Friday, September 5, 2008

Books you can't put down...

Well, while you've all been busy with your summer reading, I've been trying to keep up. So, here are a few of my favorite books from the last month or so:

Marcus is just a regular, Bay-area teen right? Well, after the bombing of the Bay Bridge, there's no such thing as normal anymore, according to the over-zealous Department of Homeland Security. Marcus, fed-up with being treated as a terrorist no matter where he goes, finds ways to subvert government-sanctioned discrimination and abuse with everyday items. Imagine starting a grass-roots revolution with an XBox. Marcus and his friends cause all kinds of creative havoc while chanting "Don't trust anyone over 30." This book is funny, sexy, authentic, and terrifyingly close to our post 9-11 reality.

When a boy at Kimberly's (aka Skim) high school commits suicide, everyone starts treating her like she's gonna be next. So she's goth, quiet, and artistic, studying to become a witch, that doesn't mean she's ready to start walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The story of this graphic novel is told through Skim's diary entries, and ink-drawings depicting the somehow fascinating mundanities of every-day life. The author and illustrator have an amazing sense of the minute events and interactions that can have a huge impact on your life and outlook.

Miles and Laura are first cousins who have grown-up together as sisters. Laura has always been the sunshine to Miles' dark night, so everyone who knew her was shocked when she took her own life. And Miles was angry. Angry that Laura never told her that she was feeling bad, that she wanted to die, and angry with herself for not seeing it. Miles spends the summer of her senior year on a downward spiral of pharms, tobacco and depression, realizing that she is in love with Jamal, her best friend, and growing closer with Laura's grieving father. Sound depressing? Well, it is, but the writing is gorgeous and somehow life-affirming in-spite of all that darkness. Kind of like...well, life.

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