All tagged Ron Koertge

List-O-Rama: Embracing the Weird

I have a soft spot for bizarro stories. You know what I mean, the weird, but captivating, tale that you never fully understand but like nonetheless. Here are a few of our recommendations for the next time you want to embrace the weird.  

Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge (Candlewick, Oct. 8, 2013)

“‘Oh dear,’ said Jesus. 

Walker was able to ask ‘What?’ They’d stopped in front of a Balk’s Hardware. A sign in the window said, 


Jesus stared at his hands. ‘I mean nails are a miracle and God is in them, but they still give me the shivers.’”

Ron Koertge specializes in strange stories and he's an author whose books reliably work for me. Koertge's known for his verse novels, but this is more of a fractured prose (my term) style that works for this odd little story of a boy who seeks, and receives, divine intervention in coping with his brother's death. This is an irreverent little story with one of the more unusual doses of magical realism I've read. It's a short book at 128 pages, so if you're looking for something completely outside your normal wheelhouse that'll make you laugh, check out Coaltown Jesus.

I also recommended Koertge's Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses, a collection of fairytales retold in poetry, if you're looking for more Koertge weirdness.

Read the rest --> 


List-O-Rama: Some of Our Favorite Male POV Contemporary YA

Gabrielle’s excellent post this week, “The Broken Boys of YA,” and subsequent huge Goodreads list inspired me to dedicate today’s post to highlighting some of our favorite young adult novels written from a male point-of-view.

These are all contemporaries, which is near and dear to us here, though there are some excellent paranormals and dystopians which Gabrielle’s Goodreads list highlights as well. It’s interesting, because I didn’t realize until now that many of my favorites are written by women. It’s funny, because many of the books I’ve had the biggest problems with have also been written by women. It seems like authors either knock this out of the park for me or absolutely fall flat. Funny… I would have thought there’d be more of a gender divide. 

Freefall by Mindi Scott 

“I just love that feeling when things are about to change. Like when you know that in a few seconds you’re going to do something and become someone else.”

I’m pretty sure that Laura and I are friends thanks to this book. Seth’s voice is one of my absolute favorites, it has a wonderful note of authenticity that makes Seth seem absolutely real. (I read Mindi’s new book last week and I literally squealed because Seth is mentioned and thought something along the lines of “I hope he’s doing well” before reminding myself that Seth is a fictional character.) Freefall has a very strong theme about actively choosing to make things change and it really resonated with both Laura and I. Seth Rocks.

{Laura’s Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

He was the person all of us should be, but most of us aren’t. And if I could have taken his place to buy him a little more time in the world, I’d have done it. I’m sorry I couldn’t.

Trish Doller’s debut is still reigning as one of my absolute favorite books of 2012. A 19-year old Marine coping with PTSD, on leave back in his hometown, in his family home, Travis’ should be pretty unrelatable for a dorky girl like me, but his story is told with such emotional authenticity that ultimately I found extremely compelling and familiar. 

{My Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

{List-O-Rama} 7 Sports-Themed YA Novels

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the XXX Summer Olympics (yes, this is how it’s displayed in my satellite company’s directory, which amuses me to no end) started this weekend. In celebration of this two weeks of sports (I love sports, y’all), I thought I’d round up some recommended young adult reads with sports themes.

Hopefully, there’s a little something for everyone on this list, so whatever your taste, you can find a satisfying sports-themed read. (I’m thinking I’ll do a non-fiction roundup soon, too, since I love quality sports non-fiction.) 

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

Okay, okay… I know American football isn’t an Olympic sport, but stay with me. This is one of Laura’s favorites, and it’s honest and funny and unique. It’s also a great sports book for people who avoid sports, because it’s about more than just sports. (Fun fact: When I asked Laura if she was planning on reading the sequel, Nothing Special, she refused on the grounds that Stupid Fast was so perfect, she didn’t want it ruined by a sequel.)

{Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

In between mint juleps, we were talking at book club this weekend about series and how frustrating it is that the publishing climate is such that series see to be the norm. And, dammit, sometimes you just want a book to have a beginning, middle and end! However, there have been a few times when I’ve found myself surprised by how much I love an unnecessary sequel. Here are three that are near and dear to my heart, that gave me the chance to revisit characters and settings when I didn’t even know I needed or wanted to see again. 

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta 
{Sequel to Saving Francesca}

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

It may be a bit of a stretch to call The Piper’s Son a “sequel,” it’s probably closer to a companion novel, but after reading and loving Saving Francesca, a fabulous Australian novel about a group of friends, I felt like the story had a level of closure that satisfied me. But! Along came Thomas Mackee and his aunt to sweep me away in The Piper’s Son. I loved catching up with characters from Saving Francesca several years later and despite that this focuses on a different character than in the first book, it brings closure that couldn’t exist without the sequel. (Also, I’m so happy that this one is finally getting a good cover in the U.S.)


{Buy it at Amazon | The Book Depository}
{Add it on Goodreads}