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Playing With Matches by Brian Katcher

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 7/8/2008

About the Book: Loner and self-professed nerd Leon finds himself befriending Melody, a girl whose face was disfigured in a fire years before. No one has ever talked to Melody and everyone thinks she's a freak and Leon is self concious about his growing attraction to her-especially when beautiful and popular Amy starts to show and interest in him.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I read this one because it was on the Gateway premlinary nominee list and I'm so glad it was. I'm not sure if I would have come across it otherwise. I wasn't sure what to expect-I'll admit when I first saw it on the list, I thought "oh, it's just on there because it's a Missouri author." But I was blown away by this book.

Brian Katcher packed so much emotion into this story-I found myself tearing up at parts and honestly, I don't cry that much in books. The characters are all well drawn and the writing flows easily. I wanted to keep reading this one and found myself staying up late to do so.

Things moved a little fast, but I reminded myself I was reading about teens. I did like that it didn't take long to get the book going-I hate when the book jacket tells you a main plot point that doesn't happen until halfway through. That is not the case here-the story starts right away.

The only complaint I really had was Amy's character wasn't what I expected. I thought the way she turned out was a little unrealistic. I did like that she surprised me and had more depth though. (I don't want to spoil the book, so I won't say much else).

I would give this one to readers who have enjoyed John Green's novels-I can see the audience being the same. I'm looking forward to reading Brian Katcher's latest novel, Almost Perfect, and I'm very proud to say he's a Missouri author!

Full Disclosure: Book provided by my local library

Comments

  1. That sounds very touching. It's good though when characters surprise you, I think.

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  2. I just read his other novel Almost Perfect, these kind of sound like the same novel. I'll have to read this one though. I enjoyed Almost Perfect.

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  3. I checked out Almost Perfect after redaing this post and it sounds pretty amazing. Thanks for the tip.

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  4. This book tore me up inside, I finished it a few hours ago and I'm doing a tri-board on it. I wanted to scream at him, and her, but I can't really do that with inanimate objects. I can't say whether I'm happy or not that I read it though, I'm still angry. But it was the first book in a long time that surprised me, and did a complete back flip to an ending I didn't predict. I give it a 4.5/5. I couldn't put it down. I'm going to try and read Almost Perfect now.

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About Me

Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee