Tag Archives: Nicola Yoon

Busy reading weekend

14 Nov

Since I spent most of the weekend letting my knee recover, I had a lot of time to read and knit. I read three print books and listened to two audiobooks and almost finished a pair of socks. The perks of a knee injury.

One of the books I listened to was The Sun is Also  Star by Nicola Yoon.

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Publisher’s Summary:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Another great bit of bibliotherapy.

The universe seems to be bringing Natasha & Daniel together and apart and you can’t help rooting for both of them.

I met Nicola Yoon at an ALA dinner in San Francisco. Her first move, Everything, Everything was about to be published  and she was one of 4 authors promoting their work. It was a wonderful novel and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet. Warning: neither are suitable for middle grade audiences. They are clearly YA.

The story is narrated in two voices, Natasha’s & Daniel’s and unfolds over the course of a single day. As each shares part of their story, you can’t help but fall in love with them. Their narration is punctuated by the Universe telling details about side characters or facts. It could have become didactic, but it is really effective.

Yoon’s sophomore novel is even better than her first!

 

Sting!

24 Aug

Last night I had the strangest dream. As often is the case with dreams, many details are fuzzy, but I remember the big ideas. I was stung by a bee on my lip on a family trip with my parents ( I seemed to be teenaged). My lip swelled, I needed medication, but I was about to get on a bus to go somewhere without my family.

Where do these things come from?

Regardless of the origin or details, when I woke up I thought about books in which insect stings play a significant role.

First, there is A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith. A short classic, it tells the story of a friendship that is interrupted when one of the boys dies from a bee sting.

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An allergy to stinging insects runs through the four books of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series. The first book opens with a prediction of  Gansey’s death. We learn later of his allergy to wasps, which weaves itself through the four books

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In Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything the main character, Madeline, is allergic to nearly everything and must live inside a carefully sealed environment.

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Serious allergies are no joking matter. We had a boy with a severe peanut allergy last year and we needed to take precautions at every celebration. There are nut free tables in school cafeterias. I recall visiting a school several ago that had songs posted all over the halls, reminding staff and students that the school was citrus free due to a severe allergy.

This leads me to one of my favorite movies of  1976.

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We certainly took it seriously as we swooned over John Travolta, but, looking at it 40 years later, it seems awfully melodramatic.

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