Book #41 of the year was Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken, and book #43 was the sequel, Wayfarer. I found the time travel world-building a little hard to figure out in the first book - I kept wondering if I had missed a previous volume - but once I got into the story, I really enjoyed it. "I believe that nothing breaks the bonds between people, not years or distance," says a character at one point, and I'm a total sucker for that idea.
Book #42 was Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Willow Chase, the 12-year-old protagonist, tells us, "It has been my experience that rewarding and heart-breaking often go hand in hand." That's been my experience, too, and that was definitely my experience while reading this book. It's almost unbearable to go through Willow's loss, but wonderful to watch as her world begins to be rebuilt around her.
Book #44 was If I Stay, by Gayle Forman. More unbearable loss, more rebuilding. Oddly for a book with this premise (girl is in life-threatening car accident, girl gets to decide whether to die or keep living), this one was very realistic. I'm going to grab the sequel on my next trip to the library.
Book #45 was Leaving Gee's Bend, by Irene Latham, an online friend. (I've reviewed her books of poetry here and here.) I got this for my classroom a while ago, but hadn't had a chance to read it yet. I loved this story, set in rural Alabama in 1932. It's the story of Ludelphia Bennett, who, for the first time in her ten years, is leaving Gee's Bend, because she has to look for medical help for her mother. Ludelphia and her family have a life of poverty, and I appreciated the way this fact was not romanticized. However, they also have strong family and community bonds, and nothing symbolizes this better than the quilting theme of the book. Highly recommended.
This post is linked to the June 2017 Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy and the June 17th Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon.
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