Realistic Fiction Reads

I've been reading more than usual lately, but I haven't caught up on the blog!  Here are three recent reads of note, covering a wide variety of realistic fiction:

Jane by April Lindner
(Click here to find a library copy.)

Noticing all of the attention Jane Austen's books been getting recently, April Lindner thought it was Charlotte Bronte's turn.  A passionate fan of Bronte's Jane Eyre, Lindner created an updated retelling of this classic story.  Forced to drop out of college after her parents' death, straight-laced Jane takes a nanny job at a remote estate for the daughter of Nico Rathburn, a reclusive rock star.  Of course, tortured romance ensues, as Jane falls for Nico against her better judgement.  This is an engaging and romantic read, especially if you are familiar with the original.  Curl up with it when your schedule is open, because you will want to finish it once you start!

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell
(Click here to find a library copy.)

Going to summer camp is one thing, but what if your mom decided that the whole family should spend time together at pioneer camp?  Gen's family has packed off for a summer at Camp Frontier, where they will live, work, and eat like American pioneers.  Gen sneaks her phone in, and texts desperate messages to her friends about this "Little Hell on the Prairie."  What she doesn't know is that they are reposting her texts to a blog that is rapidly gaining popularity.  When Gen's friends show up with a TV camera crew to rescue Gen, it could be the best thing that ever happened to her--or the worst.  This is a light read that will make you laugh, especially if you were a fan of the Little House books and always wanted to live like Laura's family!  And, it will definitely make you feel better about wherever you have to go to camp this summer.

How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman
(Click here to find a library copy.)

Everyone needs to escape from their own lives sometimes.  For some of us, it's through books, exercise, movies, or another healthy activity.  For Kelleigh, however, it's stealing cars.  She falls into it by accident, finding a set of keys on the ground and taking advantage of the opportunity.  But the thrill gets her hooked, and she spends her summer toying with increasingly dangerous car thefts.  Why does Kelleigh do this?  Even she doesn't know for sure.  However, she rationalizes each theft to herself in such a convincing manner that it all seems perfectly OK.  My favorite moment of the story is definitely when she steals the obnoxious yellow Hummer of an equally obnoxious classmate as revenge and drives it into a lake!  As a reader, I was wondering when Kelleigh would learn her lesson or get arrested.  But, the author creates a really interesting dilemma by not allowing those things to happen during the story.  This is a short read (only 170 pages and it's double-spaced), so read it and think for yourself!

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