Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Crayons

New Crayons is brought to you by Color Online. In this meme I share what books I got for the week, crayons being a cool metaphor for multicultural lit.

Meh news: When I went to the library this week, all the YA books on Haiti were checked out (Every time A Rainbow Dies, Ruined, Touching Snow) So my question is; would people rather me go ahead and do part of the Haiti review week, this week? (I have 3 books for it) Or should I hold off on the week until I can review all the books the same week? Comment with your thoughts please!

From the Publisher

Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson

Joshua Wynn is a preacher’s son and a “good boy” who always does the right thing. Until Maddie comes back to town. Maddie is the daughter of the former associate pastor of Joshua’s church, and his childhood crush. Now Maddie is all grown up, gorgeous—and troubled. She wears provocative clothes to church, cusses, drinks, and fools around with older men. Joshua’s ears burn just listening to the things she did to get kicked out of boarding school, and her own home.

As time goes on, Josh goes against his parents and his own better instincts to keep Maddie from completely capsizing. Along the way, he begins to question his own rigid understanding of God and whether, as his mother says, a girl like Maddie is beyond redemption. Maddie leads Josh further astray than any girl ever has . . . but is there a way to reconcile his love for her and his love for his life in the church?

-I loved My Life As a Rhombus (and no I will not link to that review because it is embarrassingly bad and I need to re-do it over the summer) so I was beyond pleased to receive Saving Maddie. Thank you Jessica from Random House!

From the Book Fairy (aka Lyn)

We Were Here by Matt De La Pena
The story of one boy and his journey to find himself.

When it happened, Miguel was sent to Juvi. The judge gave him a year in a group home—said he had to write in a journal so some counselor could try to figure out how he thinks. The judge had no idea that he actually did Miguel a favor. Ever since it happened, his mom can’t even look at him in the face. Any home besides his would be a better place to live.

But Miguel didn’t bet on meeting Rondell or Mong or on any of what happened after they broke out. He only thought about Mexico and getting to the border to where he could start over. Forget his mom. Forget his brother. Forget himself.

Life usually doesn’t work out how you think it will, though. And most of the time, running away is the quickest path right back to what you’re running from.
-Yes! A book by Matt de la Pena (I wish I knew how to make a tilde). I love the last line of the summary and I've heard great things about this book so I'm quite anxious to read it.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkles

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

-I loved Perfect Chemistry and while this book does sound eerily familiar to Perfect Chemistry, I'm excited to read it and see if it's any different.

From the Library-Haiti Week

Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490 by Edwidge Danticat

With her signature narrative grace, Edwidge Danticat brings Haiti's beautiful queen Anacaona to life. Queen Anacaona was the wife of one of her island's rulers, and a composer of songs and poems, making her popular among her people. Haiti was relatively quiet until the Spanish conquistadors discovered the island and began to settle there in 1492. The Spaniards treated the natives very cruelly, and when the natives revolted, the Spanish governor of Haiti ordered the arrests of several native nobles, including Anacaona, who was eventually captured and executed, to the horror of her people.

-Well thanks a lot Amazon for the spoiler (not really). Anyway, I love the Royal Diaries series and I want to read all the ones they've done about POC royalty so hooray for this book!

Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat
It is election time in Haiti, and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. During a visit from her home in rural Haiti, Celiane Espérance and her mother are nearly killed. Looking at her country with new eyes, Celiane gains a fresh resolve to be reunited with her father in Brooklyn, New York. The harsh winter and concrete landscape of her new home are a shock to Celiane, who witnesses her parents' struggle to earn a living, her brother's uneasy adjustment to American society, and her own encounters with learning difficulties and school violence.
-I think I read this book awhile ago and enjoyed it so I'm eager to re-read it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's day and a great long weekend for reading!


  1. Varian Johnson is a fantastic author and also a very cool person. Thanks for your review! :)

  2. You could do a post a week for a couple of months and spread it out.

  3. Oh I need to read Edwidge Danticat. I have heard so many good things about her and I love her name! :P

  4. Hey! I know that Royal Diaries book. :) And I personally think you should wait until you have everything you think you need. There's no real rush.

  5. I'd like to see it with all the books I think. The first book in your post sounds great, think I might really start getting into conflicted explorations of religion in young adult lit.

  6. Nice reading list! I was particularly interested in "Saving Maddie", "Anacaona" and "Behind the Mountains". :)

    See, I'm popping in to tell you that this week's #LitChat's topic on twitter is about black authors, books, writing, marketing, etc. Thought you'd like to stop by? Your blog was mentioned today. :)

    We meet every M-W-F at 4pm EST. If you're new to twitter chats, check out this link, which leads to a great tutorial. ;)

    Btb, I'm mariblaser on twitter too. Let's connect there as well, if you like? :)

  7. I added several to my TBR pile on Goodreads. We Were Here looks really good!

  8. @Ronni-I would love to meet him in person! He seems like a cool guy and he writes great books so that's a win.

    @Pam-Thanks for the suggestion. I've decided I'm just going to save all my reviews and run them the same week.

    @Jenny-Me too, her name is beautiful.

    @Heather-I'm excited to read it, I love the Royal Diaries series. I agree, I'm going to wait and do them at the same time. And you're right there is no rush, it may even work any better since it will keep the plight of Haiti fresh im reader's minds.

    @jodie-I'm quite intrigued by conflicted religion in YA books too, I would recommend the Last Summer of the Death Warriors. See my above comments too.

    @mari-Thanks for telling me and I'm glad we've connected on Twitter :) Sadly, I'm in school during the time of the chats =/

    @Jill-It does look good, I love books, haha. Glad to hear and I'll be looking for your reviews!

  9. Hope you enjoy Anacaona. I wish they were still publishing this series! Which Royal Diaries books have you read?

  10. Oh and whatever you do, I suggest you don't read the Royal Diary about Lady of Palenque. It's about a Mayan princess which SHOULD be interesting yet the author managed to make it the most *dull* book. I think I liked Anacaona, Kaiulani, and Jahanara the most of the POC Royal Diaries, and I also really liked Eleanor of Aquataine because I love books about medieval times.


I love to hear from you!! Thank you for sharing :) And don't be Anon, I try to always reply back and I like to know who I'm replying to ;)