Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Fourteen year-old Lucy, her older brother Jamie, and his best friend Kit are driving across the desert, making their way from Kansas to Phoenix for their spring break, when a thunderstorm appears out of nowhere. The driver, Jamie, exclaims that he can hardly see through the windshield, the rain so furiously pelting down on them, and then - BAM! - they've hit something. But what? Jamie and Kit swear it's a coyote, but Lucy insists they turn back to see what it was, just in case it was someone's pet. They finally do turn around, but what they find is no coyote. It's a girl. And she's dead. Desert Crossing is a captivating mystery that will get you hooked. Did Jamie kill her, or was it, as he swears, a coyote. And if he didn't, how did she end up there. What was a girl doing on the side of a long stretch of desert highway? I am so not going to tell you, so check out Desert Crossing, since I'm going to put it back on the shelf right now.
* * * * (four stars)
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Earlier this week, by buddy Hank Green (John Green's brother, and not actually my buddy since I haven't met him, but I've been watching his videos for almost 2 months now, so I feel like I "know" him --- anyway!) posted this video about where he houses all his books.
Me? Well, back at home my books are in alphabetical order on a shelf, but here in Chicago I've yet to organize my small collection. I do have one shelf entirely devoted to books I've checked out from the library and keep meaning to read.
Where do you put your books? Do you leave a trail of stacks of books behind you, like Hansel and Gretel? Or do you have your bookshelves organized. How many of you have checked out or used Librarything.com? Sound off in the comment section, book lovers!
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Tonight, the night we have all been waiting for (okay, that this librarian has been waiting for) has almost arrived. Yes, the series finale of the O.C. will be airing on Fox tonight at 8:00 PM CT. Sadness, right? I don't know. I was reading Sarah Dessen's blog today, and then watching her YouTube clip of the first season finale of The O.C., and all of a sudden I remembered how good the show was when it started out. Don't get me wrong, I've actually watched most of the current season. (I wanted to watch last season, but because "Everwood" was on at the same time, I never could. Still, I plan to watch the DVDs of it.)
Watching the YouTube video brought me back to first season, when the show was both popular and quirky, when Seth Cohen made girls all over the country swoon for, well, a (TV) nerd! Someone who loved comic books and action figures, and had held the same crush on Summer Roberts for waaaay too long. I don't know what happened over the past three years, as the show plunged in ratings and quality, but I'm able to overlook that tonight, to say goodbye to some characters that were at times brilliantly written, witty, but also flawed and human. Julie Cooper, Seth Cohen, Ryan Atwood, and Summer Roberts were my favorite characters. I'm going to miss them.
So what to watch, now that The O.C. is (about) over? If you're like me and were drawn to the show for the funny characters, for the geekiness of Seth Cohen, and for aspects of family drama, here are some shows you might want to check out. They're all out on DVD and available at libraries in our system.
For the Seth Cohen geek in you:
Freaks and Geeks. An amazing show that lasted just short of one season on NBC. Set in 1980, it focuses on an older sister and younger brother, Lindsay and Sam Weir, as they deal with high school from two different perspectives. Lindsay's ditched the Mathletes to hang out with "the freaks," while Sam is perpetually in fear of getting beat up, since he's a nerd. One of the best television shows. Ever.
For the Seth-Summer, Ryan-Marissa, Ryan-Taylor, Kirsten-Sandy, Julie-Everybody(?) fans:
Everwood. Amy and Ephram are this fine show's Marissa and Ryan. The friendship/relationship of these two characters is at the center of this show set in small town Everwood, Colorado, about a New York City neurosurgeon who moves his family, including his son Ephram, to Colorado after the death of his wife. All the drama of small town life plays out brilliantly in a show that last year ended it's four year run on the WB (now the CW).
