Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Some Short Stories, and Some Long Ones

Can I just tell you that I have a LOT of new books right now, and keeping up is hard!

Okay. I'm done.

First come the short story collections. We have two.

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci.

Featuring stories from (drumroll please): M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Hope Harson, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Tracy Lynn, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Cynthia & Greg Leitich Smith, Scott Westerfeld, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr! Simply put, this book is Made of Awesome.

I, of course, flipped right to the story by John Green. DFTBA.

And, if you enjoy the story by Kelly Link in Geektastic, be sure to check out this collection of short stories, which is all Kelly Link all the time: Pretty Monsters

The book contains, but is not limited to: A phone booth in Las Vegas (those are around), Aliens (who knows), Unhelpful Wizards (would you be helpful if you were a wizard?), Possibly carnivorous sofas (mine eats coins and darning needles), A handbag with a village inside it (seems that way sometimes), Tennessee Fainting Goats (exist), Dueling librarians (true story), A statue of George Washington (they make those, you know), A boy named Onion (it could happen--my grandpa's nickname was "Onions"), Pirates, An undead babysitter, A nationally ranked soccer player, Evil Cinderella, Shapeshifters, and An unexpected campfire guest.

On to the long-ish stories. Novels.

Tim Wynne-Jones' spooky and suspenseful The Uninvited ...

Mimi Shapiro flees NYU and an ill-advised relationship with one of her professors. She heads to her father's cottage in Canada only to discover that someone else is already living there, a little tidbit her father didn't mention when he told her where to find the hide-a-key. Jay, the other resident, instantly accuses Mimi of leaving strange tokens for him, snake skins, a dead bird, and so forth. Mimi, fresh off a road-trip, definitely isn't involved, so who's doing this? And what does he--or she--want?

Choppy Socky Blues by Ed Briant...

Jason Smallfield desires only one thing, to be as different from his father as he can. The complete opposite, if possible. His movie-stuntman dad lied and dumped his family like yesterday's trash. Jason even stops taking karate, his favorite thing in the world, just to avoid comparison to his father. But then he meets Tinga, a gorgeous girl about to test for her blue belt. Jason blurts out that he's about to take the same test...then has to turn to his father for help getting ready in time.

Asta in the Wings by Jan Elizabeth Watson...

Asta Hewitt and her brother Orion have been isolated from the world by their delusional mother. The two are happy, creating their own peaceful, imaginary world. When their family is suddenly drug into the strange "real" world, Asta must find a way to fit in, while still staying true to herself and her family. Asta is a lovely narrator, funny and hopeful. This is a wonderful novel.

And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman...

Delia is certain her mother isn't dead. But she's the only one who thinks so. So she's shipped off to New York City to live with her aunts, "one a downtown bohemian, the other an uptown ice queen." She's also stuck coping with her new school (snooty) and trying to avoid falling for the wrong guy. All the while, she's looking for her mother, finding lies and conspiracies, discovering that the wrong guy might not be so wrong after all and that some secrets might need to stay secret.

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