Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
To put it simply, I adored this book. It’s the second by contemporary romance author Stephanie Perkins and it’s even better than Anna and the French Kiss. She completely nailed the quirky main character, Lola, and her love interest is so swoony. What girl doesn’t want to fall in love with her next door neighbor? I actually loved Lola and the San Francisco world Perkins created so much that I missed when Anna and St. Clair from the previous book first made an appearance, and that’s saying something since I loved the first book, too. But what I look away from Anna and the French Kiss was a desire to return to Paris, Lola and the Boy Next Door made me want to be Lola. And my goodness—her clothes! A highly recommended read; actually, it's my favorite for the whole month!
Our Own May Amelia by Jennifer Holm
This book continues my goal to read a Harper award-winning backlist title a month. And I was pleased with this selection; not only is it my beloved historical fiction, but it also takes place in nascent Washington state, an area I’m becoming increasingly interested in. May Amelia was a strong but relatable heroine and I loved the refrain “our only May Amelia” that her family would say both when they were proud of her and exasperated with her! This tween novel, published in 2001, felt old to me, though. The writing style, the episodic nature, the little lessons along the way. I don’t mean to imply that it isn’t a good book—it was a Newbery Honor book, for Pete’s sake!—but I had a hard time loving it compared to many more commercial contemporary middle grade. (Historical Book Challenge #7)
The Cabinet of Earths (ARC 1/3/12) by Anne Nesbet
This interesting book starts when the main character moves to France—and quickly is intriguing by a man who has purple eyes and lives in a house with a salamander door handle—and things get quirkier from there as Maya unravels her family’s secrets. This is a quieter tween novel—but there are delightful hints of action, romance, and lovely family dynamics.
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I posted a much longer review of this book, but to sum up quickly: this is a magical and beautifully written fantasy novel. Although I would have liked it to be set up a little different as I found the beginning to be mostly set up and the end to be mostly back story, the characters and world are so rich I just want to know more about them!
Plus, quite a few picture books. (The delightful things you get to do while waiting at a bookstore for an hour!)
Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis, illustrated by David Soman
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Silverlicious by Victoria Kann
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! by Peter Brown
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Full Manuscripts: 5