An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

AnAbundanceofKatherinesColin’s life is all laid out before him. He is a child prodigy after all, one friend, college applications, and excellent grades. But, the one thing that isn’t going right is Katherines. Colin has been dumped by 19 Katherines, not Catherines, Katies or Kates. Katherine XIX has dumped him and to deal with it Colin and the Judge Judy loving best friend head on a road trip. While in Podunk, TN, Colin decides on the greatest feat of his life, designing the algorithm that will predict how any relationship will end.

Part romance, part buddy cop road trip, part nerdy self-discovery this is the love story for all of us that had multiple relationships and “so much potential.” John Green has a habit of writing stories that make us cry, or angst, or question our hopes and dreams. And he does this with love stories that all speak to the teenager we are or were. For me, I connect with this book in a special way probably because I’m a major nerd and grew up as Potential Girl with one too many ex-boyfriends.

The relationship between Colin and his bff is pretty wonderful for starters. THey are two completely opposite, complete characters who represent the give and take in a real relationship. The side characters are all excellent too from the bully to the big mama bear. And each of these extra characters plays an important role in the story and character development. John Green has a talent for not wasting a single scene on a single page. It’s a talent that I greatly respect.  Continue reading

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A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

AThousandNightsShe was his next bride, the next bride of a king who has killed so many women. She vows to protect her sister. But, she doesn’t expect the magic that occurs when she spins her tales. It starts out small and grows until she is ready to face her demons.

Doubtless, comparisons will be made between this book and The Wrath and the Dawn because of topic (retelling of the 1,001 Nights) and timing. So let’s start there.

This was the book that I wanted The Rose and the Dagger to be. It had the magic, the spirit, intrigue, love and just enough tension that I wanted to read it all the way through in a single sitting.

This has easily been one of the best, recent, standalone YA novels, at least for me. I loved our heroine and the world development was just enough to enthrall but not overwhelm.

I will say though, this is not a fast-paced, whirlwind thriller. Some of it’s qualities may not be appreciated by a young audience. For example, the writing is incredible, but the plot line is deliberate which may come off slow for some readers. Personally, I still loved it.

It was very empowering for a female reader the authority the main character has, how she takes back her life, manages on her own, and fights for those she loves, these things make her beautiful. Each woman in this book has her own story, her own agency, turning this tale into a feminist battle cry.

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