Thursday, May 9, 2013

VerseDay: Three Mini-Reviews and a Giveaway!

Welsome to my VerseDay post! VerseDay is a year-long event taking place every Thursday. Book bloggers and authors who have signed up to participate each have a turn posting about something verse (poetry) related. Today I'm going to be sharing three quick reviews with you of novels-in-verse that I have read in the past but haven't had the chance to review yet. Two of these books I read this year and one I read last year.

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
Published by Swartz & Wade, 2012

A younger teen-middle school read. The book is a historical fiction following a girl called May B. She is sent away from her family to work for a new couple. Their home is a mud house and the settlement is new. When May B. arrives it is obvious the wife of the couple does not like the situation she finds herself in. When the wife runs away her husband follows. Neither of them come back and May B. is left to fend for herself. She does not want to leave because her family needs the money and keeps waiting and waiting but nobody comes back to her.

The story was quite sad because there is so much loneliness in it. And it is also a huge struggle for her to survive on her own. The only thing May B. has to keep her company is her memories and her reading primer which just frustrates her since she has so much trouble reading. Though the story is sad, the ending is really impactful, speaking a lot about growth, strength, and an independence that is confident. I enjoyed the verse and found it an easy read despite the mood of the story. I think it would be a great start to verse reads for the younger crowd.

My Rating: 4/5
Disclaimer: I read a library copy.

Orchards by Holly Thompson
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2011

Orchards is another book I would consider being for younger teens. It deals with some heavy issues such as suicide but in a very sensitive manner, almost as if the author is trying to teach about what it is, what to look out for in friends, and that it can happen anywhere and anyplace. The story itself takes place in Japan, far away from Kana's school friends. As Kana is getting to know her distant relatives she is taken far away from her "real" life and the tradegy that happened just before. She is just beginning to heal when something big happens over the internet, far away, and Kana has to deal with things all over again. I enjoyed this book but felt as it was for a younger audience that I didn't get as much out of it as the author intended. I did enjoy her writing and have been looking out to see if she writes another novel-in-verse in the future.

My rating: 3/5
Disclaimer: I read a library copy.

Displacement by Thalia Chaltas
Published by Viking Juvenile, 2011

Thalia Chaltas wrote my very favourite novel-in-verse, Because I Am Furniture. So I was incredibly happy to get myself a copy of Displacement. I just love her writing style, and the way each page is like a little story in poem format. Displacement is about Vera who runs away from home and finds a place in the desert among an abandoned town. She makes friends with the owners of a cafe and finds a job with pottery artists all while squatting in an abandoned home. It's pretty obvious that not all is what it seems at Vera's work but she is just happy to have a job and when she starts to see her dead sister her boss sees her go crazy and she feels like there is nothing she can do. The story was a bit slow going but I liked the setting and the characters. Vera has a lot to learn about what she wants out of life and so there is also a lot of character growth. Then there is the mystery behind what happened to her sister and what is going on at her job. It was a fabulous book, but comparing it to Because I Am Furniture, I liked Because I Am Furniture a bit more. I would recommend both of Thalia Chaltas books to older teens as they deal with more mature subjects and feature older teens as well.

My rating: 4/5
Disclaimer: I bought my copy.

Previously reviewed novels-in-verse on One A Day Y.A.:

Bingham, Kelly. Shark Girl
Chaltas, Thalia. Because I Am Furniture
Cleave, Ryan G. Van. Unlocked
Kehoe, Stasia Ward. Audition
Marcus, Kimberly. Exposed
Schroeder, Lisa. Far From You
Schroeder, Lisa. I Heart You,  You Haunt Me
Schroeder, Lisa. Chasing Brooklyn 
Stone, Tanya Lee. a BAD BOY can be GOOD for a GIRL
Tregay, Sarah. Love and Leftovers 


I am offering the chance for one winner to choose any book from the novels-in-verse I have reviewed on One A Day Y.A. (see list above + the three I have reviewed in this post). Giveaway is open to anyone who can accept a package from The Book Depository. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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  1. I have only read Love and Leftovers which was a novel in worse and still have to discover these books. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  2. I haven't ever read a book in verse, but I started writing one a long time ago. Lol!

  3. These books sound so great! Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. I can't believe that I've never heard of any of these three books or even their authors. Thanks for showcasing them since I'm always looking for more books to read :)