Posts Tagged ‘sports’
Jes and her three sisters couldn’t be more different, and they fight and squabble as siblings do. Yet when it comes down to it, they’ve got each others backs. Which is fortunate, as she needs their help to do what she loves best: training for the Fives, a sport that requires quick thinking, agility, stamina, and strength. But when Jes’ father returns from war, her plans to finally compete – something he would never approve of – are thrown in disarray. Soon the rest of her life is as well, and Jes will need to use all of the skills that make her a great athlete to keep her family safe.
(yeah, I really just put that there bc: OMG)
I adore Kate Elliot’s books, and Court of Fives is no exception. I’ve been eager to see how/what she does with YA, and now that I have I’m so very glad she did. I love the way that Elliot handles Jes as an athlete, and her relationships with her sisters. And I especially love that she made Jes’ social standing so complex, that it’s not as simple as her family being rich and her father having status, nor simply that Jes and her sisters are biracial in an extremely racist society.
And I really, really, really, would love to go into more detail about WHY this book is so awesome, but it’s not coming out for another half a year, and I may want to pitch a longer/actual review. SO YOU WILL ALL JUST HAVE TO WAIT.
Sorry! I know you all hate me now. I promise I will rave about this book in much more detail this summer, closer to when it comes out.
Twelve year old Mary Quinn was supposed to hang for her crime. Instead she was given a chance to start a new life as a pupil at Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. Now, five years later, seventeen year old Mary Quinn knows that she should be grateful for everything she has been given – and she is – yet the idea of spending her life as a tutor at the school or as a maid in someone else’s house fills Mary with dread rather than hope. She’s not afraid of work, but she can’t help wishing that there were other options out there for an young lady with education but no family or fortune. Then, for the second time in her life, she’s given a once in a lifetime opportunity – this time, to be trained as a spy. But can Mary keep not only the Agency’s secrets safe, but also the Agency from learning the truth about her own heritage?
This book has so many awesome moments. It also, unfortunately, has a bit too much boyfriend and not enough roller derby for my tastes.* Still, it’s a lovely book that manages to be delightfully surprising in many ways. It also does a wonderful job of handling Mary’s secret, which happens to be that [she’s biracial, passing for white. Also, that her mother sometimes earned her way as a sex worker.] Mary’s status, situation, and relationships make this book a refreshing contrast to the more typical young adult novels set in Victorian London, which tend to be about young ladies of a certain social class, and treat the few non-white characters in them as oddities and visitors rather than Londoners.
*the phrase is from lj user buymeaclue. I’d link, but the journal is now friendslocked. :p
As her senior year draws to a close, it looks as though Holland Jaeger has everything going for her. Good grades, best friends, the perfect boyfriend, a job she loves, and a sometimes trying blended family that she nevertheless loves. (Well, Holland loves her Mom and baby sister anyway – her stepdad is tolerable and her stepsister lives elsewhere, mostly.) Then gorgeous, brilliant, and completely Out and Proud Cece shows at school up one morning and Holland begins to question everything she thought she knew about herself.
Peters writing is rather rough here, and while the rawness fits the subject matter there’s not enough depth to transform this from a Problem Novel into something more enduring. It’s not so much the talk of Goths and CDs that date the book as it is the assumption that high school will always be a place where only the Brave are Out, and the accompanying lack of introspection that might help teens, a decade later, better understand Holland’s experience – and better recognize what much hasn’t changed.
Savitri’s acceptance into Princeton should be good news, not a secret she’s afraid to share. But attending Princeton means leaving Holly and Corey behind in Chicago. It means a long distance relationship with Corey, no more hanging out with Holly, and an end to the time the three spend exploring the city as freerunners. Yet before Sav can make her choice, Corey is taken from them in a random act of violence. Now Holly’s the one with an impossible choice, and Sav may be the only person who can help her.
I stumbled a bit getting into this book; a trio of friends who do parkour seems to be an increasingly common trope, and while it’s one I would normally enjoy, the previous two books I read with this setup were less than stellar, so I cringed at bit at first to see it again. Thankfully, this isn’t them.
Chasing Shadows is a book about grief and loyalty, friendship and betrayal. It tackles often complicated topics: from survivor guilt to cultural appropriation, and it deals with all of them with grace and honesty. There are no simple answers here, no easy way to make the pain go away. Instead we get complicated relationships and heartbreaking decisions wrapped up in a deceptively simple story. Highly recommended.
A class trip to Paris is just the opportunity Colette Iselin needs. A chance to meet new people, to get away from home, to escape her mother, to hang out with the popular girls, and to explore a new, fabulous city – and her family’s past. But a serial killer is on the loose in Paris, murdering young men and women about the same age as Colette. And Colette herself has been seeing strange things – including what may be the ghost of Marie Antoinette.
Needless to say, this particular novel requires a decent suspension of disbelief. Not so much because of the ghosts, but rather because of the way it plays loose with history. Still, while not quite as good as the other book by Alender that I’ve read, Bad Girls Don’t Die, this new novel is entertaining enough.
Preparing for Vantage Point, the photography competition for high school students that Pippa hopes will launch her career, is stressful enough by itself. But now Pippa also has to deal with rocky friendships, cute boys, and rivals out to sabotage the entry she’s been working on for months. And because that’s not enough to deal with, Pippa also been assigned to work at the hospital for her community service requirement. The same hospital where she used to go to visit her Dad, and where she promised herself she’d never have to go to again.
The Rule of Thirds isn’t the type of book to make top ten lists, but it’s a nice, solid, entertaining novel with a good balance of humor and heartbreak and just enough surprises to keep you guessing. I very much enjoyed reading it, and thought Guertin did a great job explaining the artistic process (when the subject came up) which isn’t something that’s always handled well in books like these. I very much look forward to reading the sequels.
At night, Jessica dreams of running. She can feel herself taking her regular morning jog, or racing in another competition, always fast and strong and sure of every step. But by day, Jessica can no longer walk. The accident that left a teammate dead also left Jessica missing the lower half of one leg. She doesn’t mind the pain so much – there are drugs for that. What she’s really afraid to face is the fact that she no longer knows where she’s going, or how she’s going to get there.
I was a little afraid that this book, based on the premise, was going to be maudlin and trite, full of Life Lessons and Inspiration From Unlikely Places. Fortunately, this book is by the same author who gave us Flipped, so while the story does indeed end on a hopeful and triumphant note, there are no easy solutions here, no universal truths. Just how one teen girl copes with a dramatic change in both mobility and identity. Van Draanen does a wonderful job of crafting a nuanced story, and of not only showing us how Jessica changes, but also of letting the tone and mood of the book change along with Jessica.