September -- Time To Read

Ape House by Sara Gruen
Finally! Gruen’s much anticipated new book. The ape house consists of bonobos, Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani and Makena, who are living at a university's Great Ape Language Lab. Isabel is their caretaker/teacher and communicates with them via American Sign Language and pictures. After a mysterious fire at the facility, the apes are moved to an undisclosed location and Isabel is frantic to find them. In a bizarre twist of fate they surface as characters on a reality show and the entire country is spellbound watching the ape’s shenanigans which include lots of sexual interactions. Quite the social commentary I’d say. Not a crazy-good book like Water for Elephants, but I guess that was asking a heck of a lot. ♥♥♥

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Ruby is popular, arty and has a boyfriend. Her brothers are twins: Max, who's trying to find himself and Alex the athletic super-star. There are the usual teenage events -- summer camp, proms, dates, soccer games and weird neighbors. Of course there’s more to the book but I won’t say. Quindlen tells a good story. Was it a totally fresh take on coming of age in our society? No. Was it well-written and hard to put down? Yes. Did it remind me of Chris Bohjalian and Jodi Picoult? Yes. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
These two started a revolution calling for young people to rebel against the low expectations of our culture by choosing to "do hard things." This book, written for teens, gives real-life examples of what is possible when you raise your expectations. I love the idea that adolescence is the time to start on your path of life, not just used as a vacation from responsibility. Personally the book was a bit heavy on the gospel but the message was great.

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
Ahhh…the 70’s. I can relate to Catherine Grace Cline as she eats Dilly Bars and dreams of leaving her dusty little town and her Baptist minister father. Nice little book with an interesting twist. Great teen book.

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