* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
Geek Magnet, by Kieran Scott **** I enjoyed this. I liked the light 'heavy' tone to it (the light -- but not dismissive -- way the author dealt with heavy subjects). Although KJ was pretty clueless at times, it was obvious why that was the case, and I liked how the stressful family stuff was handled.
The story: KJ is the stage manager of the school musical -- and she's fighting off all the geeks who are attracted to her 'nice girl' persona. Truth is, she has a hard time standing up for herself, and it takes the witchiness of cool girl Tama to show her that...but Tama pushes her to go too far, and KJ is soon lost in a stressful world of anger, frustration, sadness, and first love as she struggles with learning how to be a friend and how to deal with her alcoholic father. (YA contemporary, released 2008, publisher: Speak)
Selfish Elf Wish, by Heather Swain ***+ This was a fun read. I didn't read the first one, so I had some catching up to do with the world-building, but I liked the humor. I think the reason I didn't love it was simply that the characters seemed a little too fluid in some ways. Timber, especially, seemed very intangible and changeable. I didn't have a great grasp on Briar, either (partly because Zephyr, the narrator, kept going on about how wonderful she was, but her actions and words weren't very wonderful). But overall, it's a sweet story.
The story: Zephyr (an Elf who can't let people know she's an Elf) tries out for the school musical/play and is surprised when her audition goes well, even though she's usually very nervous to sing before others. Her cousin, Briar, convinces Kenji to add her as assistant production manager -- and then, when Briar also convinces Zephyr to Elf dance with her in the park, Briar inadvertently puts a love spell on Kenji. Zephyr suspects something is awry, but she can't decide if she wants the same thing for her and Timber -- until Timber's ex seems to want to steal Timber back...and all this while strange people show too much interest in the Elves, in general, and Briar's and Zephyr's family is threatened. (YA paranormal/Elves, released 10/10, publisher: Speak)