July 30, 2010

Review: Linger

By Maggie Stiefvater
Available now from Scholastic
Read my reviews of SHIVER, LAMENT, and BALLAD
Read Maggie Stiefvater's guest blog

Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2)

This review took me longer to write than I thought it would. I kept producing a disjointed mess. I finally produced something I am happy with, but be warned. THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS OF SHIVER.

SHIVER and LINGER are obviously lovely books. They have a distinctive, monochromatic papercut look. With SHIVER, I didn't think of it as much more than nice packaging. Reading LINGER with SHIVER in mind, I realized how thematically tight the Wolves of Mercy Falls books are.

SHIVER is the winter book. Yes, it takes place toward the end of autumn, but it's all about winter coming. Thus, the blue. LINGER is the spring book, even though it takes place at the end of winter. As Cole says in his first appearance, "[S]pring had come too soon."

Spring frequently represents rebirth, or new life. Sam has been cured. Cole has been infected. Isabel must move forward without her brother, who she helped die. Grace must move forward with Sam, who gave up something she wished for desperately in order to be with her. Grace's parents must face the fact that their neglect has turned her into an autonomous being. 

None of them are prepared to deal.  Sam wants to remain a kid, not responsible for protecting the pack.  Cole wants to remain a wolf, ignoring the pressures of human thought.  Isabel doesn't want to acknowledge what she wants.  Grace wants to pretend she has everything she wants.  Grace's parents want to continue to pretend she's a well-behaved little girl.

Chick Lit Teens quoted Maggie as saying Grace's parents felt like they could safely ignore her since "she's yet to set anything on fire." But now she has set something on fire. She's sleeping with a boy, and that gets their goat. They know parents shouldn't let their child sleep with a boy. Yet it's still a transparently false attempt at parenting. They still barely police her. They also ignore the fact that Grace is clearly sick. For all the good parts of spring, there's still spring fever.

And oh, are there good parts of spring.  Sam and Grace's relationship is incredibly sweet.  They're just so into each other.  I do maintain what I said in my review of SHIVER - they have lives outside of each other.  Sam once more works at the bookshop.  He gets into arguments with Cole.  Grace hangs out and bakes with Rachel.  She explores the woods with Isabel.  The bits narrated when they're apart do help to show off just how adorkable they act together.  Sam makes Grace a little less guarded and she makes him a little less earnest (to use Cole's word).

As for Cole and Isabel, they make wonderful foils to Sam and Grace.  They are sarcastic and lustful and definitely not optimists.  I'd already gotten to like Isabel in SHIVER, but it took me awhile to warm up to Cole.  I think I did because in his own way, he's as earnest as Sam.  He's so definitive about what he likes and doesn't like in addition to being a sharp observer of people.  But Cole tries to blunt himself because he isn't one to take the truth lying down.

I am so curious as to what FOREVER will mean for these characters.  And you can trust Maggie Stiefvater to make a book about kissing and wolves meaningful.

July 29, 2010

Maggie Stiefvater Signing Report

Today, I went to see Maggie Stiefvater at BookPeople. Other bloggers in attendance, based on bookmarks or business cards I received, include the ladies of Girls in the Stacks, Mystical Lit Lounge, Windowpane Memoirs, and Project 52.

Maggie started off with a few anecdotes about the most common questions she receives about LINGER: "Did you do any research, like reading werewolf books?" and "Why werewolves?"

She said that she did quite a bit of medical research as well as research on dead German poets (for Sam's point of view), but didn't read any werewolf books. After all, she knew what werewolves were. Long anecdote short, she chose werewolves because of childhood phobias and Teen Wolf.

Then came a short reading, of Cole's first narration. Maggie wrote an earlier scene first and didn't like Cole's personality and had plans to cut him from the book. Then she wrote the first chronological Cole scene and couldn't abandon him. Answering a later question, she admitted to having trouble with Cole's snark as well as Isabel's tendency to not say what she means.

During the Q&A, Maggie was canny about some of her answers - she wouldn't discuss happy endings or hook-ups. The secret novel comes out in Spring 2012 and contains both beaches and kissing. She's seen the cover of FOREVER, but won't reveal the color yet. (I'm hoping for yellow with goldenrod text.)

