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Reading Between Classes

A unique perspective on YA Literature from a junior high teacher. 

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Unbreakable
Kami Garcia
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Gail Carriger
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Marissa Meyer, Rebecca Soler

Shine

Shine - Jeri Smith-Ready This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between ClassesCover Impressions: Meh. Not feeling the sleepy stare or washed out color.The Gist: In Shine, Aura and Zach set out to solve the remaining mysteries of the Shift. Their efforts are hampered by the interference of the DMP, who are willing to go to extreme lengths in order to maintain control of both the ghost population and the teenagers that can see them. Review: Boy oh boy, was this one ever hard. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but this one left me bored. Perhaps, part of the blame lies in the timing (I started the book just before returning to work after a year of maternity leave) but the rest has to lie with the book itself.For a good chunk of this novel, Zach was being held by the DMP. With him out of the picture, I should have been able to see some quality Aura time and important development in the secondary characters. Instead, I got to watch Aura whine and her friends serve as little more than chauffeur or confident (allowing Aura to whine some more about Zach). When they couple were finally reunited, I was treated to a vomit inducing love-fest as they discovered that sex was the most mystical and magical activity in the entire world. And, of course, being connected the way that they are, it was SUPER SPECIALLY MAGICAL and we needed to be reminded over and over and over. The frequent sex sessions (or the whining over not being able to touch each other for a few hours) interrupted an already suffering plot.I found it difficult to keep the bad guys straight in this one. In the previous novels, we had one big bad government agency. In this one, it seems like there are multiple mysterious entities that want to use/kill Aura and Zach. I am normally fine with a little government conspiracy theory, but this one was incredibly confusing with the number of players and, eventually, I just stopped trying to figure out who was doing what. This series was never really one that I would put in my classroom, however the sexual behavior is seriously amped up in this installment and I definitely would not recommend it for my junior high students.Teaching/Parental Notes:Age: 16 and upGender: FemaleSex: LOTS!Violence: Gunplay, Knifeplay, Torture by IsolationInappropriate Language: Fuck, Bullshit, Slutty, Bitch, Jesus, Dick, Bastards, Shit, PissSubstance Use/Abuse: Drinking