Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to participate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week.  I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books.
The Martian

A winner of the 2015 Alex Award, the award for adult books that appeal to young adults, this story is a totally unique survival tale. Mark Watney is left on Mars when his crew, thinking him dead, leaves during a dust storm evacuation. But he's not dead. He's very much alive, and due to his "pain in the ass" disposition, he's determined to stay that way. As I was describing this story to someone, he said, "Oh, it's like a sci-fi Hatchet. Yes, exactly. This book was lent to me by a couple 6th grade boys. I was a little shocked at the language since they're the ones who wanted me to read it, but I totally get why they loved it (they're gifted readers and love science). I probably wouldn't recommend it to 6th graders, but it's perfect for teen boys. I didn't love all the science and engineering, but plenty of boys would (not that girls wouldn't like it - there are a few good female characters, too)! Quite a yarn!  I'll definitely go see the movie starring Matt Damon coming up in November!
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
I am obviously in the minority, at least in my friends' community, in giving this book only 3 stars, but it was just too weird for me. While I appreciated the wise and witty discussions about feminism and the visions of a futuristic world, the drinking of the petrified bat, the commune, and the oven-painting was over the top for me.
"Your fate is not yet sealed. Even in the darkest night, a star will shine, a bell will chime, a path will be revealed." I listened to the audio production of this masterful novel, which begins and ends with a fairy tale. In between are three stories that are interwoven in a beautiful and amazing way, all connected by a harmonica (reminds me a little of the 1999 film, "The Red Violin"). I would highly recommend the audio - various narrators tell the story, and it includes the actual music from the book. I'll read the print version, too, though, to fully appreciate the lyrical language used to tell these tales. I LOVE the way the stories come together in the end, and I love the messages of hope and love. Brilliant!  This is one to watch as a Newbery favorite.

 Bone Gap
At the Water's Edge 



  1. I loved The Martian but I'm surprised 6th graders did!

    Have a great reading week
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. Both The Martian and Bone Gap are on the list of books I would really like to read. Come see what my week was like here. Happy reading!

  3. Lots of great books this week. I really enjoyed THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE. I liked BONE GAP too, but my aversion to mythology made me a little bit dubious of it in certain places. I'm hoping I'll get to listen to the audiobook of ECHO sometime soon.

  4. Echo is getting such great reviews - I can't wait to read it! Also the Bone Gap is one I have on my TBR list. Thanks for these titles, Holly!

  5. Ooh, I loved Echo! The Bone Gap and The War that Saved My Life are both on my summer tbr list!

  6. Tammy and Clare wrote about Echo too and they said they had listened to it. I read Echo last month and loved it, but I bet the audio brings another whole aspect to it. I may read it with my ears over the summer!
    I'm interested to hear your thoughts on Bone Gap - I've heard yays and nays. The War That Saved... is supposed to be great!

  7. "Science Fiction Hatchet," perfect! Sounds like one to check out. I have Echo on a delayed hold at the library. It's my reward for reaching the last day of school in a few short weeks!

  8. Enjoy Bone Gap. A story so full of so much - there is some weird though . . . Echo is incredible! I just finished it and LOVED it! This title by A.S. King is out there but I do love her work. My favourite is probably Everybody Sees the Ants.

  9. I loved Bone Gap! I'm hoping our library brings the audiobook of Echo in soon, because it's on my list of books to read, but I'm reading amazing things about the audio format. I'm reading Ask The Passengers. It's my first A.S. King novel. I've got Glory O'Brien on my to read list. I'll have to check out Carrie's recommendation of Everybody Sees the Ants.

  10. I am enjoying seeing how Echo has received so much love last week - definitely an award contender. I've been looking for Bone Gap but it still is not available in our library unfortunately. I have yet to pick up an AS King novel.