Other questions she elaborated more, sometimes with her trademarked anecdotes. Kraken are the New Vampires goes viral more than anything else, although apparently the story of her hearing about being #1 on the NYT Bestseller list is being oft repeated, with embellishments in the case of the Hungarians. Also, there is a third Book of Faerie, titled REQUIEM, and is told through the point of view of an already introduced character and finishes Dee's story. It got pushed to the back of the line and may get pushed back again. SHIVER has been optioned; the screenplay is written (not by Maggie) and is currently undergoing rewrites. Maggie has a small consultation role, but no real power over the movie.

Then came the signing! There were lots of people at the event, but the line moved quickly.  I was toward the front of the middle and this photo was taken after I got my books signed.

When I told Maggie who I was, she drew an adorable Thorn King in my copy of BALLAD. Look at his billowing cloak! It was a very fun event. Maggie's even funnier in person than she is on her blog. Tomorrow I'll post my review of LINGER.

July 26, 2010

Cool Things

Reading is Fundamental has a few campaigns that are ending soon. Now through the 31st, if you donate $3 at Macy's you get ten dollars off a fifty dollar purchase. Also, if you $5 through Give to RIF you can get 20% off Scholastic products.

JCPteen, livingsocial, and Simon & Schuster have partnered together for Loser/Queen. The first four chapters are available now. Vote through Thursday of each week to determine how the book will turn out. It's being written by Jodi Lynn Anderson of PEACHES fame.

Have you seen NPR's Summer Books series? It's just as amazing as most of what NPR does, but unfortunately isn't narrated by people with lovely voices.

Also, Jezebel has been doing summer reading lists, the latest of which can be found here. Some of the best suggestions are in the comments.

It's been a week, ya'll. But this one looks like it will be better for me.

ETA 4/29/12: Reading is Fundamental has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator.

July 19, 2010

Review: Absolute Brightness

My nerves are somewhat shot right now. My dog starting limping Wednesday night so we took him to the vet on Thursday. He didn't think it was something to worry about, probably just a strain in Pat's shoulder, and gave us some pain pills. Pat was walking better for a few days, but now it's gotten worse. He isn't putting any weight on his paw. Yet he still keeps following my mom and I around instead of just resting and letting it heal. You just don't like seeing your pet hurt.

By James Lecesne
Available now from Laura Geringer Books (Harper Collins)

Absolute Brightness

I picked ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS up from the library because the summary reminded me of two of my favorite books: WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER by Carol Plum-Ucci and LUCAS by Kevin Brooks.

What Happened to Lani GarverBook Cover

ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS does have quite a bit in common with those novels, although it is the only one of the three in which the crime is solved. In fact, the novel is almost too neat. No story dealing with subjects as murky and messy as gay bashing, pedophilia/ephebophila, murder, and the death penalty should be that neat. But James Lecesne seems to realize that, and at the last minute adds that needed bit of ambiguity.

The cover and summary of ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS are all about Leonard Pelkey. Leonard is thirteen and flamboyant, and he's come to live with his cousins Phoebe and Deirdre, in their house connected to their mother's hair salon. He takes to the hair salon like a duck to water. But while some people are charmed by Leonard, he's still thirteen and often annoying. Especially to Phoebe, the narrator, who doesn't want to live with the weird kid.

Phoebe's voice is well-developed. While she finds Leonard annoying, he admires her. When he disappears, she has to make a lot of choices about how she interacts with people and how she views her old and new relationships. Her emotional evolution from the beginning of the book to the ending is very compelling.

That's good, because while the plot of ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS is interesting, the focus is all on the characters. Phoebe and the rest of the cast carry the burden well. Aside from liking character driven stuff, you have to be willing to cry. Luckily, Lecesne made me cry in the middle so that I was feeling better by the bittersweet end.

Readers who like ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS will probably like WHAT HAPPENED TO LANI GARVER and LUCAS as well. Those interested by the death penalty parts will probably like Truman Capote's masterpiece IN COLD BLOOD as well.

Now I'm off to read something happy.

July 14, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Back Home Edition

This meme is hosted by Jill.

