All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This book. You guys. This book. In it, we meet Violet Markey as well as Theodore Finch, who stole my heart and broke it. The characters in this book were phenomenal and layered, and I value that so much. Great characters are my #1 thing, even more than beautiful writing. If you give me great characters, I’ll be a slave to your writing prowess. I was so, so captured by these characters and their beautiful and heartbreaking story. Let’s just say that both Violet and Finch are hurting souls, and the opening scene is them meeting on the ledge of the school bell tower, both on the verge of jumping. Go. Read. This. Book. I need to be able to talk about it with someone.
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
This book was pretty un-put-downable. I tore through it. The reviews have been nothing but raving, and I’m pleased to say that I loved it as well. It’s a story about Skylar “Sky” Evans, who wants nothing more than to escape her hometown, and about Josh Mitchell, a Marine who returns home without his leg. There are a couple of Ultimate No-No’s that characters can do in books that are sort of “unforgivable” for me … and this one had one. But I still really loved it. A lot. And highly recommend that you read it.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
What a treat this book is! I’ve long known the story of Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, Captain Hook, the lost boys, and all the rest … but knowing the story didn’t prepare me for the gem of this book. It was delightful. The voice is incredible and fascinating and clever. It reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland in the way it made me think– but it was even more enjoyable! I tore through this novel breathlessly … even though I already knew what would happen. Find a copy of this sweet story for your own.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
This book is essentially a day in the life of high school student Leonard Peacock– in particular, the day he has planned to kill one of his classmates and then himself. It is dark, heavy stuff– but there are lots of moments of good, lighter times too. I don’t want to say a lot about this one except that I’m really glad I read it (I listened to the audio version), and you should read it too.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I’m still sorting out my thoughts on this book, which has been called “the most important book of 2014”– in another place on the internet, I’ve heard it called “the most important book of the decade.” It’s a World War II story, alternating perspectives of a young, brilliant French girl and a young, brilliant German boy. I felt quite at home with this book for adults, since the characters were young people, just like in the YA stories I typically read. This book was more literary, slower, very beautiful, but very sad. I … liked it. I did not love the way it ended. In fact, I nearly chose to stop reading with only about thirty pages left. But I’m glad I did. This book is lovely, important, beautiful, well-written, and I’m glad I read it. I don’t want to say much more. It was its own experience reading this story. I am ready for more YA now. 🙂
Read All the Bright Places recently. So brillant.
Wasn’t it? I loved it so much– and it just destroyed me!
You seem to like having your heart broken, pulverized, put in a vice, destroyed, and otherwise assaulted. I find this terribly confusing.
I answer that very question on my blog later this week!
Loved All the Bright Places so much. Those characters were ever so rich and full and flawed and true. This author had experienced grief as noted at the end of the novel and it twas evident in the truthful way she wrote about it.. Loved it. They are making it into a movie. Also read Forgive Me Leonard Peacock…very dark..very mature writing but also I think should be read by all teachers. The part about the one teacher being the only one who looked into his eyes that day.. Oh man that hit me. Read this author’s other adult books and enjoyed them too.
I’m excited about the movie, but also not. Not sure my heart can handle it.
I hadn’t heard that someone said All the Light We Cannot See is the most important book of the last decade but I thin that’s definitely overselling it (and I have some YA books set during WWII I might hand that person.) I enjoyed it, there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it (although I felt the ending could have been left off perhaps) but it was a book ended by pretention which rubbed me the wrong way. Again, I think that some more simple, less literary books say similarly important things in a more accessible and meaningful way but, I think I’m in the minority on this one!
(I did love the idea of science radio programs for children. Yes, please!