Yes, I realize it’s almost April but I didn’t want to skip over the books I read in February. I’ll have another post next week for the books I read in March. (Warning: the list is short.) I’ve really enjoyed taking advantage of my library and have (finally) figured out how to access the digital media. I’m hoping having access to a free library of ebooks will help increase my reading.
Serious question: can I count the picture books that I read to Emme every night before bed as part of my monthly reading quota? Although right now she’s been on a Dear Zoo kick so we’ve been reading the same book over and over. (She likes lifting the flaps.)
One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus – ★★★☆☆
In One of Us is Lying, five high schoolers end up in detention one afternoon but only four of them survive. The book follows the remaining four teenagers as they band together to solve the murder. Each character represented a clique or group in a typical high school setting – the jock, brainiac, outcast, bad boy, and beauty. Of course the outcast is the character that ends up dead.
I struggled with this book. I really wanted to like it… but I almost abandoned it because I hated reading about the drama and bullying. There was a lot of talk about fitting in (or trying to do so). The characters struggled with sex and their sexual identity. While I know these are real life scenarios, it was just a lot for me to read in one book. (And completely different from my experience in high school.) But I’m glad I stuck it out and finished the book. The ending was different than I had expected, which was a good thing.
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold – ★★★★☆
Bixby Alexander Tam (Bat for short) is a young autistic boy whose veterinarian mother brings home a baby skunk from work one day. Bat helps his mother care for the kit and names him Thor, convinced he would make a great pet. But in a month’s time, Bat’s mother intends to release the skunk. So Bat only has a short amount of time to convince his mother to keep Thor.
I’ve really enjoyed adding more children’s literature to my mix of books. (Especially after trudging through teenage angst.) This was a light, cute read. According to other reviews, this book was an accurate depiction of life with autism. Not having much experience with autism myself, I found it interesting to see life through Bat’s eyes. The book also touches on the topic of split custody since Bat’s parents are divorced. The sequel came out this year and I’m interested to see what becomes of Bat and Thor.
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane – ★★★★★
Zander Osborne is convinced she’s fine when her parents send her to Camp Padua for the summer. She thinks her fellow campers are crazy and feels like she doesn’t fit in. Zander’s cabinmate, Cassie, is a manic depressive anorexic with a fondness for diet pills and Lemonhead candies. Grover Cleveland expects to become schizophrenic any day now. And Bek is a pathological liar with a fondness for Cassie. By the end of the summer, the teens have faced their fears and shared secrets and realize there is hope that one day they’ll all be happy.
This was an Amazon First Read from last year that I never got around to reading and it was so, so good. I really enjoyed the relatable characters, slow progression of the character plots, and how they intertwined with one another. This book was also really sad at some points but I couldn’t put it down and appreciated the ending. The writing style was right up my alley so I’m looking forward to reading more by Rebekah Crane.