Bethany's Readers' Advisory

The place to go for readers' advisory on books for children, teens, and adults

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn August 1, 2012

Boy meets girl.  Boy marries girl.  Girl disappears.  Boy is in trouble.

Amy is the daughter of authors; they began writing the Amazing Amy series featuring their daughter as the main character when she was just a child.  As a result, Amy is a perfectionist and has money and many admirers.  Nick is a ladies’ man.  He likes Amy’s “Cool Girl” attitude.

Fast forward a few years.  Amy’s money is almost gone and both of them have lost their jobs in the magazine industry.  Nick gets a call that his mother is sick and decides to move them from New York City to his small hometown in Missouri.  On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick comes home to find the house trashed and his wife missing.  He goes to the police, but who is always the first suspect when the wife disappears?…

This book was intense and thrilling.  I couldn’t put it down.  It has adult language and adult situations, so I would recommend it only to adults who are okay with those things.  Be prepared to wake up in a sweat in the middle of the night and make sure your bedroom door is locked.

5 out of 5 stars


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky November 28, 2010

Charlie is soon to be sixteen years old, living with his quiet mother, protective father, and teenage sister.  His brother plays football at Penn State.  Charlie is writing letters to an unknown recipient about the significant parts of his life; the extra books his English teacher, Bill, assigns him, his relationship with his always annoyed sister, and his first real friends, Patrick and Sam, who open his eyes to the world.  Charlie writes about his experiences with doctors after his aunt Helen died, his first experience with drugs, being part of a social group, and the things he does for his sister when she needs him the most.  He realizes the perks of being a wallflower are to listen and observe quietly to figure out one’s place in the world.

Charlie’s story, told through anonymous letters, is sweet, endearing, painful, and sad.  Charlie is a bit more introspective and off-base than just a shy high schooler, but his observances about life were thought-provoking and kept the reader wanting more.

Though the book is a series of letters, it read more like a diary.  It was a unique premise that gave the reader an intimate look at Charlie’s thoughts, joys, and pain.


Punkzilla by Adam Rapp November 11, 2010

Jamie, known as Punkzilla to his friends, has been on the go for awhile.  His parents sent him to Buckner military academy only to have him go AWOL and run away to Portland, Oregon (NOT Portland, Maine).  He leaves Portland on a desperate journey to see his brother, P, in Memphis, Tennessee before he dies of cancer.  Along the way, Punkzilla gets jumped, kicked out of cars, befriended, and abandoned by a long list of interesting characters.  Jamie keeps track of all the people he meets and his experiences with them in letters to P; his notebook is full of truth, even if his words aren’t.  Will P get to read the letters before it’s too late?


Punkzilla can be defined as gritty fiction, filled with controversial language, drug use, and sexual situations.  Jamie’s journey is filled with danger but the situations he encounters, although at times shocking and sad, are not unbelievable.


The epistolary format is referred to in other reviews as “stream-of-consciousness narrative.”  Jamie’s letters are long, rambling, filled with expletives, and lacking in punctuation, which adds to its authenticity as the character is a 14-year-old essentially living on the streets.  Once again, I prefer the epistolary format as it allows Jamie’s voice to come through without getting bogged down with dialog and plot details.


Invisible by Pete Hautman November 9, 2010

Filed under: disturbed fiction,suspense — Bethany @ 9:43 pm
Tags: , ,

“Andy and I had some bad luck with fires when we were kids.  We’re more careful now.”

Doug is a little strange- some people call him a freak; his mom calls him disturbed.  Andy is popular, athletic, and the object of female affection.  Doug and Andy are best friends.  They’ve had a lot of good times together.  Except at the old Tuttle house.  But Doug doesn’t really want to get into that right now.

There are more important things for Doug to think about.  Like Melissa Haverman or the model railroad set he’s been working on for almost three years.  Yes, there are many more important things to think about than the past.


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