Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Ramblings on Spellbinding by Maya Gold

By: Maya Gold
Release Date:
Book Provided By: NetGalley
Author Website


There's more than one way to be powerful . . .

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva--sixteen and nearly friendless--makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spell book somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her new found power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush--and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there's Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history--and her heart--before she can face the powerful truth.

My Ramblings:

It's been awhile since I've had the time to sit and read a book. When I finally had some free time I checked what was next on my TBR pile and picked up this book. I was instantly hooked. Gold did a great job at connecting her story to traditional Salem Witch Trial lore and it was fun to read. I so wanted to love this book from start to finish, but there a few little things that let me down in the end. 

First the good:

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Ramblings on Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
By: Meg Medina
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Author Website
Book Provided By: NetGalley

One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is. (from goodreads.com) 

My Ramblings:
I loved this book. Loved. Even though it's about a latina teen trying to find her place in a new school- the story itself is universal and so many kids (and adults) can relate. Everyone has those moments where they don't fit in and too many kids find themselves in situations where they are the target of a bully. Piddy is forced to just try to survive every day without being physically and mentally assaulted, and the rest of her world begins to spiral out of control. 

Medina does a great job showing how bullying can change who you are, how you see yourself and how you interact with the world. You begin to believe what people are saying about you and you begin to become someone new. You can become the person they think you are, or you can retreat and pull yourself away from everyone. Watching Piddy trying to figure out what to do was very interesting and a good reminder of what kids go through every day. I saw myself a bit in Piddy, but more then that I saw my students. They deal with things outside of school that I can imagine, but I can't even begin to understand. The fact that they show up everyday, the fact that Piddy tries to keep moving forward, is a testament to their strength. 

The secondary characters in the story are also top notch. The people around Piddy all seemingly want the best for her, but they each have their own ways of doing it. Her mother wants to keep moving forward without ever looking back and that hurts Piddy, who desperately wants to know who her father is. Her mother so desperately want's something more for Piddy and doesn't want Piddy to make the mistakes she did, that she doesn't see her daughter falling apart in front of her. Piddy's friends, especially the neighbor boy who she grew up with,  offer her an escape when things get bad. They don't pressure her to say what's wrong, because they are all t familiar with what pain looks like. I don't want to give much away on this book. I enjoyed going on the journey with Piddy too much and I don't want to ruin that for anyone else. 

This is another one that I will be adding to my library collection for next year.