Monday, February 4, 2013

It's Monday! What R U Rdg? Love Stories

    It is Monday! What Are You Reading is originally hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts host a kidlit and YA version as well. 
This week I am excited to share two vastly different love stories, Ashfall by Mike Mullin and Beautiful Creatures co-written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  What is thrilling about both of these love stories is that they are told from a male narrator's voice. I am ready to share these titles with several readers.

Ashfall was one of the titles that fell into my hands at ALAN 2012 and I would have finished it sooner had I been in still working in the College of Health and Public Affairs. One could probably argue that Ashfall doesn't actually fall into the teen romance category and that it is more about survival, but it is two love stories. It's about the love a teenage boy, Alex, discovers for his family once he is cut off from them after Yellowstone's supervolcanic explosion. Most of the story is about his travel to find them. It is also about the first love that most teenagers go through albeit under extremely difficult circumstances. Readers will enjoy journeying with Alex as he demonstrates tenacity when facing challenges that would daunt any adult.  The underlying premise about the explosion of a supervolcano makes this story even more compelling. It could happen! I might hand this book to readers who had enjoyed Susan Beth Pfeffer's, Life as We Knew It or use it as a lit circle choice while reading The Odyssey.

Honestly, I wouldn't have grabbed Beautiful Creatures from my friend's stack if I hadn't been intrigued by the movie trailer. How did I miss this series? What I love most about Beautiful Creatures is that the protagonist, Ethan, stands up and does the right thing even though it's hard and even if his whole world turns against him. This message is one of the most important messages that  I hope to impart to my students. Lovers of fantasy and historical fiction will be intrigued by the world of Casters and the mystery surrounding the Civil War flashbacks Ethan endures. I would argue that Beautiful Creatures is more than a love story because it is about survival too.  Surviving high school, the trial that hurts most when you are different from everyone else.

Both books fit into my ninth grade journeys unit and work with my one of  my essential questions "How do you survive?" Ultimately, both are adventure stories and they both are series, the kind of series that you like to get struggling readers hooked on because they always know what they are going to read next.


  1. Beautiful creatures is a movie then? I should watch it before reading the book.
    I have some YA books this week It's Monday post

    1. That is funny! I like to read it before I watch it! Hence my haste in reading the book.

    2. If I read a book and love it then watch the movie, I won't like the movie (they tend to change so many things). If I watch the movie and love it then read the book, I'll probably like the book even more but still like the movie.

  2. I completely forgot that I had read Beautiful Creatures until I saw the preview for the movie and the. I remembered how much I enjoyed it. I read Ashfall last week and found it very interesting because, as you said, it could happen! (And I think my current location makes me more aware of e possibilities.) I like how you've labeled both of these as love stories.

  3. Love stories are like Valentines (sp) for your mind!


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