I am excited about Stephanie Perkin's ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, originally known as ANNA AND THE BOY MASTERPIECE. The current release date is December 2, 2010.

Anna and the French Kiss

Here's the blurb on Perkin's site:

Directly between my feet is a coppery-bronze octagon with a star. Words are engraved in the stone around it: POINT ZÉRO DES ROUTES DE FRANCE.

"Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to 'Point zero of the roads of France.' In other words, it's the point from which all other distances in France are measured." St. Clair clears his throat. "It's the beginning of everything."

I look back up. He's smiling.

"Welcome to Paris, Anna. I'm glad you've come
. . . Now make a wish."

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

Plus, the author blurbs include Maureen Johnson and Justina Chen. They know good, romantic YA.

Bonus! If you're doing the Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren, this is Perkin's debut novel.

July 13, 2010

Review: Siren

By Tricia Rayburn
Available now from Egmont
Review copy


Back in June, my grandparents and I drove from Texas to North Dakota using a roundabout route in order to sightsee. With four days in the car, I was reading plenty of books. In my day to day life, I often put books down for various reasons - need to go to class, need to make dinner, need to write an essay, and so forth. But in the car, on a road trip, I'm a fairly captive audience.

I put SIREN down a lot.

First, I don't like the title. One of the things Tricia Rayburn works hard at is to create a haunting atmosphere, a dread of the unknown that's tying the creepy events in Vanessa Sands's life together. Unfortunately, we all know sirens are responsible since it is the title of the book. I know authors don't usually get to choose their title, but I wish someone had said something along the way.

As for the relationships . . . I liked the ones that got elaborated least. Vanessa makes friends with Paige, a local waitress, while searching for a place to hang out while she mourns. Paige has issues with her gorgeous and abrupt older sister Zara, which always prick at Vanessa since she's keeping it a secret from her new friends that she's the younger sister of the drowned girl.

Justine, Vanessa's sister, just made out with Caleb and was planning to go to Dartmouth. As Vanessa discovers after her death, she was in love with Caleb and never applied to Dartmouth. (Seriously, I'd love to read more about Justine and Caleb's secret life together. I bought them way more than I did Vanessa and Simon, but of course the book starts with Justine's death.) Vanessa, like most siblings, didn't know as much as she thought about her older sister.

Rayburn pulls off a neat twist with Vanessa's narration. Halfway through, various characters enlighted the reader to the fact that Vanessa isn't very self-aware. I like that realization of the limits of first person point-of-view. That's also the end of the slowest parts of SIREN, but the revelations become rather abrupt. Rayburn builds and builds (and builds) only to suddenly throw answers to questions that weren't even asked at the reader.

SIREN wasn't terrible. It was a decent paranormal, even with the obvious sequel-baiting at the end. But I read it after finishing a couple of great paranormals, and it really paled in comparison. Rayburn's YA debut (she wrote the MG Maggie Bean series) is full of interesting concepts, but the execution is sloppy. SIREN wasn't the engrossing horror/mystery it wanted to be.

July 10, 2010

An Apartment of Books

Gizmodo isn't all Apple all the time, as some readers accuse. This week an article covered the Ark, part of the Victoria and Albert Museum's Small Spaces exhibit. It is an "apartment" with walls that house 6,000 books.

Rintala Eggertsson 'Ark' - tour of the book tower from Architects Build Small Spaces on Vimeo.

As the writer pointed out, this installation piece recalls the stair bookcase which is also in London, but actually part of a guy's house.

In London, they really know how to build cool bookshelves.

It makes me especially envious, considering my next one is probably going to be another cheap one from Target. (Not that the cheap one from Target doesn't do its job perfectly.)

July 9, 2010

Review: Fly Away Home

By Jennifer Weiner
Available July 13 from Atria (Simon & Schuster)
Review copy

Fly Away Home: A Novel

In my mind, there are two major categories of chick lit. There are the light, frothy, and humorous ones, written by authors like Hester Browne and Wendy Wax. Then there are the more dramatic ones, written by authors like Karen Hawkins. From what I've heard of Jennifer Weiner's books like GOOD IN BED, I assumed her novels belonged in the former category. But FLY AWAY HOME is firmly in the latter, which I don't prefer. Therefore, it started slow but picked up speed. It does climax with a disatrous family dinner, and I can't resist the disatrous family dinner setpiece.

