Yesterday I became overwhelmed by how many books I had going at once.  So what did I do?  Started (and finished) a new one.  Right now I’m listening to 2 books and reading 3.  That’s about 2 too many.  The Opposite of Invisible came in on hold yesterday, though, so I picked it up on my break.  And stayed up past 1 to finish it.  Solid contemporary YA – although I had to laugh when Alice said she only has one friend.  At the Mock Printz, the teen in my group had noticed this YA trend of characters with only one friend, and she said it drove her crazy.   But be appeased teen readers of the world, she makes more friends.  That part was very nicely done, plus I had a great sense of (and empathy for) Alice as a person, and the arc that her relationship with Simon rang true.  Some of the details felt a little self-consciously placed – specific locations, details about her family, articles of clothing – and that distracted me from the narrative, particularly since it was told in the first person.  But overall, it’s a good look at the high school dynamic, with decently well-rounded characters (apart from the football player who keeps eying Alice like a piece of meat) and believable emotions.

Now I’m focusing on Jack Plank Tells Tales, which has been on my shelf for an embarrassing length of time.  Basically a linked series of stories, some funny, some mysterious, some adventuresome, told by a pirate who’s been kicked off the ship because he didn’t care for plundering (just say no to pillaging, anyone?)  Seems like it would make a good read-aloud, and each story is enjoyable, but as always I crave more plot.  I know where it’s going – in each chapter, someone suggests a different profession for Jack, and he tells a story about why he wouldn’t be suited for that job.  So obviously he’s going to end up being the town storyteller.  Which doesn’t take away from the charm of the book, but gives me less impetus to keep picking it up.

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