Book reviews of YA lit and more

As a middle school librarian and hopeful reader of Missouri's high school award books (Gateway nominees), I am reading and reviewing as many young adult and middle grade novels as I can while working on my own writing for this age group.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Playing with Matches- Brian Katcher

I met Brian Katcher at the recent MASL conference in Tan-Tar-A (a conference for Missouri librarians).  I attended his session on becoming an author, so it was enjoyable to read his first book that made it to the publishing world.  It was a great first novel- even ended up on Missouri's Gateway nominee list last year (only to lose to The Hunger Games- go figure).  What struck me about this book was the voice.  Brian captures a high school boys voice perfectly.  I learned a lot about what guys must have been thinking back in high school (and perhaps it's better that I didn't know back then).  Leon is a very likable character even when he is trying too hard.  When he befriends Melody, a beautiful girl whose face was disfigured in a fire accident when she was four, I was so happy that he was acting so mature.  But true to most (or all) guys his age he chooses the hot girl over Melody when the situation presents itself.  The ending wasn't fairy tale, but it wasn't depressing either.  He learns his lesson with some definite consequences, but it only made me like him more.  I'm looking forward to reading Brian's next book (Almost Perfect).  He is certainly an author to watch, and I enjoyed meeting him this spring.  I hope to join his ranks as a published author someday!

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