This is more of a college book…

Dec 16

This is more of a college book…

…yet the voice is very YA. I don’t want to yak too much about it, so here’s a video I made of my reflections on Sandy Hall’s A Little Something Different:  ...

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NOT IN THE SCRIPT

Nov 16

NOT IN THE SCRIPT

Well, I learned from Amy Finnegan’s debut novel, Not in the Script, that a lot of drama happens over very little off the set. Yet somehow, I couldn’t stop reading! Without reading her bio, I knew that Amy is really familiar with the behind-the-scenes happenings when actors are filming. Then it turns out she has a brother who used to be part of the biz. That makes a lot of sense. The cover is cute and it doesn’t feature the divas of the story like I thought it would: They look like nice people right? The thing that makes this story successful is how real the characters are. They are actors and yes, maybe one or two of them love the publicity they get from being who they are, but when the cameras aren’t rolling, they are just like any other teenagers, except famous. This is just a taste of what life is like for them that the public has no clue and I like how Amy gives us a little peek in the window. You would think a model just wants to find any other opportunity to get his name out there and his face on billboards or buses or whatever, but here is one who wants to use the money he makes to help his mother with her health issues. He also wants to go to college for business. This all started with him selling all of his mother’s shoes when he was just a kid. You would think an actress just wants to pose for the cameras and find what new roles she can get. But here’s one who wants to start a charity foundation and found just the person who inspired it. Of course, the story would not be complete without a lot of miscommunication, teens not ready for serious relationships, head guessing games and tabloids. It makes dating your co-worker that much more difficult. This book is cute and oddly enough, some parts I related to so well I felt tears welling up. No...

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Did you really think I was not going to read TFIOS?

Oct 28

Did you really think I was not going to read TFIOS?

It’s been about two years now since this book was released and I have recently put it down. I am rereading it already, though, in true AIA fashion. I have already calmed down since I first got excited about this book, but if you’re curious to see what that was like: I think I took a while to pick up this book because I was afraid it was going to be over-hyped. And when I first read what the book was about, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book about “sick people.” Then after watching tons of reviews on YouTube, or should I say, BookTube, it seemed that this book was classified as a cancer book. I haven’t read that many cancer books and I think The Fault In Our Stars (I’m tickled that fans call it TFIOS) would qualify as my first one. I don’t see how the others count as they were not as unique as this one. Well, I’m not going to say much more about this book. I’ve got to read it...

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Sisterhood Everlasting and UPDATE!

Oct 16

Sisterhood Everlasting and UPDATE!

I know it has been forever and a day since I last updated and I really don’t have a good excuse, but I promise to give a quick update and hope to get back to updating this thing. First off, I have not stopped reading YA. If you want to see what YA I’ve been reading, check out my new Examiner page: http://www.examiner.com/young-adult-fiction-in-columbia-mo/yumin-ye As you know from my last post Xanga has changed. I have moved my blog to here: http://attheoutset.wordpress.com/ Those places will give you more of a detailed update than I can provide here. Now, on to Sisterhood Everlasting. Ann Brashares wrote four books that take place before this one does that are part of the sisterhood series. I’m not going to talk about those because I read those a while ago while I was still in school and I finished the fifth book recently so that’s the one I want to focus on. Speaking of which, I have another update I almost forgot about! I started a YouTube channel and while it is going to be on a variety of topics, any YA books I write about on this blog that I do a video on will be posted on here. So stay tuned! OK, so this fifth sisterhood book. It’s about ten years into the girls’ future. They are in their late 20s, but have grown apart. Lena is teaching art in Rhode Island, Carmen is this famous actress in New York about ready to get married to her boyfriend Jones, Bridget lives with Eric in San Francisco and Tibby is in Australia, last anyone heard. The first thing I noticed is on the cover, there are three girls and not four. I knew something was up. You spend a lot of time grieving throughout this novel and wondering what happened to Tibby. Miss Brashares makes it seem that Tibby drowned herself on purpose or something then she sucker punches you when it gets closer to the end of the book and it turns out she had Huntington’s and told no one. Each girl goes through her grieving process in her own way, thinking that Tibby simply wasn’t strong enough to go on, having no clue the truth behind...

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Are you ready for Halloween?

Sep 10

Are you ready for Halloween?

(I wrote this on September 2nd, during Labor Day weekend, but have not been able to post it until now.) I apologize for not updating this thing for a while! It’s not that I haven’t been reading any new YA lately. I have. I just finished Love Off-Limits by Whitney Lyles last night. But with all the new online changes—I am no longer the St. Louis Book Examiner, Xanga has shut down its old site and is working on migrating over to Xanga 2.0 and this site is going through some changes as a result of all these changes—I have not had the time to update. That doesn’t matter because I have been keeping up with my reading and have got to say that Love Off-Limits has made me a new fan of Whitney Lyles. This was a fun Halloween rom-com and nice escape for sure. Natalie is already in a seemingly perfect relationship with Jeremy, the boyfriend who seems to sparkle at everything he tries, especially sports, but lately Nat feels that they may be growing apart. She hasn’t been able to bring herself to break it off with him as Jere’s parents just went through a divorce and he needed her more than ever now. It seems OK to hold off the breakup until she starts falling for his best friend Matt. I’m starting to notice more and more that these stories revolve more around the main characters’ friends and love lives than their families. Is this the self-absorbed teenager I keep hearing about? Maybe I just didn’t have a normal teenage life. Or a different cultural background? Still I found the parts where Jeremy sat on Nat and farted to be absolutely hilarious! Those parts were my favorite because it showed how close as a couple they were and I hadn’t read anything like that anywhere else so far. I didn’t like Brianna though. She made me jealous. I think I was more jealous of her for Nat than Nat was. It shows that outside girls can lure your boyfriend away if given the opportunity to get closer and closer to him. And for some reason, even though I knew they were growing apart, it still...

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if i stay

Jun 03

if i stay

if i stay is definitely one of the more serious YAs I’ve read in a while. Simple and serious. Girl’s family gets into a car accident one snowy morning and girl is the only one who survives. She ends up at the hospital in a coma and the whole story is about her decision to stay in this world or pass on. I picked up this book at the airport on my way to New York to visit one of my best friends from college back in the end of April. I actually finished reading this a while ago, but only have had time now to update. Let me say that I am new to Gayle Forman, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. She managed to take a simple concept and answer a question that many have probably had on their minds at some point: what does the body think about when deciding to wake up or not wake up from a coma? I mean, you never know for sure whether it’s Mia’s ghost or what that is walking around taking an outside-looking-in kind of stance, trying to make sense of everything, broken piece by broken piece. I am a huge fan of getting to know what characters are thinking and Forman does this so well I could really sense the urgency of Mia’s dilemma. You just have to know what Mia chooses in the end. To be with her mom, dad and little brother Teddy or to live without them in a world with her boyfriend Adam. I can relate to Mia in that when I was her age, I was also quite serious with a stringed instrument, though admittedly I was not on the track to Juilliard. It was also pretty cool that Adam is part of a band that is slowly rising in fame. I think every girl at some point has had that fantasy of dating a rock star and here Mia is, not one of the groupies, but the actual girlfriend of said rock star. One of my favorite scenes is when she’s remembering the time when she and Adam played each other on the bed like they were playing their instruments. He touched...

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