E is for Excorticate

E is for Excorticate

Did you know this word? Me, neither. I was looking for a word that meant “to peel layers” beginning with the letter E, and excorticate is what I found. Apparently, its origin is Latin although excorticate is not to be found in my standard Random House Webster’s.

Anyhow, It’s day 5 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter E Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

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Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” Thus begins this novel of a Chinese-Caucasian family living in the middle of Ohio in the 1970’s. Everything I Never Told You is not a Young Adult novel, but three of the main narrators are young adults, so this Alex Award novel would be appropriate for high school students. At the heart of this novel is a mystery. Why is sixteen-year-old Lydia dead? What factors contributed to her death? To learn the answers, Lydia’s parents and siblings must excorticate their lives, peeling back layer by layer those small and large events, words said and unsaid.

and

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

When Oskar Schell’s father is killed in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, Oskar discovers a key his father left behind. Oskar, consumed by guilt and grief, embarks on a quest to discover the secrets behind the key. On his quest, he will peel away layers of secrets of the people he meets as well as those of his own family. He touches lives with his ebullient—at times, manic—spirit, and eventually his efforts to excorticate the past and present will bring a kind of peace.

I really loved the writing and stories of both these books though I found several characters in Everything I Never Told You maddening. I also loved the movie Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—perhaps even more than I enjoyed the book.

Have you read either of these? Seen the movie? What did you think? 

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

D is for Danger

D is for Danger

It’s day 4 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter D Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Danger is a common element in Young Adult fiction and so appropriate, too, as young people need to figure out how to safely navigate the world around them. One day they will be out on their own. Danger also heightens the tension in Young Adult fiction since teens are so vulnerable in so many ways. Here are two books that highlight two different kinds of danger.

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Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

Kit Gordy is a reluctant resident of the Blackwood School for Girls, but it’s not until she settles in that she realizes she and the other students are surrounded by danger. Some of this danger comes from ghosts, but Kit and her new friends must discover the shocking extent to which humans threaten them as well.

Dreamland

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Ever since meeting bad-boy Rogerson, Caitlyn O’Koren has fallen into a dreamland from which she never wants to wake. Their relationship moves from heady infatuation to frightening control. The author details the danger Caitlyn recognizes but seems powerless to overcome until it’s almost too late.

Have you read either of these? Do you have a favorite? 

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

C is for Compass

C is for Compass.

It’s day 3 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter C Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Today I present two novels suited for young adults though, curiously, neither of these was written for the young adult market.

The Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

and

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Both of these lost narrators embark on a physical and mental journey to find and understand their places in the world. Holden Caulfield is a troubled youth on the verge of a breakdown. Christopher Boone is an autistic young man whose fascination with a neighborhood mystery leads him to disquieting truths about his own life. Christopher carries with him a compass; Holden is in need of a metaphorical one.

Have you read any of these? Which is your favorite? 

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

 

B is for Bittersweet

B is for Bittersweet

It’s day 2 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter B Day.

A reminder that my theme for 2017 is

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Presenting three novels suited for young adults that explore the sweet with the bitter:

Black Beauty

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty is a magnificent horse with a big heart. Sewell’s novel follows Beauty as he matures from a colt to an adult. As a young horse, he learns to love his mother and dear friends along the way. But he also endures great pain as, one by one, he loses many of his loves. His life is bittersweet.

Bless Me, Ultima

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Young Antonio grows up with a dilemma–choose the course his mother sets for him as a priest, or choose the cowboy lifestyle his father expects him to pursue. Through the shaman Ultima, Antonio learns that life is not an either/or proposition. He will also learn to open himself to magical possibilities even though that exposes him to forces of evil as well as good.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

From the beginning of her young life, Liesel knows the bitterness of loss. As a foster child, she pieces together her own concept of family and experiences love (and loss) again. Set in Germany on the verge of war, this novel has won numerous awards and is a joy to read. The language and imagery are luminous.

Three recommended novels detailing the joy of love and the sadness of lost love. Bittersweet.

Have you read any of these? Which is your favorite? 

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.