Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

nate

Better Nate Than Ever has racked up an impressive list of honors and awards. Although targeted at middle graders, readers of all ages will enjoy this hilarious book.  Through Nate’s eyes, readers are given a glimpse of how fabulous New York City can be. It brought back memories of navigating the busy streets, and experiencing the wonder and magic of the bright lights, loud noises and interesting smells!

Nate’s NYC audition adventure reminds us all the have the courage and heart to follow our dreams.  He is quite the comedian, and I found myself laughing a long with him. Although there are plenty of laughs to be had, Federle also covers serious ground through Nate’s questioning sexuality and his mothers’ unresolved family conflict that has hindered Nate’s relationship with his Aunt Heidi. I too have experienced family tension with an estranged aunt, so I could totally connect with Nate and cheer for their reconciliation.

I thought both serious matters were handled perfectly and age appropriately. Although Nate hints at his sexuality, it is never declared. In fact, Nate asserts, “I am undecided… and frankly don’t want to declare anything other than ‘Hey, jerks. I’m thirteen. Leave me alone. Macaroni and cheese is still my favourite food-how would I know who I want to hook up with? (p.27)” YES! I think Federle deserves a BIG round of applause for including that line.

I urge you to pick up this hilarious and inspiring book. I can’t wait to read the sequel- Five, Six, Seven, Nate!  to find out about Nate’s showbiz debut!

 

Advertisements

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (If I Stay #2)

It’s been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

where she went

I rarely read sequels.  However, having just finished If I Stay, I knew I had to pick up the next book, Where She Went.  In book one, Mia narrates the events leading up and following the tragic car accident that killed her family. Fast forward three years later for book 2 and now Mia’s boyfriend, Adam shares his story. It is a sad, raw and powerful narrative that will pull on reader’s heartstrings.  Adam is deeply affected and confused following his separation/breakup with Mia. I thought this was refreshing to see, as often it is the female character that is shown destroyed by a breakup.  Like the previous novel, memories and flashbacks of their relationship are again provided throughout.

Emotionally connecting with Adam came easy.  Like Adam, I felt anger toward Mia for how she ended things. When the truth is told, I was confused.  I’ve never experienced loss like Mia, so I couldn’t completely understand her reasoning. I believe that if I were in her shoes, I would have never pushed Adam away. I would have accepted all the love and support, rather than trying to erase him from her life.  However, I enjoyed the conclusion to their story and was left with feeling of hope. Pick up this realistic teen fiction series for a touching and beautiful read.

Blog Stats

  • 33,036 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 149 other followers

Goodreads

Check out my books on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3608158-brie