Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

“The day I broke up with my boyfriend Evan was the day he wrote the song. You know, the song.”

Audrey thought she was just breaking up with her boyfriend; she didn’t know she was inspiring a billboard top song. Everything changes when Evan’s, her boyfriend, song “Audrey, Wait!” starts getting played on the radio. Everyone recognizes Audrey from the song and she becomes an instant celebrity, adored and hated. Musicians try to date her to get inspiration and teen girls sneak into her school to get her autograph. Things are getting complicated and a little scary as Audrey tries to shed the limelight, especially because it’s interfering with her ability to date this really cute guy at her work.

Will Audrey ever be able to have a normal life again? Get ready to find out, because it’s time for Audrey to tell her side of the story. (from jacket cover)

I thought Audrey, Wait! was a complete breath of fresh air. Robin Benway knows how to write for teens and I thoroughly enjoyed Audrey’s whit, dry humour and brilliant sarcasm. She is a very well written character, both loveable and enviable. She is also very relatable, especially to those for whom music plays a heavy role in their lives. I thought the idea was very original and I enjoyed watching the story un-fold. I also loved all the musical elements that were interwoven, including the quotes at the top of each chapter, it added considerable depth to the story. Overall, it was an awesome book and I think it has wide appeal.

You might enjoy Audrey, Wait! If you like books with: laugh out loud moments, sarcasm and whit, focus on main character rather than fast paced plot, quirky side characters and books about music

Also by Robin Benway: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June

If you liked Audrey, Wait! You might also enjoy: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, How to be Popular by Meg Cabot, Boys, Girls and other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Additional Info: Check out the Audrey, Wait website to read an excerpt, see the official soundtrack for the book(which you can download from itunes) and upload your photo to see yourself in the tabloids.

 Author website: http://www.robinbenway.com/

Rating: W4/4 CP3.5/4 P4/4 O4/4 PP3/4 CR3/4

Grade Level Interest: JS

Covers

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this. Am I dead?”

After a horrific accident that kills her parents and her baby brother, Mia, now in a coma, is faced with two decisions: join her family, or wake up from her coma and face everything she has lost. Through memories of pivotal moments in her life, Mia reflects on everything she has lost, and everything she stands to lose if she goes. This is a story of friendship, first love, family, choices and unbelievable loss.

If I Stay is a heartbreaking novel told from the point of view of someone who has lost everything. The story bounces between the present day where Mia is in the hospital but aware of her surroundings, and flashbacks to parts of her life that servs to fill out her story. The flashbacks were the hardest to read, because they painted such a beautiful picture of family, love and growing up, which just highlights all that Mia has lost. I thought it was beautifully written: a combination of the well-fitted flashbacks, rich and heart-warming characters and a story that haunts you well after you put it down. I strongly recommend this for those who want a quick but powerful read.

You might enjoy If I Stay if you like books that: have characters that resonate, are not plot driven, deal with real life issues, are emotionally provocative.

Also by Gayle Forman: Sisters in Sanity and You Can’t Get There from Here

If you liked If I Stay, you might also enjoy: Wild Roses by Deb Caletti, The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley, Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

Additional Info: YALSA Best Books for Young Adults 2010

–          The author invites you to leave feedback about the book here.

–          There is going to be another book called Where She Went told from Adam’s point of view

–          Looks like there is going to be a movie made, directed by Catherine Hardwick (think first Twilight movie)

Non-fiction connection: Yo-Yo Ma: Internationally Acclaimed Cellist by Compass Point Books, 101 Cello Tips: Stuff all the Pros Know and Use by Angela Schmidt, Please Kill me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

Author website found here.

Rating: W4/4   C4/4   P4/4   O3/4   PP3.5/4   CR3/4 (I do like the new paperback cover better)

Grade Level: JS

Covers:

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

“No one knew anything really. I was a bona fide medical mystery. In their genius opinion, the head trauma wasn’t severe enough to have caused the kind of amnesia I had, so they said I was probably repressing, or some such crap. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure it was the fall down the stairs.” 

Naomi lost a coin toss and had to return to get the camera from her high school yearbook office. On the way back she slipped and hit her head. When she woke up she couldn’t remember anything from the last four years; not her parent’s divorce, her mom’s new family or her dad’s finances, not her boyfriend or even her best friend Will – nothing.  Nothing about who she was makes any sense anymore, the only thing that does is the mysterious James. As Naomi tries to fit pieces of her puzzle back together she’ll have to decide if who she was is who she wants to be.

This was such a great read. I really enjoyed the voice that Gabrielle Zevin gave to Naomi; it made her completely genuine and believable. The story contains the type of whit and sarcasm that I really enjoy. The novel was very well paced, with three equal chapters about before the accident, during her amnesia and after she remembers. The story isn’t so much about being an amnesiac, but rather about what happens when you have the chance to change who you are, which I thought was a really creative spin on a coming of age story.  On somewhat of a side note, I thought the other characters were beautifully crafted, each with their own flair and grace. I found this story refreshing and highly recommend it.

You might enjoy Memories of a Teenage Amnesiac if you like books with: strong female voice, witty dialogue, strong supporting characters, real life feel, a focus more on narrative than on fast paced plot

Other books by Gabrielle Zevin: Elsewhere and Margarettown

If you enjoyed Memories of a Teenage Amnesiac you might also like: Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, This is what I want to tell you by Heather Duffy-Stone, Accidental Love by Gary Soto.

Additional Info: Apparently there is going to be a Japanese movie made ?

Author website here.

Rating:  W 4/4   C 4/4   P3/4   O4/4   PP 3/4   CR 3/4

Grade: JS