Fifteen-year-old Jason has fallen upon bad times—his mother has died and his father has succumbed to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s deteriorating condition.
Both heartbreaking and funny, Crazy lives up to the intense and compelling characters Han Nolan is praised for. As Jason himself teeters on the edge of insanity, Nolan uncovers the clever coping system he develops for himself and throws him a lifeline in the guise of friendship.
Admittedly I struggled to get into this book at the start, it was less the story and more the format. The imaginary friends that Jason creates to cope with the stress in his life are presented kind of like a script, injecting thoughts into various scenarios. I've had issues with this format before, so it's not surprising that this was a hard sell at the start for me. However, the story itself was enough to keep me going.
Jason is doing everything he can to keep his life on track, but he's also a scared kid who doesn't know how to keep his father safe, and he's terrified that the mental illness that is plaguing his father might also be something he has. He's afraid to ask for help, afraid to let anyone in, but he also knows that he can't do this all by himself. Enter a support group from school that allows Jason to not only get some help for his father from people who understand that life is far from perfect, but also create some bonds that give him the support he so desperately needs to let go of his imaginary friends and start living life honestly.
This is a heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story about life's road bumps and finding your tribe who will help you get through the hard times.
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.
But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.
What could go wrong?
With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.
And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?
I loved this book. So incredibly much. This was another one that showed up in my mailbox from Uppercase Box. Quick side note, they say that you shouldn't judge a book by the cover, but that's a big lie. People do pick books up based on the cover, a great cover can draw in readers, make them grab your book over others. A bad cover can turn people away from an otherwise great book. So covers are important. Different covers can do different things for different readers. This cover is spot on for me. I would live outside, cooking over a campfire if I could figure out how to get paid for it. I'm also a sucker for a good YA Romance novel. So this cover 100% did it's job and as soon as I opened my mail, it jumped to the top of the TBR pile.
This book didn't disappoint, in fact it went way past expectations. I initially went into this book expecting a fluffy summer YA story, but what I got instead was a story about two families who are trying to find their way back to something resembling happy. I don't want to give anything away. I want you to go read this book, so I'm going to keep this incredibly broad (sorry!). Zorie and Lennon used to be best friends, until one night changed everything, and suddenly they find themselves in the middle of what amounts to a feud between their two families. The problem is that neither one of them is operating with all the information, so what results is a series of miscommunications, frustrations and realizations that lead to everyone involved having to make some big decisions about who they are and what they want out of life. It's a messy story, there is no big happy ending, but in the end there is hope, and a knowledge that everything will eventually be okay for everyone.
Plus there all sorts of outdoor adventures where Zorie and Lennon have to test their bravery, their communication skills and remember what it's like to trust each other. This book ticked all the right boxes for me. In fact... I think I'm going to put it back on the TBR pile for a second read!
Laura and Alec are trained terrorists.
Jack and Aubrey are high school students.
There was no reason for them to ever meet.
But now, a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible powers. And these four are about to find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all.
America is at war—and five teens are caught in the crossfire.
It began with a virus. Then a series of attacks erupted across the nation. Now the true invasion has begun, and a handful of teenagers with impossible powers are America’s only defense
There are a lot of good authors out there. I have a tendency to get heavy into an author and read everything written to that point. I buy their books for every library I work in, I make sure their titles are in our holiday gift sales, I give them to friends as gifts. Then a funny thing happens. I finish their collection and while I keep buying the books I've read, somehow I lose track of what's new, especially if there is a break in release dates. Then the authors name comes back up and I remember how much I love their writing, and suddenly I'm falling into a black hole of everything they've ever written again. It's a bit like Christmas coming twice. This is what happened with Robison Wells. When I first became a librarian I fell in love with Varient and Feedback and then for some reason Wells fell off my radar. Until a few months ago when I grabbed Black Out off the shelf and instantly remembered how awesome Wells is. I immediately grabbed Dead Zone and his other books are in my TBR pile to be read over vacation.
What I really liked about these books is something that I'm not sure I would have appreciated when the books first came out. When the first book came out in 2013 our country was in a very different place. The idea that Russia could invade was the stuff of books and movies, the thought of children being taken away from their families and warehoused was believed to be a thing of the past, but now it's a little bit like real life. When the real world becomes a scary place, we want an escape, it's why Marvel and DC have had the longevity they do.
In these books Wells introduces us to characters who are extraordinary, with powers they don't quite understand, who are at the mercy of governments that would use them for their own ends. There are no easy answers for these kids, they are pulled away from their families, promised they will kept safe, tested for a virus that no one is sure about and then, if they are positive, they are shuffled to where their abilities can be used best. Across the two books we see these kids struggle with their abilities and with what their role is in this new world. Wells doesn't shy away from showing the horrors of war, he makes clear that no one is innocent and that there are good people and bad people everywhere, and that even the good people can do bad things. So far as I know we don't have teenagers running around with super human powers, but we do have kids out there who need to know they can accomplish amazing things, who need to see that even in the darkest situations they have the ability to reach within themselves to find the power to change the world.
These books were probably the books we wanted when they first came out, in 2018 they are the books we need and I'm glad I'm just discovering them now and I'll be adding them to the library collection in the fall.
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by: Chester Nez
The first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII-includes the actual Navajo Code and rare photos. Although more than 400 Navajos served in the military during World War II as top-secret code talkers, even those fighting shoulder to shoulder with them were not told of their covert function. And, after the war, the Navajos were forbidden to speak of their service until 1968, when the code was finally declassified. Of the original twenty- nine Navajo code talkers, only two are still alive. Chester Nez is one of them.
In this memoir, the eighty-nine-year-old Nez chronicles both his war years and his life growing up on the Checkerboard Area of the Navajo Reservation-the hard life that gave him the strength, both physical and mental, to become a Marine. His story puts a living face on the legendary men who developed what is still the only unbroken code in modern warfare.