I picked up quite a bag full of books the last time I was at the library and have been reading furiously since then and guess what, I still can get them finished!
My life next door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (2012); Great YA fiction. Loved the relationship between Jase Garrett and Sam Reed. Samantha's mother is a piece of work and easily could go down as one of the top ten terrible fiction examples for mothering. She's a single mom with a big trust fund so she's snooty and has never embraced the more earthy Garrett family, the next door neighbors. Sam, on the other hand, is fascinated with the Garrett family and spies on them from her bedroom rooftop. The Garretts are the polar opposite of Mrs. Reed; messy, loud, affectionate, and kind and Samantha quickly becomes one of them as Jace befriends her. There are several different surprises in this debut tale.
Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin (2013); Rory McShane has had a tough life so far. She also has an inssuferable mother who chooses terrible men over motherhood. Rory takes a job as an errand girl for the wealthy Rule family and even though she hasn't had a parent to look up to she certainly has a strong moral compass. Set against the backdrop of East Hampton, NY Rory learns a few new lessons but leaves with a sense of purpose about her own life and what kind of person she truly is. Philbin is a wonderful writer and I've enjoyed her Daughters series as well.
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson (2013); Amazing historical fiction, a sequel to Hattie Big Sky, that continues her journey as she heads to San Francisco with an acting troupe. Hattie is full of spirit as she meets new friends and gets a job at the famous San Francisco Chronicle. It may not be as a star reporter as she would like yet for now she's just happy to walk through the heavy doors everyday. Hattie is such an enjoyable character that I would love to see a third book chronicling her next adventure as she moves to the Pacific Northwest! What do you think Kirby Larson?