol! And when Mick sees the awful side-effects, like the puffy nipples and the rampant acne on his chest and back, he wants to stop. And he does. For a little while.

The urge to win becomes so overwhelming that Mick returns to the trainer to get more powerful steroids which he injects and, well, I won't give away the ending but it's certainly not one of the happier books I've read lately.

If you're interested in an action-packed football story, take a look at Gym Candy or if you want to read about another sport, try something else by Carl Deuker.