Notes from An Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne is a nice, YA read focusing on Elsie, who is forced to sign up for marching band in order to have a "group ensemble" background to put on her resume for an application to a much more prestigious musical program. Although she is skeptical of this group at first, Elsie ends up enjoying her time in the marching band. Her relationship with her father, a professional musician, also endures a great deal as she tries to determine how much involvement she wants from her father and how much she wants to have this accomplishment be her own. As a marching band geek myself, it was fun to remember some of the good times from my own marching band days. And while Elsie's experience seems much more intense than my own, the marching band focus is sure to resonate with many readers.Girls Don't Fly by Kristen Chandler was another great YA read. Myra is from a big family and her role is often mothering her younger siblings. There is not much time for Myra to do anything she wants. When her boyfriend, Erik, breaks up with her Myra's outlook seems even more bleak. Until she hears of a scholarship opportunity to study in the Galapagos Islands. Although it is expensive, Myra goes about trying to earn money for this trip and ends up being pitted against her ex-boyfriend to win a scholarship. Myra learns a lot about herself and her family, who for once come through for her. There are a few laughs in this one, and I was cheering Myra on from the first page.
I love realistic YA fiction and these two books certainly satisified my need for an entertaining read.