Tag Archive | Maine

SMALL TOWN HEARTS, don’t fall for a summer boy! by Lillie Vale (book review)

book cover of Small Town Hearts, by Lillie Vale. Published by Swoon Reads | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Future plans – check
Summer to enjoy – check
Romantic complications – ohhhh.

Babe is content to enjoy the summer after graduation, living in the lighthouse and managing Busy’s coffeehouse as tourist season in their little Maine coastal town begins.

Even knowing that her two best friends will leave for college is okay (soon she’ll tell them she’s staying at Busy’s… soon) – until Penny dumps Chad who decides to kiss Babe, then Penny finds out and takes Chad back, freezing her out of their lifetime friendship!

Add to that Babe’s ex-girlfriend Elodie (still not out) back from college and the almost-college guy Levi (already a famous artist!) who’s renting Mom’s house while she’s working away, both here for the summer art residency (small, small world in this small, small town).

Nice to show Levi around, watch him sketch and learn to appreciate life at the shore and her baking skills (always experimenting for the coffeehouse)… and her.

But when the beach picnics and blueberry picking and the residency are over, he’ll leave for art college (so say his parents and agent), and Babe is going to stay here, baking and managing Busy’s.

Summer ends with the artists’ exhibition and the town’s sandcastle building contest – what else will end?

“Never fall for a summer boy” – local wisdom is rarely wrong, but maybe this time?

This debut novel softly celebrates becoming yourself and being yourself in the face of others’ expectations.

What’s your favorite summer out-of-town memory?
**kmm

Book info: Small Town Hearts / Lillie Vale. Swoon Reads, 2019. [author site] [publisher site] Personal collection; cover image courtesy of the publisher.

WELCOME TO DWEEB CLUB & video of their future!? by Betsy Uhrig (MG book review)

book cover of Welcome to Dweeb Club, by Betsy Uhrig. Published by Margaret McElderry Books / Simon & Schuster | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Youngest kids in the school now,
gotta find your place all over again,
“Join a club” they say, “it’ll be fun…”

Being the first to sign up for a new club means that Jason and other seventh graders get to choose how things go, right?

Hmmm… H.A.I.R. Club isn’t about hair care at all (half the kids leave the first meeting) – its members are the only ones allowed to view the new state-of-the art security system at Flounder Bay Upper School, Maine.

Their first task – find out who is stealing all the croutons from the school cafeteria.

So they watch the late night security recordings and see a skunk heading down the hall. Then, at exactly midnight, the cafeteria is filled with high school kids – how did they get in?

A few more viewings and the eight Club members discover that those teenagers are them, five years in the future – how is this possible?

And none of them really like how their future selves behave – what can they do about that?

After a liquid + security laptop accident, the Club seeks help from Jason’s techie uncle who’s mystified by the programs on the security system – really?!?

Are they really seeing recordings from their own futures?
Why would a skunk seek out croutons?
Who donated the security system anyway?

One humane skunk trap, midnight stakeout missions, the continuous mocking of Jason’s bratty little sister – upper school is definitely different than elementary school! (except that last part, of course)

If offered a chance to see into your own future, would you?
**kmm

Book Info: Welcome to Dweeb Club / Betsy Uhrig. Margaret McElderry Books / Simon & Schuster, 2021. (author site) (publisher site) Review copy & cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Friendship, loneliness & THE CARE AND KEEPING OF FREDDY, by Susan Hill Long (MG book review)

book cover of The Care and Keeping of Freddy, by Susan Hill Long. Published by Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster | recommended on BooksYALove.com

A hungry lizard amid a cricket shortage,
a sad dad trying to make it through,
a gone mom who made a new family without her…

In their small coastal Maine town, the red-haired boy stealing a cat collar from the pet store definitely stood out to best friends Georgia and Maria.

A new foster kid, Roland insists that his big brother will arrive on August 1st to take him away – the two middle-graders aren’t sure what to believe about that.

Of course, Freddy the bearded dragon is no substitute for her mother’s love, so Georgia is thrilled when her mom Blythe announces that she’s finally bringing baby Rosie to visit… and stay in town, new stepfather and all!

An abandoned glass house in the woods to explore, Maria writing her mystery novel, and the big town parade for July 4th – lots of excitement for the three friends, if Roland’s little foster brother would quit being such a pest.

Can Georgia balance friend-time with being-Rosie’s-big-sister-time?
What’s Blythe’s new big idea?
Why won’t Blythe let Georgia bring Freddy over?

By the author of Josie Bloom and the Emergency of Life (my recommendation here)

What’s the best thing about your town?
**kmm

Book Info: The Care and Keeping of Freddy / Susan Hill Long. Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, 2021. (author site) (publisher site) Review copy & cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Squirrels, hidden money, wandering grandpa – what next?! JOSIE BLOOM & THE EMERGENCY OF LIFE, by Susan Hill Long (book review)

book cover of Josie Bloom and the Emergency of Life, by Susan Hill Long. Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Money in the fridge,
water in a saucepan for dinner,
Another emergency, Grandpa?

