To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean has fallen in love five times.  Each time she falls out of love, she writes a goodbye letter describing why she fell in love with that boy in the first place.  She then address, stamps the letter and places them in a hat box given to her by her mother.  In the meantime, her sister is off to Scotland for college and has just broken up with her boyfriend Josh.  This would not be a problem except that Josh is the last boy Lara Jean fell for.  While Lara Jean is facing all these changes, she gets another surprise.  Her letters have been sent out and now she has boys coming to her wanting to know what is going on.

I have conflicted feelings about this book.  It was very slow to start and did not pick up until Lara Jean is confronted by the first boy.  There is a lot of family life going on in the book and while it is pleasant, it slows the story down.  Plus, I did not like the way Lara Jean’s older sister protected her.  I realize that she has taken over the mom role in the story, but it seems that she is too protective – she never really lets Lara Jean spread her wings.  Because of this, Lara Jean is scared to do a lot of things.

However, Lara Jean’s fear is what made this a good book.  I loved “watching” Lara Jean step outside of herself and experience new things.  She begins to learn that things are not as scary as she thinks and telling people how she feels begins to get easier.

There were some cliché moments in the book and one part does not really get resolved the way I wanted it to but the book is a hopeful one and I will be picking up more books by Jenny Han.

Have you read this one?  Or another one of Jenny Han’s?  Tell us what you think of them.

Teen Tech Week!

Hello everyone!  Teen Tech Week is here and we are celebrating all things Ipad at the library.  Join us at the Josey Ranch Lake Library tonight as we make trailers and play games all using our library Ipads.

The fun starts at 6:30.  Don’t forget your permission slip!

 

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel BelleHarper Price was having the best Homecoming ever.  She knew she had the crown in the bag, if only she hadn’t forgotten her lip gloss.  Now she has superpowers and has to protect the one person she doesn’t get along with: David Stark.  Her new powers are pretty awesome but why is he the one she has to protect?

Hawkins blends comic hijinks with Southern charm in her newest novel.  While I can’t say I was laughing the entire time, I will say I was smiling.  When I wasn’t smiling, I was caught up in the action.  Did you know stiletto heels make excellent defense weapons?  How about pools?

While some might think Harper is a bit shallow, I found Harper to be a strong young woman who knows who she is and what she likes.  I found her very well developed as a character.  David was a little less developed but still very well rounded for someone who discovers his world is not what it seems.  Ryan and Bee round out the most important supporting cast and I have a feeling they will be more important as time goes on.  Be ready for a cliffhanger ending.  There should be more Rebel Belle books coming our way.

If you read and enjoyed the Hex Hall series, then you will love this one and if you didn’t read them– head to the shelf and grab them.

Guest Review – My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to MeMy True Love Gave to Me collects twelve romantic Christmas short stories by a variety of YA authors. Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Kiersten White, David Levithan, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Foreman, Myra McEntire, and Ally Carter wrote the realistic fiction stories, while Laini Taylor, Kelly Link, Holly Black, and Jenny Han wrote the more fantastical stories. My personal favorites were “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins, the bittersweet “Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han, “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White, and “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña.

Here is a taste of what’s contained in the collection: In “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown,” Marigold has finally worked up the courage to ask Christmas tree salesman, North, if he will do some voice acting in one of her YouTube videos. North convinces Marigold to buy a Christmas tree and helps Marigold fix up the sad apartment where she and her mother moved following a personal tragedy.

In “The Lady and the Fox,” a young girl named Miranda meets a strange boy named Fenny when she visits her godmother’s house for Christmas. Since Miranda was recovering from the shock of her mother being sent to prison, Miranda thinks maybe Fenny was a figment of her imagination. Fenny, however, returns again for Christmas in the years that follow, but only if it snows.

In “Angels in the Snow,” Shy, a college student, bonds with a neighbor named Haley during a snowstorm. Shy is broke and starving, but can’t bring himself to admit it to Haley, who has a few secrets of her own.

I don’t usually enjoy reading short stories, but I really enjoyed this collection. I did think Laini Taylor’s “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” was an odd way to end the collection; however, this collection is worth reading if only for those stories by popular authors such as Rowell, Perkins, Foreman and Levithan. I’d never read anything by Link, McEntire, or Carter, but I enjoyed those stories too. Keep in mind that each author who contributed to this collection stuck to her or his usual genre, so don’t expect Holly Black to write a realistic story just because it’s New Year’s Day – her story features fairy folk.

I did enjoy the collection overall. If you love Christmas (or New Year’s Day, or Hanukkah, or the winter solstice), this collection is a great way to relax after all of your exams are over for the year. Have a great holiday!

–Rebekah