October 14, 2010

Book Blurbs of September, Part III: Geeks and Ghosts

Two more three-sentence reviews today, again courtesy of books from the Stanislaus County Library. I just can't seem to stop myself from grabbing all the library books I can carry and gobbling them down when I should be writing or doing something else productive with my time. Anyone else have that problem?

Firstly, the latest book by one of my personal favorite YA authors, Jaclyn Moriarty, is The Ghosts of Ashbury High, and it's sure to please fans of her ongoing set of characters at Ashbury and Brookfield High Schools. A surprisingly deep and intricate web of stories-within-stories, told in her usual epistolary style from varying points of view (but mainly Em, Lydia, and Toby with the bulk of it), this latest rather hefty volume takes an appropriately Victorian angle to the whole thing. The reader is led merrily along throughout by questions like Is there really a ghost?, Who's the ghost?, Do ghosts truly exist?, and What's a ghost, anyway?, but as always, it's the eminently believable main characters, the amusing and slightly less believable cast of side characters, and the laugh-out-loud sense of humor that make this one another winner for me.

Buy The Ghosts of Ashbury High from an independent bookstore near you!

Now for some geek love! And I did love so many things about Julie Halpern's Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, which was a Cybils finalist last year in YA Fiction—it's got a quirky and endearing main character in Jessie, an adorable older brother who's a surprisingly good friend to his little sis, plus punks, goths, nerds, D&D, and LARPing. Normal people go punk, punks go preppy, the prom queen turns out to be surprisingly deep—there's plenty of self-discovery to go around in this book, but maybe most importantly, Jessie learns that it's quite all right to simply be herself, whether that means sewing her own clothes, playing the drums, or hanging out with nerds because it turns out to be surprisingly fun. It's a hilarious romp, despite being a tiny bit light on backstory, and brought back some good memories of late high school, when I (like Jessie) took up with a group of new gamer friends (except in my case, it was the punk/goths who were doing the gaming).

Buy Into the Wild Nerd Yonder from an independent bookstore near you!

No comments: