Before you pick this book up, I’ve got to warn you: it is heartbreaking. There is beauty and hope there, too, but there is so much sadness in this story that begins with a car accident in which five people die on the Jellicoe Road. Three survive, though, and one saves them and the bodies of their loved ones. One more is added to their number, and those five friends are everything to each other.

Over two decades later, Taylor Markham is a student at the Jellicoe School. She becomes the leader of her school in the territory wars between the Jellicoe School students, the Townies, and the Cadets, who come in for six weeks from the city. The three factions fight and negotiate and bargain for territory, with an extensive set of rules and lots of tradition and history. That history is personal, too, when it comes to the relationship between Taylor and Jonah Griggs, the Cadets’ leader…

Read the rest of my review on Chicklish

This book will be released in the USA with the title “Jellicoe Road”, to be published by HarperTeen in September 2008.

Check out my review of Melina Marchetta’s Saving Francesca on Curled Up With A Good Kid’s Book.

Suzanne needs some extra cash, so she gets a job at a hair salon every Saturday. It’s nothing exciting, but nothing too difficult, either, and she doesn’t think it’s too much of a price to pay for some pocket money… until she finds out who the junior stylist is.

Karenna Sheldon used to absolutely terrorize Suzanne when they went to school together. For years, Karenna and her friends, two years older than Suzanne, were unbelievably cruel to the younger girl for absolutely no reason. And now, Suzanne is going to be spending her Saturdays with Karenna. Her friends don’t know that it’s a problem; Suzanne never told anyone about the bullying that was going on. So what’s she to do? Quit her job for no apparent reason? Or can she finally stand up for herself?

Read the rest of my review at Chicklish.

Reading British books is fun! Sometimes I do not quite understand all of the slang, but I quite enjoy the British-isms, and if you are an American I strongly suggest you find some British books of your own to read. Everything is more entertaining when it has fun British words! And wonderful British spelling! Etcetera. I also suggest you visit England. It’s a wonderful place, well, the bit of it I’ve seen, at least. Anyway, about the books, I suppose the reverse might hold true for British readers, but I cannot speak from experience there because I am American. That is all.

Chicklish is a wonderful website that has long been linked in my sidebar. It’s a wonderful blog with interviews, reviews, giveaways, excerpts, and more. They talk about some wonderful books, but if you’re American (as I am)  you’ll sigh wistfully at their wonderful reviews, because many of the books are only available overseas (it is a UK site).

Anyway, I’m very happy to announce that I am now writing for Chicklish! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them, as I have long admired their site from afar. I am now the US correspondent,  and to start off with they’ve posted my review of E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, which is a truly wonderful novel and, certainly, if I dare say it so early in the year, a Printz contender. Check it out here, and make sure to add Chicklish to your reading list if it’s not there already! I’ll tell you all here when I have something new over there.

Also right now, they’re doing a contest for a copy of Tabitha Suzuma’s From Where I Stand, which sounds great, and they will ship internationally if you win, so go on over there and enter!

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is the latest book by the fabulously talented and brilliant E. Lockhart. Frankie Landau-Banks is a sophomore at Alabaster, a prestigious boarding school. Previously, the institution was all-male, but it is now coeducational. Its infamous secret society, however, remains a boys-only club. The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, to which Frankie’s father belonged, is still on campus (although in a rather weak form), and Frankie’s new boyfriend, the sought-after Matthew Livingston, is a part of it.

And he won’t even tell her. It’s only through her own intelligence and curiosity that she figures it out, despite giving Matthew numerous opportunities to tell her. And Frankie’s not the least bit happy with any of it–her boyfriend keeping secrets, or the society not allowing girls. And Frankie, being Frankie, isn’t going to stand for that.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is told in the third-person (which, you may know is not my preferred point of view), but I absolutely adored it and wasn’t even bothered by the narration, it was told so wonderfully. E. Lockhart is a truly brilliant writer, and her talent really shines in this fresh, witty new novel.

I think this may be E. Lockhart’s best novel yet, and, really, that’s saying something! She’s an amazing writer, and this smart, funny book is one that is already standing out as one of the best of 2008 (and it’s not officially released until March 25). Frankie is a wonderful character–intelligent, creative, and empowered. She’s always been “bunny rabbit” to her family, and most people see her that way even if they don’t use that nickname–they think she’s cute and charming and harmless. Frankie, however, is anything but! She’s a criminal mastermind.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a funny, bold, and irreverent novel sure to find many fans who are themselves not content with the established social order or the way the world sees them.

Also posted at Chicklish!