By the Numbers
Review Copies: 10
Teen (non-Cybils; can't tell you about my Cybils standout yet): Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
This was a compelling portrait of how easy it is to slide into a manipulative, abusive relationship, and how hard it is to get out again. Even though I knew Cole was a bleepity bleepity bleep from the start, I got a little sucked in myself.
Tween: Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell
My favorite part of this entry into the overfull "OMG my parents are going to embarrass me to DEATH" genre was how abnormal the main character already is. She plays bass, she makes her own clothes, and she's blissfully unaware of her own weirdness until she learns to be okay with her parents' oddities.
Children: Around the World in 100 Days by Gary Blackwood
This sequel to the Jules Verne classic sees Phileas Fogg's son Harry on his own madcap quest in that newfangled contraption, the motorcar. The only thing this adventure was missing was maps. I really, really wanted maps. Guys, it's a trip around the world!
Because I Want To Awards
Good Clean Fun!: Also Known As by Robin Benway
This was a rompy, unlikely, fast-paced New York City spy story that ended rather better than I thought it would, which is just another reason I closed it with a big smile.
Best Characters: Nightspell by Leah Cypess
Every single character in this book had a slightly different motivation, and slightly different goals, and even the people who were supposed allies didn't always agree. Very nicely done.
Fluff/Serious Stuff Sandwich: Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz
With a cotton-candy premise (boy is bent on publicly confessing his devotion to the love of his life, and drags his best friend into the hijinx), this book really winds up being about a complex friendship and two complicated boys. Also, the love of Marco's life is another boy, but that still manages to be part of the fluffiness. Mostly.
I'm Really Glad I Read This: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
I work in an area where many of my patrons come from exactly the kind of life that this slim little book lays out - civil war, refugee camps, and hardship. Having read it, I feel as if I understand them a little better.