FLY AWAY HOME rotates between three points of view. The first is Sylvie Serfer Woodruff, the mother. She gave up her career to support her politician husband, but his affair with an intern has just become national news. With all the politician affair scandals, it's a plotline that's both timely and timeless. Weiner explores the question know one can resist, "Why would a woman stand by her husband while he announces he had an affair?" Sylvie's plotline meanders the most and is the least satisfying to me. She's has the most interesting set-up, but even at the end I'm not sure I feel like she's going any where. She loses her rudder in the beginning and I'm not sure I believe that she gets it back.

Then comes Diana, her oldest daughter and the character I liked most. Diana's the sort of person who can clearly see what people expect of her and lives up to those expectations. Thus, she finds herself in a loveless marriage, obsessed with running, and trying to be a good mother to her son. But no one can be perfect forever, and she gets involved in a passionate affair with a med student who doesn't know she has a son. At first her narration is hard to take because she's so obsessed with Dave, her illicit boyfriend. It's difficult to believe she kept the affair secret when every other word in her thoughts is "Dave." I like her much better in the second half of the novel, when she begins focusing on herself and her son. Diana has the most dramatic storyline, but even with her planned life falling apart she's too controlled to really let loose.

Finally, there's Lizzie, the youngest daughter and a recovering drug addict. She's now working as a photographer and baby-sitting her nephew Milo. She meets Jeff when he helps her with some teenagers who were harassing her in a cafe. It's nice to see her self-confidence grow as she turns her life around, for good reason. I liked Lizzie's voice the most - she has an understated sense of humor - but felt like her storyline needed a little more drama in order to compete.

I'll try another Jennifer Weiner book in the future. I greatly enjoyed the high points of FLY AWAY HOME. But the slow beginning and other flaws kept me from falling in love with FLY AWAY HOME. FLY AWAY HOME is a quiet drama, and when I'm reading drama I'm drawn to something more juicy and over-the-top. But I have to give it props for the ending, which I devoured quickly.

July 6, 2010

Review: Queen of Secrets

By Jenny Meyerhoff
Available now from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review copy

Queen of Secrets

When I got a request for QUEEN OF SECRETS, I almost passed on it. It didn't look bad, but it looked typical. Then I came to the end of the blurb, which revealed that the story is based on the Book of Esther. I couldn't resist then, as Esther is my favorite book of the Bible.

Essie Green's estranged Uncle, Aunt, and cousin just moved back to town. They left due to a family disagreement (as mentioned in Jenny Meyerhoff's guest blog) and now seem like strangers instead of a second set of parents and a brother. Essie's uncle embraced religion and her grandfather rejected it in the wake of her parents' deaths. Essie grew up atheist and is uncomfortable with her family's religious expression.

The family storyline parallels the high school storyline. Micah, her cousin, joins the football team. The football team has problems with Micah's open Jewishness. They might get over it, but one senior - Harrison - keeps stirring them back up. His father raised him to play football professionally, but he's not good enough to attract the decision of Division I schools. He's ready to take his misfortune out on someone. Obviously different Micah is convenient.

Essie might stand up for her cousin earlier, but she doesn't want to ruin her chances with quarterback Austin King. I might find her an unlikeable character, but she does do quiet things to help Micah out. I do wish she noticed that Austin is constantly proves himself to be a nice guy. (And not a "Nice Guy".)

QUEEN OF SECRETS is predictable, like I expected, but it has two major strengths. 1) Austin is a guy worth pursuing and Essie's good taste allows the reader to forgive her for some of her bigger lapses in judgment. 2) The exploration of religion is nuanced, interesting, and unlike what most other YA novels offer. Meyerhoff never suggests that being Jewish is better or worse than anything else. But she does explore what religion offers people, particularly the connection to a community and history.

QUEEN OF SECRETS is quick and cute, but doesn't ask for you to totally disengage your brain. In my book that makes it good summer reading.

