Stacking the Shelves (Temporarily) and The Summer I Learned to Fly Book Review/Talk

*cue the elevator music*

STACKING THE SHELVES!

This is a meme created by someone I do not know, so sorry if you’re reading this and I didn’t give you credit. If you do know who created this, could you send me a link in the comments below? Thanks!

Yesterday I went to the library and bookstore and brought back these beauties:

The Sumer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

East by Edith Parton

Aristotle and Dante Dicover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Seanz

They are in order of priority to read them. Currently I’m on City of Glass.

Book Review: The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt

 Title: The Summer I Learned to Fly

Author: Dana Reinhardt

Genre: YA Contemporary

Summary From Cover: Drew is a bit of a loner. She’s usually hanging out in her mother’s cheese shop. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s book of lists, and a crush on Nick the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade, and Drew’s days seem like business–until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy named Emmett Crane in the alley behind the shop. Who he is, where the cut on his cheek came from, and how he gained his limitless knowledge of rats are all mysteries drawn closer together and Drew enters the first true friendship of all her life. Dana Reinhardt’s book is about a cautious girl swept up by new feelings. It’s about a charismatic boy in search of a miracle. It’s about what happens when they find each other.

CAUTION: Spoilers Below; Read At Your Own Risk

Discussion Time: First of all, the cover synopsis is misleading, and I really dislike it when books have summaries like that. It makes the book seem like a girl meets a guy who’s charismatic and he knows buckets about rats and they live happilyeveraftertheend. Well, sorry, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

First off, Emmett does not know loads about rats. He says maybe three or four things about them, but he’s not always spouting facts about them. He teaches Drew’s rat one or two tricks. That’s it. The cover totally exaggerates about that. And that really bugs me!!!

Second, there’s the mom and Nick (not together). Drew’s mom has her own life going on, with a silver car and staying late at work. Drew is very confused about this, rightfully so, as her mom tells her nothing. So there’s one subplot. And then Nick, the beautiful nineteen-year-old “surfer bum” who is practically like family to Drew and her mother, seeing as his mom moved to Argentina with a guy. [But that’s another story.] Nick gets a girlfriend! Gasp! And Drew is devastated, and won’t talk to him or make pasta with him, and then Nick is sad. Boo hoo. And Drew is confused and stuff. BAM! Another subplot.

Now that I’ve helped the cover synopsis a bit, let us analyze the book.

It was somewhat scary how much Drew reminded me of myself. She’s tall, taller than all the boys in her grade, and she’s really confused about boys! We have so much in common, along with being cautious and rule-following (except, of course, when she runs of with Emmett to some magical hot springs). It helped that I could relate to her, but it also made me think about my own life and how they’re connected. Now, I’m not going to go too deep into my personal biz, but I know boys like a monkey knows…a protractor. So not very well. And I am constantly confused by them. I could see some similarities in our boy problems, and I thought about how Drew dealt with them to help me.

When I really get into a book, I can start to kind of become the main character and feel their emotions. I remember in third grade (I think) I was reading a Candy Apple book, and the main character was feeling really depressed, so I was a grouch, too. Weird, right? So when I read The Summer I Learned to Fly, I got really angry at Emmett when he ran off and was gone for like, a week, with no explanation. And since I could connect with Drew and my own personal life, I became a lot more emotional and prone to crying at really random times over stupid things when it really was the book and me.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It was a bit cheesy, but hey, sometimes you need a good cheesy contemporary to balance out the intense fantasy stuff.

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Have you read The Summer I Learned to Fly? Will you now? Tell me in the comments below.

-Chloe

P.S. If you haven’t all read, scroll all the way down the right sidebar to see my blogging schedule.

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