About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

Review: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Ember
Published August 28, 2007 (Orig. published 2006)

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When the girl who just dumped him walks into the club where Nick’s band is playing a show, he resorts to the extreme and asks the random girl standing next to him if she’ll be his girlfriend for five minutes.

Though Nick’s request at first infuriates Norah (what kind of cheap trick does he take her for?), the approach of her not-quite-friend prompts her to take some desperate measures of her own. Like yanking almost-stranger-Nick into an electrifying kiss.

The agreed on five minutes stretches into a whole night of adventure, misunderstanding, … Continue reading

Review: In Between by Jenny B. Jones

In Between
Jenny B. Jones
Sweet Pea Productions
Published March 25, 2014 (Originally published 2007)

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Sixteen year old Katie Parker is not too excited when she discovers she’s moving to a new foster home in In Between, Texas, home of the Chihuahuas. And to top that off, her new “dad” is the pastor of one of the local churches. Not exactly consistent with Katie’s formerly religion-less life. At her new school, she finds herself at home with the other outsiders. At least, so she thinks. When one late night stunt turns to trouble, Katie finds herself sentenced to time with her new nonGrandmother– Mad Maxine. Could things get any worse? And does the God … Continue reading

Review: Jerk California by Jonathan Friesen

Jerk California
Jonathan Friesen
Speak
September 4, 2008

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Sam Carrier can’t sit still. He jumps and blurts and twitches almost constantly. That’s the nature of the beast. Tourette’s Syndrome. The only solace he finds and the only time his limbs obey comes when he runs. But after his embarrassing graduation ceremony, everything changes. His angry step-father expects a large monthly sum for rent, and an unorthodox neighbor hires Sam, but only on the condition that he can use Sam’s real name, the name his real dad gave him. Jack.

Everything is complicated further by the recurring appearance of the beautiful Naomi, who always leaves Sam feeling like he’s not sure which way is up. … Continue reading

Review: Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Once Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published October 1, 2002

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Christian is a young inventor living in the forest with his foster father, a troll named Ed. Life is pretty sweet until the day Christian discovers the lonely Princess Marigold and decides to send her a message via carrier pigeon (p-mail). To Christian’s surprise, the princess replies to his message and the two become best friends.

When Christian uncovers a vicious plot to kill Marigold, he can’t sit by and do nothing. But how can a commoner do anything to save the princess?

Once Upon a Marigold is a spunky, cute fairy tale type story about having courage to … Continue reading

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

So Yesterday
Scott Westerfeld
Razorbill
Published January 1, 2004

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When Hunter meets a girl with a whole different way of doing her shoelaces, he has no idea the strange adventure that’s about to begin. Through her, he winds up invited to a secret meeting at which he stumbles onto a pair of amazing shoes, and the possibility that his cool-hunting boss has been kidnapped. Hunter and his new friend pursue the shoemakers, trying to discover what’s become of his boss, Mandy. Full of quirky characters and with Hunter’s off-the-wall sense of humor and irony, So Yesterday was a worthy read. Go Hunter, the Mighty Penguin!

This was such a fun story. I read and … Continue reading

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darnkess
Andrew Peterson
Waterbrook
Published March 18, 2008

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After escaping from one of the fiersome Fangs of Dang, Janner, Tink and Leeli Igiby and their loyal dog Nugget find their troubles are only beginning. As the Fangs’ search for the lost jewels of Anniera intensifies, the Igiby family only seems to fall deeper into the center of the conflict. Janner can’t let go of the mystery that surrounds his father. Why won’t anyone speak of him? And why does the strange recluse, Peet the Sock Man, seem to be protecting them?

Peterson’s style is both off-beat and uplifting, humorous and tender. There’s definitely something in it … Continue reading

I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke

I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires
Cathy Gohlke
Moody Publishers
Published September 1, 2008

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Prompted by a desperate letter from an estranged cousin in Virginia, Robert must put aside his plans to join the Yankee army and help his family. A visit to his uncle throws him by mistake into the middle of a prison escape. After he’s left for dead, an unexpected friend lends him a hand, further blurring the lines of Robert’s patriotic loyalty. As he and his new friend set out to find his family, Robert finds the journey to be harder than he ever imagined, and that the enemy he must confront has a different face than he first … Continue reading

The Fruit of My Lipstick by Shelley Adina

The Fruit of My Lipstick
Shelley Adina
FaithWords
Published August 1, 2008

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In Gillian Chang’s second term at upscale Spencer Academy boarding school, she feels prepared for everything. Armed with rock-solid faith, good friends and no shortage of smarts, she’s got it all covered. Doesn’t she?

When she begins to fall for Lucas Hayes, a high achieving Stanford PhD hopeful, Gillian finds herself unable to keep up and be the girlfriend he wants. With all the pressure he’s under, it’s no surprise he gets a little short-tempered. Gillian resolves to try harder, but she finds herself isolating from her friends more and more.

Then a scandal emerges, with rumors that Gillian is at the … Continue reading

My Thoughts on Twilight and The Graveyard Book

Poll Question: Should Christian teens read books about characters of spritually questionable origin?

  • Maybe. Mature kids can discern the truth without being spiritually compromised. Other kids aren’t ready. (4 votes)
  • Yes. Reading about a vampire doesn’t do any harm. It’s just fantasy! (2 votes)
  • No way. The origin of vampires isn’t “questionable.” It’s evil. Don’t even go there. (2 votes)

My Vote
I’ll be honest– this is a tricky one for me. When I began this blog and posted my first poll, a friend left several comments on my facebook account about teen fiction and what it should and should not contain and she said two very key words: age-appropriate. (maybe that’s technically one word, hyphenated…)

I think there’s something to that. Absolutely. In the case of Neil Gaiman’s book, we’re talking about a story set in a graveyard with a small child as a character. (I’m … Continue reading

Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
HarperCollins
Published September 30, 2008

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They say it takes a town to raise a child. Or in this case, a graveyard.

After his family are murdered by a stranger named Jack, a toddler escapes to a graveyard where he is adopted by a pair of ghosts who name him Nobody. A vampire speaks up as Bod’s guardian, eventually sharing this responsibility with a werewolf.  Bod befriends other ghost children and even a witch buried on unconsecrated ground near the graveyard. But the mysterious man who murdered his family still seeks him and intends to finish the task he … Continue reading

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