Smile by Raina Telgemeier (2010, Graphix) --- Raina is just a few days away from getting braces when it happens. She trips on the sidewalk, lands flat on her face, mouth gushing blood, and two of her front teeth are missing. Well, one has fallen out, and the other is squashed up into her gums. Awesome. So begins her agonizing teeth-related adventures. This autobiographical graphic novel follows Raina through middle school, where she deals with so-called friends, boy troubles, and lots of trips to the orthodontist. You'll laugh tons, feel bad for her some, and most of all, be happy it's not you! If you've read and loved this one, check out Telgemeier's new graphic novel, Drama, with a new set of characters but the same hilarity and charm.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (2008, Henry Holt & Co) --- Jenna Fox has been in a coma for the past year. When she wakes up, she can't remember anything. She doesn't recognize her mother or her father, and she doesn't seem to know simple words for things. Besides her memory being fuzzy, she gets the feeling that something is not right. Her father is still living on the other side of the country, while Jenna and her mom are holed up in a fixer-upper house, in an isolated part of town. When Jenna slowly uncovers some devastating secrets about her accident, she doesn't know how she'll ever trust her parents again, or live with herself. Great dystopia to add to your collection, folks.
Fever by Lauren DeStefano (2012, Simon & Schuster) --- This is the sequel to Wither, so if you haven't read that yet, I suggest you skip this section. Seriously. Okay, I warned you. Rhine and Gabriel have escaped from her husband's mansion, and they're hoping to find their way to New York to reunite with Rhine's brother. But the journey is long and not without bumps. If I thought that Wither was a little strange, I have no idea what to say about this book. I couldn't put it down, but I couldn't tell you why. Mostly, I just wanted to be done with it. But like all good trilogies, the surprising twists at the end left me needing to read the last book in the series, which will be out sometime eventually. Another dystopia. I know, I have a problem.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (2007, Razorbill) --- Clay Jensen gets a package in the mail, no return address, with 13 cassette tapes in it. On the tapes, Hannah Baker tells the stories of the 13 people who helped bring her to the decision to commit suicide. Listen to find out where you rank on the list, Clay. The tapes are circulating amongst those 13 people so that each person can know what they did to Hannah to bring her to such drastic measures. Oh, how painful this book was to read. I want to say that I hated it and that I put it down instantly. But I was morbidly curious, and I had to finish it. Other books that also made me feel uncomfortable and sick to my stomach include The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (2012, Poppy/Little Brown) --- Hadley's at the airport, ready to hop on a plane to London to attend her father's second wedding, except the plane is already down the runway. Rescheduling to catch the next flight, Hadley's now stuck at the airport, an emotional wreck, when a cute British boy comes to her rescue. The two get to talking and spend the entire flight together sharing stories. Once the plane lands, reality sets back in and Hadley is whisked away to get ready lightning fast for this wedding she really doesn't want to witness. Yeah, I thought this was going to be a sweet love story, but it's really more about Hadley and her relationship with her dad, which is fine but not what I was led to believe by the adorable cover and title of the book. Sorry if I just ruined it for you. Just thought I'd give a fair warning.
I can't believe that's the last of my summer reading! I sure hope I can find time to squeeze some books in this month. Speaking of which, I'm off to go read...