Our newest state booklist will be released soon-our ratings for the books on the shortlist are due December 1st! I'm compiling my thoughts on some of the Gateway Award Nominees since our ratings are due soon. These will be shorter than normal reviews aka "flash reviews." While these books are shortlisted on the Gateway Award List and I am a reader selector for the list, these reviews reflect my own personal opinion and not that of the committee or the Missouri School Library Association. (And this isn't all of the books-I'm still working on several and I've reviewed many others already on this blog!) I'll keep you updated on the final list and try and post more of my reviews as I read. If you've read any, I'd love to know your thoughts!
I really wanted to like this book since I typically love novels in verse. But this one fell short for me. The characterization was lacking-there were several characters that were introduced that were gone shortly after and I never really got to know them or their purpose in the story. Also, because this is a story of abuse told from the "invisible" daughter's point of view, the threat of abuse didn't loom as large as I think it would have if it had been told by one of the kids who was being abused. It still is a powerful story and I think some readers who enjoy realistic fiction told in verse would enjoy this one.
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Rating: 2.75/5 Stars
Hmm...what to say? What an odd and interesting book! This was just a little weird for me. It's not for people who like their books wrapped up neatly-the narrator is unrealiable so you never know what part of the story is the truth which can be very frustrating for the reader. The ending leaves you scratching your head and wondering what was real and what wasn't. And I could have done without the big twist-I would have preffered the book to be about a pathological liar and not a pathological liar with a twist (and yes, the twist made me roll my eyes and think "can't we have realistic fiction anymore?")
Lost by Jacqueline Davies
Rating: 2/5 Stars
One of my least favorite on the list. I don't even know why this one didn't work for me. I just felt bored with the story. There were supposed to be a few plot twists, but I saw them coming, so there was no surprise for me, which made me disappointed. I also couldn't really relate to the main character, which made it hard for me to get into the story. I don't like historical fiction that much to begin with, so it was hard to get into this one with the slow moving storyline. I think it'd be better for older readers and readers who typically enjoy historical fiction.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Um..how did this not win the Printz Award?? I'm still puzzling over that one!
This was one of my favorites on the list and I think it's a must read for high
schoolers! Lia's story is heartbreaking but one you can't pull yourself away
from. My heart went out to her as I read (or actually listened to) this book.
I also loved the audiobook narration. When Lia is thinking about calories or
about food, the narrator has this whispering voice that portrays the inner
voice Lia is dealing with. A powerful novel about a horrible disease. It's
heartbreaking yet hopeful and the story sticks with you long after you read it.
Does your state have a reading list? I'd love to know about it and what books are on it!
Full Disclosure: All books were library copies or audiobook downloads I paid for with my
very own money!