Good Books and the Random Movie

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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

18 March 2017

Silver Stars (Soldier Girl #2)

Silver Stars by Michael Grant is the second book in his Soldier Girl series – an alternated history where there was not gender restriction in the draft for WWII in the United States. The story follows three American young women as they experience the horror of the War to End All Wars.

The story continues as each character has experienced battle and is just trying to get home safely. Rio Richlin, whose proficiency with a rifle has put her on the front lines, will be sent with her squadron to a new theater. Frangie Marr, who is a nurse, will continue to help people while facing the double burden of being a black woman in the US Army. Rainy Schulterman, trained in Army intelligence, will have the chance to help the war – but at the cost of being stuck behind enemy lines.

Grant has done a good job of realistically placed female soldiers into the US Army of the 1940s. This is a great young adult series.

Grant, Michael. (2017). Silver Stars. London: Electric Monkey.

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11 March 2017

Our Own Private Universe

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley.

Aki Simon is spending the summer in Mexico with her church group. Another group of teens from Maryland and one from farther south will be joining them.

What Aki wants to do this summer is test her theory about being bi. And as soon as she meets Christa from one of the other groups, she knows with whom she would like to test it. And her best friend, Lori, can see it on her face immediately.

Over a few weeks, Aki and Christa get to know each other. Aki contemplates coming out to her father. Christa is sure her parents would never understand and is worried that word might get back to them through another member of the church. Either way, they cannot deny they have feelings for each other.

Robin Talley is one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint with this novel.

Talley, Robin. (2017). Our Own Private Universe. New York: Harlequin Teen.

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07 March 2017

Read Me Like a Book

Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler is one young woman's story of finding out who she is and who she wants to be.

Ash is a mediocre student in her last year of school. While her very future depends on her A level exams, she is not too interested in school. She thinks of teachers are old, grumpy people who don't care about teaching so much as about discipline. Which may explain why she and her best friend Cat skip class so often.

But the new English teacher seems different. Miss Murray is only a few years older than Ash. And she is making class interesting. Ash wants to spend as much time with her as possible and works hard on her classwork to get a compliment.

It takes a while for Ash to realize she has a crush on her teacher - the results of which may be hard to deal with in the near future, but will spark Ash's interest in a life after school.

Kessler has written a great coming out story set in England. The scene of Ash coming out to her parents (specifically her mother's reaction) is wonderful - and the closest to my own story I have seen in a book.

Kessler. Liz. (2016). Read Me Like A Book. Summerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

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06 March 2017

Windwitch (Witchlands #2)

Windwitch by Susan Dennard is the second book in her Witchlands series, a young adult fantasy series.

After centuries of war and then a twenty-year truce, people in the three nations are wondering what comes next. Some are making plays for power, others trying to keep the peace going.

Safi, after being promised to a terrible man as an alliance, has escaped. The ship she was on was attacked by magic fire. She only escaped because the Empress of Marstock is an ironwitch. Now she is bound to Marstock long enough to weed out traitors. Safi is a truthwitch - she can tell if anyone is telling a lie.

Iseult, Safi's best friend, is on the run and trying to catch up with Safi. She is being tracked by two different groups and the bloodwitch, Aeduan.

Aeduan can track anyone with their own unique blood scent. He knows Iseult from tracking her before, but he cannot sense her. But he will not give up until he catches up to her.

Susan Dennard has created a great fantasy series. It has great characters, political intrigue, mythical creatures, magic, pirates and Hell-Bards, all in a well thought out world. Out of the new fantasy series of the last few years, this is one of my top picks.

Dennard, Susan. (2016). Windwitch. New York: Tor Teen.

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