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Monday, February 28, 2011

Chime In

I've been busy reading since my last post, so I have much to share with you.

First, it's been more than a decade since her novel Folkkeeper received raves, and I knew it wouldn't be long before buzz began about Franny Billingsley's newest novel, Chime. It has. And let me say, it's much deserved. Chime is exquisitely written. Bilingsly has such a mastery of words and imagery that readers can, in fact, get lost in her phrasings and forget that there's a story that goes along with the words. This one is more YA than her previous novel, but not so much that 12-14 year olds can't read it. It is a paranormal story set in a rural town that has many backwards ways, including hanging witches. And that's just what the main character knows she is.

And for the guys, Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen.  This is one powerful novel about steroid use gone bad. Fair warning, this is a true YA book with lots of locker room language, many homophobic and racial slurs, and a tragic sexual assault. Told in two voices, one of football player new to the team and the other of a male gymnast who has been the target of the football stars' wrath. Make no mistake, this is a harsh and real look at the competitive world of high school sports. This one will haunt long after you've read it.

And one of my favorites of the season came out today, Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt. This humorous novel about a girl who journals about the boy who has sat in front of her since fourth grade -- more specifically about his head. She does this to resolve her newly discovered family problems, but soon discovers that Sean is more than she originally thought. This is definitely a winner in my book.

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