Monday, October 11, 2010

School, in books

I suppose we all choose to return to places where we feel comfortable. I've been reading a lot about school lately.

Not That Type of Girl by Siobhan Vivian. Natalie is an overachiever with her eyes firmly on the post-graduation prize, but she's susceptible to the charms of a bad boy...I especially enjoyed Natalie's conflicted relationship with Spencer, the girl she once babysat who is now running wild. It recreates a sense of high school competition rather faithfully. I think this will be popular.

You by Charles Benoit. Kyle is an sympathetic underdog who meets a Faustian newcomer out to exploit his weaknesses. This book starts strong, with a heady sense of adolescent obsession and a nice sense of sibling fidelity, but its ending was a little pat and did not really push the envelope. There will be inevitable comparisons to Cormier.

The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur. Set at Harvard, this book does a generally good job exploring the strange things that happen your first year away at college. Not terribly plot-heavy, and at moments strangely melancholy instead of frothy. Somehow, the characters seem younger than I felt at that age. First in a series.

Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone.  Not strictly a "school" book as it begins over the summer, but Stephanie's life with her abusive "bar slut" mother in Massachusetts is a crazy contrast with that of her prosperous family friends in California. They become suspicious of Stephanie after her insecurities cause her to misrepresent her life in Boston. Will appeal to the many teens who want to read stories of abuse and neglect.

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