Tag Archive | Florida

M is Messenger with psychic gift she doesn’t want! by Carol Lynch Williams (book review)

book cover of Messenger by Carol Lynch Williams, published by Simon & Schuster BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comHer Gift arrives at age 15!
For cookery or fixing any hair, like her aunts?
Oh no! Not talking to ghosts?!

Maybe Evie will be the one Messenger in her family line who doesn’t have a psychic gift…nope! The Florida teen can see and hear and communicate with dead people!

How can that girl Tommie get into their house without Evie’s momma and stepdad hearing her?

Should Evie really kiss cute Buddy from across the street?

Wild thunderstorms, seeing dead people, and going to a new high school – what a birthday week!

Yes or no for seeing dead people yourself?

Book info: Messenger / Carol Lynch Williams. Paula Wiseman Books (Simon Schuster), 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

E is the END with Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, by Shaun David Hutchinson (book review)

book cover of Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson, published by Simon Pulse | recommended on BooksYALove.comHer virgin birth – science proves true.
Toys speaking messages from Beyond – also true.
People snatched by a sky-portal when she heals others – ditto.

Elena didn’t ask for healing powers, or for a drunken stepfather, or for inanimate objects to channel divine instructions to her since childhood.

But in author Hutchinson’s odd Florida (setting of his At the Edge of the Universe , my pick here) strange things happen regularly.

What is stealing away people? Why? Where do they go?

Maybe it’s a better place than Elena’s high school and now-constant demands that she heal people.

Fiction or science fiction? (or fantasy?)

Book info: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza / Shaun David Hutchinson. Simon Pulse, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Depression cured by baking 100 Days of Cake!? by Shari Goldhagen (book review)

book cover of 100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen published by Atheneum BfYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comLow-key job at pet store,
Golden Girls reruns for comfort,
should make anyone happy enough, except…

Mom’s offbeat depression remedy (“just bake the perfect cake!”), therapist’s soothing talk (and he is just so cute!), trying not to disappoint friend Elle and new co-worker Alex (but sometimes even putting on her sandals is too much effort) – Molly isn’t exactly reveling in her summer before senior year as depression digs its claws into her.

Find the May 2017 paperback or 2016 hardcover at your local library or independent bookstore to see how Molly copes with change, her bake-happy mom, and trying to throw off the crushing load of depression during all 100 Days of Cake.

When is it okay to pass on advice that might be more placebo than not?

Book info: 100 Days of Cake / Shari Goldberg. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback).  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: The waves of depression keep getting deeper for Molly during summer before senior year, as the Florida teen wishes that therapy really would help her, longs for her so-cute therapist, and wants everything to stop changing so she has time to get better.

Her successful hairdresser mom is certain that the 100 Cakes Challenge will perk up Molly, her best friend Elle is easing away, and FishTopia’s owner wants to sell out.

Without their job together, what will happen to her sorta-relationship with Alex?
How can she think about the SAT and college choices when she’s too tired, all the time?
Why can’t she just spend all day talking about music with dreamy Dr. B?

Ooey-Gooey Butter Cake (very gooey), Wedding Cake with Fondant (extra-lumpy), Asian Bubble Tea Cake (would her late dad like that one?) – one hundred cakes, one hundred summer days, one million chances to try again…

Ozzie’s world is shrinking At the Edge of the Universe (fiction) by Shaun David Hutchinson

book cover of At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson published by Simon Pulse | recommended on BooksYALove.com First Tommy is gone,
then the memory of him is gone from every mind,
except one…

Why can’t anyone remember Tommy? His best friend since 2nd grade, boyfriend since 8th grade, love of his life – by his side on July 3rd, gone on July 4th, and no one remembers him but Ozzie!

Just published this week, you can find Ozzie’s story – with each chapter title showing a smaller and smaller diameter of the universe from science websites – at your local library or independent bookstore now.

What do you do when a friend leaves?

Book info: At the Edge of the Universe / Shaun David Hutchinson. Simon Pulse, 2017. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: If Ozzie can just find where his boyfriend Tommy has gone, then the high school senior can stop his family from disintegrating, celebrate gender-fluid best friend Lua’s musical success, and prove to everyone that Tommy does exist!

And discover why lab partner Calvin started cutting himself after quitting the wrestling team.

And stop the universe from shrinking, shrinking, with his little Florida town at the center.

How to Be Bad, by Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, E. Lockhart (fiction) – Florida roadtrip, funny friendships

book cover of How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle Sarah Mlynowski E Lockhart published by Harper TeenRoad trip!
Grab some junk food and a towel, a couple of maps,some sights to see, and make some memories on the road.
Wonder if Jesse really thought this whole road trip thing through before she and Vicks and Mel left town…

Yes, there really is a Niceville, Florida and a huge Old Joe stuffed gator at Wakulla Springs and a mysterious Coral Castle.

The three teens take turns telling their story as a straightforward trip down to the University of Miami turns into quite the adventure. The three authors who collaborated on How to Be Bad took their own road trip so they could weave Florida’s true atmosphere into every page.

Create great summer memories with good times, good friends, and good books, including these intriguing road trip novels, too:
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend, by Emily Horner
Don’t Stop Now, by Julie Halpern
The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love, by Jennifer E. Smith

Book info: How to Be Bad / Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, E. Lockhart. Harper Teen, 2008. [Lauren’s website and Facebook]  [Sarah’s website]    [Emily’s website and blog]   [publisher site]   [book trailer]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk:  Summer before senior year should be more than just work, everyone says. So Jesse decides on a quick road trip with her best friend Vicks, and yeah, the new girl can go, too. Long miles and long days later, the three have more adventures than they planned on and make some memories they didn’t expect.

It’s just a road trip for three girls who work at Waffle House together – Jesse isn’t really trying to outrun the news from Mom’s cancer doctor. And Vicks needs to visit her boyfriend at college football camp (not calling her for two weeks – huh!). Even misplaced rich girl Mel wants to see huge Old Joe gator and Coral Castle and other unique sights featured in Fantastical Florida. Nine hours to Miami, nine hours back, an easy weekend drive, right?

Jesse does need some time away from Mom and all the dogs at their trailer for grooming and Mom’s boyfriend with the icee cart. They just can’t see how praying about Mom’s diagnosis would help, how going to church with Grandma would make them all feel better.

The little sister to a houseful of big brothers, Vicks loves sports and weird stuff like Old Joe, refuses to be a clingy girlfriend – still not cool that Brady won’t call her from the university after they’ve been dating for a year. She’ll just remind him how she’s different from all those athlete-worshippers he’ll meet in Miami.

Mel’s rich dad keeps moving their family around, so here they are in Niceville, another big house, another place to not fit in. A middle kid, she gets outvoted by her crazy younger brother and perfect older sister on everything. Having a chance to make some real friends – that would make paying for any road trip worthwhile.

A temperamental car, roadmaps gone wrong, detours and cute guys and crazy weather – each chapter is written from one girl’s viewpoint by one author, creating a triple look at a simple road trip that turned into so much more. Who knew that trying to be a little bad could turn out to be good after all?

Extras at the end of the book include the Bad Girls’ Playlist (music for a road trip), a Bad Girls’ quiz, and notes on how writing pals and popular young adult authors E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle wrote How to Be Bad together when they lived far apart. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)