GEPL Teens Blog

GEPL Teens: What I Just Read – She Is Not Invisible

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 47 - ImageCombining a couple of my favorite ways to find new reads, this “what I just read” edition of “what I’m reading now” is an advanced reader copy (ARC) of a book by an award winner!  Marcus Sedgwick won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, and his new book comes out April 22 (and is already on order at the library!)

What I’m Reading Now: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

What’s It About (Jacket Description): Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a breakdown. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong. On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.

Do I Like It: Absolutely! It’s a gripping read.

Thoughts: She Is Not Invisible is a fast, easy read – which is why I’ve finished it before having a chance to write a review! – but that hasn’t stopped it from being great.  When a character spends the opening line of a book trying to convince herself that she’s not abducting her little brother, the book will inevitably suck a reader in.  And as Laureth and Benjamin try and navigate airports and New York, and follow clues that will bring them to their father, the pace doesn’t really slow down.  There is mystery and excitement aplenty as Laureth and Benjamin gradually get closer to their father.

Deciphering hints in the notebook through the haze of her father’s obsession, Laureth and Benjamin slowly begin to piece together what happened to their father.  Although I found the ending to be a bit of a letdown, the journey Laureth takes to get there is wonderful.  Even the side characters – particularly the strange-spoken but endearing Mr. Walker – were fantastic characters in their own right that I wanted to see more of.  And Laureth was a great narrator to take a journey with.  Getting to experience her way of navigating the world without sight was new to me, but more importantly, getting inside her head was fascinating.  Laureth has some of her father’s knack for spotting patterns and coincidences, along with a strong impulsive streak and a bravery and confidence that are only partly faked.

Easily my favorite part of the book though, more than the excitement or mystery or even Laureth’s point of view and character, is the relationship between Laureth and Benjamin.  They are both unusual kids, and it’s clear they find solace in each other.  The only thing that makes Laureth slow down on her quest for her father is her care and concern for Benjamin.  And despite his age, Benjamin takes care of Laureth in more ways than just guiding her.  The way they love each other is so clear in everything they do, from Benjamin snuggling against Laureth while he sleeps to Laureth talking to Benjamin’s stuffed raven just as if he really were alive.  They trust each other as well, which in the end is extremely important to the plot of the book and the growth of Laureth’s character.  I’m a sucker for a good friend or sibling relationship, and despite their age difference, Laureth and Benjamin are both.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Old Favorites

Teens Blog BannerIt’s no secret that I like to re-read my favorite books.  Less than a month after I finished it, I just launched a re-read of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because I couldn’t resist.  I’m also a big fan of re-watching – movies, TV series, whatever.  It’s hard to find a balance between re-reading and re-watching the beloved and familiar, and discovering new things.  But there are some solid reasons to give your favorites another go-around!

Blog Entry 46 - Image 11.) Finding new things – This may seem counter-intuitive, since I just talked about discovering new things as totally separate from re-visiting the familiar.  But the thing is, in any given book, TV show, or movie, there is so much to take in that it’s almost impossible to get it all.  There’s always some detail missed, or some character interpretation that we just don’t seen until we read a book again.  Take the Harry Potter series, for instance – I’ve read these books several times (easily double digits for the earlier books.)  And every time I read them again, I notice something I didn’t before – like how when Hagrid drops of baby Harry at the beginning of the books, he’s on Sirius Black’s motorcycle, or how Ginny slowly relaxes around Harry and becomes a great character in her own right.  Being able to go back to something and get immersed in these details and character changes is a wonderful experience.

2.) Comfortable is fun! – Finding new things in old favorites is fun, sure. Blog Entry 46 - Image 2 But you know what else is?  Knowing what’s going to happen and enjoying the ride anyways.  Knowing a movie so well you can practically quote every line.  The feeling of being with friends when you watch an episode of your favorite sitcom for the fifth time.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with finding joy in the familiar!  If we couldn’t do that, everybody in the world would be a nomad and be forced to make new friends all the time.  Re-reading a favorite book or re-watching a favorite movie or TV show is like coming home, putting on your comfiest pants and sweater, and settling in to the couch with your favorite food.  It’s enjoyable, it’s comfortable, it’s peaceful.  And if you can combine another reading or viewing favorite with actual comfiest pants and favorite foods, I’d say you’re in for a pretty great day!

Blog Entry 46 - Image 33.) It’s a good quality test – It’s happened to me a lot.  I finish a book or movie, or watch an episode of TV, and think “That was good! I enjoyed that!”  And I did, indeed, enjoy it.  But maybe I wasn’t thinking with a critical eye.  Maybe I’ll think because I liked that particular book or movie, I’ll like others like it, or a sequel.  And sometimes, I’m wrong.  But a sure fire way to figure out if I really like something, if it really is top quality, is to return to it.  If it’s something good, I’ll enjoy it almost as much the second time around.  Even when I’m removed from the initial feelings and looking at it with a critical eye, I’ll find it fantastic again.  But if it’s something bad, that critical eye and sense of removal will help me realize really quickly that maybe I was wrong.  Maybe that monkey episode of How I Met Your Mother wasn’t really as good as I thought it was.  Maybe The DaVinci Code is a one-time read and I don’t need to wait in line for the next Dan Brown novel.  This is helpful when I’m trying to find new things – having a better sense of what I REALLY like in my media helps me find better media in the first place.  It’s a win-win!

So while it’s important to try new things, it’s also fun and totally okay to go back to old favorites for a re-read or re-watch.  What are your favorite books, movies, and TV shows that you return to over and over?

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Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Delicious Reads

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 45 - ImageIt’s time for me to be honest and tell the truth.  And the truth is this: I spend a significant portion of my life thinking about food.  I love eating, I love cooking, I even love just looking at and smelling delicious food.  My mind often wanders to meal plans, fantasy menus, and great restaurants.  But I’m sure I can’t be the only person who does this.  After all, food is a basic human need.

The downside to this is of course that I have neither the stomach capacity nor the budget to eat all the food I want.  And once again, I think I’m not alone in this.  Very few people are lucky enough to have regular access to exotic fruits, great chefs, or a steady supply of crème brûlée, as much as we might want it.

Fortunately, as always, we have books to help.  Books allow us to vicariously taste things we can’t get ourselves (though in many cases this can lead to increased cravings instead of helping, but I still think it’s worth it!)  They can teach us about new foods or recipes that we can try on our own.  They can showcase the culture and industries around food.  And reading books featuring great food can make us – or at least me – feel slightly more productive than I do when I’m daydreaming about bacon-wrapped dates all day long.

So read some mouth-watering descriptions of meals in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Hunger Games.  Learn some great new recipes from The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook (delicious for vegetarians and omnivores alike!)  Get a teen’s eye view of cooking competitions in Taste Test.  Join teens who find comfort in cooking in A La Carte and Bittersweet.  Experience the world of restaurants, coffee shops, and other parts of the food industry in Coffeehouse Angel and Keeping the Moon.  You’ll find all these windows into the food world and more with this month’s “Delicious Reads” display.  Come to the library, grab a book, and chow down!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Spring Reads

Teens Blog BannerSpring break is almost over, and alas, it’s back to the boring school grind.  Not only that, but it’s still not feeling like spring.  But as always, books can help!  These reads, set in spring (and in one case, starting with a spring break trip) will help you to extend your spring break in your mind and be ready for spring weather whenever it does decide to show up!

Blog Entry 44 - Image 1The Raven Boys, by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys kicks off early in a Virginia spring, when there’s still a chill in the air.  But as the book progresses, so does the season, bringing in exquisitely described warmer weather.  In The Raven Boys, Blue Sargent is the only non-psychic woman in her odd family.  So when she sees the spirit of a soon-to-be-dead boy, it is unusual to say the least.  Worse, the only reason she would have seen his spirit is if he was her true love, or if she was going to kill him.  Even worse, the soon-to-be-dead boy turns out to be Gansey, a privileged student at a local prep school – one of the “raven boys” that Blue has sworn to avoid.  But before she knows it, Blue finds herself caught up with Gansey and his friends, and their quest for a magical king.

Blog Entry 44 - Image 2Terrier, by Tamora Pierce – Beka Cooper’s diary begins on April 1, at the beginning of spring and the beginning of her new life as a “Provost’s Dog” – a police officer in the fantasy world of Tortall.  Beka is an officer in the slums of Tortall’s capital city, Corus.  A Lower City native herself, Beka is determined to be the best at her job, and do the best for her neighborhood.  But despite Beka’s hard work, and the help of the best Dogs in her district, there are dark doings in the Lower City.  Children are being kidnapped and men are dying for an unknown reason in unmarked graves.  Over the course of the spring, Beka must face her fears and use her combination of strength, skills, and strange magic to try and solve these crimes before even more Lower City families are torn apart.

Blog Entry 44 - Image 3Feed, by M.T. Anderson – Titus and his friends “went to the moon to have fun” for spring break, only to find out that “the moon turned out to completely suck.”  Titus lives in a future world where no-one really ventures into a toxic outdoors, and everyone has the Feed implanted into their brain.  The Feed is a tool for communication, study, shopping, and more.  It supplies the word you are groping for in your brain, instant telepathic communication, and of course, items for purchase tailored to your particular needs and desires.  Titus has never questioned the Feed – until he meets Violet on his trip to the moon.  Violet lived years of her life without a Feed, and dreams of resisting its consumerism and encroachments into her life and her mind.  But will Titus be strong enough to follow her lead?

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Fictional BFFs

Teens Blog BannerI have great friends.  I have best friends who are wonderful, brothers who are best friends, and a fantastic group of awesome people in my life.  That said, sometimes I just can’t help myself.  I read a book, and I think to myself “oh man, I want to be this person’s friend so badly!  I wish he/she were real!”  I find myself thinking this quite a lot, to be honest, but I’ll restrict myself today to just telling you about three of my Fictional BFFs.

Blog Entry 43 - Image 1D.J. Schwenk, from Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock – I’ve listened to the first two books in this series, so maybe I’m being a little influenced by the fantastic narration, but D.J. seems like such a great person to be friends with.  She’s a nice person, which is obviously something I want in my friends.  She loves sports, so we could totally watch the games together – I know I could get her hooked on hockey, and I’m sure she would help me develop a love of football.  But most of all, D.J. is hilarious.  The way she phrases things and tells stories, the way she sees the world around her – I know being friends with D.J. would involve a lot of laughter and no pretension, and that’s awesome.

Blog Entry 43 - Image 2Jennifer Strange, from The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde – Jennifer is practical, friendly, and extra importantly, she drinks a lot of tea.  Plus she has a great dry sense of humor.  If you’re sensing a trend already, it’s true: I like friends I can laugh with!  And better yet, Jennifer comes with an awesome pet.  While I’ll bet Jennifer can dole out the great, sensible advice, I also think we would have fun together.  I can just see Jennifer and me sitting around a table with hot cups of tea and cookies, laughing at the ridiculous things the wizards at Kazam Employment Agency for Wizards have been up to, and feeding the quarkbeast a couple old tin cans.  That sounds to me like a completely delightful way to spend an afternoon!

Blog Entry 43 - Image 3Persis Blake, from Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund – Where to start with Persis?  I mean, besides the fact that she has a secret identity as a rescuer of the oppressed, is outstanding at what she does, and hides it all beneath a flaky (but still fun!) exterior.  Girl knows how to dress, has an awesome pet (another theme!), lives on a tropical island with a sweet guest bedroom I could stay in all the time, and, oh yeah, has an impressive moral compass and serious smarts and determination.  Unlike many masked avenger types, Persis knows how to have fun.  She puts on a silly mask for others, but that mask is rooted in a real enjoyment of life.  We could have a blast together, but talk about the serious things and be on the same page morally.  What more could you ask for in a friend?

So what fictional characters do you wish you could hang out with?  Do you have a fictional BFF (or several?)

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: What I’m Reading Now – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 42 - ImageI’m taking a break from award winners for a bit to read a good old-fashioned fantasy series, and it’s nice getting back into my usual wheelhouse for a bit!

