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Tag: siobhan vivan

Reading Horoscope – Virgo

Calm, cool, and collected Virgos: are you ready for the month ahead? Born between August 23rd and September 22nd, Virgos are ruled by the planet Mercury, grounded solidly in the element of earth. Virgos are steadfast, helpful, and precise and sometimes feel weighed down by worries and concerns. I see many days filled with goodwill projects, helping at the local soup kitchen, helping fund your best friend’s Kickstarter, and making sure your little sister is prepared to start middle school. Your caring nature is admired and appreciated, but don’t forget that you can’t solve all the world’s problems alone. It is important to let others help and support you to not feel overwhelmed. Also important is finding time to pick up a few books featuring practical and meticulous Virgos like you.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

Natalie Sterling is a good girl and that’s how she likes it. She works hard at school, at student council, at life. She has clear goals and a clear path getting to those goals. Her senior year is going right on schedule when things get confusing. Natalie decides to take freshman Spencer under her wing to show her the ropes and how to be successful. Spencer, though, would rather have fun, date boys, pull pranks, and push the boundaries of what is considered “proper” behavior for young ladies. Natalie’s own idea of what it means to be “good” are challenged when she begins a secret relationship with a boy who is completely wrong for her and threatens to derail her plans. Assumptions are challenged, relationships are challenged, and Natalie must decide what’s more important, being good or being yourself.


Contemporary Fiction of 2010: A Reader’s List

I present to you one reader’s best contemporary YA titles for 2010. These are books teens are actually reading by the way. I see these titles check out regularly at my library. I hate to say it, but Will Grayson, Will Grayson? It has barely circulated three times. These titles are a little girl heavy but several of them will work just as well for guy readers. And if anything this list will encourage me to seek out more guy-centric contemporary YA reads.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This is my favorite book of 2010 hands down. It is a road trip story with a little romance, a lot of heartache and a great trip throughout the country. Teens will easily relate to Roger’s girl troubles while they will be pulled into Amy’s story of sadness over her father’s death. Postcards, receipts, and definitely the most amazing road trip play lists ever created grace the pages of this story along with the main narrative. This one is for music fans, teens who love a romance with drama, and who need a grand adventure. I guarantee this is going to be a hit.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian. This book actually made Kirkus’s 2010 Best Books for Teens and with great reason. This story is intelligent, sad, and above all, plays so well into the drama that encompasses high school life. Natalie has always felt a bit different from her classmates and it shows on the pages. Here is a teen dedicated to her education, to getting ahead. Most librarians know teens like this and they will immediately empathize with her. She may be book smart but has a lot to learn about human emotions. Natalie is an amazing protagonist for female teen readers. She is strong, vulnerable, smart as hell, but yet manages to be the every girl. ¬† There is a lot to discuss and appreciate.

A Blue so Dark by Holly Schindler. Mental illness. More teens than I can name deal with this topic with their families, and even themselves, on a daily basis. Holly Schindler delicately balances the harsh realities of schizophrenia with¬†everyday tasks. Aura must go to school. She loves art but yet fears it. She has a crush on a boy but that does not fit into a world of schizophrenia. Her isolation leaps off the pages, as does her care of her mother. Teens today are unfortunately put in that caretaker position too often and this book definitely showcases how difficult that role can be for teenagers. Heart wrenching certainly but this book will do well with teens who need to see themselves in someone else, know they aren’t alone. It is a powerful book, short enough to hold attention and pull you into Aura’s life.

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