books read in August

Giving myself a little break before I start to pack up some more boxes for the move to OUR HOUSE!! (Yes, I haven’t posted in awhile because we were buying a house and it turns out that takes up a huge chunk of your time…and money…dear god, we have no money now LOL j/k)

Here are the books I finished in August.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book for so many reasons. I picked it up on a whim after seeing it had a starred review in School Library Journal. I don’t even think I read the blurb, I just started to read it and I couldn’t stop.

Simon is a character that so many can relate to. He is gay and hasn’t come out to anyone except for his online friend, Blue. And I think a lot of us “digital natives” are more honest with our online friends sometimes than we are with our IRL friends.

This is a sweet and funny story and definitely a feel good book. I really hope it finds its way into the hands of lots of different teens.

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Maggot MoonMaggot Moon by Sally Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took me awhile to get into this book but once I did I couldn’t stop reading. Standish, our narrator, is all over the place and working out the timeline takes some concentration in the beginning. But once you start to piece it all together, you find a powerful story of an alternate history.

While the book and chapters are short, this book probably wouldn’t fly with a reluctant reader because of the language and allusions. This is one of the best first person narratives I have read, restricted just to standish’s pov with no moments where I felt his descriptions were beyond what he would know.

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Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: CrushedMs. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Crushed’ has some really good moments for Ms. Marvel and a few scenes that made me shiver, drawing parallels to what happens to so many girls who become enamored with the wrong guy. But that was just a piece of the story. I really love this series and hope the quality stays where it is.

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Scarlett UndercoverScarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

‘Scarlett Undercover’ is an homage to classic noir, almost to a fault.

The story is told by Scarlett, a fast talking Muslim-American teen who graduated high school early and now spends her days solving little mysteries around town. Of course, the one mystery she can’t solve is the death of her father. The cops said it was a heart attack but she knows different.

It was a good read, but I felt like it tried too hard in a few spots to keep that noir feel when I was ready for the story to move a bit quicker. This might just be me though, perhaps these kinds of mysteries are not my thing. I enjoyed reading about Scarlett investigating and collecting clues, but some of the noir cliches pulled me out of the story a few times, felt forced.

But a teen who hasn’t had as much exposure to classic noir or the Veronica Mars series might enjoy the book more than me and find these little bits charming.

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My Little Pony: Discord and the Ponyville Players DramaramaMy Little Pony: Discord and the Ponyville Players Dramarama by G.M. Berrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, this My Little Pony story is written for all the kids who love Broadway musicals. It contains several Pony-fied versions of classic showtunes, like “Singing in the Rain” and “Seventy Six Trombones”. I’m not sure how many kids will get these gags but those that do will love this book.

There’s also a nod to John De Lancie’s Star Trek persona…

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