8

Waiting on Wednesday: The Treachery of Beautiful Things

Happy Wednesday!  One more day of the school year left! Holla!

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and the purpose is to spotlight upcoming new releases.

This week I wanted to share The Treachery of Beautiful Things Ruth Frances Long‘s debut Young Adult novel.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances LongFirst, take a look at that cover!  Isn’t it gorgeous?!  I’m a total sucker for covers with girls in decadent gowns and this one rivals the best of them! Can I please just wear it for a few hours one afternoon?  I think that would satisfy my gown lust!

Now, on to the summary.  I’m a massive fairy tale fan so I’m intrigued in this book for sure.

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she’s lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice–and not just her own

 But wait.  Fairy tale?  Yes.  Kinda creepy? Yes!  “The trees swallowed her brother whole…” What in the?!  That sentence alone both excites and scares me all at the same time!
I honestly can’t wait to dig into The Treachery of Beautiful Things and it doesn’t look like I have too long to wait since Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin) has announced this book will be released this coming August 16th!
What do you think?  Are you waiting on The Treachery of Beautiful Things too? Or is another title forcing you to be patient this week?

2

Already On My To Buy List: The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

Hello!  I read this book as part of the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera HiranandaniAfter her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia’s mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions—questions Sonia doesn’t always know how to answer—as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren’t part of the “in” crowd.

At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she’s dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent—it’s hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances. And then, one day, Sonia’s father goes missing. Now Sonia wonders if she ever really knew him. As she begins to look for answers, she must decide what really matters and who her true friends are—and whether her two halves, no matter how different, can make her a whole.

I have to say that I was captivated with this story from the start; I started it and didn’t want to put it down (although work, and real life actually did force me to!).

The Whole Story of Half a Girl is a coming of age story centered around a girl in middle school at a point in her life when everything (and I mean everything!) gets turned upside down. Sonia’s father looses his job, she has to go to a different school, her mother has to work more, her father is struggling with depression, she is trying to make new friends, and all while kids at school are making fun of her.

Hiranandani writes a story so real that it hurts at times.  The more I read, the more my mind was flooded with my own memories from this age.  Kids are not just dealing with one problem, but  are often blindsided by a multitude all at once, making the transition from child to teenager that much more challenging.  I appreciate the way this book illustrates the complexity of family issues, relationship struggles and the difficulty that comes with discovering one’s own (ethnic/religious) identity. There was potential for Sonia’s story to be easily clichéd or stereotyped, but Hiranandani manages to keep the story balanced and realistic while at the same time incredibly touching. And I think that Hiranandani does a wonderful job of writing about such deep issues, while also maintaining the middle grade appropriateness.

As a main character Sonia is both likable and easy to connect with.  In the midst of all the changes, Sonia is really trying to make sense of everything the best she can.  I especially like how realistically flawed Hiranandani writes Sonia, as exemplified in how she handles her new friendships at her new school.  Through much of the book, Sonia puts real friendship on the back-burner, instead turning her attention to the more superficial and in turn hurts some people.  Although its a mistake I understand why Sonia would do this; her life is so much upheaval she just focuses on whats easy for a while; going with the flow.  Eventually, however she realizes that going with the flow isn’t always the healthiest of practices, especially when it comes to who you spend your time with. Who, when faced with such difficult times, wouldn’t make the easy choice for a little while?

Overall, I was impressed with how moving Sonia’s story was and highly recommend it to any reader preteen and up.   The Whole Story of Half a Girl is already on my Too Buy list for my Media Center!

Author: Veera Hiranandani

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Format: Advanced Reader Copy (e-book)

Pages: 224

Series: Stand alone debut

YA/MG: Middle Grades

Buy the Book: The Whole Story of Half a Girl

7

Bookish Goals for 2012

It’s always good to have goals, right?

I tend to stay away from making “resolutions” in the new year because I think its silly to resolve to be better or give something up just because its January.  I’d rather make a goal to try to reach.  So I am making some bookish/blogging goals for 2012.

Now, as an educator I know a goal has to be specific, measurable, and realistic.  So, lets see if my goals fit the description.

2012 Debute Author ChallengeGoal #1: Participate in and complete the 2012 Debut Author Challenge

Kristi at The Story Siren hosts this challenge and it sounds like a good way to discover new authors and meet some new book bloggers. All I have to do is read and review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013.  Sounds good!  NetGalley is helping me out with the Advanced Reader Copies  (thank you NetGalley!) so I can get my hands on some of these titles.  Here are the books I have e-book copies of and plan on using in the 2012 DAC:

  • Halflings by Heather Burch
  • Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani
  • May B. by Caroline Rose
  • Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
  • After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
  • The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

So, thats already 8 titles I plan on counting towards my goal. Specific? Yes.  Measurable? Yes. Realistic?  I think so.  That’s 1 book per month or more if I’d like. I can spread them out however I like. Don’t forget I have two and a half months of summer break to look forward to!

Goal #2: Read 90 Books

This sounds pretty big for some people.  However, I read 69 books in 2011 so I think that 90 is a pretty good goal.  I think I could have read that much in 2011 if I had started the year with the same momentum I have now.  At the start of 2011 I was just trying out this YA/MG book blogging thing and wasn’t as purposeful about it.   So, specific? Yes. Measurable? Yes.  I keep track of all the books I’ve read on my Goodreads profile. Realistic?  Possibly.  Can I increase the number of books I read by 21?  Hopefully!!
Goal #3: Host 1 Giveaway

I’ve had the chance this past year to win a few giveaways hosted on other blogs.  I’d like to be able to do something similar and give away books as prizes.  I would have loved to do one to commemorate the one year anniversary of BookTasty, but I don’t think I can get it all set up in three days.  So, I’ll wait until another opportune time this year.  I will need some help with this though, so any other book bloggers out there who have hosted a giveaway before please feel free to send advice!  Specific? Sure!  Measurable? Yes.  Realistic? I think it is.  Remember I have until December 31, 2012 to achieve this goal!

So, there you go!  My goals for the new year!  Will I keep you posted?  Oh most definitely!

It seems that everyone else is making goals for 2012, what are some of your bookish or blogging goals for 2012?