Since last night's update, I have once again read four books (all ARCs from NetGalley and Edelweiss) and started on a fifth. Full-length reviews won't be up for a while, but brief reviews are below:
- The Sister Solution by Trudy Trueit
This book has an odd premise - a genius little sister is promoted two grades mid-way through the year, joining her sister as an eighth grader and immediately complicating her social life. The characters were fairly well-developed otherwise, but the far-fetched situation made the overall story feel like it didn't quite hang together cohesively.
- Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang
This is another strange - but quick - read. Unfortunately, I didn't know it wasn't a stand-alone and it ends on a cliffhanger, so I was somewhat dissatisfied. I did like all the coding lessons within the story, though. There aren't any other books like this one.
- Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston
I really liked Ava and Pip, but the sequel is really just more of the same and it isn't as well done. There was also too much cliched cat stuff for me to really connect with it, and though some of the wordplay and jokes are funny, it felt like too much.
- A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
This is not Lord's strongest work. A solid three-star book, but not especially memorable. The main character wants to make enough money for a surgery to save the eyesight of her beloved dog, while her friend, a girl from a migrant family, wants to win a pageant to earn money for college. The story moves very quickly, which interferes with the reader's ability to connect on an emotional level. It will definitely win points with readers seeking more diversity - but I enjoyed last year's Half a Chance more.
Even after being charged all night, my Nook battery is super-low again from this morning's marathon reading session, so my next two books are not ARCs, but library books: Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy, which I have just barely started and Boy with a Pack by Stephen W. Meader, the 1940 Newbery Honor book my husband has been bugging me to read for at least a week. (I am heading outside to read that one while he stays in and supervises toddler nap time. It will be a nice change of pace, as the other books I've read this morning involve lots of girl drama!)
And... with the 20 minutes it took to write this post, I am now at a solid 10.5 hours. Time to get back to it!