Jenny Meyerhoff on Estrangement

Jenny Meyerhoff (photographed at left by Mindy Garfinkle) is the author of THIRD GRADE BABY who is now making her YA debut with QUEEN OF SECRETS, a contemporary novel based on the Book of Esther. She's good at finding lost objects and used to teach kindergarten. She read Lois Duncan and Jane Austen as a teen, so clearly she's pretty cool.

My review of QUEEN OF SECRETS will be posted this afternoon. You can find Jenny tomorrow at Reading Rocks.


I’ve always been secretly fascinated by family estrangements. I think that’s because we had a couple of them in my family growing up. Some were the angry, on-purpose kind and some were the has-it-really-been-ten-years kind, but either way, it’s always gotten me thinking about the nature of family connections. You know, blood is thicker than water or an ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship. If that is really true, how do these estrangements happen?

Queen of Secrets

In my book QUEEN OF SECRETS, Essie Green’s aunt, uncle and cousin Micah have recently moved back to town after a ten year estrangement. In actuality, the rift was between her aunt and uncle and her grandparents (who raised her,) but in practice, Essie was also separated from her relatives, and, she feels abandoned by them. Why should she take the trouble to get to know them now, when they didn’t take the trouble during all those years of separation?

Then the situation gets more complicated. Essie has to choose sides in a conflict between her cousin (who she barely knows) and her new boyfriend (with whom she’s falling in love.) Is it as simple as putting those two loyalties on a scale and seeing which side is heavier? Essie is completely torn.

In my adult life, I’m lucky to be surrounded by family that I feel fiercely connected to, but I have friends that I feel the same way about. And family doesn’t only come about through genetics: adoption, marriage and simple shared experience can bond people the same way. In the end, I’m not sure that there is a clear cut answer to the question of where the stronger bonds lie or why they can sometimes get broken. I can tell you that Essie did make a choice, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it was.

July 3, 2010

BBAW Registration

As many IBWB readers probably know, Book Blogger Appreciation Week will be held September 13-17 this year.  Part of the festivities are the awards.  This year, the bloggers nominate themselves in whatever categories they feel are appropriate.

I was torn about registering IBWB since it feels very egotistical.  In the end, I've decided, "Why not?" As for choosing posts to represent my blog, I decided to pick based on a combination of stuff I enjoyed writing and stuff that got a reaction from my readership. I'm including explanations for each post because I find it fun to explain my reasoning and the rules don't say you can't.

If you follow the link above, you can find instructions for registering.


Best Young Adult Book Blog—This blog offers the best consistently excellent reviews, recommendations, analyses, and other content for books written for a young adult audience.

While I try to include a variety of books on IBWB, my main focus on this blog is books for young adults.  So without further ado, here are my five posts, at least three of which are reviews/recommendations/analysis:

1. Review: tales of the MADMAN underground: An Historical Romance 1973

I loved this book and I think that love shines through in the review. I've found other people linking to this review, and there's nothing more rewarding for a book blogger than learning you convinced someone to read a book.

2.Review: Fallen

To balance the love, here's the worst review I've ever given a book. To me, hate for a book must be explained more carefully even than love. I mean, there's at least one redeeming feature to be found in almost everything.

3. Review: Shiver

With a popular novel like SHIVER, everyone and their dog writes a review. I enjoyed trying to write an original review under those conditions.

4. Hottie: Third Time's A Charm?

Discussing Jonathan Bernstein's covers is a tradition on IBWB. I think this was the most lively discussion, and I feel especially proud since this cover change came after Bernstein e-mailed my review to his publisher. (No, one little blogger did not get the hideous cover changed. But I like to think I helped.)

5. Best Authors You Aren't Reading: Patrice Kindl

This is the inagural post of my first feature. I'm still getting my feet under me, but showcasing authors "who I don't perceive as being popular, but whom I truly love" is rewarding. After all, one purpose of book blogging is spreading the word.


Best Author Interviews—This blogger does his or her research and asks the questions no one else does. These interviews are top-notch. Note that this award reflects the quality of the interviews, not the popularity of the person being interviewed. [Note that nominated bloggers for this award are required to submit 4 interviews; 1 post is left to their discretion.]

While one post is left to my discretion, I'll submit five interviews. I'm not creative enough to figure out what showcases my abilities as an interviewer other than an interview.

