Sunday, 12 April 2020

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

It was the cover that first attracted me to this book.  It makes me envision what it was like to be a teenage girl (oh so many decades ago).  Finally, after seeing the book on the shelf for months in the store where I work, I decided to read it and find out about it's continuing appeal.  I am glad that I did.

This book is sweet and honest, like a fresh breath look at romance.

Lara Jean is the middle daughter in a single parent family.  For years she has handled relationship issues by writing breakup letters to the boys involved.  She has never mailed them.  Soon after her eldest sister leaves for college overseas, she learns that these letters have been delivered to at least two of the boys.  These events change her life in ways she could not have imagined.  She begins to question what she wrote and how she feels about those boys in the present.

I loved this story.  It was fresh and imaginative. Having the family lead by a busy male parent who loves his daughters unconditionally but is yet a little clueless about girls was good.  He didn't jump in with all the answers to resolve their issues, rather let them work things out.

Lara Jean is a bit insecure about lots of things in her life; driving, running the household, but the what high-school junior wouldn't be.  She need the opportunity to climb out from under her older sister's enormous and very competent shadow.  It was great to watch her blossom.  I could see where this story was going, but couldn't predict how it would get there.  I must read the follow-up P.S. I still love you and see want happens next.


Friday, 10 April 2020

The Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision by S. J. King

Great science based adventure for middle school readers.  While based on hard science, it has just enough magic to make these adventures come alive the  eight students involved.  Love the idea of Roshni's tent turning into a portal to the Exploration Station.

This is the second adventure of the Secret Explorers; eight students with different skills and interests who help to solve scientific dilemas.  Don't worry if you haven't read the first book, you can jump right in an start learning along with the explorers.

This book and series should appeal to all with an inquiring mind.  The kids have to use their powers of observation, their imagination and their background knowledge to discover and solve the problems that they meet.  There are no adults to help them, just a wacky shape shifting dune buggy that converses with them in beeps and boops.

This book is planned for release on July 7, 2020 along with the first book in the series The Secret Explorers and the Lost Whales.  Additional titles are to be released in October 2020.  It will make a great additional to all classroom libraries where students can't get enough STEM materials.

* I received and advanced reader ecopy of this book from DK Publishing in exchange for an honest review.