Tag Archives: family

Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan

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Tom Grendel and his father, an Army veteran who is struggling with PTSD, are trying to lead a quiet life to allow his father to heal not only from his battle scars, but the loss of his wife and Tom’s mother.  But when a family moves in next door that threatens to upset the quiet neighborhood they all love, adventures ensue as Tom, his best friend Ed, and Tom’s sister vow to end the loud parties that have driven Tom’s dad from their home.  And then there’s Willow…

This book is everything that is right about YA.  I absolutely loved this reworking of Beowulf.  The adventures and plots were fun and crazy, together with the perfect amount of angst, the all important first love, and my new favorite best friend in a YA novel, Ed.  So many laugh out loud moments, but also moments that tugged at your heart and made the characters so easy to relate to and empathize with.  I had more fun with this book than I have in a long time and truly enjoyed every second of it.

The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang

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Charles Wang is the epitome of success.  A huge cosmetics empire with all the trappings that go along with it.  Then the great recession happens and it all goes down the drain.  Now on a cross country trip with his family to live with his eldest daughter in upstate New York, the Wangs discover that family is the most important thing of all.

In a year filled with books about “rich people problems,” Jade Chang manages to change it up with humor, love and wit.  A great look at the changing demographics and idea of what an immigrant family is in America. On a side note, I will never be able to look at ketchup the same way again. (I’m looking at you Andrew!)