Monday, July 25, 2011

Flip-- Martyn Bedford

So my ARC of Flip has the cheesiest tagline on the cover: "Ever wake up in someone else's body?"

Um, no. You?

I tossed the book aside in favor of other books that might be a little more Mock Printz-worthy, but after scouring reviews of YA books I realized I was going to have to read this book... I mean, even Kirkus gave it a starred review.

Flip is Alex's story... and one day he literally does wake up in someone else's body, the body of a jock named Flip. Alex embodies all the stereotypes of the "sensitive male." Flip, well, is just the opposite. Why did Alex's soul jump ship and why the heck did it choose Flip's body to land in? Will Alex ever unite his soul and true-born body again? And what happened to Flip's soul when Alex's landed in it's place?

Would *I* give this book a starred review? Probably not. However, I am learning that at this point I have read so much YA fiction that it takes a lot to impress me. So, let me know if I'm being to hard on this one... what did I miss that makes this a great book to so many people?

That being said, I would happily give this book to reluctant readers, teen guys and girls of any age. It's nice to have a book like that in your librarian toolkit that you can give to just about anyone.

*Sidenote: So, when searching for images to put with this book, I have found several different versions of the cover, most of which ditched the cheesy tagline in favor of one that's slightly less cheddar. Yay.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All These Things I've Done-- Gabrielle Zevin

It's 2083. There's a chocolate prohibition, and NYC is a very changed place. Art museums are now dance clubs, books are musty relics of the past, water is strictly rationed, and the mafiya ruled black market consists of chocolate and caffeine. After both her mother and father are murdered, and her older brother Leo suffers from brain damage, Anya becomes the default heir to the Balanchine chocolate empire... even though her shady uncles and cousins are currently running the family business into the ground. Anya is a strict Catholic girl, and though that seems to conflict with her mafiya roots, she has a strong moral code that dictates most of her actions.

Although she had a tumultuous past, Anya, Leo, and their little sister Nattie manage to continue life as normal (or as normal as life gets when your family is in the business of the black market). Then one day Anya meets Win, the son of the new hotshot District Attorney who is dead set on cleaning up the city. Although she knows it would be risky for the family, and especially since she was threatened by the DA himself, Anya can't help but to fall for Win. And when someone linked to Anya is poisoned by a contaminated batch of chocolate, the blame and spotlight falls directly on Anya... and the happy and stable life she worked so hard to put together after her parents were murdered crumbles away instantly. Now Anya must find a way to protect her family, even at the expense of her own happiness.

This book is one part romance, one part mystery, and one (small) part post-apocalyptic. I found the love story and mystery to be the highlights, and I appreciated the strength of character Anya had throughout the book. However, someone looking for a strong futuristic setting, or a post-apocalyptic novel would not be satisfied. I feel like the author didn't delve deeply enough into the setting, and a big part of me had a hard time believing there could really be a chocolate prohibition. Still, there will definitely be fans of this book (likely girls), and though it alludes to a variety of topics, it's a pretty "clean" read.