Josie and Grandpa have done okay since her mom died, but the 11 year old is sure tired of making sure the bills are paid and getting teased at school for her old clothes and worrying about Grandpa’s late-night rambles.

Her best friend Winky loves baseball, but being legally blind keeps him on the sidelines as water boy. If only he could play ball…

Money goes in and out of Grandpa’s bank account strangely, and his outbursts and actions get stranger. If only Josie could find a way to make some money herself…

When Winky’s baseball idol is sent down to their small Maine town’s minor league team, Josie recognizes him from the framed photo on Mom’s nightstand. But Joe Viola doesn’t pitch like he did in the big leagues and doesn’t act like a hero anymore either.

Can Joe Viola break his jinx?
Will Winky ever get the chance to play baseball?
Could Joe be Josie’s long-lost father?

Grandpa’s behavior gets more erratic, Josie redoubles her efforts to keep their home, and her teacher starts getting nosy about their situation. Emergency!

How can you help a friend when things get tough?
**kmm

Book info: Josie Bloom and the Emergency of Life / Susan Hill Long. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2020. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

W for HOW WE BECAME WICKED, by Alexander Yates (YA book review)

book cover of How We Became Wicked, by Alexander Yates. Published by Caitlyn Dloughy/Atheneum | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Safe in their domed towns,
from the zing-sting of plague-bringer Singers,
but not from the secrets, deadly secrets!

Turned into a Wicked cannibal by an insect’s sting! No wonder rich investors fled to this remote resort on the rocky Atlantic coast, fortified it with domes and tunnels and walls and supplies aplenty.

Those turned Wicked by sting or breath or blood look human and are so polite, asking first if they may rip off your arm to eat it – only their inability to answer a certain question unmasks them as no longer True.

Natalie’s grandfather is Wicked, and there are only so many places to lock up a clever cannibal on small Puffin Island – how long can she and her parents keep him at bay?

Years pass and children become few in Goldsport, as the radio voice reminds True families that on a certain night a youngster may be stung by Singers and become immune to the Vex, but no guarantees…

The island lighthouse starts working after years of darkness, a Wicked woman at the Goldsport gate knows Astrid’s father, and the town archives reveal things that teens Astrid and Hank aren’t supposed to see.

Can anyone really become Vexed, infected yet remaining True?
What happened in the little town near Goldsport as the Wickedness advanced?
What happens when the blue spray doesn’t chase the Singers away anymore?

Trying to wall out what you don’t want…has that ever worked?
**kmm

Book info: How We Became Wicked / Alexander Yates. Caitlyn Dloughy Books/ Atheneum, 2019. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Memories and expectations – listen in….

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC tell of memory and expectations, with teens with so much of their futures riding on now.

You can download each title pair (just click on the link below) from Thursday through Wednesday, then you can listen to them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Single-narrator audiobooks or full-cast productions with sound effects? This summertime @AudioSYNC free program lets to try many genres of books – for free!

CD cover of Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer | Read by Will Lasley Published by Blink | recommended on BooksYALove.comRemember to Forget
(download here free from 6-12 July 2017)
by Ashley Royer
Read by Will Lasley
Published by Blink

Sent to Dad’s house in Maine from Australia to shake his depression, Luke isn’t sure he wants to “get over” his girlfriend’s death or to talk again or to meet anybody (especially the girl who reminds him of someone…)
 
Rebuttal
(download here free from 6-12 July 2017)CD cover of Rebuttal by Jyotsna Hariharan | Read by Phoebe Strole, Michael Crouch, Nina Mehta, a Full Cast Published by HarperAudio | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Jyotsna Hariharan
Read by Phoebe Strole, Michael Crouch, Nina Mehta, a Full Cast
Published by HarperAudio

A 2nd place at debate tournament gets Alex to her dream writer’s workshop, but she needs a debate partner. Passing AP Biology gets Jeremy closer to becoming a doctor (his parents’ dream), but he needs a tutor.  Helping each other will be easy, right?

Expectations can be a heavy burden – how do you cope?
**kmm

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D is My Diary From the Edge of the World, by Jodi Lynn Anderson

book cover of My Diary From the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson published by Aladdin  | recommended on BooksYALove.comDragons, mermaids, Sasquatches,
the earth is flat,
every school textbook says so.

If only Gracie’s family can get to the edge of the world and cross over to the The Extraordinary World, that mythical globe-shaped Earth where they can find a cure for her little brother’s illness before the Cloud takes him from them forever…

Recently released in paperback, Gracie’s travelogue told through her Diary (chapter 1 here, free) should be at your local library or independent bookstore; if not, ask for it!

When have you seen a Dark Cloud and wondered?
**kmm

Book info: My Diary From the Edge of the World / Jodi Lynn Anderson. Aladdin, 2015 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When a Cloud comes for Gracie’s little brother, the 12 year old’s family packs up the RV and goes searching for the mythical ‘Extraordinary World’ to find a cure.

