Posts Tagged ‘rainbow rowell’

Best YA of 2013, Part One

December 17, 2013








It’s that time of year again!  “Best Of” lists are everywhere, and the staff here at DPL want to share some of our favorite YA books we read this year.

Lexie‘s choice is one of last year’s Printz Award honorees: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  “It’s best to go into this not knowing much, but here’s what I can tell you: this is the story of female pilots during World War II, one of whom has just been captured by the Nazis.  Under threat of torture, she is writing her confession of classified information to her captor.  This is an amazing story of friendship and strength, and it is so suspenseful and engaging that once I started it I couldn’t put it down even for one single second.”

Amanda has a recommendation for audio book listeners: “The Diviners by Libba Bray (audiobook) was the book that made me fall in love with audiobooks.  I was already a huge Libba Bray fan (Going Bovine and Beauty Queens are two of my favorite books), but I was blown away by what reader, January LaVoy did with this already entertaining read.  I can’t wait until the next book in the series, Lair of Dreams, comes out (next August!)”

Liza‘s pick is one that has been incredibly popular with the librarians here at DPL: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  “I liked it because it was honest and truthful and didn’t pull any punches.  The book made me want to read faster than possible to gobble up the text while also making me want to slow down and savor the book while I had the chance.  I look forward to reading many more books by Rowell.”

Ann chose one of my favorites of the year, Rainbow Rowell’s second book of 2013, Fangirl:  “It’s sweet without being saccharine, witty and felt very real.  I also thought it felt very modern yet timeless – Cath’s obsession with her fandom and connections (and fame) she makes via the internet because of it are very 2013, but the emotions created from changes like falling in love, losing your best friend and learning becoming your own person are universal.”

Check back later this week for even more of our favorite reads from this year!


October 16, 2013


I know it seems like lately all I’ve been doing is gushing about Rainbow Rowell, but trust me, she totally deserves it.  After I read Eleanor and Park, I had to rush out and get her newest novel Fangirl pretty much immediately.  The main character, Cath, is obsessed with the Simon Snow book series.  For years she and her twin sister Wren have built a following online by writing fanfiction about Simon Snow and Baz, Simon’s enemy (or something more, in Cath’s mind).  But now that they’ve gone off to college, Wren is ready to build her own identity separate from Cath, which means ditching all that fanfic stuff.  So now Cath is on her own and dealing with the challenges of college life:  having a surly roommate, figuring out where to eat in the cafeteria, getting attention from a couple of charming boys, all while balancing classwork with writing Carry On, Simon.

I love this book not just because it’s well written with lots of witty dialogue and an understanding of what going away to college is really like, but also because I’m a BIG fan of Harry Potter, who has clearly heavily influenced Simon Snow.  Rainbow Rowell really gets the fandom thing right.  If  you’re part of the HP fandom, or any fandom really, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book.

Eleanor & Park

October 3, 2013


Every once in awhile I come across a book that I love so much and find so universally appealing that I just can’t help but recommend it to everyone I see. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is one of those books. You might have heard of it because of the controversy surrounding it lately (and just in time for Banned Books Week, of course!). Or maybe you heard of it because of John Green’s glowing review of it in the New York Times. Either way, it’s getting tons of buzz, and for good reason.

Eleanor & Park is set in 1986 and is the story of two misfits who meet on the school bus. She gets bullied for being a bigger girl with bright red hair. He’s a kept-to-himself Asian-American who would rather read his comic books and listen to The Smiths than hang out with the cool kids. When Eleanor can’t find a seat on the bus, Park saves her from ridicule and lets her take the seat next to him. At first they don’t speak to each other, but one day Park notices Eleanor reading his comic books over his shoulder. This new found friendship grows into love over time, turning into one of the most genuine and charming YA love stories that I’ve read. I fell in love with Rainbow Rowell’s witty dialogue and realistic characters, and I guarantee that you will too.

Banned Books Week

September 23, 2013

This week, libraries all over the country are practicing our freedom to read with Banned Books Week! Yes, that’s right, book banning is a thing that still happens. Just last week, new hit YA novel Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell faced a challenge for being “obscene”.

Check out the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week website here, and don’t forget to take a look at the list of Frequently Challenged Books here to see if any of your favorites are on it. Last year’s top 10 most challenged books list included YA hits The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group), Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group), and Looking for Alaska by John Green (Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)

*Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

Judging a Book by Its Cover: Eleanor and Park

April 3, 2013


TitleEleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

What’s on the cover:  On a peach background, a guy and a girl with their backs towards us.  One has long and curly red hair and the other has short black hair.  They are both wearing headphones and the cords are woven together in the middle.

What I think it’s about:  Two teens who bond through their love of music.  Probably involves some romance, based on how the headphone cords are wrapped up together.  The colors make me think it might be a lighter, fun sort of book.

Do I think I want to read it?:  The cover is pretty minimal and gives me just enough clues to be intrigued.  I like the idea that it might be about music, and I really like that it’s not a photo of a random person like SO MANY book covers I’ve seen lately.  So I think I’ll pick it up!

What the blurb says:  ”Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”

Final verdict:  Okay, so it doesn’t say anything about music, but CLEARLY music is going to play a part in the story, right?  And “star-crossed” doesn’t suggest light fun, so I might have been off the mark here.  But I still think I’ll be putting this one on my To Read pile!

What do you think about the cover?  Have you read the book, and if so, is the cover fitting?  Post your thoughts in the comments!

On the NEW shelves

March 22, 2013

Our shelves are overflowing with awesome, brand new YA books!  Check out just a few of them below.  If you want to be the first to get your hands on one of these, click the cover to place a hold or stop by one of our libraries to see if the one you want is still here!