A Heart Like Ringo Starr by Linda Oatman High

A Heart Like Ringo Starr by Linda Oatman High (2015)

Faith’s family runs a funeral home, which is kind of ironic because Faith is dying at age 16.  She does not want to die, and she is angry about this. She needs a heart transplant to live.   While she is waiting, a teen boy dies in a car wreck and her family’s funeral home handles the body, etc.   At about the same time, she gets the call:  there is a heart for her.  Come in immediately.

This novel is a quick read.  It is told in verse, and is very effective.  I highly recommend it to nearly everyone.

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From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot

From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot
Olivia Grace Harrison has lived with her aunt for as long as she can remember, because her mother died when she was two.  She has never met her father, but she corresponds via letter with him.  She thinks he must be an archeologist with his world adventures.  It turns out that she, Olivia, is actually a princess!  Princess Mia of Genovia (of the Princess Diaries books) is her older half-sister!

This is a fun and quick read.  Having read Royal Wedding a few weeks before, it was great fun for me to have the opportunity to read this book, as well.  It shows the perspective of the story from Olivia’s point of view.   I highly recommend it for young and old alike!

(Summer Reading Online – 11 of 30)

Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo (2014)

I just finished reading this book.  It took me longer than usual (to read this book.)  I reluctantly give it 4/5 stars.  It really is a well-written view of grief from a teen’s perspective, but it was somewhat difficult to really get into.  I liked that premise that Leigh’s family has moved to a cemetery, and that Leigh’s father has pretty much given her no choice but to work the office.  Her older sister cannot because her cancer is in remission and she is all into running now.  No time (and the cancer thing) for working the cemetery’s office and selling plots and stones.  Their mother seems entirely disconnected from her family because she misses the ocean, and recovering from her older daughter recovering from cancer.   It takes a while to get to the fact that it is Leigh’s best friend who had died in an accident months before.

I found myself frustrated with Leigh.  She is depressed most of the book, which is understandable, but what I don’t understand is why she can’t be friends with a girl she meets after Emily’s death.  She is afraid of replacing Emily, but she is outright mean at times to Elanor.  Leigh also just exists on one special (to her) kind of candy. . .  and loses all sorts of weight.  I feel I am very empathetic, but here’s the deal:  For me, in grief, I eat.  I eat my feelings. I ate like crazy after my first son died (entire large packages of cookies in one sitting kind of eating.)  So trying to understand Leigh’s lack of appetite is admittedly difficult.

I lived for six years as a child next to a cemetery, and I loved it. It was not a scary place at all.

Anatomy of a Misfit

Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes (2014)

In this YA fiction, Anika Dragomir is the third most popular girl in her high school, and initially, she is solely concerned about keeping her status where it is.  The most popular girl, Becky, is “all-American”, and Anika is half Romanian, so she therefore, she can never be the most popular girl ever in the high school hierarchy.  Not in 1980s Nebraska!   Anika really likes Logan, who has grown up over the summer and now rides a moped to school!  However, then there is Becky, who still acts like a complete “mean girl” toward to Logan (and most of the girls in school).

I give this book three stars out of five. I want to be able give it more, but I had trouble sticking with this book. There is much foreshadowing that something is going to happen, and that there is a big lesson to be learned.  There is so much talk about boyfriends and sex . . . I suppose it is realistic, but in some ways, so different than my own high school experiences about five years or so after this book was set.   On the other hand, I was not “normal.”  I had trouble talking to anyone. at. all back then.

I liked in the beginning of the book all of the references that place the time frame of this work in the mid-1980s or so –  LA Gear shoes, The Cure, Police, etc.  The first names of most of the characters place it in the ’90s:  Becky, Shelli, Jared, and Brad just to name a few.

[Summer Reading Online 2015 – Book 3/30]