What I’m Reading Now: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

What’s It About (Jacket Description): Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Do I Like It: It took a while to suck me in, but at this point I can honestly say I love it!

Thoughts: This book has a lot going on that’s worth talking about, and a lot that makes me love it.  For starters, I find Karou a wonderfully complex and likable character.  She’s got a frivolous side to her, which leads her to use magic to get her hair to grow out blue and to take revenge on an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend.  But this less serious part of her exists right alongside her deeper side, the side that collects new languages because she loves them and is deeply devoted to her friends and family, and somehow this isn’t contradictory at all.  Karou is independent, proud, and confident, but she also has a deep longing to be loved and feel accepted.  She’s so realistic and so interesting, I feel like she’s someone I could know – even if her world is clearly fantastical, she is so real.

The action in this book took a while to pick up, but it was so interesting getting to know Karou and her friends and her double life that I didn’t mind.  The part that took a while to suck me in was the Akiva of it all.  When Akiva first arrives he is, to put it in vastly understated terms, unpleasant.  And the way he and Karou interact was hard for me to believe or invest in at first.  But as the book unfolds, we find out more about Akiva’s past and get some hints about Karou’s origin that make Akiva more likable, and make the relationship between him and Karou much more interesting and much more believable.

This is also a book that is wreaking havoc with my emotions.  I’m in a flashback section right now that is simultaneously melting my heart and making me want to cry.  When Karou invests herself in her friends, I feel like her friendships are mine, which means I experience all the joys and worries right along with her.  And since starting Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I’m finding I have a strong desire to go to Prague.  But despite – or maybe because of – all these emotional ups and downs, I’m so invested in this story, and I can’t wait to find out how this book ends and get started on the next two!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: College Books

Teens Blog BannerSpring is in the air – or at least we’re all pretending it is – and that means, for you college-bound seniors, the clock is ticking down to college.  Whether you made your decision months ago or are still weighing the options, I wanted to highlight a few books set in college, or right before.  These books will either help you feel collegiate and academic while you procrastinate on your decision, or get you psyched about where you already know you’ll be going in the fall.

Blog Entry 41 - Image 1Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell – Disclaimer: I am currently obsessed with this book.  To the point where I have actually dreamed about it and am considering reading it several times in a row to get it out of my system.  But I will at least try to describe it in a way that is not scarily enthusiastic.

Cath and her twin sister Wren have always done everything together.  Always, that is, until college.  Now instead of rooming with Cath and helping her write her epic fanfiction based on the popular Simon Snow novels, Wren has decided she wants to live with another roommate in another dorm and abandon Simon Snow for more normal college pursuits.  So Cath starts college alone, anxious, and hurt.  She hides in her room writing fanfiction and living off of protein bars for the first two weeks of college, and even when she begins to branch out a little, it is really hard for her.  Whether you’re wondering what “fanfiction” is or you’ve been writing it since you were three, whether you are a Wren looking to branch out or a Cath with no desire to leave your comfortable routine, you can almost certainly find something to sympathize with in Cath’s struggle to find herself and figure out what kind of adult she wants to be.

Blog Entry 41 - Image 2Roomies, by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando – East Coast Elizabeth and West Coast Lauren begin exchanging e-mails when they find out they will be rooming together when they start college in the fall.  Throughout the course of the summer, their e-mails fly thick and fast.  Elizabeth and Lauren begin to develop a friendship before even meeting, as the summer leads to surprises and worries for both of them.  Roomies shows how just one small thing – an e-mail to a future roommate – can change the course of a summer, or even the course of a life.  The e-mail exchange format and the distinct voices of each girl make Roomies a unique read, and a must for anyone whose thoughts are traveling to this fall’s new roommates.