I am proud of all of my interviews, so my first three choices are all interviews with authors who have supported me in my blogging efforts.

1. Beth Kephart

An interview can't be bad when you're interviewing such a lovely human being.

2. Cynthia Leitich Smith

Smith gave me one of my first interviews and agreed to do this short interview with me even though she was rather busy at the time.

3. C. Leigh Purtill

Leigh is a frequent visitor, commenter, and a fabulous author. (Plus, she knitted me a pair of handy legwarmers. Yes, that is a pun. Deal with it.) Interviewing is always fun, but interviewing an author you're friendly with is especially fun.

4. Jaclyn Dolamore

Dolamore worked with me despite being in the middle of an internet hiatus and dealing with a cover controversy (due to which one of the questions was changed). I think the interview turned out well!

5. Rhonda Hayter.

I got to question her about time travel. Everything is better with time travel.

Best Vampire Book You Aren't Reading: Look for Me by Moonlight

Mary Downing Hahn has written multiple classics of children's literature. She managed to do this without writing many books in respectable genres like wartime historicals (STEPPING ON THE CRACKS). In fact her most famous books are ghost stories (WAIT TILL HELEN COMES, TIME FOR ANDREW) and mysteries (THE DEAD MAN IN INDIAN CREEK).

Note: If you didn't know the above books existed, you now do. You have no excuse for leaving them unread.

Look For Me By Moonlight

Despite the fact all of Hahn's books are worth reading, not all of them can win awards. This is the way life works. For instance, LOOK FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT has never won an award. Yet LOOK FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT is due for a comeback, since it was a vampire story for teen girls before vampire stories for teen girls became homogenized and saturated the market.

You can read a lengthy excerpt here, on the Houghton Mifflin site. Cynda and her brother Todd are staying with their father at his inn in the north. There are a variety of guests, but Cynda is drawn to one in particular. They meet in secret, signaling each other through clever use of Scrabble.

Then things go terribly wrong because this is a vampire story. A good vampire story.

This was one of my favorite books in elementary school, and no matter what you think of little kids, I had good taste back then.

July 2, 2010

Review: Summer of the Geek

By Piper Banks
Available now from NAL (Penguin)
Review copy

Summer of the Geek (Geek High)

SUMMER OF THE GEEK is the third in Piper Banks's Geek High series. I have not read the first two, GEEK HIGH and GEEK ABROAD, but the story was still easy to follow. Miranda Bloom attends a high school for the gifted, which is currently out of session for the summer. She's working as a baby-sitter; her boyfriend Dex is a lifeguard. Being a lifeguard, he's looking at lots of pretty girls in bikinis - including Wendy, his ex-girlfriend the model. Speaking of models, Miranda's stepsister Hannah wants to be one. Unfortunately, the 'rents aren't so big on that. (And that's not the only thing they're fighting with each other about.)

My favorite storyline was the baby-sitting one, despite its predictability. Amelia Fisher spends all her time playing the piano, which her parents encourage due to her talent. Banks does put a few welcome spins on the storyline. Amelia genuinely likes playing the piano; it isn't something her parents are forcing her to do. They've just taken it too far. In addition, after Miranda helps Amelia diversify her interests, Miranda also helps Amelia think through her reasons for doing so and present them logically to her parents. Yes, there is a big dramatic scene that undercuts some of this, but generally its a problem in a teen novel solved by people acting rationally.

The love triangle part seemed a little forced, especially juxtaposed with the baby-sitting storyline. Amelia can help Miranda communicate with her parents, she can talk to her stepsister to help their parents, but she can't talk to her boyfriend? (Not just about Wendy, but about her own decision about whether to move to England with her mom.) Of course, teens do do silly things when it comes to relationships.

Overall, SUMMER OF THE GEEK will appeal to both geeks and non-geeks looking for a light summer read. (Miranda's ideas of appropriate summer activities don't include marathons of the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings movies. Clearly, she hangs out with a different set of geeks than I do.) While the boyfriend-girlfriend stuff is typical, both parent storylines are well-done and could be helpful for readers. SUMMER OF THE GEEK will probably appeal more to tweens than teens. I don't recall any objectionable content.


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