Jun 24, 2008

Teen Tuesday - Summer Procratination

Happy Tuesday!
It is still summer, and I am still hating it.
But I do have a few young adult reads to tell you about!

Teen Tuesday is the day we set aside for teen book lovers visit with each other to find out what's being read in the world of young adult literature. You can comment whether you are a participant or not. Visit all the posters at teentuesday.blogspot.com.

Last week I finished The Off Season by Catherine Murdock. The Off Season was the sequel to Diary Queen, but for me it is lacking some of the qualities that made me love it so much. DJ has always been a little obsessive, as many of us are, thinking about things in such a way that blows them totally out of proportion. But at the same time there is a humor that comes out of her obsessiveness. Yet in The Off Season I didn't feel as connected to the humor lying underneath the voice. DJ's obsessing was completely hyperbolic and verging on unrealistic. Her fears were totally realistic in the first book.

Many people have told me they really enjoyed The Off Season better, but I was really disappointed with it and came very, very close to not finishing it. Have you read both books? Tell me what your thoughts were in the comments.

The Teen Tuesday Blog is now the new home of Chelsea's young adult book club. This month's picks are The Luxe and The Looking Glass Wars. If you have read these or want to, we would love to have you join us for these books or for future picks. Email teentuesday@yahoo.com subject:book club for more info! In order to get ready I am reading The Luxe and enjoying it more than I thought I would. Before I started it I thought one of two things would happen, it would grab me from the first page and never let me go or I would hate it and have to struggle through it. But neither of these things did, in fact, happen. The beginning of the book was boring but grabbed my interest because of it's similarities to early American novels. I am only about 100 pages or so in right now, but I will definitely be reading more. Are you reading The Luxe?

I also finished Keesha's House. This is an AMAZING book of poetry YOU ALL NEED TO READ. It is just proof that poetry doesn't have to be all floral and pretty. I love how gritty and realistic the poems in this book are, and I also love how they tell a story. You can read a little bit more about my thoughts on it here.

Why does the summer have to be so hot?
My eyes move across the page and nothing sinks in.
The books pile up around me, they lay next to me in bed, I am grateful they aren't a heat source like my husband used to be.
What was the best book you read this week?

Poetry for Teens - Keesha's House

Keesha's House, written by Helen Frost, was the 2003 Printz Medal Winner.
It is a book of striking and realistic poems that will resonate with many teens.
The poems are beautifully written, yet true to the thought process and speech patterns to modern urban life.

Each poem has a very interesting and odd method in their line breaks. I sometimes found these breaks to be beautiful in their jarring emotional confusion, but other times they were simply just confusing. Needing to be reread 3 or 4 times to grasp the meaning. But the line breaks were done intentionally and fully explained at the end of the book.

This book deals with heavy hitting topics. It tells a story buy allowing the mind to loosely connect the fragments it is given.

"Now This Baby" is the first poem in Keesha's House.

"Now This Baby" - Stephie

My parents still think I'm their little girl.
I don't want them to see me getting bigger,
bigger every week, almost too big to hide it now.
But if I don't go home, where can I go?
Jason said, You could get rid of it. I thought of how he tossed
the broken condom in the trash, saying, Nothing

will happen
. Now this baby is that nothing,
growing fingers in the dark, growing toes, a girl
or boy, heart pulsing. Not something to be tossed
aside, not nothing. Love and terror both grow bigger
every day inside me. Jason showed me where to go
to take care of it. I looked at him and said, I can't. Now

he isn't talking to me, and if he won't talk now,
I know what to expect in six months' time--nothing.
His family doesn't know about the baby. When I used to go
there every day, his mom would say, It's nice to have a girl
around the house
. But they have bigger
dreams than this for Jason. All my questions are like wind-tossed

papers in the street, and after they've been tossed
around, rain comes, and they're a soggy mes. Now
I'm hungry. I had a doughnut, but I need a bigger
meal. I'm not prepared for this. I know nothing
about living on my own. At school there's this girl
I know named Keesha who told me there's a place kids go

and stay awhile, where people don't ask questions. I go,
Yeah, sure, okay. I kind of tossed
my head, like I was just some girl
who wouldn't care. But now
I wish I'd asked her the exact address. (Nothing
wrong with asking.) To lots of girls, it's no big

deal to have a baby. They treat it like a big
attention getter--when the baby's born, the go
around showing it off to all their friends. But nothing
like this ever happens in my family. Mom and Dad won't toss
me out, or even yell at me, if I go home right now.
But how can I keep acting like the girl

they think I am--a carefree teenage girl with nothing
big to worry me. As for what I've started thinking now--
don't go there. Heads is bad; tails is worse: like that no-win coin toss.

Jun 22, 2008

You want to know what I hate?

SUMMER! It is too hot and everyone is so busy even though they don't think they will be. I don't ever feel like reading. I just want to vegitate because doing anything that takes anymore energy creates body heat and I DON'T WANT TO FEEL ANY HOTTER.

What kind of reading do you enjoy in the summer?
Have you been reading anything good lately?
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