Blog Entry 41 - Image 3The Moon and More, by Sarah Dessen – Emaline is planning on enjoying the summer before she starts college in her hometown of Colby, and in the company of her boyfriend of several years, Luke.  But when an artistic newcomer shows up in Colby, Emaline is drawn to him immediately.  Theo represents the academically elite world that Emaline could enter by attending an Ivy League school.  But she also still loves Luke, and Colby, and the world she has grown up with.  Emaline wrestles with tough choices about her future while at the same time trying to enjoy her last summer before moving into whatever future she chooses.  Sarah Dessen fans will of course love The Moon and More, but it will also be a great read for anyone still questioning their college decision or wondering how they will transition into a new life.

Blog Entry 41 - Image 4The Final Four, by Paul Volponi – For those of you more excited about college sports than roommates or academics, The Final Four is for you.  Set at the end of March Madness, this book focuses on four players on the last four teams in the competition.  Although they each have different reasons for wanting to win, Malcolm, Roko, Crispin, and M.J. are all desperate to leave the tournament with the championship.  Readers will get to know each character’s history and personality as the moment of decision approaches, and find themselves rooting for their favorite or mourning his loss.  The Final Four will appeal to not only sports fans, but to most fans of realistic fiction and stories with multiple perspectives.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Why I Love… Singin’ in the Rain

Teens Blog BannerOnce again, I’m feeling the extreme love of something.  In this case, my favorite movie of all time, Singin’ in the Rain.  Before I even get started on why I love this particular movie, I should state for the record that pretty much all of my favorite movies are happy movies.  Injections of joy into my life.  Not that serious/dramatic/sad movies can’t be good, but I’m much less likely to want to watch them over and over.  So obviously my favorite movie is a wonderful, joyous, musical celebration of awesomeness.

But why do I love this one so much?

Blog Entry 40 - Image 1 (496x640)Because of Gene Kelly’s smile – This may be shallow, but seriously, look at that mug!  That smile is made of charm and friendliness and handsomeness and class.  It’s a smile that lights up a room.  The man is every kind of classically handsome and suave you can think of.  Really, he is.  The rest of Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood is pretty awesome too, what with the suits, the voice, and the talent.  But that smile definitely deserves its own spot on this list.  However, that does lead me to…

Because of the crazy fantastic singing and dancing by crazy talented performers – Gene Kelly as Don is one of these, but Donald O’Connor and Blog Entry 40 - Image 2 (500x376)Debbie Reynolds as his best friend Cosmo and girlfriend Kathy manage to hold their own, which leads to an incredible trio of talent.  They sing lovely ballads and funny songs, tap dance and ballet dance, and Cosmo rocks the slapstick routines.  There’s a cameo from one of the most impressive dancers I’ve ever seen, Cyd Charisse.  The songs are catchy and well-performed, and in many cases iconic (“Good Morning”, the title song.)  Everything about this movie as a musical is perfect.

Because it’s funny! – Just because a movie is older doesn’t mean it can’t be hilarious.  For starters, basically every word said by Lina Lamont – Don’s Blog Entry 40 - Image 3 (400x299)mean girl acting partner – is comedic gold.  For that matter, most of the lines about Lina are funny too – “Lina.  She can’t act, she can’t sing, she can’t dance.  A triple threat.” And pretty much any scene with Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brown is chock-full of quippy goodness.  Don (desperate to avoid his over-adoring fans): “Cosmo, call me a cab!” Cosmo: “Okay, you’re a cab.”  But believe me when I say none of these quotes do justice to the movie’s delivery and physical comedy.

Because it’s a genuinely happy, touching movie – Don Lockwood learns something about himself.  There’s a genuinely sweet romance with Kathy Blog Entry 40 - Image 4Seldon.  Lina Lamont gets what’s coming to her (but it’s nothing too terrible.)  Don dances and sings in the rain from sheer joy.  In the end, the good come out on top, better people for what’s happened over the course of the movie.  And while that’s not exactly the most unpredictable or shocking way for a story to go, it sure does leave me happy each and every time I get to the end of this wonderful movie.

It’s hard to describe just what makes Singin’ in the Rain such a classic, and such a wonderful movie.  But these are a few of the reasons I personally love it so much.  Check it out and let me know if you agree, or tell me what’s special about your favorite movie!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Divergent Party!

