Tuesday, July 2, 2013

11 Half Time Favorites

Out of the 48 books I read between April and June this year here is my list of favorites.  To see the January through March first quarter favorites click here.  My half time total for books read in 2013 is 90.  Once again realistic fiction leads the pack.  Titles are linked to the online catalog.  Check one out and let me know if it scores as one of your top reads for 2013.

                   FANTASY FICTION
Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Trilogy), by Robin LaFevers, 2013.  Sybella's duty as Death's assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic, vengeance and salvation converge in this sequel to Grave Mercy.

Never Fall Down, by Patricia McCormick, 2012.  Cambodian child soldier Arn Chorn-Pond defied the odds and used all of his courage and wits to survive the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge.  Biographical novel.

The Power of One (Young Readers' Edition), by Bryce Courtenay, 2007.  Follows Peekay, a white British boy in South Africa during World War II, as he survives an abusive boarding school and goes on to succeed in life and the boxing ring, with help from a chicken, a boxer, a pianist, black African prisoners, and many others. This is a condensed version of Courtenay's 1989 adult book of the same title.

                  REALISTIC FICTION
Boy 21, by Matthew Quick, 2012. Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school's varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob, and when his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common in spite of their apparent differences.  Matthew Quick is also the author of Silver Linings Playbook.

The Language Inside, by Holly Thompson, 2013.  Raised in Japan, American-born 10th-grader Emma is disconcerted by a move to Massachusetts for her mother's breast cancer treatment, because half of Emma's heart remains with her friends recovering from the tsunami.

Me, Him, Them, and It, by Caela Carter, 2013.  Playing the "bad girl" at school to get back at her feuding parents, sixteen-year-old Evelyn becomes pregnant and faces a difficult decision.

Out of Nowhere, by Maria Padian, 2013.  Performing community service for pulling a stupid prank against a rival high school, soccer star Tom tutors a Somali refugee with soccer dreams of his own.

Rotten, by Michael Northrop, 2013.  When troubled sixteen-year-old Jimmer "JD" Dobbs returns from a mysterious summer "upstate" he finds that his mother has adopted an abused Rottweiler that JD names Johnny Rotten, but soon his tenuous relationship with the dog is threatened.

Guitar Notes, by Mary Amato, 2012.  Tripp, who plays guitar only for himself, and Lyla, a cellist whose talent has already made her famous but not happy, form an unlikely friendship when they are forced to share a practice room at their high school.
Love and Other Perishable Items, by Laura Buzo, 2012.  A fifteen-year-old Australian girl gets her first job and first crush on her unattainable university-aged co-worker, as both search for meaning in their lives.

On Dragonwings, by Anne McCaffrey, 2003.  Contains three novels of Pern in one volume:  Dragonsdawn -- Dragonseye -- Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern.  To view this 20+ book series in publication order (which is the preferred reading order suggested by the author) click here: Dragonriders of Pern series.  For chronological order, see: http://www.annemccaffrey.net/2006-Pern-Reading-Order.pdf.