Best of the Best Challenge: Week 2 Update

Wow! Another week gone by already! I didn’t make as much progress on the challenge as I would have liked because I had some Advance Copies that I needed to read and review. But I did finish two books, which more than keeps me on track to complete the challenge.

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Anya’s story is for everyone who has ever felt like an outsider and wished to be just like everyone else. She struggles with her identity as a Russian immigrant, worries about her weight, and feels as if she has no friends. When Anya falls down a well, she meets a ghost whom she unwittingly brings home when she is rescued. At first it seems that the ghost, Emily, can make all of Anya’s dreams come true. But as Anya comes to realize that those dreams are flawed, she also begins to suspect that her new friend has not been completely honest. Faced with Anya’s withdrawal, Emily becomes threatening.

This graphic novel is a delightfully creepy take on a theme to which most teens can relate. The illustrations really enhance the story and create a strong contrast between the two main characters, Anya and the ghost Emily. The drawings of Anya are so expressive and really conveys the mood of the story. Emily is cool and remote, but gradually shifts form to reflect the changes she is trying to make on Anya. I’m not as familiar with books in the Graphic Novel format as I would like to be. So I rely on Best of lists to guide my reading and recommendations. This challenge provides extra motivation to read these books and I plan to work my way through all of the titles owned by my library.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
This week I also finished The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, book two of the series. Who am I kidding? There was no way I could stop after reading book one. It is such a pleasure to rediscover these books. I will definitely be reading the remaining three.

I have also started listening to Young Fredle, by Cynthia Voigt, read by Wendy Carter. I enjoyed reading the book and it is a delight to hear it brought to life on audio. After a fairly heavy dose recently of fantasy and dystopia, I decided I needed a change of pace. So I chose Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys for my next challenge read. I just 50 pages in, but I can tell it is a heart-breaking story. Someone warned me to keep the tissues handy while I read it. I think I will need them.

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About booksnquilts

I'm the Children's Services Coordinator for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia.
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