Teens Blog BannerIt’s true that even months later we’re all still recovering from the ending of Allegiant, and the ensuing feelings, but it’s time to move forward with our Divergent fandom.  It’s time to celebrate the release of the movie!  There’s so much to be excited about with this movie.  It was filmed in Chicago, so it will have an authentic Chicago feel and the fun of recognizing a bunch of filming locations.  It stars Shailene Woodley, who John Green thinks the world of after her role in The Fault in Our Stars, and who looks pretty awesome as Tris in the previews.  We’ll get live-action Tris/Four romance.  There will be wicked cool action sequences that we all know were practically begging to be filmed.  We’ll get to see Kate Winslet grace our screens, which is always a good thing.  And we’ll get to see the movie that Veronica Roth herself thought did a great job of bringing her words to screen.

With so much to be excited about, I know most of you will be seeing this movie on Friday when it’s released, or in many cases Thursday night when it premieres at midnight shows.  You’re already pumped, but I say: GET MORE PUMPED!

With that goal in mind, we’re having a party at the library just for the purposes of getting pumped for the Divergent release.  Tomorrow night, March 20, from 6-9 in the meeting rooms downstairs, we will be celebrating all things Divergent.  Costumes are strongly encouraged – I myself will be rocking some red and yellow.  There will be fun games for those with the Amity connection, or more intense Wii sports games for the Dauntless trying to get some training in.  There will be trivia for Erudites, a chance to honestly reveal yourself for Candor, and an opportunity to make something for others for anyone feeling Abnegation generosity.  And because we know everyone is a little Divergent inside, you can experiment with all these faction activities.  There will be food, including Dauntless cake for everyone, and pizza because pizza is awesome.  There will be prizes and drawings, including temporary tattoos to help with your Dauntless costumes (or just for fun).

But most importantly, there will be a whole lot of Divergent fans excited about the books and excited about the movies.  So come celebrate, unleash your excitement, and get yourself primed and ready for the Divergent movie release!

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Posted in GEPL News, GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: Trying New Things

Teens Blog Banner9780142410974_JustListen_CV.inddLately, I’ve been on a big realistic fiction kick, with a definite skew towards the romantic.  If it tells you anything, I’ve read three Sarah Dessen books in the last couple months, among many other things.  This is notable because as a general rule, I prefer speculative fiction to realistic fiction, and I tend to avoid books with overtly romantic themes.  The preferring speculative fiction is not surprising – my love of speculative fiction has been developing my entire life, ever since I learned to read on a picture book version of The Nutcracker, all the way through my obsession with dragons and Tolkien, on to my current taste for dragons (yes, still), vampires, the supernatural, dystopias, and generally speaking anything not of this world.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I like what I like, and there’s absolutely no reason I should have to read anything I don’t like.

Blog Entry 38 - Image 3My mistake, I think, was in ruling things out – like realistic fiction and romance.  I’m pretty sure I’ve always liked some romance with my books.  Not that I need it in every book, but it’s definitely something I’ve enjoyed when it appears.  My prejudice against anything that I knew was “romance-y” was entirely that – prejudice.  My avoidance of realistic fiction was less of a prejudice, and more of a “I know I usually prefer speculative fiction” thought turning into a “why would I pick up a realistic fiction book?” response.  Combine the romance prejudice with my natural tendency to grab books I have a high likelihood of enjoying and my laziness about testing my limits, and you know what?  I was missing out on a lot of good books.

Style: "Porcelain vivid"This isn’t to say I’m suddenly un-interested in reading fantasy or anything like that.  Quite the contrary – I’m actively holding myself back from re-reading a bunch of my favorite speculative fiction series simply because I don’t have the time to commit to reading a whole series at the moment.  But discovering all these new books I’d been missing out on has been delightful.  Unexpected, but delightful.

So I challenge you to pick up something different next time you’re at the library.  Pick up historical fiction instead of something contemporary.  Pick up an action heavy book instead of a calmer, character-centered story.  Try fantasy instead of realistic fiction or something realistic instead of fantastical.  Challenge your prejudices and assumptions about your own taste – you could easily find yourself very pleasantly surprised!

Posted in GEPL Teens