What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Before and After

The Ethan I was Before has a great cover and a great title and it really is a great book.  I just thought that the end dragged just a wee-wee bit with the fox cubs.  The fox cubs were the only thing that kept this from being a 5 star for me, but I get why they were important.  This was an incredibly powerful book.  If there could have been some other way to work in heroism/sacrifice by Coralee, for me, this would have been one of the best books I read all year.  Highly recommended, but the foxes just took a lot a way for me. 

Wondering how I missed this?

Except for the fact that I am the fool who didn't read Hatchet until I was 44.  Mockingbird was a wonderful book.  One of the best I have ever read.  Sadly timely, compassionate, lovely. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Being from Pittsburgh

Saving Marty just didn't do it for me.  Now keep in mind that I listened to the book and it was read with a southern accent and it wasn't set IN Pittsburgh, but in Southwestern PA and I do know that some people see this region as being part of Appalachia.  Indeed, it is in the Appalachian Mountain region and all.  But I think it was a stretch to say that there was a Pittsburgh Jamboree.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  It just didn't feel "real" to me.  If you live in Southwestern PA and found this to be a correct portrayal, please correct me though! 

Bat Boy

Remember him?
Well A Boy Called Bat has nothing to do with him.
It just reminded me of him.  The name only.
I really like Elana K. Arnold's Burning and A Question of Miracles.  I loved them, actually and so I was excited to see ABCB.  It was a really good look into the world of a kid with exceptional abilities.  I mean, what I loved about it is that it isn't a BOOK ABOUT A KID WITH EXCEPTIONAL ABILITIES.  It is a book about a kid.  And this kid does have special gifts and special needs.  And he also is just like every other kid, too.  Because all kids have special gifts and needs.  I just found it interesting, her take on the whole thing.  And also that the book description, on goodreads at least, doesn't say, "BAT has X" or whatever.  In other places he is described as being on the autism spectrum, but it is all very chill and low-key and respectful and real.  And I am excited that it is a series!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

That was some party...

The Party was a good, I-want-to-keep-reading book.  The characters were real in that they weren't all good or all bad.  I especially liked Jeff. 
I know this book is an adult book, but I also think it could be enjoyed by older teens.  It's a toughie.  It isn't a literary book, but it is a quick read. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sweet Boy

I think that Archer is one of the sweetest characters I have come to know.  I really enjoyed The Best Man very much for the ways in which it is just really not a big deal that some people are gay and some people are straight.  I mean it is a big deal to SOME people in this book, sure.  But the book isn't about the struggle for acceptance by the majority.  In The Best Man, the people who seem to have an issue with those who are attracted to those of the same sex are in the minority.  And that was refreshing.  And loving.  And Christian.  I really, really liked this one!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

I LOVE Jason Reynolds

And I really loved Patina.  I loved it so much that the ending made me so mad!!!!!  Great, great book!  Lots to think about here, especially the pressure that Patina puts on herself.  What a great kid.  I loved this book. 

Dear Martin, You would love this book.

Dear Martin was just so excellent.  I bought it when I saw that it had made the list of finalists for the Morris Award.  May I also admit that the Morris Award was completely unknown to me before I saw the email from YALSA announcing the finalists?  I am embarrassed, but I am transparent!  Relevant, real, amazing writing. I didn't know until I looked at her web page that Nic Stone is female.  Not a big deal or even a deal, but I am always impressed when an author can just really speak in the voice of someone different from they.  So good.  This one should be a Printz Honor for sure.  Only Auma's Long Run is higher in my opinion.  But man, this is close!