"Our Own Private Universe" is another book by Robin Talley. It takes place in the present day when few groups of teenage churchgoers go to Mexico to h"Our Own Private Universe" is another book by Robin Talley. It takes place in the present day when few groups of teenage churchgoers go to Mexico to help out in the community. Aki is the preacher's daughter and has just figured out that she may be bisexual. She falls in love with Christa, a girl who seems to have a little more experience. Both of them will have to come to terms with what it means to be "out" even if those in their church or their families don't understand or support it.
I've enjoyed Talley's other books. This one was just okay for me. There was a little bit of stereotyping in the book that really took me out of the book and made me wonder if the stereotyping came from the characters in the book simply being naïve and not having been not having been around a lot of gay people before because of the kind of social circle that they're in their church or what. For instance, Aki justifies thinking that a secondary character in the book is gay because she wears board shorts everywhere.
As with Talley's other books, this book had a focus on some serious topics. One of the stand out topics in this book was the focus on safe sex. Aki really wants to make sure that the sex she has with Christa is safe. The book points out that Aki is totally perplexed by what constitutes safe sex between two females as all of the sex ed she had in school focused on male/ female sex. I appreciated the way that the author tried to teach this lesson. It was a bit overwrought but the point certainly gets across. I do think it's important for young adult readers to be able to encounter all sorts of subjects through their reading and can appreciate where Talley was trying to go. ...more
"Girl in Disguise" is the story of Kate, who lives in the mid-1800s and suddenly finds herself a widow in the middle of Chicago. Being a widow at this"Girl in Disguise" is the story of Kate, who lives in the mid-1800s and suddenly finds herself a widow in the middle of Chicago. Being a widow at this time was incredibly difficult because it meant that there was little you could do as a woman to make a living. With nothing left to do, she decides to follow her dreams and walk into the Pinkerton Detective Agency. This famous agency was involved with so many cases during that time period!
Being a detective was definitely something that most women weren't allowed to do at the time but as readers quickly find out in this book, Kate is not someone who takes no for an answer. In order to prove her mettle, she has to take on a case that can put her in some danger without her being able to know whether or not she will have a place at the agency. The author does a great job of bringing this danger to life with good detail.
This book follows Kate through several cases, many of them which will be very interesting to history lovers. For instance, Kate is charged with getting President-elect Abraham Lincoln to his inauguration safely. It requires that not only Kate go in disguise but that President Lincoln get on a train in disguise as well. It's one of those true history stories that almost seems unbelievable. I had to look up what actually happened right after finishing the book and I think any book that can get you interested in continuing to do research is a good one. Kate is a fascinating character and I love the way that the author was able to bring this person who is not particularly well-known to life!...more
"Wildly into the Dark" is the new book by author Tyler Knott Gregson. It's his third book of poetry and it touches on everything from love to nature t"Wildly into the Dark" is the new book by author Tyler Knott Gregson. It's his third book of poetry and it touches on everything from love to nature to travel. Some of the poems are incredibly personal and intimate and he has a great way of reaching out to the reader from the pages and making the reader feel like he's talking directly to them.
This book is so much more than just a poetry book though. Gregson is also a great photographer and puts a lot of his photography in this book. The photographs are mostly of nature and beautiful scenery. The pictures are special by themselves but combined with the words of the poems, it becomes something more powerful.
The other thing that is special about this book is that many of the poems are typed out by typewriter on old random pieces of paper. That probably doesn't sound particularly exciting but it makes the poems feel a little more special like a connection between the past and the present.
This is the first book that I've read by Gregson but I would love to go back and read some of his other poetry because I enjoyed that so much. One of the other things that I want to mention about this book is that $1 from the pre-orders of this book are going to help support their organization To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization dedicated to helping those with mental illness especially depression. It's a great cause and that only makes this book more special!...more
4.5 stars. "The Confessions of Young Nero" is the latest book from Margaret George, one of my very favorite historical fiction writers. Historical fic4.5 stars. "The Confessions of Young Nero" is the latest book from Margaret George, one of my very favorite historical fiction writers. Historical fiction lovers know that when you read a book by Margaret George, you're in for real treat. This book is definitely no different! I enjoyed this story and was very excited to see that this is only George's first book in a planned series on Nero.
In this book, George takes us back to ancient Rome, to when Nero the infamous Emperor is still a young boy. Even though he's very young in this book, he is still involved with some of the palace intrigue that seems to go along with being in ancient Rome. Not only is Nero fascinating but some of the secondary characters really add to the book. His mother is bent on ensuring that he will one day become emperor and that she will reap the benefits of his power. She is definitely an interesting character and one that I would want to stay far, far away from her in real life as she seems to have a tendency to get upset when things don't go her way and try to poison people. There is poison and plots galore throughout this book.
This book covers from when Nero was a young boy to when he becomes Emperor and the few years after that. This book is supposed to be the first in a duology or series from George on Nero. One thing that I really like that George does with this book is she is able to humanize and give good insight into Nero. Being a history lover, I had heard a lot of things about Nero. You hear all sorts of stories about the kind of person that he was (not usually positive) and George gives him some humanity and somewhat of a explanation as to why he was the way that he was.
The detail in the story is a true treat! As with George's other books she spends a lot of time coming up with the great detail in order to give the reader a full body experience when reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book but I'm kind of sad but I've already read it and now have to wait for its companion. The wait will be well worth it as I am excited to finish this great story!...more
In "Eggshells," Vivian doesn't fit in and never has. In fact, her parents told her that she was a changeling and the reader is left questioning whetheIn "Eggshells," Vivian doesn't fit in and never has. In fact, her parents told her that she was a changeling and the reader is left questioning whether or not this really might be the case. Vivian spends her life doing things that seem odd to others. She tries to model behavior that would be considered normal but fails every time. She is lonely and decides to advertise for a friend and not just a friend but a friend specifically named Penelope. She feels that this will be the first step to creating a new life for herself.
This book is very much a character driven novel. We get to see the world from Vivian's perspective. It's a world where normal interaction with others must be thoroughly practiced and where Vivian often has to remind herself of what a normal way to behave would be. Much goes unnoticed by her; she can't understand why her sister may not want her just showing up on her doorstep without announcement. At first, Vivian's character felt very fresh for me. Her point of view is definitely different and I love an eccentric character. I did get a bit distracted in trying to figure out exactly what was going on with her, which took away from the book even though this is indeed a character driven story.
Sometimes there is too much of a good thing and that became the case with Vivian's character. There doesn't seem to be a true arc other than Vivian behaving the way that Vivian does and trying to overcome the same feeling that all humans, even those that are less eccentric, try to counter: the feeling of loneliness....more