- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Pulling Princes by Tyne O'Connell caught my eye initially in the book, Royal Match. Royal Match is a reconfigured book that includes the first two titles in the Calypso Chronicles: Pulling Princes and Stealing Princes, which you can find on Link+.
If you are a fan of Louise Rennison's character, Georgia Nicholson, you may enjoy the British colloquialisms that run rampant. I enjoy reading books where characters are thrown into totally alien situations. I expected to see many funny situations with the main character, Calypso, who is from Los Angeles. However, Calypso has lived at the British boarding school for a few years, so the "fish out of water" humor never quite materializes. In fact, Calypso actually seems to use British slang, though she claims to have an American accent.
Calypso is an outsider at the posh boarding school, along with her best friend, Star. However, a fake boyfriend leads to opportunities and problems that she never foresaw. A gifted fencer, she soon finds that her hobby leads to the best opportunity of all!
My interest in reading Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys was two-fold. First, I read about how Sepetys' book-talks were beseiged by Fifty Shades of Grey fans. The author, Ruta Sepetys, says that many Fifty Shades of Grey fans learn something new when they attend her book-talks. Many were not aware of Joseph Stalin's ethnic purges during World War II. Second, as I mentioned in my review for Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin, my husband's grandfather was a victim of one of Stalin's purges. He was taken away during the night and never heard from again. His family had to flee the Soviet Union and endure many hardships when they moved to Germany.
Between Shades of Gray is a unique look at a survivor of one of Stalin's purges. In this case, the main character, Lina, is a Lithuanian. Due to the fact that the Soviet Union was an ally during World War II, many Americans do not know about the extent of Stalin's atrocities towards the educated class from the Baltic states. Lina and her fellow purgees move from various work camps until she finally reaches Siberia. There, many perish due to the extreme cold. Labeled as criminals, Lina and her family labor day to day not knowing what will happen next. Can Lina survive? What about her brother and mother? Will her new love survive?
Sepetys is a descendent of one of those Lithuanian purgees. At the end, she explains about her connection and about what happened to Lina.
Don't be deceived by the innocuous looking cover on I'll Be There. The scene depicted is actually a traumatic turning point for the main characters, Sam and Riddle.
Sam is a teen unlike any other teen, especially to Emily Bell. Emily is also unlike many other teens because she is naturally happy and draws others to herself. Sam is drawn to Emily when he hears her terrible rendition of "I'll Be There." They immediately make a connection. However, Sam has very serious problems at home and is the primary caregiver for his younger brother, Riddle. Riddle is suffering from severe asthma and is probably on the autistic spectrum.
Back to that cover. Events come to a head in the wilderness with their mentally dysfunctional father. Both boys go through a period where they must survive in the wild. They meet a bear and try to survive on cattails. Do they make it? Does Sam see Emily again? Read the book and find out!
Holly Goldberg Sloan comes from a movie-making background, so this book is quite a page turner! She has written for the following movies: The Big Green, Angels in the Outfield, and Made in America.