For those who can't get enough of the references, quips, and sad Cohen jokes:
Veronica Mars. Still on the air (CW, 8 PM, Tuesdays), Veronica Mars helps out her dad, a private eye, even though she's just in high school. Set in Neptune, an affluent made-up California town home to celebrities and the uber rich, the show follows Veronica as she slips down from the A-list to the who?-list when her dad is kicked out of the Neptune police department because of his belief that one of the wealthiest fathers in the community is responsible for his daughter Lily's death -- Lily was also Veronica's best friend. Like our friend Seth Cohen, Veronica is a quippy fast-talker.
Hope these suggestions help you get through the post-O.C. blues, in case they afflict you! Or, you could always re-watch season one of "The O.C." In tribute, I'll think I'll watch the series premiere right before I watch the series finale, for added effect. Happy watching!
Local author Laura Ruby's debut young adult novel is a winner, and it stands out among the bevy of books coming out right now about girls battling their reputations. It's the fall of senior year in suburban New Jersey, and Audrey is expecting the year to go as planned. She's fourth in her class, a straight-A student, revered by teachers and fairly popular. Things are going well, really, her only concern being the fact that she'll have to leave her best friends behind when she ventures off to her Ivy-league school in the fall. She's not the kind of girl you'd expect to be in a picture message passed around from cell-phone to cell-phone the day following a big party, found in a compromising picture with the hottest guy at school. In a moment, Audrey's reputation is up in the air, and it's up to her to decide how she wants to reshape it. Is she going to become, as some think of her now, a "slut"? What defines a "good girl" anyway? You'll have to read Good Girls to find out.
**** (four stars)
Monday, February 12, 2007
Friday, February 9, 2007
"This is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world..." Yeah, I can't remember who sang that sort of awful but very stick-in-your head pop song, which found its way back into my head as I read Sara Zarr's most excellent debut novel Story of A Girl. Deanna Lambert was just thirteen when her dad caught her in the back seat of a car with her older brother's friend Tommy, and though sixteen now, no one will let her forget it. Branded a "slut" though she hasn't done anything with any guys since, Deanna wants to change her image. It's summer in Pacifica, a small town just 15 minutes from San Francisco, but as Deanna explains, it's like a different planet. It's the kind of town that's filled with people who grew up there; it's that hard to leave. But Deanna's working on her escape - from a house that's made uncomfortable by a dad who still won't look her in the eye - and it involves a summer job at the pizza shop. She plans to earn enough money to put towards first month's rent or a down payment for a place with her brother, his girlfriend, and their baby. Sounds good, right? That's what Deanna thought, until her first day of work when she learns that she'll be working with... Tommy. Okay, there is no way I am telling you any more about this book. You've got to check it for yourself.
* * * * * (5 stars)
Okay, I think I am going to start rating the book reviews. One a one to five star basis.
* (1 star) - this even got published? my cat could write a better book
* * (2 stars) - might be interesting to some people, but not to most
* * * (3 stars) - pretty good good (like an okay Gilmore Girls episode)
* * * * (4 stars) - hard to put down, quite good
* * * * * (5 stars) - one of the best books of the year, impossible to put down, made me cry
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
I have a new obsession, and yes, it is YouTube related and no, it is not lonelygirl15 because that was the obsession I had months ago, and this is my new one. John Green's video posts, also, those created by his brother. Yup, that's right, the author of "Looking for Alaska" and more recently "An Abundance of Katherines" is every other day creating a video blog entry, posted on his website's blog. On the days when he doesn't post, his brother Hank posts. They are going to be doing this for the entire year, as part of their project Brotherhood 2.0. The YouTube video at the top of this entry is the first video in their project.
Simply put: Is my day complete without seeing the lastest video? No. No, my friend, it is not. I am convinced his brother Hank must have attended my alma mater. He is just that weird.
Other young adult-related obsession that has persisted for months: reading Sarah Dessen's blog. Every day.
What's your obsession? (Not the creepy stalker kind, please. He he.)
Posted by Unknown at 4:50 PM