karen's picks

Yep, that's picKs with a "k" because for once I'm not talkin about photos. I've been reading a lot lately (what a surprise), and I've been apparently been choosing some decent reads. So I thought I'd share a few I was into. If you read 'em (or have already), let me know what you think!

This one begins with six artistically gifted teenagers who bond at an arts summer camp in the 1970's, and then goes on to span several decades (non-chronologically), featuring at different points most of their first person accounts. Not surprisingly, their lives take them on different paths than they originally idealistically envisioned. It's an extraordinarily crafted book. I decided to read it since it topped or nearly topped some "top 10 books of 2013" lists, and I can see why. The character voices are unique, and I have to say if an author is on their ninth or so book and still manages come up with material this engaging, then it's a sign of a great writer.

I wouldn't be surprised if this description makes you not interested at all: From the beginning pages, you learn that Leonard Peacock is a teenager who is planning that day to kill a classmate after school and then turn the gun on himself. He spends the day giving tokens away to key people in his life (and various flashbacks to their relationships with him are woven in). I won't spoil any more, but it really has a lighter type of tone than you would imagine, and it definitely kept me turning pages to see what the outcome would be.

Speaking of turning pages, I just couldn't put this one down. This story about a teenage girl whose father is a war veteran who has been battling very severe post traumatic stress disorder is just very well-written- you really end up caring about the characters. Reviewers say it represents what people who are close to survivors of PTSD deal with very accurately. The author paints a heart-breaking picture of how the young main character, in really unfortunate role reversal, has been continually denying herself a "normal" life in order to take care of her father (her mother is deceased), but also blends in moments of joy and typical high school coming of age excitement.

If you're looking for more recommendations, I've heard good things about these two new books. I'm excited to read these as soon as it's my turn on the library waiting list!

Both are highly acclaimed dystopian novels in a similar vein to Hunger Games. 'Nuff said to peak my interest!


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my name is karen

and here you will find things that i make and see.

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