Leaving their Maine hometown, the Lockwoods (plus Oliver, recently orphaned by a Sasquatch attack) visit a witch (Gracie’s grandmother), then head west where they encounter a strange circus, gamble against a genie in Luck Town, and hire a guardian angel on the coast for the perilous voyage to the far south edge of the world.

Can’t they outrun that Dark Cloud?
Will her big sister ever stop complaining about the trip?
How far is it to a miracle?

Shadows on the Sea, by Joan Hiatt Harlow (book review) – German U-boats… off the Maine coast?

book cover of Shadows on the Sea by Joan Hiatt Harlow published by Margaret K McElderry BooksWorries during wartime,
safe with Nana in Maine,
but town is full of secrets…

Staying far from big cities should keep Jill out of danger as her parents travel separately to California and Newfoundland in 1942, but her grandmother’s small town has many secrets, much gossip, and treachery closer than they know.

The author continues her story of teens during World War II with The Watcher,  which follows Wendy from Shadows on the Sea.

**kmm

Book info: Shadows on the Sea / Joan Hiatt Harlow.  Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003, 2005 pbk. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Jill just wants a friend and good news from her traveling parents in 1942, but the 14 year old soon uncovers a secret that endangers everyone in Nana’s coastal Maine town.

On her first solo train trip, Jill wishes she could be with her father on his USO singing tour, rather than going to Nana’s house to await word that her mother made it safely across to Newfoundland. Those U-boats prowling like wolves…

At least she can visit Wendy, who came to work at her aunt’s inn for the summer, and the lighthouse keeper’s son Quarry, who says there are more rumors than usual in town. As Jill learns her way around Winter Haven, she stumbles upon hidden pigeon coops, meets very snooty girls who invite her into their special club, and finds a wounded bird with a message strapped to its leg… in German.

Will mother make it safely back to the US?
Are the rumors about Wendy’s aunt true?
What does the pigeon’s message mean?

“Loose lips sink ships” – in Winter Haven, the warning on patriotic posters is true in this tale of World War II on the home front. Followed by The Watcher. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Black Butterfly, by Shirley Reva Vernick (book review) – ghosts, winter, love

book cover of The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick published by Cinco Puntos PressChristmas away from Mom,
a place she’s never been,
love and mystery that she never expected!

Ghosts who can’t break free of the inn, strange relationships between inn employees – and what an inn! Super gourmet food, an innkeeper who drinks her dinner (Mom had never even mentioned Bubbles before now), and the innkeeper’s handsome son…

Published simultaneously in paperback and hardback, this 2014 title should be at your local library or independent bookstore. If you can’t find it, ask for it (or you’ll never discover the ghosts’ secrets!).

**kmm

Book info: The Black Butterfly / Shirley Reva Vernick. Cinco Puntos Press, 2014. [author Facebook page]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Mom’s extended ghost-hunting trip out west sends Penny to a Maine island inn for Christmas where she learns about love, cooking, and ghostly etiquette.

Bracing herself for two weeks of boredom with one of Mom’s long-lost friends, the quotation-collecting teen is charmed by inn owner Bubbles, delighted by the inn’s chef and culinary opportunities, astonished to find herself falling in love with Bubbles’ son George – and welcomed by one ghost while being attacked by another!

What unfinished business is keeping Blue and Starla moored to their death site?
Why can Penny see the ghosts when it’s her single mom who tries to film them?
And why hasn’t Mom ever mentioned Bubbles in all the times that she’s left Penny with an acquaintance while she ghost-hunts?

Spend a snow-bound Christmas at The Black Butterfly Inn for mystery, love, revenge, memories, and gourmet hot chocolate. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Vengeance, by Megan Miranda (book review) – cursed lake, who dies next?

book cover of Vengeance by Megan Miranda published by BloomsburyA curse?
An evil too big for their small town?
A life for a life…

Ever since she spent 11 minutes under the ice, ever since she was stolen from Falcon Lake’s chill depths, Delaney’s hands shake when she senses death coming for someone.

Why won’t she let her boyfriend see her hands when she’s at his house now?

This gripping sequel to Fracture follows Delaney, Decker, and their friends through a hot summer when no one dares swim in the deep lake which took more lives after it was denied Delaney’s death – the curse or something more evil?

Check out my no-spoilers recommendation of Fracture  here (even read its first chapters free via the publisher here), then find this psychological thriller today at your local library or independent bookstore.

Can curses be real?
**kmm

Book info: Fracture / Megan Miranda. Walker Children’s Books, 2014. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: The curse that followed Delaney out of Falcon Lake must be real – which friend will it touch by death next?

Decker loves Delaney too much to believe in the curse, even if she can sense death coming after escaping the lake’s icy waters. But can he keep loving her when she keeps silent instead of keeping death away?

The new girl Maya has to cope with her ill mother alone, Janna misses her dead twin Carson, and Delaney now must face the superstitious without Decker’s strength beside her.

Water accidents at home and away,
Masquerade mix-ups gone deadly,
Will any of their senior class escape the Falcon Lake curse?

This sequel to Fracture spends a hot, tense summer with Delaney and friends as the cold, deep lake broods over their small Maine town.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)