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Not Your Mother's Book Club Blog
Books Inc., the West’s oldest independent bookstore, started Not Your Mother’s Book Club™ with one big idea: to bring the best writers in the world to the best readers in the world. And we're not REALLY a club. That's just our name, and really, what's in a name? We're actually just an inclusive bunch of PASSIONATE readers who get to hang out with the coolest authors on the scene!
We throw parties, eat snacks and read, read, read, read, read...
We also have a lot of fun ... and we invite you to join us.
Local author and upcoming NYMBC guest Nina LaCour's newest (and aptly titled) The Disenchantments is cool. The characters are cool, the settings are cool, the subject matter is cool. Even the VW bus is cool, in a retro, we-don't-have-any-of-our-own-money-so-we-borrowed-this-bad*ss-old car kinda way. I almost peed myself from the coolness lent to the story by a graffiti artist the protagonist befriends.
But I don't just love this book because it's cool. Or because it's about a bunch of kids from San Francisco. Nor do I love it because it takes place along that long drive from San Francisco to Oregon (with a brief foray into Washington), which is a drive I've taken at least 5 times now. I don't just love it because the writing is crisp, and lovely, and simple and evocative. But those are all parts of it.
I love it because it perfectly emulates the sensation of being done with high school, and realizing that, oh sh*t, this is when real life is supposed to start. And it illuminates this feeling perfectly, honestly, with touches of humor and with elegant prose. I haven't read a book this evocative of a particular moment in my own life since I read Lucy, by Jamaica Kincaid (which, if you haven't read, then you should, as it perfectly embodies what it feels like to be in your early twenties, a little pissed and a lot realizing that first person perspective is inherantly a little lonely.)
(By the way, if you're wondering about all the * in the swear words, I know, it's lame. But this also isn't my personal website, so professionalism, yo, it is a must.)
(Also, if you're annoyed about all the parenthetical asides, sorry. There's no excuse for that.)
Nina relies on no stereotypes, no tropes and no shortcuts in this coming of age story. She creates real, honest, pissed, confused, hopeful, loving teenagers. So if you know any of those, or are (were) one yourself, then pick up The Disenchantments. It's just for you.
Meet author Caitlin Kittredge at our FAB Berkeley event next week!
What would you do if you had only 6 months to say good-bye to your life? This is the question facing Nikki, who 6 months ago was taken (or did she willing go?) into the Everneath with Cole and she left behind her boyfriend Jake, distant father and mayor, and younger brother. For 100 years her emotions were feed on by Cole to sustain his existence. Somehow surviving, she chooses to go back to the Surface, it only just to say goodbye.
Brodi wrote a WONDERFUL update on a classic tragedy. She (yes Brodi is a girl) turned a devastating tragedy into a page turning conflicting romance. From the moment Cole holds out his hand to Nikki the adventure never stops, the conflict gets harder and decisions more difficult. Weather you are a fan of paranormal fan wondering about contemporary or a contemporary fan wondering about paranormal, this book will please both. It is filled with love, decision-making, conflict and tension. It’s heartbreaking and frustrating! You will cry, you will laugh and you will want to throw a tantrum like a 3 year old!
Brodi wrote a tantalizing debut that is sure to be talked about 100 years from now, granted that we all haven’t been Feed on. Be prepared to be heartbroken. Everyone should read this book! I know I'm counting down the days until book 2 comes out!"
Tara from Tater's Tall Tails
Check out Tara's FAB blog here--> http://taterstalltails.blogspot.com/
"There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next."
The book begins with Lena looking back at the burning fence and Alex on the other side. After Lena must run as far from the Portland boarder into the Wilds as fast as possible. When she can no longer run she walks. When she can no longer walk she crawls, then drags herself. When Lena feels she can"t push herself any longer she lies down and waits to die. In this time she goes through a "rebirth" process where she leaves the old Lena back in Portland. She is save by Raven who is the leader of one of the homesteads in the Wilds. Lena is nursed back to health but is weighed down by Alex's death. She has constent nightmares and can't seem to let go of the past. At the Homestead Lena does little to help besides cleaning dishes and sweeping. The only people that seem to be nice are Hunter, Raven, and Sarah. Tack another leader at the homested, feels Lena is a waste of a good bed. Raven makes Lena choose is she will help them prepare to migrate North or stay at the settlement alone during the harsh winter. It is after she chooses to help that the story takes off!
Lena is now in the New York approved town. She is a member of the resistance and is living with Raven and Tack. Undercover as a high school student, Lena's job is to follow DFA and attend all the meetings. A huge rally is planed and trouble is stirring from the scavengers. Lena is given the job to watch Julian Fineman son of Thomas Fineman the founder of DFA, at all coast. Once the scavengers attack chaos erupts and Lena must follow Julian into the old subway lines only to be captured. Stuck in a cell with Julian, Lena must work with him if they want to escape the scavengers.Lena will learn the truth of the resistance and how far people will go to succeed. Will they survive? Can Lena learn to love another after a tragedy with Alex? Will she ever meet her mother?
I found this book so much more interesting and faster paced then Delirium. This book is written differently, as if the style changed just like Lena. It goes in a past versus present meaning one chapter is in the past and the next is in the present. It was easy to get into and flows beautifully! The change Lena goes through is great and the entire time you learn more about her and the inner conflicts she has. Many new characters are introduced and all of them have good stories. Many of your burning questions from the previous book are answered. You also learn of the different people that don't "fit" in the DFA's system. Be prepared to inter the world of war and love!
Usually I write reviews in a sort of "royal-Books-Inc.-we" kind of voice. But this time, I had such a personal reaction to the book that I felt like I owed it to the content to write a personal review. Hi, I'm Maggie, and if you come to the NYMBC events you know me as the rambling, babbling emcee who usually doesn't say the right thing before the authors start being awesome. I run NYMBC because I love YA, and this new novel from John Green is exactly why. I loved The Fault in Our Stars. Sixteen year old me is PISSED that grownup me got to the be the one to read it first.
Rather than explaining what this book is about, I'd rather tell you why it's worth reading. Again and again. And then passing to a friend, and telling strangers to read, and then giving it as a gift to all the cool people you know.
In a genre that is currently pretty light on realism, John Green presents the reader with a story that is so unflinchingly real that it left me bawling. On a plane. On the flight home from New Orleans. With a bunch of hungover people who really didn't care that the crazy lady next to them was bawling. My boyfriend and supplyer of tissues was concerned. "Are you ok?" he asked. And I didn't know what to say.
In the novel, the two main characters are obsessed with a fictional book called An Imperial Ailment. It's so formative for both of them, that they feel as though it predicts the way they feel, that it is somehow speaking only to them. I remember reading Slaughterhouse Five when I was that age and feeling the exact same way. There is, incidentally, a "So it goes" in the narration, much to my delight. What is amazing about this book, is that I imagine it will do for many readers what Slaughterhouse Five did for me, what An Imperial Ailment did for these characters. It will pull back the curtain of consciousness, which can be so isolating, and remind us: You are and you are not alone. Life is cruel and beautiful, and then it is over. I kept thinking of Billy Pilgrim's headstone as I read this book:
Everything was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt.
So go read The Fault in Our Stars. Then share it with someone who matters to you.