Books #7 and #8 of this year were Confusion and Casting Off, by Elizabeth Jane Howard. These are the third and fourth books of the Cazalet Chronicle, an enormously entertaining and engrossing series about the Cazalet family in the years before, during, and immediately after the second World War. Howard's great strength is her characters, whom the reader comes to know. I also enjoyed her attention to the details of the historical period.
Book #9 was a YA title, Sarah Dessen's Someone Like You. Dessen's books are very popular among my middle school girls. Her characters are believable and motivated by the things that really do motivate teenagers. This book deals with friendship, the appeal of "bad boys," and teen pregnancy. I found myself groaning at the birth scene - it just screamed "teen movie." However, I cheered for Halley's growing awareness that "someone like her" is worth much more than she thought.
This post is linked to today's Saturday Review of Books.
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