Monday, May 21, 2018

Confessions of a Queen B*

By Crista McHugh, this was a thoroughly enjoyable young adult book; apparently book 1 in a series. High school hallways everywhere have a type of queen bee - usually head cheerleader, drawing everyone into her orbit out of desire to be near her. Alexis Wyndham is the other type of queen B - the queen bitch. She makes the in-crowd quiver by what she posts on her blog, using her position to help unpopular kids. Posting video of freshmen being bullied, etc. She doesn't care about acceptance, from anyone. Enter Brett, the star quarterback. They're teamed up for a unit on reproduction, or how to avoid it. It involves pretend-parenting a doll that needs changed, bottled, and burped. Head cheerleader, who claims Brett, doesn't like this. Neither does Alexis, at first. Stereotypes don't always fit.

A Joyful Break

Book one of the Dreams of Plain Daughters series by Diane Craver. This is, of all things, an Amish romance. A bit of fluff I picked up for my Kindle to read in waiting rooms. It's surprisingly good. Rachel Hershberger is an Amish young woman tending her family since her mother died at the age of 44. She is angry with her father, thinking if he had just put in a phone shanty, her mother would not have died. She feels pressured by her Amish boyfriend to get baptized and join the church, so they can marry. Samuel is a good man, a furniture maker, but is he her future? So she takes her rumschpringe to visit her Aunt Carrie, a senator's wife, to think things through. Should she join her Aunt Carrie's English family, or join the Amish church and marry Samuel?

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place

This is the ninth in the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. Flavia is now 12, and reeling from a family tragedy. Dogger, loyal servant that he is, suggests a boating trip for her and her two older sisters as a necessary escape from moping about the house. Dogger took them boating near a church where the vicar had recently been put to death for poisoning three of his parishioners with cyanide in the communion wine. Of course Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poison, is excited about this. Then, while punting near the church, dabbling her fingers in the water, Flavia hooks something. it is not the Hemingway-sized fish she first imagined, but a body. AH! The perfect remedy for sorrow, in Flavia's book, is solving a murder. Though it could bring about her own.

This may just be my favorite of the delightful Flavia de Luce series. And it leaves plenty of room for more books to come. The children and I pass these books around as we get them; they are adult fiction, but no cursing, sex, or gratuitous gore. Flavia is a worthy young heroine, especially for unschooled kids, as most of her learning (and that of her sisters) was achieved on her own. I'm hooked!