Oiy, life. Anyway, I'm crossing things off the To-Do list--the one in my day planner and the one in my head.
So, I did the Banned Books give-away drawing tonight and emailed the winners--there were 5! So, if you entered, check your inbox.
Also, some books I reviewed finally came out, so you can now go grab your very own copy of Hip Hop Speaks to Children (review here) Vibes (review here), and Paper Towns (review here). Go check 'em out.
AND! Last spring, I tried to read all of the Fusion Stories, but not all of them were out yet, so here are the reviews of the two I missed!
Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer Janet S. Wong
In this verse-novel sequel to Minn and Jake, Jake has gone back to LA for the summer. Jake thought it would be fun to go back to LA, but his grandmother keeps stuffing him full of food (but not the kind he likes) and Soup keeps waking him up at 6am. Not only that, but his friends have all moved on and and don't have time to hang out with him.
Then Minn comes down to LA, despite the fact Jake hasn't written back once all summer. Sadly, things don't go well. Minn's upset that Jake never told her his grandmother is Korean. Jake's upset that he cares. Then, when Minn and Jake run into cute Haylee at Disneyland and Jake totally ignores Minn, things get really bad.
An excellent look at friendship, going home again, and trying to navigate the whole boy/girl dynamic. I liked it even better than the first one.
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before David Yoo
Albert Kim is an intentional loser--in a life where was always on the fringe and never really fit in, he decided it was just easier to stop trying. No one can reject you if you don't make advances towards friendship in the first place. But then, he ends up spending the summer working with Mia, 1/2 of the school's power couple. Only, Mia and Ryan have broken up and by the end of the summer, Albert and Mia are... something. Albert's days as an intentional loser are over, not that it's that easy, of course. To make matters worse, Ryan gets cancer and needs Mia by his side constantly. Can Albert hang on to her without making everyone in town kill him?
Part of the book are funny and Yoo writes an unbelievably authentic voice in Albert. Sadly, it was also one that really annoyed me. I knew Albert in high school--not my favorite person and I was never sure why Mia went for him. Part of me felt really sorry for him when things went wrong, but part of me just wanted him to shut up. I think teen boys, especially the lovable losers, will identify and like it.
Full disclosure: ARC provided by publisher, via Picnic Basket.